If you are planning on telling your new girl that you are friends with your ex, tread carefully. This is something that can cause a lot of problems in a relationship and if you don’t handle it correctly, you may find yourself with another ex, and more than likely this one won’t stick around to be friends.
One of the biggest things your new girlfriend will be wondering is why you are still friends with your ex. Women tend to get jealous quite easily and more than likely she will have concerns that you and your ex still have feelings for each other. If you are truly over your ex, be prepared to be fairly open about why you still have contact with her in order to calm your new girl’s fears.
Why are you still friends with your ex?
Before you say anything to your new girlfriend, you need to be prepared to answer this question, for her as well as for yourself. In most instances, staying friends with an ex is a bad idea.
We’re sure your ex is a great person, but there was a reason why the two of you broke up. Many breakups are not mutual and often one of you still has feelings for the other. If you broke up with her, there is good reason to believe that she is staying friends with you in the hope that you will realize that you made a mistake and will eventually want to renew your romantic relationship.
If you have mutual friends or, worse, hang in the same crowd, you may be staying friends out of necessity. The only other option is for one of you to find a new group of friends or for you to take turns attending parties and other get-togethers. Since this isn’t very logical, you may choose to be mature and stay friendly with each other for social reasons.
Another case for staying friends after a breakup is if you work together. If you have to see each other every day, it is more comfortable for everyone if you stay friends rather than come to work with resentment and anger towards your ex.
If you are hanging out as friends by yourselves, your reasons for staying friends may be blurred by other things. The amount of time you’ve been broken up makes a difference as well.
How long have you been broken up?
If you have become friendly again with an ex whom you broke up with years ago, the chances of one of you wanting more are diminished. You’ve both likely moved on emotionally and have probably dated other people. Your ex may even have another boyfriend, which makes things easier.
If you have just recently broken up, however, staying friends is not a good idea. Again, you may not be able to avoid her if you see her out socially or at work, but you should have no contact with her otherwise for at least six months after the break up. It takes at least this long for you to move past romantic and sexual feelings.
When should you bring it up with your new girlfriend?
Telling your new girl that you are still friends with your ex is not something that you need to do at the beginning of the relationship. Once you start getting a little more serious, this can be a conversation that you have. However, unless there is a reason, you shouldn’t say anything for at least the first couple of months.
The only time you should say anything in the beginning is if you will be running into her somewhere when you and your new girl are out. Let’s say you are going to a wedding and you know that your ex will be there or you are going to a birthday party for a mutual friend. It would be smart of you to say something so that your new girl doesn’t find out about it from someone else, which can cause problems.
What should you tell her?
When you choose to tell your new girl about your ex, be casual about it and act like it’s no big thing. Just mention that the two of you have mutual friends and that you have decided to stay friends to keep the peace. You don’t need to be elaborate on your explanation, especially if your new girl truly has nothing to be worried about.
What if your new girl doesn’t react positively to the news?
There is a chance that, when you tell your new girl that the ex is still in the picture, she will not be happy. She may get upset―again, jealousy runs strong in many women and it may be difficult for her to handle.
If you explain to her the reasons why you have stayed friends with your ex and she still doesn’t like it, decide if she is worth sticking with. You may need to move on if you think she is being irrational.
However, if you really like this new girl, make an effort to prove that she has nothing to worry about. Have as little contact with your ex as possible and shower your new girl with attention. Eventually, she should come around and realize that there really is nothing to worry about.