Do you need to know your boyfriend’s ex?

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Your story is just beginning and yet you quickly become attached. The beginning of a romantic relationship is always a special moment because it is what will determine the rest of your relationship. And one thing is for sure, you want to strengthen your bonds and maintain a strong attraction.

I recently received this request from a young woman:

I have been in a relationship for almost a year now and my boyfriend still has contact with his ex (they have friends in common). They parted on good terms but do not talk to each other a lot. We planned to spend a week this summer in a house with friends including her ex. We both talked a little about it to find out how we felt about this situation, but I still ask myself this question: would it be better if I learned more about her before? I wonder if I am asking myself this question out of misplaced curiosity or if it is necessary to avoid feeling uncomfortable this week? Basically I didn’t want to know anything about her to avoid asking myself too many questions, but I had forgotten that it was possible that I would meet her…

Knowing that I am emotionally hypersensitive, I would like to be able to manage my emotions that week and that everything goes well for everyone. For the moment I’m not worried but that doesn’t mean it will be the case once there… So is it better that he talks to me more about her?

It is indeed a delicate question: how will it be between my boyfriend and his ex? Between her and me? Won’t he be tempted to find her? Won’t she be jealous of me? Etc. And the fear of course that these possible difficulties will rot relationships with others.

I give you my answer:

” Hello. First of all, I would like to thank you for the trust you have shown me by asking me this question which touches you. I don’t know your couple’s story, nor your personal story, but I’ll try to answer as best I can.

You are in a delicate situation. We are entitled in this type of situation to ask ourselves a lot of questions, both about our own reactions and about the relationship between our boyfriend and our ex: for example, is it over well between them? Is it not likely to crack? Won’t she try to…etc. Or is she not going to make my life hellish? I do not know.

Of course, these questions can only create concern. I believe that depending on the situation of your relationship, the right attitude to hold may be different: is your relationship solid? Is everything going well between you? Are there any doubts? Concerns? Do you feel really safe in your new relationship? I believe the more secure you feel in your relationship, the easier it will be. You talk about emotional hypersensitivity. I understand that you are easily moved, perhaps weakened by emotions, even upset by things that would not have such an effect on other people. This is undoubtedly a subject that could put you in difficulty. So let me give you some suggestions:

  • try to strengthen, as much as possible, your inner sense of security;
  • don’t try to ask too many questions;
  • feel free to meet her or not.

Many of the worries we have and the questions we ask ourselves come from the fact that we do not feel safe, that is to say that we are afraid of not knowing how to do it, of to be judged, rejected, mocked, and in the end, perhaps, to find oneself mistreated and or abandoned. The feeling of security allows us to have enough confidence and to feel deeply, in ourselves, that whatever happens we will get out of it, that we will not be abandoned, that we will know how to defend ourselves in case of need, and that life will continue, in satisfactory conditions. It is this feeling that allows us to face (almost) calmly delicate situations. So I can only encourage you to develop this feeling.

Moreover, I believe you have already noticed that the more questions you ask yourself, the more they come, and the more the concern rises. And the more the worry rises, the more questions we ask ourselves, which makes us enter a cycle of questions and insufficient answers which only increases the worry. So I suggest you don’t try to ask too many questions. You will see how she is, after all, and maybe (?) she is quite a nice person? And if she’s unsympathetic – I doubt your boyfriend will present her to you that way – would knowing in advance help?

Finally, I believe that, as far as possible, it is very important that you feel free to meet her or not. After all, there is nothing obligatory to know an ex, nor to rub shoulders with her. And if it must be, it is better to feel ready to do so.

And so I suggest you ask yourself this question: am I ready to spend a week in his presence? If so, then you’ll be fine, normally, if not, maybe it’s better that you take the time to prepare yourself, however you do? And when the time comes, you will know.

I hope this long answer has enlightened you enough. Unfortunately, in the context of this exchange, I can only stick to generalities. But I am of course at your disposal to go further with you if you wish. »

Maybe this answer will speak to someone?

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