Post # 1
I feel stupid for asking a question I’m pretty sure I already know the answer to…but oh well.
What are the rules for having lunch with exes after you’re engaged?
Here’s the story: I have a pretty complex friendship with my ex. We broke up 8 years ago, and it was a really, truly horrendous break-up. He dropped out of college for a year, moved back in with his parents, had to start taking meds, and more. We’ve had lunch about once or twice a year ever since, and they’re always difficult as he hasn’t had a girlfriend since me, and he always laments about his life…and yet he still wants to have lunch. I’ve continued to see him as a way to atone for the pain I caused him, I’ve felt like it’s the least I can do; but I’m not really certain what positivity could possibly come from these lunches.
After I got engaged, I emailed to let him know before the news hit the social networking fan, and I received a bit of an underhanded “if you feel like you’re ready to do that, than I’ll be happy for you” sort of response. I didn’t think much about it since then, I didn’t expect him to be ecstatic or anything, so I thought that was all I could really ask for.
This morning he asked if I wanted to do lunch this week. Prior to my engagement, I’d agree and we’d have another awkward lunch as always…but now I don’t feel like it’s super appropriate. I discussed it with my Fiance and he’s always been okay with me seeing my ex, I always tell him everything and make sure he’s comfortable with it, and this time is no different. My best friend gave me a resounding “absolutely NOT!”.
I haven’t responded to the ex yet, but I just need to know the opinions of others. Please don’t flame me, I just want to know if the rules have changed.
Post # 2
You seem to have no interest in keeping up the lunches or bizarre friendship so I would not feel the need to continue.
Post # 3
I don’t see why you can’t go to lunch with an ex just because you are engaged. Although in your particular circumstance I would have cut it off prior to this because it doesnt sound like a positive or healthy thing for either of you.
Post # 4
If your Fiance is ok with it, I don’t see a problem… minus the fact that the lunches are awkward, you only go out of guilt and nothing positive comes out of them.
Post # 5
- Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa
janellephant: Sounds like it was a bad idea to begin with, but now you have a ready-made excuse to cut things off. Sounds like he still loves you, so I think you need to end the pseudo-friendship.
Post # 6
janellephant: Never ever. Stop now. Don’t offer an excuse, just say no.
I’m willing to bet that his reasons for these lunches is because he wants you back (or at least wants to rekindle something).
Post # 7
I don’t see a problem with having lunch with an ex, even if you’re engaged. However, this relationship doesn’t sound particularly healthy for your ex and it seems like you no longer want to continue the relationship so I would just tell him no.
You don’t need to atone for anything. This break up took place over 8 years ago so if he’s not over it I don’t think having lunch a couple of times a year is going to help him.
Post # 8
You don’t owe him anything. It isn’t your job to fix him. The break up was so long ago, you can’t blame yourself for his instability. And really, I’d say by continuing these lunches you are enabling him to lean on you instead of becoming his own person.
Post # 9
janellephant: Looking at your specific situation, no, I dont think it’s worth it. You don’t seem to get much out of lunches with your ex. You said it’s awkward and not positive. Why continue that?! Hasn’t help either of you grow in 8+ years. Not too late to cut the cord and say goodbye. It was nice you tried to help. But at this point it is way in the past and no longer should you feel it is your responsibility.
Post # 10
I have a few ex’s that I occasionally get together with for lunch, horseback riding, or other socially appropriate things. Sometimes Darling Husband comes along and sometimes he doesn’t. He’s like your guy, he’s fine with it. I figure these guys were huge parts of my life for a lot of years, broke up with amicably, and remained friends for years before I met Darling Husband, so why would I change that because I got married. I will say that I have never had an awkward occasion with any of them since breaking up so things may be different for me than your situation. I figure if it was awkward at your last meeting then maybe it isn’t a friendship worth continuing. Friendships shouldn’t be awkward like that.
Post # 11
Fiance still does lunches with exes and I don’t see anything wrong with it. I would do lunches with my ex but it’s been 8 years since I broke it off with my only ex and we are no longer in contact. I trust my Fiance not to do anything inappropriate and he’s devoted to me and I know he’d never cross the line.
However in your situation, I would stop the lunches with the ex. It doesn’t sound like you really even WANT to see him/have lunch with him, so I’d suggest you STOP the awkward lunches and cut ties right there.
Post # 12
janellephant: Not sure why you can’t seem to let go and move on from this relationship, especially since you yourself call it awkward. Tell him no and then phase him out of your life. If he can’t make any progress in his life after 8 years that’s his problem…not yours. No matter what your Fiance says I think it’s disrespectful to carry on like this. You and he (the ex) both need to get over it.
Post # 13
I think its fine to have lunches/meet-ups with exes if you actually want to, and if your current SO doesn’t mind. However, there should be more reason behind it than you feeling crushing guilt and wanting to atone.
To be honest, it doesn’t sound like your ex arranges these meetings with healthy intent. He either feeds emotionally off the guilt and remorse he siphons off you during these meetings, or has a weird idea that maybe, over the years, you will be convinced to come back to him because he is such a sad sack since you left that he clearly needs you. Either way, NOT healthy.
Since you have such a long history with this ex and it seems harsh to suddenly cut off the lunches once you’re engaged, after going through with them for 8 years, I might do the following: agree to a lunch, but this time, REFUSE to show up wearing your I’m-so-sorry-for-ruining-your-life face. You just got engaged, so let your happiness shine through! If your ex is meant to be in your life, he will be happy for you and maybe your sporadic meet-ups will actually become pleasurable and based on real friendly feelings. If he gets irritated with you at lunch for not fulfilling your yearly quota of being reminded how much you ruined his life, and if he tries to make you feel bad for being engaged or for his own life situation, then I think you should absolutely stop meeting him for lunches. You could even tell him why: “Look, I don’t want to have lunch with you anymore because you only want to talk about the past. I’m over what happened between us and I’m ready to move on – and I think you would be happier if you moved on, too.”
Post # 14
- Wedding: April 2012 - Chateau Briand
while I don’t see anything wrong with having lunch with him simply on the grounds that you’re engaged, there seems to be much more than that here. clearly your lunches haven’t helped him in anyway as he hasn’t found a way to move on. you did what you could and honestly, 8 years later, I don’t think you owe him anymore. you would do better for yourself AND him by ending this awkward friendship.
Post # 15
janellephant: Don’t. Just don’t. Stop torturing him and for that matter, allow yourself to live a life without him in it. Meeting with him when you are clearly never going to be able to repair the damage the two of you did together isn’t kind. And if you have to add a “no flaming” disclaimer (grant it, some posters can be horrible bitches on here), then you already know that what you are doing is wrong for you, him, and your Fiance.