My girlfriend’s Ex is trying to reconnect with her. What do I do?

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Drumstep asks:

So me and my girlfriend started talking a year ago and a year before that she was with this guy who treated her like shit, talked to other girls and sexted with them as well so she ended it with him and he lost his shit and absolutely went crazy trying to win her back saying he was in love with her. Fast forward to now and just recently he apologized to her for how he acted and said he was a complete dumbass (my girlfriend is close friends with his sister). He told his sister that he won’t ever get over his feelings for her but he’s learned to move past. Just today he texted her asking if she and his sister and him can go out to diner tonight which I thought was completely weird. Then on top of that he asked my girlfriend to take a picture with him at diner to make his other ex feel jealous posing as if they went out I don’t even know what to think or do in this situation


Demetrius says:

You know the problem isn’t him, at least primarily, it’s your girlfriend, right?

Here’s how your situation should have played out if your girlfriend was a solid girlfriend. My edits are in red:

So me and my girlfriend started talking a year ago and a year before that she was with this guy who treated her like shit, talked to other girls and sexted with them as well so she ended it with him and he lost his shit and absolutely went crazy trying to win her back saying he was in love with her. Fast forward to now and just recently he apologized to her for how he acted and said he was a complete dumbass (my girlfriend is close friends with his sister). She then told him “Thanks for apologizing, I currently have a boyfriend so while I appreciate the apology, I have no intention of maintaining a connection with you after this conversation. Best of luck to you.”. He told his sister that he won’t ever get over his feelings for her but he’s learned to move past. Just today he texted her asking if she and his sister and him can go out to diner tonight which I thought was completely weird. Obviously she did not agree to the dinner, because he already told her indirectly that he still has feelings for her, and she wants to be clear that she has no intention of ever getting back with him. Then on top of that he asked my girlfriend to take a picture with him at diner to make his other ex feel jealous posing as if they went out I don’t even know what to think or do in this situation. Luckily, she’s a stand-up girlfriend so she then refused this completely inappropriate request and berated him for being disrespectful to her, and to our relationship. She told him again that she wants nothing to do with her because he repeatedly disrespected her while they were together, so he’d almost certainly be just as bad a friend as he was a boyfriend.

The problem isn’t that a guy is trying to pursue your girlfriend, because if she’s been outside today, a guy has tried to pursue her. The problem is that she doesn’t appear to be trying to shut any of it down. Yes, he’s part of the problem, but he’s not the one in a relationship with you. You, me, the internet, and your girlfriend know he still has feelings for her. If you’re in a relationship, and your ex still has feelings for you, wouldn’t you avoid contact with them? Or at the very least tell the person that they’re crossing some boundaries that your partner would not feel comfortable with? Most people would, I know I would, and honestly if she did those things I wouldn’t have anything to write about today.

Women are constantly pursued romantically, whether you realize it or not, and sometimes it doesn’t matter to the person pursuing if they’re single or taken. If you want to be with a woman, I can promise you that a lot of other people want to be with her too. Were you in her shoes, what would you do? You seem like a decent, if not oblivious person so you’d probably tell your hypothetical ex that while it’s great that they apologized, you don’t think your current girlfriend would appreciate the dynamic they’re trying to establish so maybe you shouldn’t hang out. By the way, that picture he tried to convince your girlfriend to take wasn’t about making his ex jealous, it was about making you jealous. If he’s particularly cunning, he’ll probably make that picture pretty prominent on his social media accounts to get under your skin. Because that’s a great way to further drive a wedge between you two see he can get back with her, which is his ultimate goal. This guy is not trying to be her friend.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think exes can be friends, but how they are friends matters. If both you and your ex have moved on, neither feels a romantic pull toward the other, and you’re friendly to each other, you can probably be friends. If one of you is in love with the other, you can’t be friends. If one still has unresolved feelings about the breakup, you can’t be friends. If you’d still want to get back together at some point, you can’t be friends. He’s in love with her, so him trying to be friends with her is a bad idea.

What you do next really should be voicing your concerns. I would not, in any way, be comfortable with my hypothetical girlfriend remaining friends with a guy who not only is in love with her, but is also doing things that cross a ton of lines. If I was in your shoes, I’d be pretty vocal about it until this issue was resolved. This isn’t about trying to control who your partner is friends with, it’s about recognizing a situation that rightly makes you uncomfortable and voicing your concerns. If you’re in a relationship, and you notice that someone or something is causing problems in your relationship, call it out. Exes, family, friends, substance use, hobbies, work, whatever it is, you need to speak up. It doesn’t matter if it’s an ex who has boundary issues, a domineering parent, or a meddling friend, call out what bothers you. Maybe your girlfriend is just oblivious, or doesn’t get why this thing with her ex would bother you so much. That may be the case, so rather than waiting until this becomes a bigger issue, tell her.

Now, if she disregards what you have to say, or implies that you might be imagining things, you’re pretty much done. I know it seems like a big leap to make, but it ain’t. People see the things they want to, and if she doesn’t see why any of the things her ex is doing are a problem, she’d be telling you that she’s okay with you not feeling comfortable in your relationship. If that’s the case, it’s time to go.

Good Luck Out There.

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