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Why won't she go away?
January 18, 2010 6:18 PM   Subscribe

Am I reading to much into the actions of my boyfriend's ex? Beanplating follows.

My boyfriend's breakup with his ex was long and painful; she jerked him around, had meltdowns and acted nuts, and was never sure if she wanted to be together or not. He loved her, she hurt him and didn't care. I met him during this period. When it ended completely, we started dating.

Suddenly, her sweet side comes out. She starts sending him occasional little text messages and calling him just to say hi. Then she asks him to meet for a friendly lunch. She invites him to a performance of hers, where she wears a very skimpy outfit.

We'd only been dating 4 months when she started doing this. Normally I don't have any problem with his many female friends, many of whom are also exes. But their relationship had ended so recently, and this just seemed like more jerking around. I asked him if he'd mind not resuming a friendship with her until more time had passed, to give any lingering feelings time to recede. He didn't mind at all.

It's now been 3 more months.

My boyfriend is very close to a couple and sees them whenever he can; he's best friends with the guy in the couple. My boyfriend's ex, while they were dating, became acquainted and friendly with the girl in the couple, though not very close. She almost always stayed home while my boyfriend spent time with them. Suddenly, I have learned that my boyfriend's ex and the girl in this couple are on vacation alone together for a week.

My boyfriend says that he didn't know about it until the guy in the couple told him, today. My boyfriend says that his ex doesn't have many friends, despite having lived in this city for ten years, so this particular girl was probably her only option as a traveling partner. He said he doesn't think there's anything more behind it.

I haven't told him this, but I think this whole thing is just weird - to go on vacation with a good friend of your ex's you barely know? I do think she's playing some kind of strange game. And my private feeling is that she has enough of her own friends and should stop trying to insert herself into my boyfriend's life. What is she trying to clutch on to? If it makes any difference at all, everyone I have mentioned is in their mid to late 20s except the ex, who is in her mid 30s.

As it stands now, I am not going to say anything, but I wonder. Am I reading things into her actions that aren't there? If so, I'll just forget about it and enjoy life. But if I'm not, what should I do? I've only been in one other situation in my life where there was an ex really sniffing around like this, and in that case, she really did turn out to be up to no good.

(I hate to admit this, but I'm also a little hurt that this girl is being so buddy-buddy with the ex. I don't know where that's coming from.)
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (29 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have learned that my boyfriend's ex and the girl in this couple are on vacation alone together for a week.

This is the extent of the change of facts in your situation. So your question is: Is the fact that my boyfriend's ex is going on a trip with a woman from a couple that we know mean my boyfriend is going to cheat on me in the future?

Signs point to no.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:21 PM on January 18, 2010 [8 favorites]


I have thrice gone on vacations with acquaintances. It's nice to travel with someone who wants to go to the same place as you. It may have nothing to do with anything except a shared desire to visit a place. They will probably come back close friends though.
posted by Duffington at 6:28 PM on January 18, 2010


I asked him if he'd mind not resuming a friendship with her until more time had passed, to give any lingering feelings time to recede. He didn't mind at all.

your boyfriend is a stand up guy who took your feelings into account. it doesn't matter what the girl wants, what matters if he will give it to her. you'll drive yourself batty if you try to figure out the intentions of other people. the only two people who matter in your relationship are you and him. who cares if she's sniffing around? you honestly sound like you're starting to obsess a little bit, which is totally normal when jealousy rears up - but who she wants to be friends with and her reasons for doing so aren't really any of your business, especially since your boyfriend has already agreed to scale down interactions with her.
posted by nadawi at 6:29 PM on January 18, 2010 [11 favorites]


Even if she is trying to sneakily get closer to your boyfriend, I don't think there's much you can do. You can't keep her from being friends with the couple. The only thing you have control over is making sure your boyfriend knows that you're still uncomfortable with the two of them hanging out alone. As long as he's still fine with that, I think you're good. Keep the lines of communication open, and don't let this get to you too much. If you trust your boyfriend then you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
posted by a.steele at 6:35 PM on January 18, 2010


Who his ex goes on vacation with is none of your business. Take your own excellent advice -- forget about it and enjoy life.
posted by ottereroticist at 6:36 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who really cares what she's doing with other people who aren't you or your boyfriend? You can't control others and it has no bearing on your relationship. She's not sniffing around at this point, she's pursuing a friendship that has nothing to do with you. Let it go...
posted by Jubey at 6:36 PM on January 18, 2010 [7 favorites]


So you are worried because your boyfriend's ex is going on vacation with the wife of your boyfriend's friend? Yeah, you need to stop worrying about this woman. You might want to investigate your own jealousy issues.

Stop trying to psychoanalyze someone you don't know. You are judging her for not having many friends. You are also judging her for lots of other things. You sound a wee bit obsessive about her.
posted by bluedaisy at 6:38 PM on January 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


Honestly, it doesn't sound like she wants to get back together with him anyway. It sounds like she wants attention.

Don't give her the satisfaction.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:39 PM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Am I reading things into her actions that aren't there? If so, I'll just forget about it and enjoy life. But if I'm not, what should I do?

To answer the questions, Yes, you are probably reading things into her actions that aren't there. And if you weren't, what COULD you do? Start demanding she wear more clothes while performing and give you veto rights on who she vacations with? Try to put it out of your mind.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:46 PM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I haven't told him this, but I think this whole thing is just weird - to go on vacation with a good friend of your ex's you barely know? I do think she's playing some kind of strange game.

Going on vacation with one of your friends would be a very strange way indeed to play a game. Wouldn't it be much cheaper and more effective to stay in town where she can talk to the two of you and all of your friends, spreading rumors or whatever, etc., rather than spending a lot of money and being out of contact for a week?
posted by equalpants at 6:47 PM on January 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


I could easily see how this could be part of a long-term strategy for someone who is obsessed but has no real way to contact or influence your boyfriend.

If this is her way of putting herself into his life, she must be incredibly desperate for even the smallest shred of hope.

This means you win. Ha! Find a friend who thinks she's ridiculous and crazy and gloat for a little bit. You'll feel better.
posted by kathrineg at 6:58 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I tend to think that you shouldn't care who your boyfriend's friend's girlfriend is friends with.
posted by Flunkie at 7:10 PM on January 18, 2010 [8 favorites]


I vote too much beanplating. Give your boyfriend the benefit of the doubt and trust him. If you cant do that, then that's an issue for you.
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:19 PM on January 18, 2010


To answer your first question, yes, too much beanplating. Why would you be hurt if she wanted to be friends with someone that she was already acquainted with and then go away on vacation with? This sounds like jealousy, and more importantly, you can't control this at all.

Take a deep breath and...

I'll just forget about it and enjoy life.

You'll be much happier for it.
posted by so much modern time at 7:30 PM on January 18, 2010


Here's the thing.

If you were right, and if the whole "going on vacation with the ex-boyfriend's best friend's girlfriend" is a complete ruse and she's just trying to stay in your boyfriend's social circle--

--what difference would it make to you?

There's nothing you can do about it. Your boyfriend isn't going to stop hanging around with his best friend just because his girlfriend is friends with his ex.

She invites him to a performance of hers, where she wears a very skimpy outfit.

And? Presumably he saw her naked in the past, so seeing her perform in a skimpy outfit isn't going to suddenly overwhelm him with uncontrollable desire.

Life = not a soap opera.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:48 PM on January 18, 2010 [7 favorites]


Also, I'll tell you what I'd do: I'd invite her over to the boyfriend's place for dinner. A dinner you and the boyfriend would cook for her and serve her and be very obviously a couple entertaining their single acquaintance.

Kill her with kindness. She will look like an obsessed stalker, and you will look like the cool girl.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:50 PM on January 18, 2010


Suddenly, I have learned that my boyfriend's ex and the girl in this couple are on vacation alone together for a week.

....Unless part of their vacation involves a Thelma-and-Louise crime spree in which they actually kidnap your boyfriend and force him to be their sexual slave for a week and a half, I'm...not seeing how who your boyfriend's ex vacations with has any impact on your you OR your boyfriend.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:33 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I see it. I've had boyfriend's exes make friends with my own friends, actually. All to get in close to their obsession. It's weird. But... if your boyfriend is over her, and you trust him, it's just an annoyance that will go away.
posted by Vaike at 8:39 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think you are right to have a weird feeling about her--when we have a hunch, our hunches are generally correct! However, you should file this weird feeling away. Do nothing aside from noting it. Be aware, but don't dwell.
posted by naplesyellow at 8:42 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Your boyfriend does sound like a stand-up guy. That girl however, does not (at least for the moment.) I understand both sides of the coin. I've been this woman and I've been you. Your feelings are correct but you cannot control what your boyfriend or this woman does. All you can change is how you react to the situation. Keep being your loving self and show your boyfriend how much you appreciate him, and her little game will grow old and tired. Just keep doing you, honey.
posted by InterestedInKnowing at 8:43 PM on January 18, 2010


You're in a delicate position. You are right, of course-- this chick is having second thoughts about dumping him, and is trying to get him back. But if you make a big point of that, he'll probably think that you're just crazy jealous.

I guess I'd say, tell him very calmly that this is what you think is going on, and you hope that he will not fall for it. If you get him to recognize what's going on, maybe he'll be more understanding.

Good luck!
posted by pippin at 8:54 PM on January 18, 2010


Your (perhaps valid) concerns about this woman are causing to suspect even her mundane, harmless behaviors that have nothing to do with you.
posted by hermitosis at 9:20 PM on January 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


She's a game player, yes, but your boyfriend is with YOU. Every time she does something that makes you all, "bitch crazy!" remember that's he with YOU now. She can dance naked outside the windows all she likes, but you're the one in the house with him.
posted by Billegible at 12:18 AM on January 19, 2010


You're reading too much into it. Remember there's usually a tendency to upplay the craziness of the other person during a bad breakup, and to downplay the seriousness of your new relationship to your old partner. She sounds like she understands the situation now and is staying away.

(Me: Hey, I've been calling all weekend, I need a favour...
Him: You have to stop calling, it's really embarrassing when I'm with my new girlfriend and you call.
Me: I thought you were splitting up with her because things weren't working out and you kept complaining about how she did things you hated (etc.)?
Him: Well I decided not to. It's so haaard to break up...
Me: Okay then. -click-)

posted by anaelith at 3:10 AM on January 19, 2010


Also, I'll tell you what I'd do: I'd invite her over to the boyfriend's place for dinner. A dinner you and the boyfriend would cook for her and serve her and be very obviously a couple entertaining their single acquaintance.

Kill her with kindness. She will look like an obsessed stalker, and you will look like the cool girl.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:50 AM on January 19 [+] [!]


I strongly disagree with this approach. It's going to send mixed signals to your boyfriend if you invite his ex round for dinner having asked him to spend less time with her. It will seem as if you are playing a game (and, in fact, you would be), and if I were your boyfriend this would erode my respect for you a little. His first reaction to you suggesting this is going to be to ask why...how are you going to answer that question?

Truly, the only way to approach this is to ignore her. It only becomes a thing if you make it a thing.
posted by jonnyploy at 3:12 AM on January 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Am I reading things into her actions that aren't there?

In short: Yes.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:57 AM on January 19, 2010


Even if this vacation "meant" anything along the lines of your concerns (which is a really, really, really big "if"), it seems to me to be far outside the lines of something you can reasonably do anything about or discuss. That is, I think you will look like a whackadoodle(*) conspiracy theorist if you bring this up and make this a big thing. It might be weird, but even if it is part of the ex girlfriend's crazy like a fox evil genius master plan I would say there is nothing you can do about it.

(*) I am not calling you a whackadoodle. I don't think you're half as crazy as some people upthread have implied. But, since there's nothing you can do about it, just move on.
posted by bunnycup at 6:00 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Am I reading things into her actions that aren't there?

Yeah, let me paraphrase how her actions look from across the internet. After a messy breakup, Ex waits 4 months to try and be friends with Boyfriend, and then does so with baby steps: stupid texts, a lunch thing, and an invititation to a performance of hers. When Boyfriend tells Ex that You have problems with their friendship, Ex does not pursue the friendship. At some point in the last 7+ months, she has become closer to someone that she was already friends with before you started dating Boyfriend.

None of this sounds particularly over-the-top. It sounds pretty run of the mill to me.
posted by 23skidoo at 6:26 AM on January 19, 2010


I strongly disagree with this approach. It's going to send mixed signals to your boyfriend if you invite his ex round for dinner having asked him to spend less time with her.

You make a good point--I wouldn't have asked the boyfriend not to spend time with the ex in the first place, but once that's been done this approach doesn't work.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:39 AM on January 19, 2010


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