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Most relationships end with the feeling that you’d be better off never seeing the ex in question again. However, there are those rare instances when you don’t think of your ex as a selfish, mean-spirited, manipulative cow and you both decide to try to keep in touch. You might think this is mature, but it will definitely be regarded as “keeping an option on the back burner” by your new girlfriend. Here are some guidelines to help you discern whether your current lady is being unreasonable herself or just a woman with some valid points.
Communication with the ex
It’s the age of technology. No more etching messages into stone — we have texts and e-mail. This allows for perfectly impersonal contact with people you’re not going to see or talk to every day, i.e., your ex-girlfriend. Despite what your current girlfriend might say, emailing an ex once in a while is totally acceptable, as is the occasional chat on AIM. As far as subject matters go, brief chats about the current state of your lives and other trivial, current events-oriented matters are totally reasonable.
It’s safe to say that if you find yourself chatting your ex up for hours, multiple times a week, you’re heading straight into the danger zone. Furthermore, if the discussions start to veer off into advice/criticisms about your current relationship, danger! Get your emotional counselling from Dear Deadrie, not your ex. We hope it goes without saying that reminiscing about that special night the two of you shared in the hot tub in Edinburgh is off-limits too. Keep it PG and you’ll be fine.
Run-ins with the ex
There’s rarely a more awkward moment you will experience than the unexpected run-in with your ex — while you’re with your new girlfriend. Yes, it’s kind of enjoyable when the two lovely ladies you’ve bedded size each other up like contestants on the voting part of The Weakest Link, but you don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable. A brief conversation is safe ground — but make a point to introduce your girlfriend to your ex at the start. Try not to call her your “new” girlfriend — just plain old girlfriend will do. Better still, just introduce her by name and let your ex figure the rest out for herself. All the ladies involved are fully aware of their place in the relationship time line of your life.
Greeting with a hug and kiss is not an acceptable ex interaction. We understand that some girls are into that, but don’t be the one to initiate it. If your ex does, go with it but keep it formal. Most importantly — don’t let inside jokes and references that your current girlfriend won’t understand weasel their way into this convo. Let’s keep the playing ground even so everyone can play.
Read on for more examples of acceptable ex interactions…