Ex-girlfriend / Current friend unusually distant.

Visited an ex-girlfriend recently. I had an unusual experience.

But first: some background…

We dated for about 3 years and amicably broke it off about 4 years ago. Since that time, we’ve remained friends. This includes talking chatting about whats new in our lives, visiting one another if either of us are in each other’s area, and even talking to one another about our individual current relationships. Even though things didn’t work out with us, I’ve always tried to be supportive of her in whatever she’s doing.

So when I drive 500 miles to be in the area where she (and several other of my friends) live after not seeing one another for over two years, I figured we would have a lot of catching up to do. I called over a month beforehand to notify people I would be in the area. She eventually called back and we planned to hook up on Saturday.

Fast forward to Saturday:

I try calling a few times on Saturday to confirm things are still on but nobody’s home. She finally picks up the last time I call just before a mutual friend of ours (let’s call her Shelly, who is also married and would not be percieved as anything OTHER than just a friend) and I were off to have dinner (which we were expecting her to be a part of). She explained that she and her new boyfriend were moving, she had just gotten up from a nap and that she doesn’t feel good, that she wouldn’t be going out tonight, but that we can stop by later after dinner if we want.

Why sure. That’s understandable.

What’s not understandable (to me) is why once we arrived at her and her boyfriend’s apartment, she all but ignored me. She barely made any eye contact and didn’t speak directly to me at any time other than when she was speaking to us “all”. She didn’t even ask me how I was or anything about me.

At all.

It’s not just me, “Shelly” remarked about it as well.


My guess is her current boyfriend wasn’t cool about the reappearance of an old boyfriend in her life. Not everyone “gets” the possibility of being actual friends with an ex.

twicks, who’s occasionally encountered static from a "current’ over her friendship with an “ex”

So the current boyfriend’s insecurity overrides a seven-year friendship?

Ditto, Twicks-wise.

How long has she been with this guy? How long have they been living together? How secure is she in the relationship? Why shouldn’t her current relationship be more important than her friendship with you?

Definitely agree with Twicks.

Pretty much. My best guess would be that she mentioned you were coming to town, her current boyfriend freaked and said “what do you mean, your ex is driving 500 miles to see you” (minimizing any of her “and other friends” protests), and put pressure on her with jealousy until she ended up apparently giving you the cold shoulder in an effort to convince her boyfriend that there’s nothing going on. She might not have intended to seem so cold towards you, but that’s how it turned out in her effort to placate him.

For the better part of the year.

A couple weeks, I think. I’m not really sure. Not too long, though.

When I’ve spoken with her on the phone prior to this event, she struck me as blissfully happy in finally finding the “right” person. After having dated for 3 months, they started talking marriage. They’re also planning on children. I am presuming she feels secure in the relationship, though short of being a telepath, I can’t say for certain.

Investing in a romantic relationship and maintaining friendships are not mutually exclusive—it’s not an either/or proposition. I’m not asking for her to ditch the boyfriend and go out drinking with me; I think that asking your guest* how are you, how’s work,* and* what’s new* falls under Social Interation: a Beginner’s Course.

The problem is that it sounds like you were an unwelcome guest for 50% of the household. It sounds like (if that IS what was going on) she may have handled it better – telling you straight out on the phone that getting together wasn’t a good idea instead of “cold-shouldering” and leaving you to wonder what the heck was going on. She was probably just in an awkward situation and didn’t know how to deal with it.

I have a situation like this with a current girlfriend, and I can attest to what other people have said.

My girlfriend acts like she’s secure and sophisticated when it comes to visiting with my ex (who’s now a friend), but invariably we’ll get into an argument about later on. (“You slept with her!”) It’s frustrating, because I can see my girlfriend’s point, but I don’t even think about the friend in those terms anymore.

Classic case here, no mystery. Her current boyfriend probably feels uncomfortable with another guy in the room who has been intimate with his woman. You’ve had sex with her, seen her naked, and shared a deep emotional attachment at one point (I’m assuming here, you mentioned you were together a long time). The real question is what guy would be completely comfortable in that situation? Not me, thats for sure. Even if I was completely secure in the relationship it would still feel odd and uncomfortable to have someone in my home who was that close to my girl. Her reaction to you is almost certainly a reflection of whatever pressure he puts on her purposely or indirectly through passive-agressive behavior.