I’ve never been the jealous type. I always figure if a guy is going to cheat on me, religiously reading his email, checking his call log or preventing him from seeing friends of the opposite sex isn’t going to stop him. So when my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend moved back to town, I didn’t think too much of it…after all, there was a reason she was his past and I was his present (and future, I hope!). But as they began to spend more time with one another, I realized she wasn’t going to stay in the past after all….
At first they only saw each other at large group gatherings, and I was always there. They behaved platonically, but somehow their relationship would undoubtedly be referenced (“oh remember that bar we used to go to?”), an annoying reminder that this woman and my boyfriend used to be in love. Now their friendship has progressed to seeing one another alone for a drink or dinner to catch up (note: he always tells me when he is seeing her, where they are going and what they talked about). She also invades our conversation way too frequently, somehow always being his go-to reference when I ask him a question (ex: “I know she used dry shampoo and it looked really good…”). And I hate it—even though I trust him completely, even though she has always been friendly to me—I’ll never understand their relationship.
Before she arrived, my boyfriend had told me all about their past—I knew why he had loved her, why he stopped loving her, all the horrible things they did to each other and all the reasons he would never want to be with her again…so why, I wonder, are they still “friends”? What do they get out of it? Is it just a sense of nostalgia, a need to have a connection to a point in their lives that no longer exists? Or have they truly been able to erase any emotional connection to each other, and they hang out simply because they enjoy one another’s company? Is there a way for me to tell him that I can’t stand hearing about her without sounding like a crazy girlfriend, or do you think it’s possible to be just friends with someone you once loved?
GIRL TALK TIME: What do you think of this Staffer’s situation? What would you do? Has this ever happened to you? Are you friends with any of your exes? Why do you remain friends?