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Does he still love his ex?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  June 9, 2009 10:10 AM

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Is he living in the past? Should she leave? Discuss.

Q: Hi. I have been dating my bf for about a year now, and things have been great. We really get along, laugh a lot, talk a lot -- and the sex is great.

Anyhow, he told me how he and his ex -- his first serious gf -- are still good friends. I totally understand that as I am friends with some of my exes as well, and I have no issues with any of his friends who are girls. However, when I first met the ex, we all went out to the bars. She was in town with her new bf and his friends, and I felt like a third wheel.

He was hanging all over everything she was saying, and if he didn't catch it he would ask her "What?" repeatedly as if it was the most important thing. I felt like I was standing next to a broken record at times. I don't want to say he was totally ignoring me, but I definitely was not involved. Granted, I could have asked more questions, too, but she was with her friends and did not seem interesting in getting to know me at all really.

When I mentioned it to him he brushed it off as if it were nothing. Then, about a couple of months after that, she was coming to town w/ her new bf again and asked to stay at my bf's place. He asked me if I was OK with it, and I said I didn't like it, but it was his place and his choice. We actually did argue about it a bit, but in the end he let them stay over and went out with them that evening.

He and I have talked about this and he says he has no feelings for her other than friendship and that he loves me. He did say he still finds her very attractive but he is not interested in dating her anymore. The thing is, I tend to feel that sometimes actions speak louder than words, and I feel like perhaps he still has lingering feelings.

What do you think? Should I just be listening to what he is saying to me and trust in that, or "listen" to what he is telling me through his actions, and if it is that he has lingering feelings do I just walk away and find someone else? Or am I just being insecure about this whole thing and making something out of nothing?

-- Just Wondering, Boston

A: JW, you’re making something out of something that used to be.

They’re over. They’ve made that clear. The fact that this woman visits with a boyfriend makes me less inclined to believe she’s trying to get her old boyfriend back. If there are still feelings, it’s one-sided. It’s your boyfriend who’s still a bit smitten.

If he still likes her "more than friends," it's not the end of the world. It’s possible to care for an ex -- especially a first serious girlfriend -- and be in love with someone else. It’s possible to be nostalgic and sad and loving with an ex, even after you’ve moved on to a new relationship.

That said, you have every right to be irritated that his actions speak louder than his words (his actions are yelling, aren’t they?). Perhaps you can calmly explain to your boyfriend that you understand how he feels, but that if he truly cares about you, he’ll avoid putting you in awkward social situations and respect that you don’t want her staying in his house. It’s cool that they’re friends – but it’d be cooler for you if they were respectful acquaintances. I think that’s a fair compromise.

If he can’t respect your feelings, maybe it’s time to rethink this relationship – not because of her, but because of him.

Readers? Weigh in here. Read the rest of the Bible talk here. Twitter-dith here.

-- Meredith

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119 comments so far...
  1. Rico's got a few quick thoughts then has to get some work done...he does get busy at times...

    Rico thinks that you are only slightly over-reacting...yes Slightly. He ha s aright to have friends, both female and male and he can be as smitten as he is capable of as long as that does not infringe on your relationship. If it does then it is time for actions...Rico thinks them staying at his polace was a bad idea but also thinks the reason was he was probably trying to show off for the new BF to let him know how "well off" he is, maybe he has a big TV or some other things he wanted to show off or maybe he wanted to impress her? Rico isn't sure and really doesn't care, what he cares about is that you need to be clear in saying no sleepovers for his ex and her BF out of respect for your relationship otherwise you will find someone new.

    Rico also thinks that maybe these "nights out" with the ex+bf and yourself included don't need to be at bars/clubs but maybe a quiet dinner instead so it is easier to have just the four of you involved in casual conversation. Or otherwise just avoid everyone going out together to begin with. Either way Rico thinks there is nothing for you to worry about unless she is visiting without her BF to stay over and hang out. Then you have some reacting to do. Until then Rico thinks you shoudl discuss this with him and make it clear what you need to be happy and complete within this relationship. This is an issue of Emotional Intelligence which most men lack, including Rico. Daniel Golen? Rico thinks that was the name, is worth checking out his youtube and other readings.

    Rico is off to do work but will check in later to see how you are doing. Please write in and let us know.

    Rico will surely have at least a few more responses to add...keep posted :)

    Love always and smile,


    Gears not Gas

    Rico was almost run down on his bike yesterday by a moron in a car...Please, be careful people. Some drivers are real idiots (you know who you are).

    Keep your heads up and be safe...

    Posted by Rico June 9, 09 10:23 AM
  1. The guys in the Peanut Gallery are gonna call this another one of those "husband store" situations, where a woman is never satisfied. As in " I have been dating my bf for about a year now, and things have been great. We really get along, laugh a lot, talk a lot -- and the sex is great." And "He and I have talked about this and he says he has no feelings for her other than friendship and that he loves me."

    This looks to me like a non-problem, especially since the XGF lives elsewhere and has a BF. BE HAPPY!

    Posted by Jasper's pet June 9, 09 10:25 AM
  1. I think Meredith provided some great, sound advice here. My big question is: you said that your bf let his ex gf and her new bf stay over at his place and "went out with them that evening." Were you invited? It sounds to me like he went out as the third wheel that night and you didn't go. That is pretty wierd to me. Maybe you were busy, so if he invited you, then everything's cool. But if he went out with them without inviting you, then that's a strange situation. I could understand him going out with just her as friends, but to go out with the ex gf and her bf without you? Hmmmm.

    You are absolutely right that actions speak louder than words. He did ask you if you were ok with them staying at his place, but even when you said No, he went ahead and did it anyway. I'd ask him why he bothered asking you (versus telling you) if he was going to do it anyway. That's disrepectful to me. And the fact that he brushed off your concerns that you were being left out when at the bars with everyone shows me that he's not emotionally cognizant- I would go out of my way to make my new bf feel special and attentive if I were out with an ex. That's common sense and decency.

    How old is he? How long after they broke up did you two start dating, and who broke up the relationship?

    Posted by Skyler June 9, 09 10:31 AM
  1. So…how does the ex’s new boyfriend feel? Now there’s a guy sleeping in the lion’s den. I think it’s all about self-esteem. Some things need to be left alone and worked out without your input. You’ve planted the seed, now let him come to the conclusion that he needs to move forward responsibly. Better it becomes his initiative than your own. I might suggest that when she comes to town in the future, that he could bunk up with you instead of providing the enticement of a threesome to his ex and her boyfriend…(kidding…just seeing if you’re still a freak show). BTW, when are you two going to visit his ex and stay at her place?

    Posted by valentino June 9, 09 10:42 AM
  1. Run from this guy. He sounds like my ex who always wanted group you know what.

    Posted by columbus1 June 9, 09 10:49 AM
  1. This is your bf: I'm going to pretend to care about your feelings, so I'll ask you if you'd be ok with them staying at my place, but regardless of what you think I'm going to let them stay anyway.

    I think you need to address that with him. Does he do that in other areas of your relationship? "hey, what restaurant do you want to go to sweetie? Restaurant A? Ok, well we're going to Restaurant B anyway."

    Consideration, thoughtfulness, and respect are pretty important qualities in a successful relationship. Maybe he did it just this once, or maybe there's more to the story, but he comes across as thoughtless.

    Posted by Think About It June 9, 09 10:52 AM
  1. Do you make better grilled cheese sandwiches for your b/f than his ex? If so, nothing to worry about and he is yours.

    Posted by The Dude June 9, 09 10:54 AM
  1. "Rico was almost run down on his bike yesterday by a moron in a car". Must have been someone who has to see your responses every day.

    Posted by Bill June 9, 09 10:55 AM
  1. Absolutely.

    They will be back together before the leaves change.

    Posted by sarah June 9, 09 10:57 AM
  1. Good one Valentino (#4)! Yup, I'd ask why he couldn't stay with you at your place and let them have his place to themselves. And then ask when you two are going to stay with her at her place.

    I can't imagine a self-respecting guy agreeing to stay with his gf at her ex-bf's place. Is she trying to make the ex jealous by having loud, boisterous grilled cheese sandwiches?? I'd like to think not, but like Valentino said, you must have some idea about how the ex gf's new bf feels about this all...

    Posted by Grilled Cheese for lunch at the ex's! June 9, 09 10:59 AM
  1. I dont know why so many people do this! Ex's are ex's for a reason and it should stay that way. As you can see even if they are just 'friends' it puts a strain on the relationship. Why go that far? You guys broke up, leave it at that and move on. Never look backwards!

    Posted by Oopsy June 9, 09 11:02 AM
  1. Rico-
    What color is your bicycle? Do you wear the yellow jersey? We want to know it's you...

    Posted by valentino June 9, 09 11:04 AM
  1. You left out a key detail here, which is your age. If you're 21, this is normal male delusion syndrome. You're not going to last forever anyway, so enjoy the sex until the inevitable breakup happens.

    If you're over 28, you're a dolt who already knows the truth, but isn't ready to confront it so you're turning to Boston.com instead. This guy has commitment issues. I'm not saying he wants to get back with his ex-- but clearly he still wants some emotional entanglements with his past (her), and that obstructs any emotional entanglements to his present and future (you). Cut him loose.

    Posted by Joey June 9, 09 11:06 AM
  1. Oh hun, this reminds me of a situation I was in about 5 years ago with my boyfriend at the time and his best friend from growing up, some girl named Puja. He brought me to a party that she was at with her boyfriend and she greeted my boyfriend by jumping on him and wrapping her legs around him like they were long lost lovers. That was the first straw. She treated me like crap the entire evening and my boyfriend acted completely oblivious to her hanging off his every word and essentially drooling all over him. Her boyfriend, poor sucker, was in the kitchen and didn't realize what his girlfriend was doing. I was so pissed - I gave my boyfriend the silent treatment the whole way home. So basically I know how enraging this situation can be.

    I've learned a hard truth over the years and that is that there is always going to be someone else out there who is actively and/or inactively trying to sleep with your boyfriend/girlfriend. This is especially true for women since men hit on us all the time. Like Chris Rock has once said, women are offered sex all day long from men who open doors and check us out when walk down the street. Most men aren't as receptive to when other women are hitting on them. They sometimes think the woman is just being friendly. What matters most, is how your boyfriend handles the situation AFTER you point it out to him. Once my boyfriend knew how upset I was regarding Puja, their friendship changed out of respect for me.

    Resisting the feelings of insecurity are one of the hardest things to do. Trust is incredibly difficult emotion that does not come easily or automatically to all relationships. It takes time to build genuine trust and out of situations like the one you are in, will your relationship grow stronger. Love is a battlefield and sometimes pure agony.

    Posted by trueluv4eva June 9, 09 11:06 AM
  1. Do you stay at his place regularly? If so, did he invite you to stay over with him when they were visiting???????

    It can all be explained away innocently enough, but something is activating my Spidey sense on this one...

    Posted by Spider Man June 9, 09 11:07 AM
  1. I have learned a life lesson that has been invaluable to me. Instead of trying to be the "nice" and "understanding" girlfriend and "respecting his space"....make a fuss. Really..its better for you because you get your feelings out. He can't say he didn't know how you felt at the time and thus ignore your feelings. Part of being honest in a relationship is not holding back your feelings. Blow up when necessary. Its disrespectful to your relationship that she would even ask to stay over and especially that he would let her despite your feelings. Get mad...blow up. If he doesn't like your feelings, too bad for him.

    Posted by Sabs June 9, 09 11:09 AM
  1. Are his ex gf and her new bf hurting for money? Is that why he tried to justify them staying over? Please tell me that they just couldn't afford to get a hotel...

    What was his reasoning?

    Posted by Money or honey? June 9, 09 11:10 AM
  1. Sounds to me like he wants grilled cheese sandwiches for the entire table.

    Posted by DrK June 9, 09 11:11 AM
  1. I think Meredith's right, and he is still somewhat in love with his ex. It is weird to me that the ex puts up with his drooly attention (nevermind her new boyfriend!) - generally, I won't stay friends with an ex if it's clear he is not 'over it'.
    Since the BF seems like a decent guy otherwise, can the LW ask him to take a solid six months off from the old relationship? It sounds like the ex GF likes the attention and the free crash pad anyway, which is, in my mind, totally using him. Has LW pointed this out?
    (Ages also matter here - it sounds like everyone's really young, like maybe 22 or 23. If so, LW has plenty of time to move on...)

    Posted by heartseek June 9, 09 11:15 AM
  1. #11 is right. Ex's are ex's for a reason- there's nothing wrong with staying in touch with an ex every now and then, but if she is coming to visit to specifically hang out with him, and every few months, then that's a bit too much. And staying at his place? Come on. That's just rude. It doesn't matter whether she has absolutely nothing to worry about concerning the ex-gf and her bf getting back together, everything needs to be in moderation. This situation reeks of one of them (her bf or his ex-gf) not being over the relationship. They are both dragging their new relationships into this wierd place. Be friends with ex's. Stay in touch every now and then. But for god sakes, she lives out of town and comes to visit him that much and stays with him!

    Posted by Strange June 9, 09 11:17 AM
  1. Sorry Meredith, gotta disagree with you here.

    Let's make something perfectly clear-- guys are only friends with girls because they want to have sex with them. Maybe they're interested longterm, maybe they're interested in dating them, maybe they just want a one nighter... but the bottom line is, guys are only friends with girls because they could potentially get something on the side. And yes, this is coming from a guy.

    Tell him to cut ties with this girl or you're out... trust me, the ex will never go away.

    Posted by Rico's puerto rican lover June 9, 09 11:20 AM
  1. Why don't you ask your boyfriend when you and him are going to go visit her and stay at her place? Love to know how he reacts to that question. If/when it does happen, be sure to be all over him during the visit and see how she reacts, or for that matter, how he reacts. Flip the table a little - put them in the position of defense for a change instead of sitting in your current position.

    If they are truly only friends, there should be zero problems in their reactions. My guess is that there would be - but it would be a great way to prove your concerns and help cement answers to your questions.

    Posted by spaceman June 9, 09 11:21 AM
  1. I think that Meredith is right that the fact that the socializing is happening with the new girlfriend's boyfriend there means he is not headed towards a revival of the old relationship. I think it is also fine for you to ask him to keep the friendship at a level where his ex-g does not stay with him. But if possible, I'd forget the last incident, and focus more on the next time that she wants to get together with him.

    I'd suggest that you talk to you bf, admit that you feel some jealousy but that you also believe him when he says they are just friends, and suggest that you'd be most comfortable if you and he primarily socialized with her and her boyfriend, in a double date situation, the next time they are in town, somewhere other than a bar where all four of you are obligated to talk at once (dinner at your place?). Who knows, maybe you will even like her--or at least it will clarify for all the boundaries of who is with whom.

    In general, though, I think that when a guy makes a choice to be with one woman and to date exclusively, it's a good idea to back off of friendships with ex's that were serious. I think it is reasonable for the poster to be concerned if her bf becomes over-involved with the ex and their friendship, other than as a very occasional thing.

    Posted by Sunflower June 9, 09 11:23 AM
  1. i dont agree with meredith..he still likes her and actions do speak louder than words...it wouldnt be something i could accept...or live with...i think you need to clarify it ..you cant have your cake and eat it too...

    Posted by jcour382 June 9, 09 11:23 AM
  1. Lesson one: Always watch what a person does instead of what they say. If there's a disconnect (he says one thing and does something different) then there's an overall integrity and honesty problem with that person. This is your homework assignment during the next month: Note how many times he says one thing but does something else, how many times he talks about his ex instead of focusing on the two of you, and how many times he asks you what you want and then decides that you two will do something else.
    Ask yourself how easily you can be manipulated because "things are going so great" with your BF.

    Posted by exvermonter June 9, 09 11:25 AM
  1. even if you truly believe he/she no longer have feelings for each other and even if your bf still carries a bit of a flame for his former "first serious" gf and it is one sided
    if your bf behavior bothers you, time to move on
    when someone shows you what they really are by their actions AND words - BELIEVE THEM
    this will be the first of many "that thing you did yesterday bothered me" conversations that you will feel the need to have and he will simply shrug and brush it off, in-laws, work hours, how to spend the weekends after a while these little concerns of yours and brush offs by him build up and you are faced with 2 options - (1) grin and bear it the rest of your life or worse (2) be the wife with the constant complaint

    find someone that cares about your feelings, life is too short to sit there grinding your teeth

    Posted by babynips June 9, 09 11:27 AM
  1. I do agree generally with Meredith.

    First - I do validate your feelings here, where if your boyfriends cares a lot about your feelings, then it is kind of his resposibility to seteep clear of situations that would reasonably rattle you. That goes for anyone in a serious relationship.

    Again, I say Reasonably. Just the ex being around is not reasonably. They're friends, and you seem okay with that, that's cool. As far as you feeling like a fifth wheel when you're out, that's something you're going to have to come to terms with. Of course you're going to feel that way when you hang around two people who have history together.

    I do need to point out that she does not live nearby, this is not a thing you're going to have to deal with all the time - or even frequently. If everything else seems great with him and this is the one real point of contention between the two of you? Has he given you any other reason to be insecure about anything?

    But the staying over? Yeah, that's weird, and I don't blame you for getting your back up about it. The part that bothers me is that he went ahead and had them stay over knowing full well how you felt about it. He pretty much ignored your feelings on that, and if he did it this time who knows when he might do it again. Your feelings are important here. And if they're not important to him, maybe you should have a serious talk about it. Not an arguement, a discussion.

    Yeah, from the sound, I'm less inclined to think you have a problem with the ex, and more a problem with him and his lack of consideration for your feelings.

    Good luck.


    Posted by Ceej June 9, 09 11:29 AM
  1. Get rid of this guy! First of all if they had a real serious relationship they should not still be friends. It's just bad news. He is also pathetic!! He lets his ex and her new boyfriend stay at his place and hangs on her every word!! You have been with him for a year which is serious in my book and you told him you did not like her staying at his place yet he did it anyway. I hope you enjoy being second choice!! And to reiterate, he is a wuss!!!

    Posted by Beantwon13 June 9, 09 11:38 AM
  1. I have friendly relations with ex GF's , but I try and keep it to a minimum. When there aren't any obvious lingering feelings, it's all fine. However, there's usually a reason why an ex wants to still be friends, and that's just human nature.

    In part out of respect for my current GF, I don't try to integrate these prior relationships into my life today. They're in the past, they're good memories, life moves forward. If your BF is into you, then he should make you number 1. Granted every situation is different, but for me, this sleeping over business and all the rest is a no go. A little privacy and self respect go a long way.

    Posted by Rob June 9, 09 11:39 AM
  1. How "close" were your bf and his ex the 1st go around? It is VERY, VERY odd that she would stay at his place with her new bf. That is VERY odd. And quite disrespectful to EVERY party involved.

    It sounds like you are both young. Express your feelings, and don't back down from them. You feel them for a reason and need to stand your ground. it sounds like he does not necessarily respect you, himself, or other's boundaries.

    Why the heck was the other bf ok to stay at an ex's place??

    Folks, enough with the grilled cheese. Its a couple days old.

    Posted by swfoutsida June 9, 09 11:44 AM
  1. First of all, the ex's new BF is a fool. What self-respecting BF would want to sleep at the exBF's house? Those two should've gotten a HOTEL.

    Your BF needs to respect your feelings. This keeping in too close touch with exes is not a good idea, IMO.

    Posted by Shecky28 June 9, 09 11:46 AM
  1. JW - maybe this is off the mark, but his overly attentive behaviour towards her may be a sign that he still values her opinion of him. but that can be as a friend. or maybe he is showing off to her?

    either way, yes it is uncomfortable, but I don't think you have anything to worry about. but I would suggest a smaller group outing next time.

    Posted by indiglodoe June 9, 09 11:50 AM
  1. You should listen to your intuition. Sometimes actions do speak louder than words. That said, he may be acting overly attentive toward her because his ego was bruised from their break up, and if that is the case, he may really love you and not her. However, you should not feel like a third wheel- ever, and that is the real problem here. You should address this with him, and if it doesn't clear up, break up. It seems clear your boyfriend has issues with his break up with the ex- did she break up with him? It sounds like she still has feelings for him or she wouldn't have asked to stay there..she must perceive that he still has issues with their breakup. Her boyfriend sounds like he may be oblivious to all this.

    Posted by Jill June 9, 09 11:57 AM
  1. "Rico was almost run down on his bike yesterday by a moron in a car". Must have been someone who has to see your responses every day.

    Maybe it was Rico's third person self who couldn't stand listening to his first person self (like the rest of us) and decided to do something about it.

    Posted by fred quimby June 9, 09 12:02 PM
  1. Wake up. He's not in love with her, she's just more fun than you are. That's why he still lets her stay at his place with her new boyfriend and why his focus is on her when you've gone out as a group. You become a potted plant as he laughs it up with her and he has to get everything she's saying, so he constantly follows up with her or asks her to repeat it. When she's not around, he's fine settling for what you offer.

    The question is, are you going to do something about it or are you going to continue to be taken advantage of? You mentioned your concerns and he "brushed them off". You admitted that he's making you insecure. Don't let this continue. Tell him what you expect him to do out of respect for you and your relationship. If he does not want to do that, then it's over.

    Don't wait until next week, when they tell you that they've planned a trip to Paris together, but it only has accomodations for two.

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss June 9, 09 12:03 PM
  1. 'Edith-
    If i was in the Union, I'd post today's letter before tomorrow's chat.

    Posted by v June 9, 09 12:07 PM
  1. its to bad the car didnt hit rico off his bike and skin his knee, that would seem like fair punishment

    Posted by bob June 9, 09 12:07 PM
  1. My current boyfriend is definitely " the one" and always has been as we have an 11 year history ( on and off but never able to shake each other). One of my best friends just happens to be an ex boyfriend. The ex and I were never " in love" and in fact, never got along as a couple but are wonderful friends. My boyfriend was weirded out at first bc the ex and I have a wonderful ( platonic) bond that is a result of 13 years of knowing each other. We realized very young ( I mean late teenage years) that we shouldn't be anything but friends. However we're very close and seen as how men aren't usually as close to men than they are to women, I know it can seem strange. These days the two of them get along swimmingly. I would absolutely put up my ex in " our" home if it was OK with my man. If I lived alone however and my ex was alone, nothing would ever, EVER happen but I can see how my current bf would be opposed to it, as you are ( and rightfully so).
    The bottom line is this, as long as you're confident in his current and future feelings for you, I wouldn't sweat it. However if this continues to bother you, I would calmly let him know as he should respect your feelings as much as his ex's

    Posted by don't sweat it June 9, 09 12:11 PM
  1. Oh, this is a hot button for me.

    My ex-financee bailed when his old girlfriend (who left him, by the way) came back on the market. All of a sudden, he didn't see a future for us.

    I'm still kicking myself years later for not listening to my instincts and bailing as soon as I felt uncomfortable with their so-called friendship.

    Walk away before you get really hurt.

    Posted by Linda June 9, 09 12:13 PM
  1. Don't understand what the new bf is thinking. Let's go out for so laughs with a guy who used to bonk my gf? Sounds fun to me. They must be working you on a menage...

    Don't worry Rico, I always get it right the second time.

    Posted by Bustoff June 9, 09 12:22 PM

    Posted by Been around June 9, 09 12:22 PM
  1. This certainly does sound super fishy to me, and I'd say there are some obvious boundary issues here. He's admitting to you that he's still attracted to this women, and he's having slumber parties with her (yes, I realize that her new boyfriend was allegedly involved), and you're expected not to have reservations about it at all? At the very least, he should be able to see why you might be a little concerned about the situation, especially given that he's still got the hots for her. The fact that he refuses to acknowledge your very valid reservations and brushes them off as if you're being the crazy one here is not a good sign at all.

    Faithfulness isn't just not cheating. It's also not putting yourself in situations where you will probably be very tempted to cheat. Going out drinking and having slumber parties with ex-girlfriends who you're still very attracted to is a recipe for faithlessness. It's totally reasonable for you to expect him to have just a little more respect for your relationship than that. Personally, I would never date someone who laughed off my concerns and fell all over an ex, but if you're intent on working this through, at the very least, you need to have a serious talk about boundaries.

    Posted by Rae June 9, 09 12:23 PM
  1. How is the ex's boyfriend? You could always look into swinging. Everyone wins.

    Posted by G June 9, 09 12:24 PM
  1. Rico should stop referring to him or herself in the 3rd person, highly annoying.

    YES, he still loves his ex, and you shouldn't be so stupid.

    Posted by Josh June 9, 09 12:27 PM
  1. Sorry Rico, but people who refer to themselves in the third-person (every other sentence no less) are annoyingly self-important jackasses desperate for attention with too many personal issues to be credible for giving advice here!

    Posted by Rico Is An Annoying Jacass June 9, 09 12:27 PM
  1. I think he's being disrespectful. He is with you, so he should leave the ex in the past. I don't think that being close friends with an ex is always necessary. They need a break and should not be this close with each other.

    If they were "just friends", they would have never been romantically linked in the first place. He needs to be a man and choose you or her. It's one thing to correspond with her and be friends with her on Facebook, but to have this pattern of getting together when she is in town is a little too much.

    I know people can be friends with exes, but I always think there is line that can't be crossed when you are in a new relationship and he's crossing that line.

    She can stay at a hotel when she's in town. I don't like Meredith's line about you making something about something that used to be. You are making something about something THAT STILL IS. It's not the relationship they once had, but there is still something he can't let go of.

    He's being immature and childish. I usually side with the guys on this site, but I've been in this situation before and I had to make the choice, and I made the right one. You need to make him choose......you or her. It's that simple. He can't have both. He needs to grow up and be a man and stay true to his woman (you). If he can't do that, he's not mature enough yet.

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants June 9, 09 12:30 PM
  1. If he has any feeling stowards his ex it's creepy that he let her stay at his place with the new BF. Listening to the headboard banging in the spare bedroom would drive me crazy if I still cared for an ex.
    Sounds like an odd situation to me. I'd say you have a right to be concerned.

    Posted by sean June 9, 09 12:32 PM
  1. im not commenting but #10 i love your sn!! HILARIOUSSSS

    Posted by sofunny June 9, 09 12:34 PM
  1. What actions listed here are truly threatening? He's been forthcoming about being good friends, he asks you to go out with them, he attentively listens to someone he doesn't see often, and he lets you know he is having them as guests so you are not blindsided (he shouldn't have asked you, though, if he was going to do it regardless).

    There are always going to be other people that are attractive to our SO: whether it is intellectually, physically or emotionally. It doesn't have to be an ex. And, if you are not included in everything it doesn't mean there's a problem. The actual problem is thinking you should be, which is a bit codependent. It is HEALTHY to have friends (including exes) that are separate from the relationship.

    Is there something you are not telling us? 'Cause I don't see any issues here other than some minor jealousy/insecurity issues which are fairly common in these situations.

    Posted by yupokay June 9, 09 12:36 PM
  1. You have to trust your gut on this one. Its weird. I never really understood the desire to be friends with an ex or how its possible be friends with an ex. Sure, you see each other at bars or mutual friends and you do the friendly stop and chat but thats it. Its over. It ended for a reason.

    Having his ex and her new boyfriend stay over his house is just weird and messed up. Its easy to picture his ex giving her new boyfriend grilled cheese sandwiches in your boyfriends apartment while your boyfriend, the sadomasochist, is in the next room. It might be fine for him but its expecting too much from you.

    Posted by Rico's supervisor June 9, 09 12:38 PM
  1. Good point, Think About it. Why ask you your opinion if he was going to let them stay over regardless of your feelings? Is that one time, or is that the way he operates? Can you live with that?

    That being said, I also think you can love someone from your past and yet be in a relationship with someone else without the line being crossed backwards. After all, there was a reason they broke up and you are his GF now. Stay secure in that!

    Posted by msweb June 9, 09 12:39 PM
  1. I don't think that you necessarily need to worry about anything between your bf and his ex, but I do think that you need to address the fact that he let them stay at his place even though he knew that it made you uncomfortable. Like someone else said, when an ex is involved, it is just common courtesy for him to go out of his way to make you feel secure and comfortable when dealing with her. Not doing that is disrespectful to your relationship. If this is a one time thing, its not a deal breaker, but pay more attention to how he treats your opinion on a regular basis.

    Posted by Daisy June 9, 09 12:41 PM
  1. I see this as a respect issue - e.g., respect for your feelings. Those feelings should trump everything. My husband and I have a deal - if one of us is unsure whether doing something would be wrong (e.g., having dinner with an ex), we put ourselves in the other's place and ask ourselves how we would feel. If the answer is "uncomfortable," then we don't do it. End of story. Because his feelings are far more important to me than any situation with any ex will ever be, and I know he feels the same. So when your BF tells you he loves you, I say, put your money where your mouth is and prove it by not doing these stupid things with the ex.

    Posted by Happily Married June 9, 09 12:41 PM
  1. He's probably not "in love" with his ex, but it sounds like he would sure like another shot at a grilled cheese if the opportunity presented itself.

    In any case, the guy sounds like a loser. Why would you want to hang out with an ex and their new significant partner? Call me old fashioned, but that is just plain bizarre.

    Posted by J June 9, 09 12:44 PM
  1. One could say, "men are idiots."

    One could also say "women know how to manipulate former boyfriends so that they can take advantage of them when they come back into town and don't want to pay for a hotel."

    Posted by Carolyn June 9, 09 12:46 PM
  1. "He did say he still finds her very attractive but he is not interested in dating her anymore." Sounds more like SHE is not interested in dating HIM. She has either moved on, or is into playing some twisted head games with her ex, and you by extension. You deserve better than to be toyed with. If I were you, I'd make this guy YOUR ex. He just does not know what he wants, and he's just not that into you when she's around.

    Posted by sushidog June 9, 09 12:51 PM
  1. I agree with Meredith that it is always possible to have a soft-spot for an ex which is all the more reason why out of respect for you he should keep relations at a minimum with her. The ex sounds a bit of a case herself. Women are very aware of such things - she must get a kick out of the fact that her ex is paying more attention to her than to his current gf and is trying to recreate that high by coming back to stay at his place.

    Posted by mili June 9, 09 12:58 PM
  1. HE'S A LOSER!

    Posted by ibid June 9, 09 12:58 PM
  1. Since the Ex-GF is always visiting with her New-BF, what is she exactly afraid of??? Are the two BFs some kind of kinky Bi-Swingers, or the Ex-GF likes freaky Threesomes or something; is there something that "JW" isn't telling us here??? OTOH, she has every right to let him know that allowing the Ex to stay at his place is incredibly "insensitive" to JW and that their relationship is being hindered by it. Sometimes these things take "baby-steps" to make progress...

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 June 9, 09 01:06 PM
  1. Rico is better prepared for his next commute...Be very very careful.

    Rico wants to add:

    Rico is really wondering why his ex and her new bf didn't stay elsewhere, hotel, other friends, family??? How old are the bunch of you? Was it his college dorm room they all stayed in or his condo on the 50th floor at the Ritz? There is a big difference and Rico wants to know more.

    It was a woman who almost got Rico killed yesterday, Rico doubts she reads this column/blog otherwise maybe she would have tried harder to hit Rico :) Rico has a sense of humor but he doesn't want to get run over (again) so please be courteous and watch out for Rico and his fellow bikers, they are all just commuting to work like the rest of you.

    Rico hopes the poster will write in and give everyone further information.

    Thank you, Rico loves you all,


    Posted by Rico June 9, 09 01:09 PM
  1. being friends with an ex RARELY works. someone usually still has feelings for the other (even if they've "moved on" to new relationships). we all like to say we're 'freinds" with an ex, but come on... really????? its super-creepy that A) the ex-gf asked to stay at his place and B) he allowed it. they couldn't spring $100 for a hotel?? they should've both take a minute to think of the akward-ness they imposed on the NEW boy/girlfriend, & if they didn't -- then maybe they're both harboring some hidden feelings.

    Would i dump him? tough call, but I'd make dang-sure that ex-gf never spent the night again. he should consider YOUR feelings, over hers.

    Posted by polly21 June 9, 09 01:12 PM
  1. All I know is this. If I still wanted my ex the last thing I would do is invite them to stay. Who wants to see that first thing in the morning?

    Posted by qwerty June 9, 09 01:13 PM
  1. Okay, enough with the grilled cheese metaphor. It was somewhat amusing the other day, but becoming quite tiresome especially as used by uninspired and immature male responders (snicker, snicker, snort, snort). Maybe using it makes you feel like a member of the "in crowd", but since I'm assuming everyone here is out of junior high and of majority age, it's time to let it go.

    Posted by TiredofTediousMetaphors June 9, 09 01:13 PM
  1. 1. Are you sure that her bf stayed over as well?
    2. He's still attracted to her but doesn't want to date her? Have you asked him if he wants a grilled cheese sandwich from her while her bf is in the shower in his place? Or maybe while the bf is watching?
    3. Why didn't he invite you over to stay at his place when she was there with her bf?
    4. He sounds like a "liner-upper" to me: he's holding on to you just in case he can't convince his ex gf to take him back. NO GUY WOULD EVER have his ex-gf stay over with her new bf unless they dated 10 years or more prior. Ask him why he was ok with that... you weren't ok with that, I can't imagine anyone who would be.

    Posted by Ummm? June 9, 09 01:17 PM
  1. Just Wondering, have you ever thought about opening your relationship up and including the ex-GF in your sex-capades? It would be a win-win-win situation. Try it, you'll like it.

    Posted by Don Juan June 9, 09 01:20 PM
  1. I think it's important to establish boundaries. Staying in touch and being "friends" is one thing, but spending time together and staying over your bf's house are completely different. Personally, I think you are justified completely in not wanting your bf to spend time with his ex. If he is really over her, a certain part of their friendship needs to end too.

    Posted by Angelica June 9, 09 01:23 PM
  1. I think your boyfriend is her liner upper and you are his. Ball is in her court.

    Posted by Blaze June 9, 09 01:24 PM
  1. 1) Your bf still likes the ex-gf
    2) She likes the idea of flirting with him & making you jealous
    3) She wants a free hotel room.

    Both your bf and his ex-gf are out of line. You are not.

    Posted by Alvin June 9, 09 01:25 PM
  1. Regardless of whether or not you "should" or "should not" be feeling a certain way about this situation, you ARE feeling something and it hurts. If he loves you, he should respect and take care of your feelings. It should be the most important thing to him. Perhaps in his mind your jealousy is irrational, but if he truly is not in love with her anymore as he says, it is his obligation to help you get your head back on track. If that means saying "no" to her for a weekend and even ending the friendship, than that is exactly what he should do. And he should want to do this for you, because he loves you!

    Posted by AT101 June 9, 09 01:25 PM
  1. He has no respect for you. Rae (#14 is right.) Cheating is not just about a lack of physical faithfulness, but also about knowingly and willingly putting yourself in a situation where you would be tempted, enticed, or seduced into doing it. That's a blatant lack of respect. And the fact that he is giving you a hard time because he thinks you're being unreasonable shows that he is trying to manipulate you into thinking that you are the "bad guy" or the "crazy one" or the "jealous one." If he had said, Look, I know it makes you uncomfortable, but she has no money right now, can't afford a hotel, and by the way, you can stay with me when she is here..." That would be ok. Wierd, but ok. But the fact that he didn't seem to do any of that, and actually did just about the opposite is NOT cool in my book. Stand up for yourself.

    He's going out of his way to be nice to his ex (not a problem in and of itself) but when he's not being equally nice or respectful of you then that shows you where you stand on the totem pole. Sorry. So now you need to stand up for yourself, tell him what's ok and not ok, and break up with him if he doesn't respect your boundaries or accept any compromises. If he truly loves you like he says, he'll come chasing right after you! If not, he was just manipulating you the whole time.

    Posted by WolfMan June 9, 09 01:25 PM
  1. mmmmmmm, grilled cheese

    Posted by TiredofPassiveAggressiveUsernames June 9, 09 01:35 PM
  1. When a relationship is over, it's over. You can be friendly to the person if you see them out in public, but there's no need to keep frequent contact, hang out together in bars or invite the person to stay with their new significant other in your house! What is that about? And you're right, it is HIS house, but he could have chosen to tell them to stay elsewhere -- that's what hotel are for! Even if he doesn't actually want to be with her still, there's something lingering there, whether it be jealousy or wanting to somehow try to show the other guy up. He probably does actually love you, but he's playing a game here and it's a stupid one. He would either have to stop all this nonsense or I'd show him the door.

    Posted by bumbly-bee June 9, 09 01:37 PM
  1. Violence on our streets have taken away all of our kindest words.What's next, people beating eachother with branches on *Olive*.
    The differing stories have a rashomon effect. The more people you talk to, the closer to the truth you're getting. It's really compelling--thanks for the bike news coverage.SUE them for running over you.A person is guilty of exbf assault if he or she operates any exbf: In a reckless manner and causes substantial emo harm to another; orWhile under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, With disregard for the safety of others .

    Posted by Asteria June 9, 09 01:44 PM
  1. Rico -- In response to your reference about Emotional Intelligence -- the author is Daniel Goleman. Judging by the behaviors I see at work and in public every day, BOTH men and women these days can use some lessons in that department.

    Dear Just Wondering -- I agree that it's no OK for this former gf to keep coming up wiht her bf and crashing at your bf's place or yours. Time to grow up and get a room of their own (if I were traveling wiht my hubbie I'd want my privacy)!
    But keep your heart open as well as your eyes and ears!

    Posted by StefA June 9, 09 01:45 PM
  1. * why are they visiting the area so often? Job hunting? if so, staying at his place makes sense, if not... then they can afford a hotel.
    * does your bf not understand where you are coming from?!?! not following that male train of thought at all....
    * if it makes you so uncomfortable ( which it clearly does) i would personally expect the bf to tell them to stay at a hotel.... I think it is strange you don't spend the night there when the ex and bf stay there... if it's not a big deal, as your bf says, then there should be no reason why you should not be able to act the norm while, the ex and her bf " build up their frequent flyer miles."

    Posted by hope your bf is not a closet jerk June 9, 09 01:51 PM
  1. oh please spare us your 'husband store' complaint. Imagine your girlfriend is having her ex sleep over her apartment and she's hangs on every word he says while you're with him and she obviously is still attracted to him. Tell me you'd 'be happy' being second fiddle. To the author of this letter - clearly he still wants her. Possibly, if she'd have him, he'd dump you in a second. I remember a 'friend' of mine, when we hooked up one night, he told me "i would have dumped XXX years ago had I known you wanted to get together". He wants her. Obviously. What you do about it, is your choice, but one thing you can't do, is make him want you. Nobody can help who they do or do not want.

    Posted by been around the block June 9, 09 02:00 PM
  1. I <3 valentino, and look forward to his posts, everyday.

    So many of these troubled letters involve bars. For once, I agree (and slit my throat for saying it) with Bleako that you must go to dinner away from bars. People drink; emotions already raw get even more confused. I like Sabs' (#16) reply.

    Nothing wrong with swinging, but the ex GF should be upfront about that with you and your BF. Play safe; take precautions; take care. Women are visual too and if the ex GF's new GF is a hottie, well, why not? Go for it! Srsly


    Also, once is fine, but why the the BF continue to play hotel for the ex and her new BF? Is the ex and bf cheap or something? Why not stay at the low-cost and fun Hostel on Hemenway Street?

    reindeergirl also does not drive, but does not post that daily.

    Posted by reindeergirl June 9, 09 02:05 PM
  1. I nominate valentino to take over this column when Meredith gets promoted to Lifestyle Editor.

    I disagree with # 41's #4 advice, that he's a liner-upper. But your BF should have respected your concerns. The Caveman - still alive and coming to a relationship near you.

    Posted by reindeergirl June 9, 09 02:07 PM
  1. You know what has replaced the Mile High Club? It’s all about conquest. Years ago, an old girlfriend and I made a game out of christening as many different beds as possible. When we were on Dead tour, we made it a point to stay with friends throughout the country and put a notch in as many different bedposts as we could. For May ‘77, I equate Barton Hall with my first reverse cowgirl in Jen and Brad’s day bed outside Ithaca (5 pts). For Red Rocks ’78, we hadn’t showered in a while so I remember Sam and Anna’s hot tub in Boulder (3 pts). Dollars to Donuts the ex and her new beau are on their own tour as we speak. But a conjugal visit in the bed of your ex boyfriend? That’s got to be 25 points!!!

    Posted by valentino June 9, 09 02:12 PM
  1. -Ex's are ex's for a reason "-- you can't spell sex without 'ex'. Please. The night the ex was going to stay at his place, do ya really think they weren't going to have sex?????? really?????? LOL! please. grow up. He might love you, he wants to keep having sex with her. this is your relationship so do what you want but have a clue in where you are.

    Posted by more than a bit obvious June 9, 09 02:13 PM
  1. The thing that gets me is that he ignored you when you all went out together. No one who loves you would make you feel like a third wheel. Ever. No excuses. Dump this guy, find someone who respects you.

    The sleepover is weird. Let's suppose that years from now you find out that he did fool around with this ex girlfriend that night. And you stayed with him. How stupid would you feel? Worse than if you left him now for putting you in this situation?

    There are better guys out there. Staying with this guy only reinforces his bad behavior - if he can get away with it with you, why should he ever change? I don't think a heart to heart conversation will change anything. You gotta stick up for yourself.

    Posted by Edna June 9, 09 02:26 PM
  1. Emotional Intelligence -- the author is Daniel Goleman

    Rico says Thank you to StefA for the information above!!!

    Rico thinks you are probably right that both men and women really need some training in this, but in his experience Rico has seen that men (Rico included) need more help on this than women. Rico actually had a course in his graduate studies on this subject, it still didn't help him much even with the A he received. His papers were not written in thrid person incase you were wondering.

    Seriously, Rico wants to know more from the poster, age, living arrangements, etc... Rico thinks there are reasons that need to be known to make a better judgement on why this ex and her bf are staying with him.

    Love always,


    Save the MBTA, get rid of the management and the unions...do the same at the globe.

    Ride safe, wear a helmet and look out for potholes.

    Posted by Rico June 9, 09 02:29 PM
  1. There is no way your bf doesn't understand where you are coming from and why you aren't ok with it. If he truly doesn't then he is just going to be clueless and thoughtless forever and this is only the tip of the iceberg. However, I think you may have been overreacting a litle at the bar when you first met her and they weren't paying a lot of attention to you. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand how that could rub you the wrong way- that would annoy me, but considering that was the first meeting, I would have probably sucked that one up because now everytime you bring up a "problem" or issue with his "friendship" with her you come across as the girlfriend who is just jealous of his ex-gf. From that point on, your other objections (like her staying over with her bf) are dismissed without due consideration because he thinks you're just being insecure. I don't think he realizes the bigger issue- that he was inconsiderate, thoughtless, and selfish. Then again, maybe he does.

    My ex used to make me feel like the "bad guy" and the "jealous gf" whenever I expressed an issue with certain things he did with other females. He used to say that if I trusted him then he should basically be able to do whatever he wanted, regardless of how uncomfortable it made me. He told me over and over that it was MY problem, not his, to get over. My intuition told me there was something else going on, and it turns out there was. So MY problem became HIS loss when I dumped his sorry butt.

    Just because he tells you about it ahead of time doesn't mean it's innocent, just because you trust someone doesn't mean you can't feel that certain things would be inappropriate. You've got to trust your gut, and don't let him solely determine where to set the boundaries in your relationship- you two need to set them TOGETHER... if you're not on the same page, then maybe you're not a good fit for each other.

    Posted by Chandra June 9, 09 02:38 PM
  1. Rico-
    Those hybrids come up on you without warning. Are you still wearing the TdF Yellow Jersey so we'll know how to find you?

    Spokes, not Tokes

    Posted by valentico June 9, 09 02:42 PM
  1. I had a similar situation except I was the ex GF (actually, ex wife). My ex husband and I remained friendly after our divorce and he would occasionally, once or twice a year, visit with my and my new beau. I cleared it with my new guy well in advance and he was honestly not bothered by the visits at all - he likes my ex. My ex even helped my BF and I to finance a business together. The visits stopped when my ex remarried and his new wife couldn't handle the continued friendship between he and I (and my BF). We swap Christmas cards now and that's the extent of it. It's too bad - we were good friends (and nothing more).

    Posted by J Bar June 9, 09 02:46 PM
  1. If this ex called your bf and said " iwant you back" he'd dump your ass in about a nanosecond. You know that yourself, dont you? No need to dump him. Just back off a few notches. He knows you, yet you're nothing special to him. You're the runner-up. In your heart of hearts, you know that. And it feels pretty crappy, doesn't it? Well, start dating other guys. Have fun hanging out with him, but know that you're wasting your time and keep your eyes open for the guy who will adore you. He's still out there.

    Posted by dont sell yourself short June 9, 09 03:17 PM
  1. "Rico -- In response to your reference about Emotional Intelligence -- the author is Daniel Goleman." (not Golen) -StefA

    Sounds like a line from The Birdcage: It's Coleman, not Goldman.

    Posted by val June 9, 09 03:21 PM
  1. "Here's an idea...make your own grilled cheese sandwich!"

    Posted by Love Letter Rube Commentor Hall of Fame Nominee June 9, 09 03:24 PM
  1. Methinks you are a little bit of a doormat here...your guy isn't listening, or if he is, he doesn't care. This is more of a concern than the ongoing appearance of the ex. Stand up for yourself. He can be her friend, but if things are serious with you, you should be able to ask him to stay with you while she is in town, for pete's sake. If he doesn't understand or respect that, or if he doesn't like his assertive new girlfriend, blow him a kiss bye-bye. You deserve better.

    Posted by yikes June 9, 09 03:29 PM
  1. JW, you need to write back in and let us know what you think of these comments. It seems to me that all of the negative talk about your BF is going to feel like backhanded swipes at you. Don't let this column undermine your confidence or your relationship.

    Also, tell us how the previous relationship ended. As in, WHO ended it and why? That will help clarify whether your BF might in fact go back to the XGF if given the chance.

    Posted by Jen-X June 9, 09 03:44 PM
  1. I'm curious if she actually SAW the ex's new bf arrive with the ex. Are we sure more than the ex stayed at his place?

    Posted by bobo June 9, 09 04:08 PM
  1. Ex'es are baggage. There is always an emotional connection with an ex who stays friends with you. Remember, it's not just the physical that is cheating, it is also the emotional. Move on, dump all of your ex'es and make him dump his. The one minute that ex breaks up with her current BF, guess who the first guy is she will go to for a quickie?

    Get rid of her now!

    Posted by chicotime June 9, 09 04:11 PM
  1. Hi
    I am the poster - His X cheated on him and he ended it, but I guess they still hokked up every now and then, that was almost 2 yrs. ago when they initially broke up. No I never saw the X and her bf arrive and did not see them when they went out that night either. I do not think my bf would so blantantly lie to me like that though, i really don't. The reason I did not go with them was b/c I wasn't really invited - he assumed I knew that I was just always welcome, while I sort of thought I would wait and see if he would ask me to join them. so just lack of communication I guess.
    I really don't feel like I am a door mat, I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but this issue just makes me question everything.

    I appreicate all that was written, even the not so helpful, or downright mean ones. I guess they are like a slap in the face and sometimes that is needed. I really feel like I am confident in all other areas of my life, my job, I have my own apt. and support myself and with my friends, but with this I just have doubts. I think everyone gets that way sometimes in relationships though.

    Anyhow, thank you all for the great advice, it is much appreciated!!

    Posted by Just Wondering June 9, 09 04:21 PM
  1. whoa...i am in an almost identical situation. GF and her ex broke up a while ago. after a year of not talking, they re-connected and became, in her words, "best friends." she was going to him for advice and support on a weekly basis. her and i are working things out, but from where i sit, it appears as though this need to communicate so closely with an ex is a symptom of emotional insecurity and/or commitment issues. topping it off, his GF hates their relationship. not sure where i stand as of yet (we have only been dating for 7 months) but i do know that this is the first time i have dealt with this issue during the course of my adult dating life. ultimately, i think your decision is going to be whether you want to be with someone who allows this much drama in their lives. at least that is the question i am trying to answer going forward. best of luck to you in figuring this out.

    Posted by drama kings and queens June 9, 09 04:24 PM
  1. I have read through a lot of these comments on here, and think that the ex-gf and the Letter Writer's current boyfriend at both at fault here.

    First of all, I think it's pretty clear that both of them have some motivation for their behavior. The ex-gf is likely very aware of her ex-bf's attention/fondness/nostalgia for her and is using him for accommodations when she comes to town. She probably also enjoys making the new gf uncomfortable/insecure/jealous, because unfortunately, that's what many women do. It's sad, but true. I think every woman has acted catty towards another woman in her lifetime, and some sadly make a job of it.

    I think that it's pretty lame that the ex-gf is putting the Letter Writer through this.

    I also think that the ex-gf's new boyfriend seriously lacks cojones. I don't know why he tolerates this arrangement, regardless if they are all "just friends".

    Of course, the LW's boyfriend is not off the hook here. I think the mature thing for him to do, and probably the best thing for him so that he can truly move on from this past relationship, would be for him to cut off ties with his ex until he has truly moved on. I don't think he's moved on entirely. It seems like even though he's accepted the current arrangement of being broken up, he hasn't moved on emotionally, and that's a problem for the Letter Writer.

    As for the LW. I don't think you should break up with him over this. I say this coming from experience - It took my current bf one full year to get over a serious gf from his past while he was dating me. I think he loved me, but I think he still cared about her, and it just took him a while to get to a point of indifference with his ex. Sometimes these things just take time, and I think you should afford him that.

    However, you should set some clear boundaries. No more sleepovers, and I agree with one of the other posters who suggested a 6-month break. I think a break in communication will give him time to focus his attention on you, and get over his ex. Then maybe the next time he sees her, he won't be fawning all over her - he might even be bored.

    So in a nutshell - set some boundaries and see what happens. If he can't or doesn't want to make changes to the current arrangement and it doesn't work for you, then this may be a deal breaker.

    I hope you write in and let us know what you decide to do!


    Posted by SassySarah June 9, 09 04:29 PM
  1. The more I think about it - HE MAY LIKE 3somes and the Ex Gal knows this - THEREFORE MAYBE HE LIKES A FULL PLATE WITH EVERYONE SHARING each others GRILLED CHEESES.

    Posted by Been around June 9, 09 04:37 PM
  1. The more I think about it - HE MAY LIKE 3somes and the Ex Gal knows this - THEREFORE MAYBE HE LIKES A FULL PLATE WITH EVERYONE SHARING each others GRILLED CHEESES.

    Posted by Been around June 9, 09 04:38 PM
  1. Would he be letting you stay over be fawning over you if you were broken up? This guy may say he loves you, but he's acting more like he loves her. I'm afraid you could test him, but why, it's pretty clear. If you lay down the law, they'll only go underground. It's her bad for not keeping her distance too, what's her deal that she needs him drooling over her? Sounds like you're not cutting it on some level that she is. Ask yourself why, and would you really like to be fighting that for the rest of your life with this guy? What's your place in the pecking order for him? I'd be very careful. Please don't get married and have kids with him until this is completely resolved. We don't need more of that crap.

    Posted by hippydippy June 9, 09 04:54 PM
  1. Does he usually explicitly invite you out? ("Hey, want to go to dinner tonight?") I'm going to assume so since you don't live together and thus you would have to make dates to see each other... so please don't blame this on a lack of communication. That was his fault, and you're making excuses for him because you want to give him the benefit of the doubt. If he had wanted you there then he would have called you when you didn't just "show up" and asked you to come out. And the fact that she cheated on him, but he continued to hook up with her after the breakup shows that he was not (and maybe still is not) over her. Maybe he used her for casual sex, but if he hurt her so bad, then why not find someone else to do that with???

    You need to straight out ask him why he asked you if you were ok with them staying over when he didn't even consider your feelings and did it against your comfort anyway!!!!! Please ask that, if nothing else. That will tell you alot.

    Posted by Please June 9, 09 04:57 PM
  1. go with your gut...it is ALWAYS right.

    Posted by gutcheck June 9, 09 06:57 PM
  1. I have to agree with most posts that he has acted naive at best and downright callously at worst. Even assuming there is nothing going on with ex-gf, he is treating you very poorly. Frankly, when you told him you were not okay with her staying over, he should not have allowed the guests. You should be his first priority here, not her. And since he already knew your feelings about the situation, he was REALLY wrong in my opinion to go out without you that night. He should have tried harder to assuage your concerns and reassure you that there is nothing going on, that you are his love, and that he really wanted you to go out with the group. You need to confront him about this, sooner rather than later, and if he continues to brush it off, I think it is fair to assume that he is not worth your time. I hope it all works out for you.

    Posted by rsl June 9, 09 07:32 PM
  1. She has a new boyfriend, so what? That doesn't mean she isn't a skeeze who will wait until a new guy is asleep before moving onto your boyfriend. Maybe not, but the situation sounds fishy to me.

    Posted by lala June 9, 09 09:33 PM
  1. Just Confused, your update post made me wince. You really cannot truly believe that it was simply a lack of communication that caused him not to bother inviting you out with the ex and her new man. Can you? Please slap yourself in the face really hard, then when the shock/pain subsides and you've got a clear head, re-evaluate the situation. At the very least, he would have said "So, are you coming?" He purposely didn't invite you, and I really think you know that.

    Posted by Rae June 9, 09 09:50 PM
  1. New responder here. Have been enjoying reading the thoughtful (mixed with well-timed humor) advice, so have gained good insights on relationships from the range of responses here. And of course have enjoyed some good belly laughs to posts on the butt show and grilled cheese sandwiches....LOL!!! Ah humor...gotta love it. Otherwise, the world would be very boring.

    Regarding this letter, I too find it troubling that he dismissed your feelings about his ex staying at his house. If I was in a fabulous relationship (like you described), there is no way I would want to mess with that by asking my sweetie how they felt and doing the opposite.

    I see you wrote in and gave some detail...and unfortunately, the situation sounds even worse. So now, his story is he assumed you knew you'd be invited?? That right there says he wanted one-on-one time with her. He absolutely did not want you there. Your heart doesn't want to believe that because you've been enjoying this past year with him, but your gut (the one that led you to write in for advice) is feeling the very real subconscious alerts that are going off in your body and mind that you are trying to mentally squelch, so as not to deal head-on that your boyfried of a year that you've been laughing a lot with and having great sex with would mis-lead you.

    My suggestion is to put some distance in this relationship by stepping back, not being so available, and really evaluating his actions for the past year...and how he responds when you step back a little. Someone that doesn't consider your feelings is much more concerning than a flirtatious ex.

    Posted by bklynmom June 9, 09 10:40 PM
  1. Trust your gut and your instincts. Don't let people convince you that you have to be 'ok' with every opposite 'friendship' going on with a partner. I think we all know better than this and acting like you're ok with it is just ignoring the obvious.

    He 'acts' like she's important compared to you while you were out together. That should tell you something. He allows her into his place despite your misgivings. That should tell you something. He hangs on her every breath and ignores you at the same time. That should tell you something.

    Remaining 'friends' with someone where a deep intimate relationship was shared is like asking your partner to walk on the very coals that will burn them. It's dishonest to say, 'it's all over' when somewhere deep down, someone has a flame burning. Don't put up with this kind of nonsense when the red flags are waving at you - people like your boyfriend are looking for an excuse to stay close enough to keep those doors open. Luckily, you're still young to learn from this and not become a doormat.

    While I do feel that male/female friendships can be great (my best friend is male), it takes a certain set of rules to maintain that friendship so that it does not interfere with your primary relationship. Setting ground rules (a code for yourself works too) about behavior with opposite-sex friends (especially close ones) is important. Game playing is selfish and hurtful because it usually involves taking advantage of someone's affection.

    One thing that my best friend told me long ago was that when you see a guy being a best (or close) friend with a girl it's almost a certainty that he wants more than friendship otherwise guys just don't make that investment. He told me that we would not have become so close if he hadn't fallen in love with me years ago and thought he'd get somewhere. Of course, I knew this early on and told him straight out (from day one) that I was not interested in him that way - I just wasn't and never became interested. Eventually, he gave up and finally met someone, but by that time we had shared so much time together that we confided in one another over so many things in our lives that we actually had become friends. It's over 30 years later and he's still in my life.

    Be honest with yourself, because it sounds like your bf trying to make you feel like you are being a foolish, jealous girlfriend thereby putting you on the defensive.

    My prediction: He continues to play with fire and you will get burned. And he'll say, 'it just happened - I'm sorry'.

    Posted by marj June 9, 09 10:49 PM
  1. Hint: Everyone in the world has problems... and those problems are problems if you see them as problems. It's all how you see them. Trust me, you have problems too, and maybe far more than the person you are analyzing. How about looking at the stuff that is good in the other person and not at little problems?

    Posted by bob June 9, 09 11:40 PM
  1. To the poster , I have to say, you are a door mat. Men are soooooo easy! Honestly. It's women who are soft as grapes. Men wear their intentions and their feelings on their sleeve. WOmen just will NOT read the writing on the wall. Always look for hidden meaning, analyse. Pathetic. Men will hang on to a relationship forever, even if thye know it's not what they want, know they'll never marry the women. Fact. Comfort food. consistent sex. Women are so pathetic, make every excuse in the world for a guy and his behavior when the writing is on the wall. Poster, the folks on here are not being mean. To hear the straight talk is the kindest thing you can do to a women who is acting like a pathetic door mat. Fact: if a guy is crazy about you, he will want you to be happy and please you, and saying , gee, having your ex sleep over your apartment is, well, sort of ridiculous in the 'healthy boundary' catagory, in fact, it's a bit stunning to imagine you're even considering it. NEVER would I guy I had dated ever thought of suggesting this, but then again, I didn't date men who weren't into me. Nothing turned me off more than a self centered guy who really wasn't into me. And no I didn't really have doubt in my relationships. Not like this. not even close. If I was in the "doubts" part of a relationship I would still be dating other men. I never went steady with any guy unless he made a real point to be exclusive with me. The old fashion way. Why do women make excuses and 'want to give the benefit of a doubt" to him, which can only mean you WILL doubt yourself????? He isn't that into you! fact! No, really, he's not. It's laughable he would even suggest this arrangement with you, and then to go ahead with it when you were upset says volumes. It says, he doesn't care! he doesn't! Proof is in the pudding. Did he do it? yes, he went off with her, and maybe screwed her later, and didn't know where you were, orwhat you were thinking, or how upset you were and but ya know, so what? That's just you, and he's not that into you, not enough to give a crap, he was with her, and that was where he wanted to be, no matter how you felt about it. So he'll deal with whatever your problem is after she's gone. Just let him be with her, that's most important, and whatever scraps of you is left later, who cares. You're really not the priority here. It's not like you're important enough for him to worry about or work at. You say this is mean, I say, if you get this through your head that it's true, maybe someday you'll find REAL love and compare it to this crap and say 'oh my God, I dodged a bullet! thank GOD I saw the light of day!"

    Posted by Killing you with kindness June 9, 09 11:57 PM
  1. "being friends with an ex RARELY works"-----unless you're screwing them occassionally. Then it works REALLY well.

    Posted by light dawns on marblehead June 10, 09 12:12 AM
  1. Just Wondering,
    I think your boyfriend needs to respect your feelings and I don't blame you for being uncomfortable with the situation.
    First off, he needs to make you the #1 priority, not her. When you guys went out he should have made an effort to include you more and make sure YOU were happy, not her. Getting together is fine and you seem cool with that and that is fine, but at the expense of you feeling like a third wheel, that is NOT cool
    The issue of her asking to stay at his place I think is out of line. I think the people that are like, get over it blah blah, think if it were YOU and your boyfriend/girlfriend. I myself would not be comfortable with it at all if I was still dating. I don't care if that person now has a significant other - it is just not cool. And if I expressed this to a boyfriend and he still let the girl stay, yeah, that would be hard.
    I think you need to tell your boyfriend exactly how you feel and that while you don't mind the friendship, you need to be #1 and he needs to respect your feelings on this. If everything is as great as you say, he should get it. If he does not, than you might want to re-think things..

    Posted by Trixie June 10, 09 12:31 AM
  1. OK, I read all the comments.....listen men aren't that different from women, but they are.

    A part of you will always be in love with your ex, isn't there a reason you fell in love with him in the first place? Granted, you came to your senses/grew up/grew out of each other (not that you love him any less) and weighed the pros and cons a decided that it was much better not to be with him, but it didn't stop you from loving him. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my fiancee, he's the man of my dreams, but do I still love my ex? Absolutely. It doesn't deminish my love for the man I'm going to spend the rest of my life with. But I'm honset about it. And as much as it sucks, you have to give him credit for being honest about that. (sucks, doesn't it?).

    However, the way she's acting.... TOTALLY uncalled for. It's time for you to take a "subtle" stand. He won't have a clue (believe me, the majority of men don't). Do "girlfriend" things in front of her (and even after) like, oh I don't know, watch Sox games with him, make a dinner that you know is his favorite (even if it is a pain in the ass to make), intergrate him into your personal life (perfect time too, family/friends BBQ's, weddings, long walks, weekends on the Cape/Maine). Tell him that you want to spend the time that he's with he's having her at his house with him because you want to get to know "someone who means so much to him and get to know her better" And make sure that she knows about it. Want to be a complete bitch? Send her pics and a card telling her that you can't wait for her to visit again. But make sure that you show it to him, before you send it and say "what do you think?", trust me, she'll get the message. It's just a power play for her, she wants to feel desired, hell, we all do.

    You'll get your answer, trust me


    Posted by Anonymous June 10, 09 02:15 AM
  1. Jealous much?

    Posted by me June 10, 09 09:29 AM
  1. OK, there WAS something you weren't telling us (your update in #93: The exGFcheated and he allegedly ended it, but they kept hooking up afterward, and, he "assumes" you know you are always welcome.

    That, my friend, is the phrase used by countless cheaters: "Of course you could have come, honey, didn't you realize that? You're always welcome, but I knew you were busy / concerned about how late we'd be out / had a family obligation / fill-in-the-blank here."

    I'm changing my opinion (#49). This is not clean, and your gut knows. My guess is they still want to hook up, or are, and are using you and her BF as camouflage--"see, what could we be doing? She has BF and I care about you". Tell him you need him to take a COMPLETE break from her for at least six months. His reaction will tell you all, and I'd bet good money you'll be single soon. Sorry.

    Posted by yupokay June 10, 09 02:33 PM
  1. JW, your boyfriend will dump you in a heartbeat if he has a chance to get back his ex-girlfriend. Why do you want this silly drama in your life anyway?

    Posted by Jay June 10, 09 02:53 PM
  1. Rico thinks your boyfriend is ghey with her boyfriend. Rico thinks that is disgusting. Rico says you should move on. Rico knows your boyfriend's real name.

    Posted by Rico June 10, 09 02:56 PM
  1. Why not just find yourself someone who's less attached to his ex? Because this one, no matter his protestations, ain't over it yet.

    Posted by Bony Melon June 10, 09 03:49 PM
  1. Rico has one last thing to say after rereading everything (your updated post included):

    Rico is curious that you said they were talking to each other and not paying attention to you. are you sure the guy she brought with her was her boyfriend and not just a friend? Rico thinks you may have been duped. Check out post 114, it is a good point and worth trying. You'll know better after you confront it head on. Rico thinks you need to find out fast before you waste the summer on a cheater. Rico hates cheaters.

    Sorry, Love always,


    gears not gas...Rico is tired today.

    Posted by Rico June 11, 09 08:40 AM
  1. Finding a hotel to stay at in Boston is very expensive! Perhaps he was letting the girlfriend stay because she didn't have 200$ to dish out on a hotel.

    I agree - next time she comes perhaps they should have a dinner at home and see if things go a bit better.

    Posted by Hmmm June 11, 09 09:59 AM
  1. If he was still that into her, he'd be palpably frustrated--something LW's gf could read unequivocally. Otherwise, they're just friends, and the LW is a social gadfly.

    Posted by Mike June 11, 09 10:34 AM
  1. drama kings and queens,

    you should go out with your girlfriend's ex-boyfriend's girlfriend and just let them two get back together.

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants June 11, 09 02:02 PM
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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