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Opinion poll! OK to keep contact with ex's that are friends?


joew30mpls

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I had always cruised along growing, learning, shaping, and adapting over time, relationship after another. I have always taken an open communication organic approach to talking about and setting ground rules for the relationship. I had always thought about "keeping appropriate and friendly contact with ex's" as one of those topics, but I'd have to say I personally always thought it a sign of insecurity, paranoia, distrust and etc if someone had really strong feelings that its not OK to keep contact. I personally trust until given reason not to trust and have never had a problem with girlfriends remaining friends with ex whatever's. Inevitably, I ran into a new learning experience. A woman that I recently met was (at age 31 and single mother independent and in charge) was outwardly/publicly very intelligent, articulate, ethical, rational, reasonable and etc with excellent communication skills. I thought I hit the jackpot that I met a woman incredibly attractive, with the aforementioned traits, and many many things in common with me. Because of all these observations and analyzing we did with each other in the first weeks (both being independent analytic and hesitant to fall in love because of lessons learned types), I was prone to trust and put a lot of weight into many of her beliefs etc. When we had the talk and decided to become exclusive, I asked her what she thought about staying in contact with ex's. She was strongly against. Because I trusted her opinions much and knowing she was a zealous line drawer in her life (thats a whole other thread), I supported her opionion. It was easy because I thought at the time that I don't have any ex's that I keep in contact with anyway and the other "friend" I had was a recent lighter relationship who I found out only talked to me because she expected to be "with me" again down the road. I later realized that I did indeed have a lighter friend of 11 years that started as an even lighter 1 month relationship attempt (when I was 19). This gets into many "cans of worms" in our new and struggling relationship with many other issues, so I will get to the point.

 

What is public opinion? Is it a sign of insecurity, paranoia, distrust etc if someone has strong feelings that you should never keep in contact with friends that are ex's? Should it be OK to remain friends with ex's in a relationship. I respect the opinion of many I have read comments from on this forum, so please, without further ado, have at it!

 

edit: seeing some of the mixed responses, I have to stress that these friendships with ex's are of the no baggage, no drama, completely appropriate and platonic nature, although as one responder noted, these can be on the rare side.

 

edit: One thing I'd like to add: Don't you think the most important thing here is that there is trust enough that your significant other is not going to do something inappropriate wether it be with an ex or anyone else in this world?

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I personally don't have all that many ex's only one to really speak of the others are just a few guys I've hooked up with, or had a few consecutive dates with or a guy whom I liked or liked me it just never developed.

 

I'm not in contact with any of those guys. I do however keep in touch with numerous people in his circle and in some cases hear stories or see the guy from time to time at a party but that's it. I have no desire to talk to them. Perhaps I'm curious about them who they are dating now, what they look like etc. But that's just being curious.

 

I have a bf now who has tons and tons and (for added effect) TONS of ex's. He's got them all over facebook, every last one of them is on msn and each and every girl he's EVER called has a number still in his phone. He just does not delete! He's only ever chatted to a few of the major ex's a few times. The jist of it being "hey, how's it going" nothing to question but still contact. Does it bug me? Hells yes. Do I not trust him/ think they're out to get him back or does he want to get some? No, not at all. He's probably just like you. No harm in it. So I don't question it.

 

I don't think there is any need to keep in touch. I mean you're not really in their life anymore so what's the point. Remaining civil is cool but I personally wouldn't like my man being friends with an ex. That would cause problems for us.

 

All IMO.

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Keeping up with exes on a friendly basis is totally ok in my opinion. You wouldn't have been with them in the first place if they didn't have great personalities, and many of them probably share some of the same good qualities you could find in your other friends, so it makes sense that you would want to keep in touch with them.

 

If someone is adamant about not having contact with an ex, it may be a sign of jealousy or that he or she may have been seriously hurt by an ex in the past and they have negative feelings about exes in general, and that's completely understandable. But I don't think it's right for someone to dictate to you who you can be friends with. I would talk it over with your new girlfriend and see if she gives you a more specific reason as to why this is not ok with her.

 

In my opinion, if keeping in touch with your ex means a lot to you, then I don't think it's right for your new girlfriend to ask you to give that up, as long as the contact stays innocent and appropriate. But ultimately it's up to you to decide if you're going to follow this "rule".

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IMO yes, sure it's ok. As long as you both know how to be true friends without drama arising. Once there's drama or one of you walks away from your talks feeling low, then it's time to go your separate ways. What's best is if you're both seeing someone new and then become friends again.

I'm friends with only 1 ex. The others, I would MAYBE say hi to if we where to cross paths. As you can see not all my ex relationships ended well. So that plays a big role in me wanting to stay friends or putting the effort.

 

In the past I'd go out of my way to be extra helpfull or friendly with exes but alot of times I realised they'd take it the wrong way and use it to their advantage (e.g. try and hook up "for fun" one last time).

Now I don't waste time with those so called friends.

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I think it's possible- but it can be VERY tricky.

 

Usually (and I know there are exceptions, but I think they are few)

once people have a close intimate relationship, it is difficult to go back to being merely friends. I find more often that not, you have one party either secretly harboring feelings or hope that they'll come back.

 

I think things can get sticky for the person who tries to start a new relationship or marriage paricularly, with an ex in their life.

 

I wonder for the Ex, rather than the person in the relationship, why do they feel the need to stick around ? Have THEY moved on ?

 

Regardless of trust, I think it can be dangerous to have a person of the opposite gender who is in equal confidence to someone's spouse, this can cause a plethora of issues. Including, cheating with that friend during a rough patch in the relationship. (With the justification of "Here's the person that REALLY understands me, etc.)

Not saying that everyone who has an Ex as a friend will definitely cheat, but it does make one wonder why they are still needed in that person's life and if both parties can truly move on with that person present.

 

I think it's possible, but not common and very difficult for true platonomy.

That's my two.

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One thing I'd like to add: Don't you think the most important thing here is that there is trust enough that your significant other is not going to do something inappropriate wether it be with an ex or anyone else in this world?

 

You could turn this around & ask "don't you care about your SO's feelings enough to NOT maintain a close relationship with your ex when your primary concern should be your SO?"

 

I think if you've dated someone very casually for a short period of time, then became "just friends" after that for a long time, you should be able to maintain that friendship. For example, when I was 17 I dated this one guy for about a month. We only went as far as a kiss... twice. THEN we became good friends for the next 7 years. That is a "friendship with an ex" I think should be accceptable.

 

On the other hand, after having a very serious, long-term relationship with someone, then breaking up & dating someone new while still wanting to remain friends with the ex is not ok. Just knowing that you once had such strong feelings for that person would make almost ANYONE uncomfortable. It makes your current SO feel like the third wheel. I personally think it would be impossible to become "just friends" with an ex in this situation without any sort of weirdness between the two. And why would you even want to?

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I don't think that is really "turning around" that comment, but talking about the topic of wether to remain friends or not with past ex's in new relationships. That is a separate and umbrella idea about trust in a relationship. This kind of trust must be there for the relationship to function on a healthy level. I learned this especially through the deterioration of the relationship that motivated me to ask this question to the public.

 

In response to the "turn-around" question. We are talking about a brand new relationship in which said "SO" immediately demanded any and all past ex of any type relationships be cut off now, and the cut off was micro-managed with a microscope complete with interrogation type questioning. All of this despite the fact there was zero establishment of dishonesty and I came first with the question in concern to the preferences of wether or not friends with ex's are OK. I think in a brand new relationship, neither party should be stepping into such territory. My aim is to never be in a relationship where my SO makes demands, tries to manage my life, or interrogates me, considering I am being a good SO.

 

I think I should have been more specific in the main question and I am going to edit it. I was talking about your everyday casual friendship from a likely not so big deal relationship, which has a strong outward appearance of being strictly platonic, the key word here being APPROPRIATE. We are talking run of the mill, no baggage from the relationship, no desire for either parties to get back with the other, probably a cooling-off period before the friendship starts, type of friendship. I can only speak of one in my life at 30. I think in most cases it doesn't work well for people to carry on a friendship with ex's, but I do know people that are healthy platonic friends with all their ex's.

 

Why would you want to continue a friendship with an ex? Like lana006 said " You wouldn't have been with them in the first place if they didn't have great personalities, and many of them probably share some of the same good qualities you could find in your other friends, so it makes sense that you would want to keep in touch with them", which is the case with my 11 year friend.

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I have no problem with being friends with an ex either for me or my wife. It all is a matter of trust and we trust each other completely. AS some know, one of my previous ex actually came to my wife and I's wedding.

 

IF I can not trust my wife, or my wife me, than why are we even married? Different people fulfill different parts of our lives. Granted, my wife completes me, so there is NOTHING that an ex could offer me that I don't already get from my wife in terms of love, companionship, etc.

 

Not meant as an insult to anyone here, but I believe that if a spouse/SO has an issue with this, than there is either 1)insecurities involved or 2)the relationship is not as strong as the partners want to believe it is.

 

With that said, if my wife DID have any problem with it (regardless of the reason), than I would end the friendship and contact completely as my wife is more important to me than any other person.

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With that said, if my wife DID have any problem with it (regardless of the reason), than I would end the friendship and contact completely as my wife is more important to me than any other person.

 

Here's the key. It's about everyone's comfort level- Different people are comfortable with different things. If a person is coming between your marriage (and yes, friendships can sometimes), you need to decide what is more important. I think Trust is a two way street. If you want your spouse to be able to trust you with Opposite sex friends, then you have to show that you will put them and their feelings into consideration, thereby making them able to trust you. If you adopt an "I'll do what I want" attitude, why should they trust you ?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think it depends on the status of the "friendship" and the level of contact. If the friend is someone you're certain they don't have feelings for anymore, and the contact is a short phone call, once a month, I don't see a problem with it. If it's a friend that you think parted on good terms, or there's a possibility of a lingering attraction...why would you want that relationship to continue? You can't have it both ways. You're either in your current relationship, or you're out. Make up your mind. You can't have both. If you have respect for your current partner and your current relationship, you will cut off contact.

 

Example: I started seeing a woman last year, shortly after I had just broken up with another. The new woman (after we became exclusive) told me that she had a long term friend (who she would occasionally have sex with - sex buddy), and she would like to continue to see him for dinner once a month or so (platonic, of course). I told her that wasn't acceptable to me. She didn't like the answer. I questioned why she would want to continue seeing this person, as surely their relationship has now changed. Would they even still enjoy spending time together? Wouldn't most of the evening be spent with an uncomfortable tension in the air, wondering if they were going to get together? She started to listen a bit. What got her was when I asked if it were okay if I called my ex girlfriend up for dinner (I had previously mentioned that she had sent me a few messages, to which I didn't reply). Yeah, that would be so much fun! We used to get along so well together! I thought of her as my best friend. I loved spending time with her. Would that be okay with you?

 

She never brought it up again.

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If the friendship can be plutonic and respectful of your relationship then its probably ok. Provided that neither ex still has feelings for the other... friendship = fine; crush/lusting etc. = bad.

 

Also theres gotta be some pretty good boundaries in place if you ask me. For example, if my fiance said she wanted to talk to an ex via email, Id be ok with it. If she said she wanted to go out drinking with him, and then go back to his house and watch movies at 2 am... guess what NO WAY.

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