My girlfriend talks to me about her exes on a regular basis. Almost daily. It’s mostly positive things she has to say about them. Minimal bad things. Some are even from years ago. One in particular from two years ago. She says she still needs closure with him even though he lied to her, cheated on her and got another the other woman pregnant. Shs still wanted to be with him, but he was arrested and won’t get out for three more years. She says she is friends with all her exes and a huge majority of them are on her Facebook. She says she doesn’t love him or any of the other ones, and that I’m the one she wants and loves. She says that she tells me these things because I’m her best friend and she just wants to be open and honest with me. It’s still highly annoying and frustrating to me though. I feel like she really isn’t over them and is trying to keep them on the back burner, or as insurance in case she ever wanted to get back with them. I’ve told her how I feel about it, and her response is always “It’s not like that.”
Should I be worried? Is this a huge red flag I keep ignoring? My gut says yes, but I get confused when she says she tells me these things about being open, honest and that I’m her best friend. What am I supposed to do?
The issue is less about her ex-boyfriends—well, aside from the guy in jail who it seems she still might have feelings for—and more about a lack or respect, or a lack of awareness on her part. Some of that stems from gender differences. Women tend to want to talk about their lives and share their lives with people whom they’re close with and men keep things closer to the vest. That said, it also shows a lack of maturity on her part. The fact that she has no idea that this bothers you is the biggest red-flag we see. It seems selfish, quite honestly.
The question is: Have you told her how you feel? Or are you worried that she might leave if you push back and tell her the truth? We don’t know the situation Ian, but it sounds as if there’s an imbalance of power in your relationship. Is that true?
Our advice: Don’t ignore your gut. It’s telling you something is off. Or rather, it’s telling you that you’re not happy or comfortable with what’s going on, and that if something doesn’t change the relationship will probably end at some point. So do you think that maybe it’s time for a heart-to-heart conversation with her? Here’s the thing. The fact that she’s unaware of how you feel, or knows how you feel but doesn’t care enough to change her behavior, speaks volumes about where she’s at in her life. We’re not saying people can’t have friends from the opposite sex, and we’re not saying people shouldn’t be friends with their exes—to a degree—but the fact that she needs to tell you everything, and needs to be connected to all her ex-boyfriends, tells us that the two of you are not on the same page. Seems to us that you’re actually ready to commit to someone, and she wants to have both you AND still have lots of attention from other men.
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