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Why is my girlfriend still friends with her exes?

Tagged as: The ex-factor<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (1 November 2005) 15 Answers - (Newest, 14 April 2014)
A male , anonymous writes:

I'm going with my girlfriend now for 4 months. She has broken up with all her ex's but has remained friends with them. I don't understand why.

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A male reader, browns70 United States +, writes (14 April 2014):

It is tough being friends with your ex.I dated a woman that said she will not go back to her last ex.But of course she went back to him and had a second kid with him and also have plans of getting married.She told me we can still hangout and text each other.I haven't hungout with her or text her because I think she will cheat on him.The reason I say that is because she cheated on some other guys she dated before.I don't want to hang around her because all she is going to do is complain about him and flirt with me.I also caught her in lies to and I heard she cheating on me and she said she didn't.Now I got trust issues.

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A male reader, Kosmos Australia +, writes (11 July 2012):

My girlfriend had friendships with all her Exs and Hook Ups and I decided to trust her as everything else was perfect to me - Just by trusting her it removed that problem.

There was a short discussion about it and for me it didn't matter because she hadn't been with any of them since she had been with me?

Well, thats what I thought!

A year later after performing a deep correlated analysis of her Blackberry phone/sms records I could see a pattern where the frequency of contact with particular Ex's would increase AND correlate to "hook ups" whenever I had had a fight with her and moved back to my apartment for a few weeks to cool off.

So while I was alone and wounded hearted thinking about her in my apartment well what does she do? Well what an organised woman, a black-book of fall-backs hey? Whereas here I was alone without any fall backs because I was just totally adoring her and wanting her forever.......and of course if there was the slightest evidence that I might have a female friend while we were apart for a few weeks then she would show sign's of jealousy - "Who took that photo of you? It was a girl wasn't it?"...

And I also noticed patterns of when I was at my apartment too busy with work or just tired and going to bed rather than go back to her place (I lived with her mostly, my things there and so on but maintained an apartment for office/backup to not have so much pressure on her if she wasn't happy and needed space...)

well there would be these phonecalls to me from her, "What are you doing? Are you coming over? I miss you. I am tired, I am going to bed ok".

Well, on the times that I had said, "No, I am coming over" I would see just after my own call she then calls one of these Ex's or male-friends around.

Its hard to explain the data analysis but you see, you are trying to visualise her activities from only the available data, an abstraction. It has a high false-positive rate, is difficult to crunch.

But finally I got it.

Essentially, she is never lonely.

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A male reader, LCFR Australia +, writes (18 May 2010):

An Ex should remain as an Ex. F**k this friendship bulls**t, there was attraction in the past and there will be attraction again between the 2 or if there is a fight or an insecurity one of the people involved might run to their ex.

I was going out with a girl who didnt feel comfortable with one of my female friends even after explaining to her that nothing ever happened. I did the right thing and told my female friend about my girlfriends feelings and she understood.

My girl friend had a guy whom she said she fooled around years ago and who moved overseas for work. Early on the relationship I asked her if she had feelings for him because they called each other and she assured me that she didnt and that she would delete his number.

After a week she tells me that he text her to see how she was and she asked me if it was ok to keep his number- At that time i didnt care but 6 months into the relationship he called her to see how everything was.

That was the last time she saw me, it hurt but she broke her promise to cut ties with him.

For LifegoesOn, all I have to tell you is this when you get to know a person lay down the law and also find out if there are issues you should know- and if you both agree to each others rules then if anyone breaks them then move on.

LifegoesOn, you should have booted her the first time she cheated on you, a cheater is always a cheater.

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A male reader, LifeGoesOn2009 United States +, writes (3 December 2009):

I've been seeing this girl for about 4 months now. We clicked right away. Everything was picture perfect. At first I didn't care about her being friends with her exes. Then she cheated on me. The optimistic person I am, believed in her and trusted that she wouldn't cheat again. Well she is still talking to her exes on a daily basis. I told her that it hurt me and I wasn't going to deal with it anymore for the reason that they have had some sort of physical or emotional connection before. She protected them for a long time. Well it came down the point where I broke up with er cause of it. She cried to me and told me that she was going to lose them as friends. We got back together and things were going fine. Then I find out she was still talking to old Hook Up buddies. I didn't even give it a chance. I broke up with her again. She cried again and said that she would stop talking to them for me. So once again we got back together.

Well today(12/2/2009) she was going through my phone and she found a picture of my best friend that she hates. She deleted it. I didn't really care. She hates her. So I'm going through her phone and I happen to stumble apon an old hook up buddy of hers so I deleted it. We broke up and my only question to her was "Why do you hold these people so close to you? You say you love me, yet you do stuff to hurt me?" She had no dignified respose to it.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 November 2009):

Well I just got out of a similar situation. My now EX wife left me for on of her "EX" boyfriends that she said she had no feelings for what so ever. She kept in contact with him and again all along told me that there was nothing there. The thing that really sucks is that I met this great girl, been talking to her for a couple months, and just found out that she still talks to some of her Ex boyfriends. There will always be thoughts and memories lingering around in their head somewhere, sometime. And the whole controlling thing is bull crap. You, as a woman, shouldn't do things that we are uncomfortable with. If you must do something, maybe do it slowly so that we can adjust. Woman are pretty much just destroying us because they can't keep there legs together for more than an hour.

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A male reader, Burnin12 United States +, writes (13 February 2009):

From my experiences it seems that women tend to keep ex's as friends quite a bit more than men. It seems a man will remain friends with and ex until the time comes that he is in another relationship. I don't think everyone is like this but I believe the majority of people are. I also believe women will keep ex's as friends but will not put up with their current boyfriend being friends with their ex's. This is not only from my own experiences but from friends, family and various other men and women.

Now here is why I beleive ex's should not remain friends after one of the 2 is in anohter relationship. An occasional e-mail or phone call to catch up is fine as long as that's all it is. When 2 people have been together and shared any type of intimate moment whether physical, emotional or both and the two then remain friendly after the relationship, there is a certain bond (for lack of a better term) between the two of you that is easily visable to others if they simply look for it. Whether it's the way they look at each other, talk to each other or just generally interact. That is always going to be there and by remaining friends with an ex you are putting your current significant other through an awkward situation anytime they have to see the two of you together.

Speaking as guy who is secure with himself and his relationship.... being around one of my girlfriends ex's who she is still friends with still makes for an awkward feeling. I never let on because it's not a cut and dry situation. Her ex is a friend of her family's and a best friend of her brother's. I've known him since High School, he dated my cousin for 4 years, cheated on her with my girlfriend at the time. I never even spoke to him after that until I started dating my current girlfriend 2 years ago. Eventually she told me that she and him had dated. She was very hurt by the fact that I was disgusted by this. I explained why and she actually attempted to defend him a little at the same time telling me she understands why I feel the way I do. He had even told her about the situation when they were together and that he has always felt really bad about it ever since because I was always a nice guy and cool to him. She would then go on to say he was young and stupid, he's grown up a lot. He treated her very well apparentlly and they ended it because they just didn't click completely. It's been years since they were together and even longer since the time he was dating my cousin and slept with my high school girlfriend.

I don't think anything will ever make me feel normal when he is around. There is always going to be the thought in my head that I'm with a girl that slept with a guy that slept with my cousin and a girlfriend of mine. Anytime this pops in my head and makes me furious. If I had known this right away I would have never showed any interest or persued her because I know myself well enough to know this is not somehting I can deal with and still be myself. Unfortunately it didn't come up until about a year and a half. She told me she would have said something sooner but she thought I knew because we hung out in a lot of the same circles and she thought I had seen them out together. She pretty much made it out to be no big deal. To me it is and nothing will change that.

I really don't understand how someone can be all right with their significant other being friends with someone they had slept with, woke up in each others arms with, stared into each others eyes and told each other secrets that even you will never know. To me it is not fair to anyone to put someone you Love through that. Myabe I'm not as secure of a person as I think I am but I think everyone feels this way unless they don't really care about the person they are with. I trust my girlfriend to never cheat on me with her ex or anyone but that doesn't change what they had together and he'll always have a level of closeness to my girlfriend that in my head I am the only one that should have that. If they split and didn't remain friends I feel that connection would have died off but since they didn't it never will. As much as I love her and she really does make me feel like I'm the only one in the world when we're alone. She does everything I could ever ask and I get a lot of pleasure out of doing things for her to make her happy...with all that said, I honestltly don't know if I can stay with her because of this unfortunate history she has. I know most will say it is my loss if I really do feel the way I do but I just can't spend our relationship hoping that one day he moves away or that we do. If he weren't a friend of her family's and around a lot it wouldn't be an issue but I am pretty sure he will be part of her life forever and I don't think I can deal with that.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (15 July 2008):

Hey I am in a similar situation! My GF is trying to stay friends with her ex whom she ultimately left because of meeting me. It drains on me when i am blamed for their relationship ending, i always ask what where you doing looking if you were happy? I know and they know it was over before me but i am the scape goat. Through guilt my GF wants to remain friends with her ex. I could handle it at first but when i realised the ex had nothing but contempt for me and our reltionship i expressed my concerns. To have an ex call me a cXXt or by any other vulgarity is not fair and should not be condoned. I made it clear that the lack of loyality shown by my gf to me and our relationship would destroy us because i will not waste my life hoping things will be ok. I love her and she loves me - therefore i believe we should focus on us and not things that want or will destroy us. I didnt give an ultimatimum but made it clear that if she continued to meet up with this person knowing it hurts my feelings as it is all still too raw then she would ultimately push me away. The problem i have now is that she feels slightly controlled by me - which is not the case but its the opinions of others getting to her. I am feeling its a no win situation and the only advice I would give is - Dont Cheat and dont get invloved with anyone whom has a partner. First time i have been in this sort of situation! So exciting at first but the reality is, it is tough on the spirit and emotions. I am completely in love with her and thats the foundation i will build on and i know we care enough about each other to get through it!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (27 March 2008):

My girlfriend still keeps in contact with her ex's. One in particular she is good friends with and they chat on the phone, email, etc. It bothered me at first but I trust my girlfriend completely and I know nothing would happen between them again. Her ex is getting married in the summer and my girlfriend has asked me to go with her, as she's been invited!! I have never met him but at his wedding (to someone else!!) will be a good chance to.

I think it is completely normal to feel aprehensive about your girlfriend being friends with her ex's. I still don't like it but i have got used to it and just get on with things. They were each others first so that doesn't help, but hey.

Definitely talk to her and tell her how you feel. You can't tell her who to be friends with but she should understand your feelings...

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (3 February 2008):

I dont have an answer to your post... My girlfriend does the same thing.. at first i didnt think it would bother me to much.

But when she goes over to his appartment till 1 o'clock in the morning.. and invites him out when she goes with her friends instead of me.. that seemeingly bothered me... she doesnt think anything is wrong with that.. i told her i trusted her but also let her know how i feel about it and it doesnt seem like she is going to change... All she would have to do is see him less frequently (she visits him about once to twice a week) i know there is nothing going on, but its more the principle of the thing...and as far as getting to know the guy.. well i cant cause she broke up with him cause of me.. and he knows it.. and it is still a secret that we ( my GF and I) are dating.. so what do you say about that?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 July 2007):

Staying friends with ex's is fine, as long as it isnt hurting the person you're involved with, i believe if this is the case then that person should take your feelings into consideration, and if she really does care about you, then she would see the pain she is causing, and stop.

Its the same thing with me, my girl is still friends with her ex (good friends), and its not so much this that bothers me, more the fact, that if i even breathe in my ex's direction all hell breaks loose. Double standards, women have the motto "Do as i say, not as i do"!!!!

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A female reader, willywombat United Kingdom +, writes (22 May 2006):

willywombat agony auntProbably because she is a nice person and likes to have many friends around her. Just because a romantic relationship falls down doesn't mean that you have to lose a friendship as well. I suggest you talk to her and tell her how you feel without prejudice or accusation.

xxx

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 May 2006):

I undestand that you are not jealous or insecure but the bench marking will be in place in your current relationship. I honestly believe that exes (unless children are involved) must remain part of past. Even when children are involved you do not need to socialize with that person. I have informed my partner, in no uncertain terms, that I will not accept the friendship thing with exes and would rather cut the ties and move rather than being a part of his/her ego trip and constant need for approval from someone who was not good enough in the first place. But this is my opinion....

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 November 2005):

maybe they were just better off as friends if you trust her, dont worry about it!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 November 2005):

Why shouldn't your girlfriend stay friends with her exes - whats the problem, you can't erase who she had in her life before she met you.You got to look at it this way she had something with all of them once whether is same sense of humour , mentaly they've clicked ,it looks like she stayed friends with them because they obviously still get on which is a rare thing for couples. I mean say you got on brilliantly with her and saw her as one of your closest soul mates if you broke up with her would you want to loose her as a mate.Unfortunatly all couples are meant to be but if you can stay on good terms then thats a positive thing it'll be different if she was in contact with just one ex.Then maybe you can question things...

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A female reader, beenthere +, writes (2 November 2005):

there is nothing wrong with staying friends with exes. both myself and my partner have stayed friends with previous partners. whether or not she was already friends with them before dating them then there is no reason for her not to be friends now. i know i find it hard to meet friends who don't want a relationship which means that a lot of the friends i have are men i have previously had relationships with. my partner doesn't see why i still keep in touch with an ex but he trusts me and i have explained that i am going to stay friends with him although if my partner asked me to, and gave good reason, then i would not contact the ex. if you feel upset or jealous with her remaining friends with exes, let her know but you need to have the confidence in yourself so that you don't need to have a problem. why not get to know them? you might find you like them. if it is still a problem, tell her that you would appreciate her seeing less of them but let her know you trust her

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