Introducing wife to old crush
April 14, 2018 6:12 PM   Subscribe

Should I introduce my wife to an old crush?

I've been married about 7 years. No kids. Marriage is overall very good and happy. About 15 years ago, long before I met my wife i used to hang out with this girl who was a good friend in college. After college it happened that I moved to the same city she lived after school. We hung out a lot. I always had feelings beyond friends but we were for all purposes just friends and nothing more. But one time I told this girl how I felt. She was not looking for a relationship. We stopped hanging out for a while after I told her how I felt. But eventually started hanging out again. But not nearly as frequently as we used to. Eventually when I met my now wife I basically stopped hanging out with this girl. I have mentioned this girl to my wife. She doesn't seem phased by it.

With social media I do stay in contact with the other girl who is now married with kids. We've casually discussed meeting up some time as we are still in the same city. So my it appropriate to do a dinner with me, my wife, her and her husband? Any thoughts are welcome.
posted by ljs30 to Human Relations (16 answers total)
First of all if she’s married with a husband and kids she is not a girl, she’s a woman.

Since you stopped spending time with her when you met your wife, what is your motivation for striking up a relationship again? The world is large and there are lots of potential friends.
posted by pintapicasso at 6:21 PM on April 14, 2018 [53 favorites]

I would say a lot depends on how *you* feel about this woman. If you still have a crush on her, then it probably isn't a good idea for you to spend time around her or stay in contact with her, even if it is with your spouses present. Why feed that flame?

But if you're over your crush, and she's truly just a friend now, and the two of you suggest the idea of a double date to your spouses, and all four of you are willing to have dinner together, why not.
posted by orange swan at 6:27 PM on April 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

I feel like you still describing her as an "old crush" instead of an "old friend" after 15 years indicates that it's going to be awkward one way or another.
posted by sacrifix at 6:30 PM on April 14, 2018 [56 favorites]

I've done things like this and it was no big deal. Happy adults who used to date, or in this case crush, can hang out and be friends assuming none of them have baggage about it.
posted by vrakatar at 6:31 PM on April 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

There’s no appropriate here. Whatever you guys want to do is fine as long as everyone is on board.
posted by FencingGal at 6:32 PM on April 14, 2018 [8 favorites]

Because of your perspective on this, yuck no. I think it's awkward because of your feelings. Agree she's a woman. In fact, she always was, even in college.

FWIW, I've been that woman a few times. It's awkward when the feels like you do. Please don't do this to the four of you. K?
posted by jbenben at 6:46 PM on April 14, 2018 [8 favorites]

One of the reasons I got off of Facebook was because I realized that while everybody says "oh we should totally catch up sometime", even if you go and actually do that and there weren't romantic feelings involved, 99% of the time you have just wasted an evening repeating the details of your last five years to someone who wasn't there and won't be there for the next five. Everybody wants to catch up, but they don't really. If you don't have actual stuff in common that suggests you would be really great friends in a world where you'd never had any feelings about her and never would, then you don't want to be friends with her, and you shouldn't do this. People say you should hang out and catch up sometime because that's what you say to people on social media. If you were the one with feelings and she wasn't, you need to step back and wait on figuring out the logistics of this until she starts suggesting this in a way that suggests concrete plans and how SHE pictures this going down.

Odds are that if you don't press the issue, she won't, either, and you won't have to worry about this because you aren't going to hang out.
posted by Sequence at 7:04 PM on April 14, 2018 [11 favorites]

I don't know--your question does not indicate that you had any meaningful friendship with this woman nor does it indicate any motivation other than you used to have a crush on her but dropped her completely when you met the woman you married. But now that she's married, you keep in touch a little. This sounds like a situation that ends in--best case--a wasted awkward evening or some hurt feelings.

If there's some reason you're interested in meeting up--like your kids are the same age or you all have the same hobby or anything based on something more than you used to have the hots for her but now you've got another woman instead--sure, why not? but you have not given us enough to go on. I mean, frenchingGal is basically right--if everyone thinks dinner sounds great, go to dinner! But you've framed it as "the only thing important to me about this woman is I used to have a crush on her, so should I take her to dinner with my wife?" and that's setting off a lot of "nope" for people.
posted by crush at 7:37 PM on April 14, 2018 [9 favorites]

My 38 years of marriage says...



posted by Thorzdad at 7:50 PM on April 14, 2018 [9 favorites]

After 62 years married to the same woman I agree with Thorzdad. You are asking for trouble.
posted by JayRwv at 8:03 PM on April 14, 2018 [10 favorites]

Based on your post, I think it might just make you feel confused. You say you stay in touch now, but it seems like you primarily think of her on some level as more "a former crush" than "a present day friend." That's fine; you're not a bad person for having historically had feelings for someone. But be smart and let sleeping dogs lie.
posted by salvia at 8:24 PM on April 14, 2018 [5 favorites]

I know my high school boyfriend on social media, and kinda, sorta irl. Last time he was in my area on a business trip, he and his wife and my husband and I went out for dinner. Nice time, congenial chat and on the way home, I’ll bet we all agreed that everything worked out for the best. YMMV. The more secretive you make the relationship seem, the more chance for misinterpretation.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:06 PM on April 14, 2018 [4 favorites]

The way I'm reading your question, you still have some residual feelings for this friend, and you want to kinda "legitimize" this crush by hanging out together with both of your spouses.

I think in some cases when the crush is very superficial you could maybe get over it this way.

But this crush has been going on for years and the way you talk about this friend sounds like you are still holding the torch for her in a big way. Bringing her back into your life as a physical presence could mean having the feelings flare up and then you might have to struggle for months or years to get it under control.

Right now it's just a tiny flame somewhere deep in the back of you head. You can feel a little nostalgic from time to time but it is not a threat to your marriage.

But increasing the amount of contact can make this crush go out of control and really hurt both you and your spouse.

Of course there is always the possibility that the crush will die in person but if that is the best you were hoping for, why not just let it die off on its own? Why not let it stay a fond memory instead of risking it turning into something ugly?

Don't let pretty turn into ugly, I'd say.
posted by M. at 10:09 PM on April 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Seconding sacrifix on the “old crush” language, and repeatedly calling her “this girl” does not exactly frame your description of her as “adult person I am friends with.”

If you still have crushly feelings for your college friend you should be moving away from that, not towards it. Even contact on Facebook or somewhere is dicey.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:07 AM on April 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Why? There's no indication here that you want to do this for any other reason than to see your old crush and make your wife be there. That doesn't sound fun for anyone, not even you.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 7:00 AM on April 15, 2018 [5 favorites]

The reason your wife is not fazed is because an old crush, long ago, no relationship, is not supposed to be a big deal. It may be that you feel you need to put this crush to rest finally and that sitting with the reality of all the ways that you have both moved on will be the big wet blanket that your torch needs. But...find a way to do that yourself. Making them get a sitter, have an awkward dinner, etc., seems like a waste of time. I’ll help you out a little – she is not the woman you remember, she is not available and you have little in common. Her husband is very different from you and you won’t enjoy his company. Your wife would be bored. Time to “ghost” on this old meeting of peoples and move on.
posted by amanda at 7:38 AM on April 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

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