My boyfriend is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, which is probably why I’m dating him. But, because of that, he’s friends with his ex. His ex is… fine, but he’s kind of always there and they hang out alone a lot and I’m just not comfortable with it. How do I say that without looking like a huge jerk?
Props to you for finding a nice guy who seems to have a heart not made of Swiss cheese. You’re ahead of most of the people writing to this column/me.
That being said, the ex situation is always a tricky one. I used to be the girl who tried extremely hard to be friends with my exes, but I’ve realized that being friends with them has to happen on its own. And when it does, it may come with the strain of a current relationship.
What bothers you so much about this guy? Does he have locks like Fabio? Did he like the second season of GIRLS more than the first? Or is it just that he used to roll in the hay with your current hay roller and you’re afraid feelings might reignite?
I know having his ex around is no cookie sundae, but if this guy really is really good to you, there is no reason this should be a big issue. If it makes you uncomfortable that they hang out alone or want some reassurance, be sure to talk it through with him in calm, reasonable terms.
And for the record, I’m sure you’re not a huge jerk.
Kristin is a junior studying journalism and Culture Editor at The Post.
What you’re experiencing is something truly rare, something almost unheard of in the wild: exes who are actually still friends.
It makes total sense that you’re feeling some jealousy or unease at this continually cordial relationship your boyfriend has with his ex. That’s because it’s weird and basically never happens. And, unfortunately for you, I have even less experience in this field than in most other things I’m totally unqualified to write about in this column but do anyway.
To address your question about not being a jerk, however, I’d say just start a conversation about making sure there isn’t anything untoward going on with your man and his previous lover. Preface it by emphasizing your concern is out of caring for him and not being used to this sort of thing (because no one is).
You should also try to fit in more time to hang out with your boyfriend without his third wheel. If he’s always there and they hang out alone but you don’t get that special time with him it could be a strain on an otherwise solid relationship.
And make sure they’re not sending penis pictures to each other. That’s a thing.
Ian is a junior studying journalism and a copy editor at The Post. Have an ex situation? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org