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He talks to his ex regularly and tries really hard to be friends with her


pattycake
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I have been casually talking to/seeing this guy for a couple months. We used to work together a few years ago and reconnected when we both moved to a new city around the same time.

He had a game night with a few friends recently and also invited his ex. Throughout the night, he would call her by a nickname and occasionally bring up old inside jokes. Apparently, she is from the area, and he got back in touch with her when he moved. They've even hung out one on one a few times.

I know people can be friends with exes, but it rubs me the wrong way because he tries so hard to be friends with her in particular. He sent her a friend request a year after they broke up, she didn't accept. Then he tried to hang out with her in person; she did once or twice then cut it off. And now, 2 years later he tries to get in touch and be friends with her again.

I know we aren't serious, but is this something I should consider? I don't know if I'm just reading too much into the situation. What should I do?

Edited by pattycake
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  • pattycake changed the title to He talks to his ex regularly and tries really hard to be friends with her
56 minutes ago, pattycake said:

I have been casually talking to/seeing this guy for a couple months.

What does this mean?  You two go on regular dates like dinner out, movies, museums, etc.?  Or one of you goes to the other's home and you two have sex?  Or somewhere in between?

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It all depends on what you are looking for.

If you are looking for a bf that isn't over his ex then jump right in!

If you are just wanting to hang out and hook up this is perfect since he is still into her big time.

Now if you were thinking this guy is relationship material you should think again.  For one thing after all this time and numerous rejections by her he hasn't gotten the clues and secondly how serious is he about you if he invites you and his ex to the same party and dotes over her? 

As far as being friends with an ex goes: Evidence to the contrary on this forum shows it nearly always causes problems and one of the ex's is almost always still hoping for reconciliation.

They call them ex's for a reason right?

Lost

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11 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

What does this mean?  You two go on regular dates like dinner out, movies, museums, etc.?  Or one of you goes to the other's home and you two have sex?  Or somewhere in between?

We go on dates about once a week -- dinner, movies at his place, exploring the new city, etc. No sex

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3 minutes ago, lostandhurt said:

how serious is he about you if he invites you and his ex to the same party and dotes over her? 

I don't think he dotes on her. It didn't seem like he showed her special attention or anything. There were just little moments where they shared inside jokes or make references to things only they knew

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I would want to know before proceeding any further.  And I for sure would want to know before having sex, particularly if you're the type who strongly bonds after having sex.

You can say something like "I notice you seem to be pretty close to your ex.  Are you having any thoughts about wanting to reconcile with her?"

And if he responds by implying it's none of your business or gets angry or defensive, I would definitely put him in the friend zone and date others.

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3 hours ago, pattycake said:

I know we aren't serious, but is this something I should consider?

Its different if they hang out in the same company. Meaning that they dated but are part of the same crowd so they are friends. But he actively seeks her company. If you want to date that guy, yes, that ex  is definitely something you should consider.

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He likes her and is still invested in her. He wants her in his life and he's not willing to let her go.

Exe's aren't friends. They've been sexual and romantic, they've crossed the boundaries of friendship.

This is someone he used to be very attracted to, maybe even in love with.

That being said, the fact that he is still looking her way and wanting her in his life, (in whatever small way), says a whole lot about him.

He is still invested, yes.

Should it be something for you to consider? Most definitely! 

She's not going anywhere, anytime soon, and he is still emotionally connected to her.

Everyone has exe's, but not everyone actively hangs out with their exe's, or even keeps in touch.

Me personally, I'd prefer someone who has left the past in the past.

It makes things far less complicated.

Edited by SherrySher
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49 minutes ago, melancholy123 said:

What is it you want from this relationship, such as it is? 

I enjoy spending time with him and hope that we could take it further, but I don't want to be someone's placeholder

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3 hours ago, pattycake said:

 I don't want to be someone's placeholder

Sorry this is happening. If you enjoy hanging out as friends, that's fine. 

At some level you know he wants to be with his ex. 

If you hang out, make sure you are dating others so that you can have someone who's interested in being with you.

This sounds like the friendzone. So don't overinvest.

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What you see is what you should expect not to change. Daily life is stressful enough. I wouldn't add to that by having to deal with a partner who pours some of his emotional energy and time into an ex.

Like Lostandhurt, I find it odd he invited you, a new love interest to the event, but didn't care or consider what you'd think by inviting an ex and calling her cutesy names and dredging up his wonderful memories with her. I'd say he's just not that into you to do this, and like you fear, you're probably someone it'll be fun to be with for a time and if you don't like how he operates, oh well. You were a placeholder, and another will soon come along. Hell no.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been a week so here's a little update I guess. He posted some photos of his new place, and she commented, asking where a specific piece of decor was, and he replied "A photo won't do it justice. Gotta see it in person 😛"

That sounds like an invitation to me and crosses a boundary that I'm not comfortable with. I asked to meet up with him this weekend and will call it quits. 

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12 minutes ago, pattycake said:

It's been a week so here's a little update I guess. He posted some photos of his new place, and she commented, asking where a specific piece of decor was, and he replied "A photo won't do it justice. Gotta see it in person 😛"

That sounds like an invitation to me and crosses a boundary that I'm not comfortable with. I asked to meet up with him this weekend and will call it quits. 

Exes can be close platonic friends.  In your situation this is not about platonic friendship.  He is still into her in a significant way and she either is into him and/or enjoys the attention.  And if he's willing to have you see that message he is not that into you.  You deserve far better IMO.

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39 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

And if he's willing to have you see that message he is not that into you.

That's my take as well. Personally, it's bad enough that he invites an ex to his place alone. It's even worse that he does it so publicly, knowing I can see it means he doesn't respect my boundaries. 

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4 hours ago, pattycake said:

Personally, it's bad enough that he invites an ex to his place alone. It's even worse that he does it so publicly, knowing I can see it

I agree, it definitely crosses a boundary.

I also think this guy has been taking your situation far more casually than you have, which is unfortuante. He doesn't seem to care if you know that he still likes his ex, which suggests he's not that interested in you. It reads that you were (naturally) hoping it might go somewhere but he was just having fun without any other intention. 

Stopping all communication is best, yes. 

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6 hours ago, pattycake said:

It's been a week so here's a little update I guess. He posted some photos of his new place, and she commented, asking where a specific piece of decor was, and he replied "A photo won't do it justice. Gotta see it in person 😛"

That sounds like an invitation to me and crosses a boundary that I'm not comfortable with. I asked to meet up with him this weekend and will call it quits. 

Good plan. This man is not that into you and if you were hoping for more out of this, he's not the one for you. 

Be prepared for him extend the 'can we be friends' request to you. It seems he lacks boundaries and it would be no surprise to me if he asks you to continue a friendship and keep in touch with the occasional sex here and there should you be open to it or flirtatious comment now and again to keep you hanging and on his radar. Your best bet is to move on entirely. I hope the meeting goes well.

Edited by Rose Mosse
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I agree cut your losses. If he's trying to be friends with his ex...and you said "trying"... that means they or he has unfinished business. You are just a distraction/placeholder till things change with them. I would take the exit over on the left there.

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