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How do I not worry that my girlfriend will chose the easy way out when returning home?

Tagged as: Long distance, The ex-factor, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (14 February 2017) 3 Answers - (Newest, 18 February 2017)
A male United Kingdom age 22-25, *awrence2 writes:

We're currently long distance and have been together for 6 months. We met in his home country but unfortunately my girlfriend has to move back to her home country. After we met, I have been studying overseas. We're very serious about each other. We know each other's parents and we love each other a lot. We're in love.

The other day my girlfriend told me that her ex boyfriend, who she has spoken about before, contacted her. They met roughly around 5 years ago, were in a relationship for a few years and then apparently "drifted apart" and their personalities clashed. She once said they had a fairly good relationship when we were in a heated discussion, somewhat an argument talking about previous partners. She said that even after they were together, they both would attend house parties or gatherings and he would come and then try to catch her attention by telling her that she looked hot, beautiful and was acting like a show pony in front of her with his friends. He even apparently would contact her after he got into a relationship a year later for almost a year and would send provocative texts/photos. Then when her ex became single, he would contact her whilst she moved away (to my home country) and my girlfriend admitted (whilst she was single) that she would occasionally reply and that his mother got sick, so she felt it was morally right to send her sympathy. She has reassured me that she genuinely does not have any feelings for him anymore rather she is worried that when she returns, as they live in a suburb close to each other that she will run into him. I asked her how she would react and that if she couldn’t exit the situation, she would be polite as she believes he has an intimidating presence. He’s a boxer apparently, quite tall and somewhat forward personality. The city that she comes from, according to her everyone knows each other especially ex private school/university students. Back to the fact that he messaged her recently, I asked what he said and he just asked how she was. That was a few days ago, then last night I asked again if he contacted her and she said that he texted her again saying he had a dream about her. I then noticed that she followed him on Instagram.

I do trust my girlfriend and she has never given me reason not to. I’ve never come across anything that has made me think twice and so far, I’ve never caught her lying to me about anything. Small or big. Yet I am worried that when she returns, she will meet other men and realize that our long distance is too difficult. She keeps telling me that she cannot control coming across attractive men and meeting them but she can control how she responds and that it takes two to make a relationship start. Also, she mentioned that she would be completely honest with me as she believes she has more moral compass than to lie and deceive me. It doesn’t help that my girlfriend is beautiful and I know plenty of men would be after her, plus where she is from, the men are truthfully good looking. I do not believe she would cheat on me as she has always told me that it is not her and she has come across plenty of men that have and it disgusts her as she worked as a model.

How do I get over this fear?

View related questions: her ex, long distance, text

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (18 February 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntHonestly I doubt the ex would still be in the picture if she had just stopped replying a long time ago. It sounds like she is keeping him on the back burner.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (14 February 2017):

The fear of competition is a constant in a relationship. You have to rely on trust to get through it. Trust must be given if you want it to work; but it has to be earned to be justified.

You should openly express any discomfort you have about the communication between her and her ex. Keep your jealousy in check. With ex-boyfriends as the exception; she may have male-friends. You may also have other female-friends.

Arguably, his sudden and sporadic contact is for the purpose of scanning her feelings and testing her vulnerabilities to see if she still has anything left for him. In spite of her suggestions that she's not interested; it would be best for her to minimize or completely discontinue responses. In order to avoid his intrusion into her life and your new relationship. If she's concerned about his mother's health, direct her attentions directly to his mum. He'll keep using that as an excuse to maintain contact.

There are limitations and boundaries when you are newly involved in a relationship; and too much interaction with exes and their families can be a sign she may still be somewhat emotionally-connected.

Exes have the tendency to interfere and become wedges when their own relationships fail. They gravitate to the place where they were comfortable; that being with the person they share a history. They crave dopamine, which was cutoff by their former-relationship. So they look for substitutes for a fix.

Let's not be naive, you're a guy. You know his intentions are not completely innocent. She's not stupid; and nor are you.

He's going through that period after a breakup where he's grasping for any means of emotional-acknowledgement and fulfillment he can get. A familiar target like an ex is a good substitute; until something better comes along. He will play on her sympathy, and try to trigger any residual-feelings and emotions he hopes she still has.

If you're in a new relationship, especially while in its infancy stage; stay as far away from exes as you can.

Guys fresh out of breakups and on the rebound, can be quite persistent. They will turn on the charm full-force. She may feel a little vulnerable/intimidated due to his forceful presence. Be that the case, why does she claim she doesn't want to run into him; yet she responds to his messages? Then it's best she give him no reason to stay in-contact. Stop playing it in-between the both of you. Trust has its limitations!

Giving her benefit of the doubt, hopefully she is completely over him. But she challenges your trust in her word by responding when he contacts her; and that is a contradiction to her reassurances. You might warn and advise her that his feelings may still be there. Although you trust her; you don't trust him or his motives. She should respect your feelings. Her reassurances mean very little when she's responding to him on Instagram! What's his mother got to do with that?

You have no right to tell her what to do. You can only suggest that you would feel better if she didn't encourage him by responding to his messages. You feel he is playing on her residual-emotions, hoping to stir some dormant feelings. Your new relationship needs time to establish itself, and the least interference from outsiders the better.

If she is good to her word, there should be no problem in discontinuing contact with a guy who is now her ex. Don't forgo any decision to let her go, if you have a gut-feeling she is being untruthful; and the contact is too frequent for your comfort. A relationship can't work unless you trust each other, and your actions must match your words.

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A male reader, Phil052 United Kingdom + , writes (14 February 2017):

Phil052 agony auntIt's difficult, but you just have to trust her. She sounds like she has the situation under control and only has eyes for you. It will be difficult for her getting attention from her ex boyfriend, and it is difficult for you because you can't control how her ex acts or how she reacts to him. All you can do is tell her how much you love her and trust her to handle it appropriately.

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