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She's Friends With Her Ex And I Don't Like It!

"Ask April" Author of the best selling "Date Out Of Your League" at AskApril.com

Is She Over Her Ex?

Dear April,
My girlfriend of two years, who is 25, dated her ex off-and-on for 5 years, through college (although they attended different schools). Now and her ex is back on the scene. My girlfriend is naturally friendly and has always told me she wants to remain friends with her ex. However she is in a secret book club that consists of just him and her and of which I am not supposed to know about, but I do. They live in different states so they don't physically meet up, but they are reading the same book and having discussions over the phone with "wine and pajama pants." She claims I am her true love and there's nothing to worry about, but she keeps me in the dark (or so she thinks) about her interactions with him, and I'm feeling like something's wrong. Am I right?
Signed,
Dark Vader

Answer

Dear Dark Vader,
You may be her true love, but she may not be yours! This can be difficult to figure out and even more difficult to accept, but that's why dating is important -- to figure out who is and who isn't right for what you want -- and in your case it sounds like you want a monogamous, long term-relationship
that leads to marriage and family.

Your Needs Are Not Her Needs

People have different needs in love, and while you need to have more of a monogamous relationship – not just sexually, but socially and emotionally – she doesn’t. Or so she says. You're probably not wanting to see or hear that, which is why you think you're confused.

But I can tell your eyes are beginning to open. to what is really going on in your relationship with your girlfriend. It takes everyone there own special amount of time to see the truth in any relationship because we all want to see certain things. Just like you want to see your girlfriend as just "friendly" with her ex and nothing more. But your discomfort is a flashing yellow light and it's giving you a warning sign that something isn't right.

Compatibility is one of the biggest, most important factors in a successful relationship. If you both have enough of the same goals and desires then your relationship will flourish. If you have some of the same goals and desires, but not enough of the same goals and desires then your relationship will flounder. Sometimes it takes a while to flounder -- depending on how open and honest you are with each other.

Sometimes it takes even longer to accept that it's floundering. If it does flounder, that does not mean it's over. It just means you have an opportunity to do the work and find a way to make it stronger – which means compromises – or you’ll have the opportunity to realize that you’re not right for each other -- either because you have different goals and desires or because you're not ready to do the work to make compromises.

Face It -- You Don't Want Her To Be Friends With Him

Once you’ve been clear with her about what you want, then she has the option to address your needs or ignore them. If she is not able to let go of her ex-boyfriend, then you, my friend, have to face the fact that he is going to be in your life, as long as she is. If you can’t do that – and there is nothing wrong with you’re not wanting him around – after all, he’s not her ex-husband, her brother or some other family or ex-family member – then you have to move on. Once you do, she may realize she's made a mistake and drop him. Or she may not be ready to, and she'll either realize it's him she wants -- or she's just not ready to commit fully to anyone right now.

Secrecy Can Feel Like Betrayal

What is most troubling is that you seem to imply that there is secrecy going on with both you and she. You say that she has a “secret book club” that you’re not supposed to know about but you do. In other words, she is keeping her forays with her ex-boyfriend secret from you and you are keeping the fact that you know about them secret from her. You’re both in a bad dynamic, and unless one or the other of you snaps out of it, you’re going to go into a spiral of deception and betrayal. If she’s keeping this one secret from you, there may be others. And she would be wise to think the same of you if she is aware that you know you are keeping your knowledge of her secret book club from her.

My advice is to have a serious talk with her where you get everything out on the table. Let her know what you know and how you feel. Then listen. Listen really hard. Find out if she is the kind of person who is going to put her need to have her friends around her even if they make you uncomfortable ahead of her intimacy with you. If she thinks that she will not be able to drop her ex as a friend, then it’s probably time for you to move on and not waste any more time with someone who is not compatible with you.

Sincerely, April

Ready for even more bold, brutally honest, and always helpful dating advice? Visit Web site, www.AskApril.com There, you'll find informative articles, expert columnists, interactive quizzes, and free giveaways! And don't forget to also check out my workshops, designed to help you find you real "soul mate"!

© April Masini. Making it happen for you!
If you’re ready to get serious about finding a relationship that will really work for you—but aren’t quite ready to sign up for an arranged marriage—then my workshops on dating, love, and all around success might be just what the doctor ordered. Please visit www.AskApril.com.

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