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They hear from their exes

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  January 27, 2014 08:53 AM

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Last week at one of our anniversary events, a lurker asked me about mean commenters -- and comments, in general. And my thought was: Wouldn't it be great if more empathetic lurkers chimed in? So I'll ask: If you've thought about writing some good advice in the comments section and have been too scared, go for it. Do it once. Expand the discussion.

And to the bickering commenters, remember the letter writer, please.


Q: Dear Meredith,

Coming to you from two long-time listeners, first-time callers -- wondering about exes communicating with our current boyfriends. We are two 27-year-old friends finding ourselves with the same question.

We are both currently in relationships -- one for four months, the other for two years. We both have great, trusting relationships with our S/O's but are uneasy about one thing: our boyfriends keep getting contacted by their first loves. Both boyfriends dated their exes for five years.

Sometimes the contact is quite public, via social media updates. Other times it's more personal: phone calls, text messages, and even Christmas cards. The messages are mostly are friendly and light, eg., a tweet about an upcoming concert for his favorite band.
Others are deeply personal, eg., a text about how lonely she is. The truth is that both boys were dumped by these girls at least two years ago ... so we don’t know why the exes keep reaching out.

We both feel uncomfortable with these interactions. Do we have a right to feel uncomfortable? Or, since it seems to be the norm, how can we make ourselves feel more comfortable with our exes having these correspondences?

– Uneasy on the Green Line


A: You have the right to feel uncomfortable, but please keep the communication in perspective. It sounds like it's all public -- or disclosed to you. Your guys aren't keeping secrets. That's the most important thing.

This ex communication means something different for the two-year relationship than it does for the new one. If after two years the ex talk is still a great annoyance, it makes sense to discuss boundaries and why this still bothers you. You're allowed to say, "I've had two years to sit with this and it's still weird."

In the new relationship, it's about watching and asking questions. How often is this woman reaching out? How does he explain it to you? If you don't understand her role in his life, ask. Now is the time to get to know him.

Also, just a question: You're calling these women exes, but would your boyfriends call them friends? Or acquaintances? If your boyfriends think of these women as good old friends, you need to redefine them in your own heads.

Readers? Should the men ask their exes to stop the communication? How much communication from the exes is normal? Does this mean something different for the new relationship? Help.

– Meredith



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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

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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