EXpectations: Your Boyfriend’s Ex is Also His Best Friend?
I’ve been dating this boy for about two months. He’s great, and so far things have been going really well. We spend a lot of time together without getting sick of each other, but haven’t meshed into a creepy and mushy single being like some couples are prone to. He makes me laugh, although it’s usually more at him than with him. He’s GREAT in bed. But best of all, I just feel comfortable with him. I’m not constantly paranoid about checking my makeup or trying to force witty conversation. I can be completely me, and he likes me more for it.
It’s perfect, right?
He has an ex-girlfriend. Not just any ex-girlfriend, THE ex-girlfriend. His first love, the only serious relationship he’s ever had, the girl he was with for his entire college life, the girl his parents thought he would marry. The girl who broke his heart and destroyed his life, but with all the best intentions. The girl who was such a big part of his life that they still talk almost every day. The girl whose mother still tells him he’s the son she never had. The girl he calls when he has a fight with me and needs to sort stuff out.
Of all the ex-girlfriends out there, this one is definitely the most intimidating. How do I compete with this girl who was so perfect? Is he over her? Why aren’t they still together? What if she doesn’t like me, or tries to sabotage this?
It’s been a struggle trying to navigate these issues. I’m not that jealous of a person, and I understand the value in remaining friends with exes. I’m still friends with all my exes, though not nearly as good of friends as he is with her. Still, I get the idea that someone who was so important in your life can still remain important when the relationship is over. I like that he gets that too.
But that doesn’t mean this girl doesn’t intimidate my socks off. After all, they were, like, soul mates. How do I know he’s over her, and won’t go back to her?
After many nights lying awake thinking about this (or days in lecture spent zoning out thinking about this…), I finally started to see things without my paranoid-colored glasses on.
She is an ex for a reason. They have been broken up now for about a year. If things were going to work out, they would have already. She’s also in a serious relationship with someone else. Logically, I don’t think this girl is much of a threat to me.
What’s threatening my happiness in this relationship are my own insecurities. I can’t be worried about living up to the ex. I should be focusing on my own good qualities, on the things that set me apart from her, and any other girl. These are the things he likes about me. And when you look at it that way, it makes the whole ex idea much easier to swallow. He likes me because I’m not her, so why would I worry about trying to be as good as her?
As for the whole her not liking me bit, or trying to sabotage us; I just have to chalk that up to paranoia. If they truly are just friends and want what’s best for each other, she will be happy that he has found someone else. He loved her, so I trust that she is a good person. She would not sabotage something that could make him happy. And even if she tried to, how much could she really do?
I’m sure many of you have been in a similar position. Ex-girlfriends are always a source of jealousy, no matter how nonchalant you wish you could be about it. How do you guys deal with these kinds of issues? Or if you’re on the other side of the issue, the ex-girlfriend, how do you feel when your ex starts seeing a new girl?