How To Handle Her Annoyingly Perfect Ex
When you’ve just started dating a girl, here are some easy-to-spot confirmations that you really like her: You think about her an unholy amount. You cancel things to be with her and are unrepentant doing so. And you start wondering about who she’s been with. Translation: the dreaded Ex Factor.
I refuse to believe there is one person who hasn’t quietly questioned their latest partner’s ex. We all do it. Are they better looking than me? More successful? Bigger? Thinner?
It’s a hell of a lot easier if your girlfriend’s ex was a nasty piece of work she has zero interest in. No worries there. Slightly harder if they are still in regular contact. If she is still in touch with most of her ex-boyfriends — and by “in touch” I mean the odd email here, hug at a social gathering there — I think that’s a good thing. It proves she’s mature and capable of keeping healthy relationships with people she’s been close to. But let’s not pretend that isn’t a little intimidating, too.
I dated this guy that was best friends with his ex-girlfriend. It didn’t help that she was beautiful and he was a bigger flirt than Russell Brand. That, rather legitimately, made me paranoid. Whilst our relationship ended for a few reasons, the close friendship with his significant ex was definitely a factor. I’m not saying he should’ve stopped being mates with her, but perhaps he should’ve given me more reason to trust him. He’d end phone calls to her, with, “OK, love you, bye!” Whilst I was sat next to him. I’d look at him aghast, to which he’d reply, “I just mean it in a friend way, babe.” So not cool.
If your girlfriend’s last relationship ended amicably, there’s no reason she shouldn’t still be in touch with him. But best friends meeting up for coffee every week? Just the two of them? That has We’re Not Over Each Other written all over it.
Confession: I recently looked up my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend on Facebook. And please, before you judge me, I’m positive you’ve done it too. I know all women have. I couldn’t help but notice (OK, I purposefully scanned) at his wall just after we become online friends. You know, just to check it out. Someone had mentioned his ex on a wall post — an unequivocal invitation for me to click on her name, surely?
First up, she’s fit. Really fit. All blonde hair, perfect teeth and flawless complexion. Her cover photo featured her standing outside an African orphanage surrounded by laughing children. The last charitable endeavour I was involved in was an office bake sale for prostate cancer. And I didn’t even bake the cakes myself. His ex-girlfriend is out there helping children in Africa, probably saving lives and curing AIDS, whilst I’m interviewing Ryan Reynolds about his grooming regime (“So, you moisturise then spritz?”) and shamefully presenting Marks & Spencer flapjacks as my own. Talk about a losing battle.
I’m not alone in this. When you find out something about your partner’s ex you’re obviously going to compare yourself and common insecurities will dictate that you’ll come out the loser. But remember this: no matter how tall he is, how much money he appears to earn and how long he was with your girlfriend, he’s not with her anymore. And there’ll be a very good reason why they’re not together. You’ve won this round. The vital round.
And you know what’s even more common than checking out the ex? The ex checking out the new person their former girlfriend is now with. So, gents, don’t be ashamed if you’ve had a sneaky Facebook glance at your girl’s ex fella, or if you’ve given him a few suspicious once-overs in person. I guarantee he’s doing the same to you. Probably right now.