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Should this be cause for concern in my relationship?


sysnoot
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For context. I (20m) met a girl (19f) in January. We instantly hit it off and spoke every day and saw each other loads. We got on extremely well right off the bat and we were both clearly very attracted to each other and in April we started dating. Now, she is my first girlfriend and I am her third boyfriend, she had one short term boyfriend a while ago and another longer term one (they were together for about a year and a half). Her ex broke up with her when she moved to uni, which was about 4 months before we met.

So far our relationship has been great. We have practically never argued, we can happily spend days together without getting sick of the other. We are really happy together.

Now, I completely trust my girlfriend and I feel as if we have a very good relationship. I don’t typically worry about her ex or anything, she has said how she doesn’t have any feelings for him or anything and how our relationship is better in every way. But, sometimes I just feel a bit bugged by it.

Her and her ex are in the same friendship group of home friends so they occasionally see each other during the holidays away from uni when they all hang out or go to parties together.

Towards the start of our relationship she actually used to bring him up in conversation quite a bit. I told her that this bothered me and she apologised and said she wouldn’t bring him up. Which, for the most part, she hasn’t. She also has pictures of them in her camera roll, e.g. pictures of when they went on holiday together or screenshots of FaceTimes etc. This does bug me a bit but I haven’t said anything to her as I don’t want to be controlling over her or anything so I just try to ignore it. Also, I know this may be superficial, but one time she opened her Instagram and it opened on her ex’s profile (meaning she was looking at his profile whilst I was round hers) but she didn’t realise I saw.

She also told me how they had quite a long breakup. They were still messaging and FaceTiming for a while afterwards and she was still trying to get the relationship working again until about December. Again, she’s told me that she was completely over him when we met.

Recently, she went to a festival and camped with a group of friends from home, I was on holiday with my family at the time so didn’t go. I didn’t know her ex was camping in the same group until, a few days after the festival ended, she seemed upset and said she had to tell me something. She explained how she was camping with her ex (I’m not really sure why she didn’t tell me until a few days afterwards but anyway) and he was getting with this girl who he had been best friends with during their relationship. She said this made her upset and sort of ruined the rest of the festival for her. Now I can obviously see why she would care, her ex and this girl were best friends and would hang out together a lot when they were dating. At the time I didn’t really think anything of it. But I’ve spoken to a couple of friends and they think it’s a bit strange that she would seem to care so much and that she didn’t mention it to me until a few days afterwards but I’m not sure what to think.

So I suppose I just want another opinion because I’ve talked to a few of my friends about everything and most seem to think it’s all a bit strange and she shouldn’t still have random pictures of them, have been so upset about her ex getting with another girl and being strangely secretive about it etc. but I’m just not sure what to think of it all to be honest.

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I think it's strange that she chose to share with you that it upset her to see her ex with another woman.  I could see her telling this to one of her girlfriends or her mom -but what was her purpose in telling you? And no -not being "honest" - this is oversharing and she's trying to tell you she's obviously still into her ex.  I'm sorry she shared this with you.

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8 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

I think it's strange that she chose to share with you that it upset her to see her ex with another woman.  I could see her telling this to one of her girlfriends or her mom -but what was her purpose in telling you? And no -not being "honest" - this is oversharing and she's trying to tell you she's obviously still into her ex.  I'm sorry she shared this with you.

Thank you for the reply. Do you really think that would be the reason she told me? I’m not doubting you, I suppose I just want to think of any other possibilities.

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I don't like saying this but it sounds very much like she still harbours feelings for her ex.  If she is truly over him, why would she be jealous or be upset to see him with another girl, or looking at his profile?  It seems like she should take some time off from dating until she's clear on who/what she wants.  Be very careful if you decide to carry on with her.  It doesn't sound like it would end well for you.  Also, it is very strange that she mentioned it to you a few days after the fact.  Please see the red flags.  Your friends are correct. Listen to them, and don't be a fool.  Sorry.  

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IMO, He broke it off with her... so SHE is the dumpee and it will hurt for a while yet.

I feel she should not have even gone on that trip- knowing he'd be there!

Obviously, she doesn't seem totally over this one 😕 .

As for pics,. that is normal.  People hold onto their pics/memories for a long time, if not forever. So, don't feel too bothered about that... Some day, she may just end up ridding of most of those.

But, the concern is how she's still too focussed on him.  She should have been dealing with all of this & over it more/less a decent amt of time before she met up & got involved with you. ( Hoping this isn't a rebound, then it will hurt plenty more).  

 

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Yes, she has feelings for her ex. Constant bringing him up, stalking him on Instagram, hanging out with him and getting upset he hooked up with some other girl. That is way too much stuff to just be ignored.

I would bow out of it. Its your first relationship so its hard. But you are trying to work something out with somebody who doesnt see you in that way and still wants her ex. That is a recipe for a disaster and something you shouldnt be a part off. Leave her to pine after her ex and you find somebody who would pine after you.

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She's not over him yet, OP. 

6 hours ago, sysnoot said:

She explained how she was camping with her ex (I’m not really sure why she didn’t tell me until a few days afterwards but anyway)

This isn't something to overlook. I would bet she knew ahead of time he would be there, and she intentionally omitted this fact becuase she you (rightfully) wouldn't like it. 

The fact that she's upset about him getting with this other girl? That tells you she's still got feelings for him. But I suspect you knew that already, given that she used to talk about hm too much, and still looks him up on social media. The fact that she shared this with you? That tells you she lacks boundaries, but also that she might be laying the groundwork to back out of your relationship. 

6 hours ago, sysnoot said:

most seem to think it’s all a bit strange

They are right. It's tough to swallow, but she's not actually ready to date anyone else yet. I'm sorry. I would let her go. This ex is still taking up too much space in her heart and mind. 

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10 hours ago, sysnoot said:

  She explained how she was camping with her ex.

It's time to step back and reflect if this relationship is about the two of you or the two of them. 

She goes camping with him? Unfortunately it seems like she is trying to get him back and you're just a rebound.

Three is a crowd. If she wants to hang out with the ex and chase him around, let her do it on her own time.

Don't be her shoulder to cry on. She is quite disrespectful.

You can do better than be in her orbit until she gets him back.

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11 hours ago, sysnoot said:

Thank you for the reply. Do you really think that would be the reason she told me? I’m not doubting you, I suppose I just want to think of any other possibilities.

I mean there could be a million possibilities like it was random.  People move towards pleasure and away from pain.  Why would she potentially sabotage what she has with you by sharing that she still has feelings for him and felt jealous? What benefit does she get from that if she's actually committed to you -makes no sense.

Obviously she has friends to share with -she just went camping with them.  So the benefit has to do with knowing you know -could be she likes the thrill of making you jealous, could be she wants you to know so she doesn't lead you on -but none of the reasons other than it was completely random, just blurted out (was it?) would make sense if she were seeking to maintain and grow this relationship.

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I agree with the others. She’s not over him and you’re a rebound.

Unfortunately she still stays in contact with the group and he’s in it. Her ex is trying to move on and she doesn’t have the maturity or ability to say no to these get togethers and trips. This only tells me she’s in denial about what she feels as she’s not addressing boundaries and putting enough space between the both of them, enough to move on. 

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She still has a thing for her ex. Not telling you her ex would be on her trip was dishonest and then using you as an emotional cushion after feeling hurt by seeing him was completely uncaring and disrespectful. I’m sorry to tell you, she is using you. You would be best served to walk away from her and don’t look back. 

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I believe what is going through her mind is that she most likely thinks they were secretly fooling around behind her back when he was dating her and or he was mackin on this friend all that time. So ya I can see that would be upsetting to find something like that out. 

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22 hours ago, sysnoot said:

Her and her ex are in the same friendship group of home friends so they occasionally see each other during the holidays away from uni when they all hang out or go to parties together.

A part of growing up is changing what you do for fun if it will impact a serious relationship, or one you expect to become serious. A mature person, serious about you, would've foregone the group parties her ex would be attending. She could still hang out with her closest friends within the group, doing other things. 

If this guy that broke up with her was the one she had a year and a half relationship with, then yes, 4 months was far too short of a time for her to be ready for another romance. Often, a woman in her shoes is just proving to herself, and maybe to an ex who will hear about her new life, that she is still a desirable woman. The new guy is a band-aid to her wound. Once her wound begins to heal, that band-aid will go into the garbage.

Don't let her treat you like some disposable item (her telling you about her hurt, seeing her ex and his new love, is doing this very thing).

If it were me, I wouldn't put up with a partner being involved with an ex at all, and especially not to this extent.

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21 hours ago, goddess said:

I don't like saying this but it sounds very much like she still harbours feelings for her ex.  If she is truly over him, why would she be jealous or be upset to see him with another girl, or looking at his profile?  It seems like she should take some time off from dating until she's clear on who/what she wants.  Be very careful if you decide to carry on with her.  It doesn't sound like it would end well for you.  Also, it is very strange that she mentioned it to you a few days after the fact.  Please see the red flags.  Your friends are correct. Listen to them, and don't be a fool.  Sorry.  

Thank you for the reply. It’s difficult for me to fully convey everything in my post. It does come across as very negative and I left out everything that is good about our relationship. However, it is difficult to rationalise her behaviour and to believe her when she says she is fully over her ex as a result.

I think I will talk to her about it and tell her my thoughts/grievances. 

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16 hours ago, SooSad33 said:

IMO, He broke it off with her... so SHE is the dumpee and it will hurt for a while yet.

I feel she should not have even gone on that trip- knowing he'd be there!

Obviously, she doesn't seem totally over this one 😕 .

As for pics,. that is normal.  People hold onto their pics/memories for a long time, if not forever. So, don't feel too bothered about that... Some day, she may just end up ridding of most of those.

But, the concern is how she's still too focussed on him.  She should have been dealing with all of this & over it more/less a decent amt of time before she met up & got involved with you. ( Hoping this isn't a rebound, then it will hurt plenty more).  

 

Firstly, thank you for the reply. I’m not annoyed about her going on the trip. It was a weekend festival that she had had planned longer than we had even known each other and it was very expensive. I am a bit upset that she knew he was going and didn’t tell me until afterwards, despite knowing that I am uncomfortable with it all. And that she was upset after seeing him with another girl.

As for the pictures it was more just the quantity and type of picture they were. I mean, if they were photos of them with friends or the odd picture of them doing something nice or memorable that would be fine. It was just that she had screenshots of their FaceTimes and just random pictures of them round each other’s house or whatever.

I think I will talk to her about it and fully explain how I am feeling. 

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16 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

Yes, she has feelings for her ex. Constant bringing him up, stalking him on Instagram, hanging out with him and getting upset he hooked up with some other girl. That is way too much stuff to just be ignored.

I would bow out of it. Its your first relationship so its hard. But you are trying to work something out with somebody who doesnt see you in that way and still wants her ex. That is a recipe for a disaster and something you shouldnt be a part off. Leave her to pine after her ex and you find somebody who would pine after you.

Thank you for the reply. I think I will talk to her about it and say everything that is on my mind regarding it and hopefully it can give me some insight and either reassuring or brutal honesty.

I do hope I am overanalysing all of this, but it is sometimes hard to ignore the signs (hence the post). 

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16 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

She's not over him yet, OP. 

This isn't something to overlook. I would bet she knew ahead of time he would be there, and she intentionally omitted this fact becuase she you (rightfully) wouldn't like it. 

The fact that she's upset about him getting with this other girl? That tells you she's still got feelings for him. But I suspect you knew that already, given that she used to talk about hm too much, and still looks him up on social media. The fact that she shared this with you? That tells you she lacks boundaries, but also that she might be laying the groundwork to back out of your relationship. 

They are right. It's tough to swallow, but she's not actually ready to date anyone else yet. I'm sorry. I would let her go. This ex is still taking up too much space in her heart and mind. 

I was very surprised she didn’t tell me beforehand to be honest. At the time, when she told me afterwards, I didn’t say anything because she was clearly upset so I just stayed quiet. But, it did bother me and make me upset. I mean she knows how it affects me so it is very strange she didn’t tell me.

Honestly, this is all seems so strange. She often tells me how amazing our relationship is and how she is really happy with me and has never felt this way for anyone else and I am really happy with her too. But it is difficult to ignore these red flags. I sometimes think that maybe she doesn’t even realise it herself and she’s jumped into this too quickly 😕

Thank you for the reply though, it is good to get this off my chest.

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12 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

It's time to step back and reflect if this relationship is about the two of you or the two of them. 

She goes camping with him? Unfortunately it seems like she is trying to get him back and you're just a rebound.

Three is a crowd. If she wants to hang out with the ex and chase him around, let her do it on her own time.

Don't be her shoulder to cry on. She is quite disrespectful.

You can do better than be in her orbit until she gets him back.

I do want to stress that it wasn’t a camping trip per se. She had booked this festival months ago, before we had even met. And she had planned to go with her friendship group (the group her ex is also a part of). Also, the festival was expensive and she was really looking forward to going to see some of her favourite artists perform so it wouldn’t have been easy to cancel. But, it is strange and it did upset me how she didn’t tell me he was there until after the festival had ended, even knowing how I feel about it.

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10 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I mean there could be a million possibilities like it was random.  People move towards pleasure and away from pain.  Why would she potentially sabotage what she has with you by sharing that she still has feelings for him and felt jealous? What benefit does she get from that if she's actually committed to you -makes no sense.

Obviously she has friends to share with -she just went camping with them.  So the benefit has to do with knowing you know -could be she likes the thrill of making you jealous, could be she wants you to know so she doesn't lead you on -but none of the reasons other than it was completely random, just blurted out (was it?) would make sense if she were seeking to maintain and grow this relationship.

She said at the time she wanted to tell me because she was upset and she felt like she was keeping secrets from me or that she was being dishonest because she had (presumably?) intentionally not mentioned him when she was telling me about the festival or that he was going to be there before. And she didn’t blurt it out. Just before she told me she seemed very upset about something and then said she had to tell me something, then told me about it.

Again, she is very aware of how I feel about all this though. I have told her before that her talking about him makes me very uncomfortable. But at the same time I can kind of see that she was in a bit of a difficult situation here.

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19 minutes ago, sysnoot said:

She said at the time she wanted to tell me because she was upset and she felt like she was keeping secrets from me or that she was being dishonest because she had (presumably?) intentionally not mentioned him when she was telling me about the festival or that he was going to be there before. And she didn’t blurt it out. Just before she told me she seemed very upset about something and then said she had to tell me something, then told me about it.

Again, she is very aware of how I feel about all this though. I have told her before that her talking about him makes me very uncomfortable. But at the same time I can kind of see that she was in a bit of a difficult situation here.

Telling you how sad she is that he is with someone else isn't "being honest" it's oversharing and tactless.  Would you tell her that she looked fat in a dress and that your ex wore a similar dress and didn't look fat -because you're just being honest?

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11 hours ago, sysnoot said:

I sometimes think that maybe she doesn’t even realise it herself and she’s jumped into this too quickly

I agree. 

Explaining how you feel about it is a good chance to get this off your mind to her, but it's not going to change the fact that she's obviously not over him. 

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4 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

What exactly does this mean? How is she supposed to read your mind?

We’ve spoken about this in the past. After she was frequently mentioning him in conversation I told her it made me uncomfortable and I didn’t like it. And same with the photos etc. So she definitely knows that I don’t particularly like thinking about him or talking about it. So it’s strange she purposefully omitted that information knowing how I feel about it.

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55 minutes ago, sysnoot said:

 

We’ve spoken about this in the past. After she was frequently mentioning him in conversation I told her it made me uncomfortable and I didn’t like it. And same with the photos etc. So she definitely knows that I don’t particularly like thinking about him or talking about it. So it’s strange she purposefully omitted that information knowing how I feel about it.

She was looking to avoid a scene but it’s too obvious he still occupies her mind. 

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1 hour ago, sysnoot said:

So it’s strange she purposefully omitted that information knowing how I feel about it.

Sadly, she is really into him and most likely still communicates with him. However she simply wants you on a string so hides things better now.

 I hope not, but she seems to be using the "stay with me until I get him  back" approach.

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