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He and I moved in together as I started grad school and he finished his undergrad, it was mutually pleasurable (and mutually beneficial in financial terms), but I knew it wasn't going to last and was glad to wave him off to his new job in Cali after 8 months.
We can laugh about it now as friends, which is one of the true pleasures of middle age.
Now I have a question. Do you think that gay guys are as uncomfortable with straight girls looking at naked pictures of them as straight guys are uncomfortable having gay guys look at them?
Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about.
Beat me to it.
Seen this many times.
...but you're not loony. You're aware of your feelings. And you will serve yourself well to walk. Now.
And second, you're not giving some straight guys enough credit. I work in a field in which the men are gay at a MUCH higher rate than the normal population (musical theatre), and I know a lot of straight guys in the biz who LOVE getting ogled by gay guys. Just goes with the attention whoredom of being an actor, I suppose...
I don't have an explanation for the gifts ... though I've known some people who give lots of gifts to their friends. I just think we're missing a perspective here and that the conclusion doesn't need to be he'll eventually leave his GF for his ex.
And no, he probably won't leave his GF for his ex. Because he probably enjoys being sought after by two women, and having at least one of them jealous of the other.
He has had two girlfriends who couldn't handle it and that ended their relationships. The first one broke up with him because she couldn't understand his not hating (!) his ex-wife; he broke up with the second one when she started to get unreasonably jealous and extremely possessive. His attitude has been this is a friendship I am not going to give up. It's important to me. I will never leave you for her (me), but if you can't accept it, we are through. I appreciate his attitude, though I would have to understand and accept it if he decided that giving up the friendship with me was the price he'd have to pay to be with someone really great. He happens to feel that anyone who'd demand that price is not worth it. (I feel likewise, but haven't met anyone who expects it of me, and furthermore, haven't had a serious long-term relationship since we split up.)
So sometimes you can and should take someone's avowal at face value.
Except for when he didn't.
"while I tend to take a dim view of current BFs or GFs or SOPATGSFs* who insist that their BFs or GFs or SOPATGSFs have nothing to do with their ex BFs, GFs, or SOPATGFs (see the letter below), the amount of time and money your BF is spending on and with his ex-GF seems excessive. "
@28: "Am I the only one who thinks he may be meeting in secret because he's sick and tired of having his GF giving him trouble about spending time with one of his best friends?"
Yes, because if you think that's a good idea you're broken.
@32: From way outside that scenario, sounds like it's not just a friendship he's holding onto :I
But this is also only tangentially about it being an ex: In a hetero relationship, it's entirely reasonable for your partner to expect some reasonable limits to opposite-sex friendships. You don't meet secretly, you don't make expensive gifts, you don't go on weekend getaways together _unless_ your current partner is entirely OK with those things.
I wouldn't say this is bad or wrong, because I wouldn't elevate romantic relationships as necessarily more important or valuable than platonic ones. Just something to ponder on.
Whatever she wants, no matter how reasonable or unreasonable, the LW needs to own it, and the boyfriend needs to tell her how far he's willing to go to meet her. Otherwise, how are they going to get over any disagreements in future?
(as for other things, I spare the assembled company a reference to Elizabeth Elliot that I don't think I've used yet)
@25 - well played! Still...love 'ya mr. venn.
@28 - While it may be true that he wants to hide it from her because she is an insecure controlling twit, that is not a valid justification for hiding it...it is, however, a perfectly valid justification for him to dump her.
@32 - I too have an ex-wife with whom I'm on friendly/decent terms..we do not call each other up to share funny bumper stickers but we are in infrequent contact. It's been a useful filter for driving away possessive, clingy and insecure women, but the level of involvement is also very minor. And whatever interaction/involvement there is, I'd be the first one to pull it out front and center right where the GF could see it to demonstrate that there is no threat, or to push her over the edge with her own issues. I agree that it's a price of admission issue for sure, and when I felt less confident of myself and was more susceptible to pressure over it, I had to work through recognizing that this (not being enemies with exes) is a part of who I am and what I like about myself, so any partner must accept it about me if they are gonna be a good match for me. The better partners saw it as a positive attribute, not a negative.
All that said, in the LW's case, it's an ex-GF, not an ex-wife. None of my ex-gfs is nearly as involved in my life as my ex-wife (which is to say, basically, not at all). A few are peripheral almost acquaintances now...but not people with ongoing regular interaction (no 'dates' or presents for sure!!!). My ex-wife (and I dunno about your ex-husband) isn't someone I regularly meet with or exchange gifts with. These just really aren't comparable situations.
Exactly. And nocutename, it sounds like you two don't hide your interactions either.
I have an ex I'm still close with (we dated for 4 years and broke up because the sexual chemistry faded). He comes along with me and my husband to concerts or what-not. Fun guy -- obviously not a threat.
Maybe we should mention sexual chemistry. Even without lying, I can see why a new GF would be anxious about obvious sexual chemistry between her guy and an ex. Maybe that's what "she wants him back" reveals. It could indicate a guy who won't want to be limited to monogamy after the first year of exciting new relationship sex fades a bit.
That said, I'd be patient with any new girlfriend who felt threatened by my ex. Seems pretty natural. (Then again, I seem to have a high tolerance for crazy.)
You might also want to consider whether a reasonable new partner might also have a problem with the amount of time and involvement that's dedicated to your coparent relationship, because even if the unreasonable girlfriends might have been crazy, they might've had a point.
Also, your friend needs to DTMFA. That's crazy stuff there.
Dump his inconsiderate ass, and soon you'll be the one getting gifts.
He may be trying to avoid (at the least) drama or (at the worst) a bunny-boiler incident if - as I believe - his ex resents the fact that they're no longer together, well not officially. So this (the time with her, the gifts and most likely an occasional fuck) is how the bf manages to keep whatever she's threatening to do at bay.
Or else the ex-gf has laid such an enormous guilt trip on him ("I'm all alone, nobody likes me, I miss getting nice things....") that he feels sorry for her and is trying to give her some of what she's lost.
Even if ALL he's doing is damage control, he is of course being totally unfair to the LW who has the normal expectation of being the #1 priority in his life. She shouldn't have to settle for sharing him. Time for "It's not me, it's you ... because you're behaving like a boyfriend – just not MY boyfriend!"
If he can't restrict himself to having only one girlfriend (whether official or not), then the LW should show him the door. Boot to the ass optional.
He's a total moron if that's the case. The only solution with those people is to never ever talk to them again. Anything less is just perpetuating the situation.
Ms Erica - Well, there may be a point to that (I don't keep up on such statistics, but am willing to grant some sort of good faith), but it doesn't change that the message is the sort that, if I had the foresight of Muriel Fisher in The Time of the Angels and had prepared a little Exit Bottle, would likely drive me right to it. I suppose they should make it more clear that the organization is entirely for the welfare and benefit of those who view suicide as Something They Can Prevent, then at least it will make it clear to the suicidal people that the group isn't there for their benefit except indirectly.