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Monday, April 23, 2012

The Ex-Girlfriend Factor......

Have you ever been in a situation where you begin dating someone, only to learn that his/her ex-partner is still in his/her life? Either they choose to still be friends, or they share children together. How do you handle the situation?

I've been in that situation a few times. It's kind of a tricky situation going into it because you know there was a break-up and they aren't together anymore, but what are the real intentions of the person who is no longer with the person you are dating? You want to be secure in your new relationship, but it can be weird and awkward, sharing your time, or worse, he/she is sharing their time with their ex. What do you do?

I've never been bothered by a boyfriend's ex-girlfriend. In fact, more times than not, I have made a good friend for life. I have come to realize, through my own failed relationships, that you can have a beautiful friendship with someone, and not connect beyond that.

I have been, for the most part, very fortunate to meet and befriend my boyfriend's ex-girlfriends. I do not find it necessary to be catty, rude or insecure. It also helps when the ex-girlfriend really just puts it out there and tells you exactly what her role is, in his life.

I met Kristin, for the first time, over the phone. She wanted to know who was spending time with her daughter and I didn't blame her at all. I remember one of the very first things out of her mouth was, "I just want you to know that I have absolutely no interest in getting back together again with Billy. It is never going to happen." I laugh now, but at the time, I remember thinking, I could really get along with this woman! She's got my "direct approach" style. 

We bonded over the "Twilight Series", and have a standing date whenever a new movie comes out. She had my heart, when her love for the "wolf", didn't mix with my love for the "vampire". We go out for birthday's, holiday's and the "just because" days. She is there for me, like nobody can be, because she understands exactly what I go through. She is my sister from another mister, and I love her!

It's not just one sided, either. I am there for her when she needs to talk through something. We have found that we both over analyze certain situations, and she knows she can count on me to talk through it. Neither one of us allows the other to "fluff" the friendship. We tell each other the truth and call each other out on our shit. She's a true friend and I count on her more than she knows.

The opposite can happen too. I had a guy friend, for years, but once he started a relationship with his girlfriend, she saw me as a threat. Rather than talking to me about her concerns, worries and insecurities, she gave him an ultimatum to choose either her or me. She then called me and told me to stay away from him. That it was "inappropriate" of me to stop by his house, without her consent, while she was out of town. In my defense, I was dealing with a screaming 3 month old, in traffic, in 100 degree heat, and I needed a place to stop. His place was nearby, so I dropped in for 10 minutes, outside, and left. I had no idea she was out of town. For that reason, she stopped talking to me and pulled the plug on my friendship with him. I don't get it, never will. But it's his relationship and if he wants to have someone control that aspect of his life, more power to him!

People and relationships are complex dynamics. You can choose to roll with the punches or fight the beast within. For me, I am very secure in who I am, and the relationship I have. I do not concern myself with what was, only what is. If I held up a wall of suspicion, I would never have made the friends I have. They may be the "ex-girlfriend" or the "female friend" of my partner, but they are now my friends too. I value them, respect the friendship they have with my partner, and enjoy them for the friendship they give to me.Ladies, if you're reading this right now, you know who you are, I raise my glass to you! Cheers to great friendships!!

1 comment:

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