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Dear Just Wondering,

Simple Answer:

The simple answer to your question is: if your "significant other" is uncomfortable with your continued relationship with an ex-lover, you must respect that.

First Allegiance

If your ex is really a friend, he or she should understand and respect that also. Your first allegiance belongs to your spouse (or intended spouse).

If your ex become huffy there is another explanation: They are a true friend and are hurt that you are tossing their friendship into the trash can.

If your ex does not understand or becomes huffy about this, you are seeing jealousy and the relationship was probably not as platonic as you thought.

Women Value Relationship

That said, I do think that you can have interaction with exes. Some people are able to handle that. The double standard that you see is simply a function of the differences between men and women.

Because, for a woman, the relationship is primary, she is more likely to want to have a continued friendship with an ex. However, because she understands the value and strength of those relationships she will be less comfortable with you having them.

Men Value the Physical

Men tend to value the physical part of a relationship more and often have a lot of difficulty converting a relationship from romantic to platonic.

Although you're right that men express themselves physically, THIS is all hogwash.

Also, they are less likely to be comfortable with a woman continuing a friendship with an ex lover.

My Exes and Platonic Friends

My fiancé and I had this discussion a while ago. Because we have both been single for a while, we have developed a collection of friends of both genders. He (like you) is quite comfortable with me having male platonic friends.

If he's uncomfortable, there's a problem in the relationship. Exes shouldn't matter in good relationships.

However, he was not comfortable with my ex-fiancé (the only one that I had slept with). So, I ended that friendship.

My Relationship With My Fiancé Is Most Important

But isn't friendship also important? We need to learn how to be good friends.

My relationship with my fiancé is more important than maintaining a friendship with my ex. He also has female friends. I have no fears of physical impropriety with any of them but I would be uncomfortable if he were to spend more time or share more of himself with them than he does with me. We both continue to see our opposite gender friends (with whom we have not had sex) . However, we never see those friends secretly and as much as possible we get together in groups. This has worked well for us. Maybe it will work for you.

Importance of the Sweetie

The bottom line is that the relationship that you are currently in should be more important to you than any others. If it is not you need to figure out why you are wasting your time and energy on this person. Communication is key. Find out which of your friends and which types of contact are uncomfortable for your sweetie. Your friends (of both genders) should want you to be happy. If your sweetie makes you happy, they should be happy to oblige.

I hope this helps,

Jody

 

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