- 3 months ago
Hi Bees (long time lurker – found this website when I was helping my sister plan her wedding and have read these boards ever since).
I am 30 and have been with my boyfriend (also 30) approximately 5 months (first week of January). We see each other 4-5 days a week, while still maintaining our own lives. Usually we have a date night during the week, a sleepover after I go climbing with my friends/he plays baseball with his friends, and time on the weekend as well. We’ve met each other’s friends, and I’ve met his mum, and one brother (he has three brothers), he has met two of my sisters (my other sister and parents live across the country). His brothers who haven’t met me are complaining, but it has just been logistics. He told me he loved me around three months in.
Boyfriend is currently on a ten-day trip to London (3 days) and then Bordeaux (7 days). His ex-girlfriend of 8 years (20-28 – lived together 6 years) is currently living in Sweden, and they had made plans to meet in London (her cousin lives there) for two days of his trip. Both had purchased flights before I met him. He told me about meeting up with her about two weeks into dating (I had asked if he had any big travel plans for the year). My understanding of the relationship was they outgrew each other. They met at 19/20, and never really did the things people in their 20s did. They never fought, but were more friends by the end than romantic partners. They had sex once a month, and it was him “begging” for it. She told him she felt she had missed out on her 20s, and was going to travel to Europe to do a Master’s degree. They discussed him going with her, but ultimately he was committed to his career here.
They have been separated for two years, but have seen each other whenever she’s come home to visit family. They would have sex on these visits. She was back last summer, but he didn’t sleep with her as he was seeing someone (short term relationship).
He has been so upfront about them meeting up, and is great at communicating, so I have no concerns about him cheating.
My sister called today, and asked A LOT of questions, that had me start to think. I’d love your perspectives on handling this going forward. I’m not naturally jealous, and he has given me no reason to be. My sister wasn’t concerned about him doing anything either. She raised the issue of boundaries.
Boyfriend and ex were talking about once a month via text/messenger until the beginning of December. Shortly after they had booked flights to London, he asked if she wanted to consider getting back together when she finished her Master’s and moved home. She told him she couldn’t commit to that. He told her that was fine, but he was going to put himself back on the market properly (to clarify – they had been broken up for 1.5 years at this point, he had dated casually but nothing serious).
Since beginning of December they had not talked until I put some photos of boyfriend and I up on Facebook (around 4 month mark). I asked if he was alright with it (he barely uses social media) and his response was “Of course. I know you like to post photos. It isn’t like everyone in my life doesn’t know about you anyways.” Well, the one person who didn’t know was his ex. She texted him upset that he did not have the courtesy to tell her he had a new girlfriend. She went on to say that she had a new boyfriend, so of course didn’t care about me, but she has refrained from posting photos on social media out of courtesy to him. This sounded a bit odd to me. Either a) she was still into boyfriend, b) she liked having him there as a safety net, or c) she had a gut reaction and made a poor call in reaching out to him. She texted him this while at work. He called me immediately after work and told me about it, and that it had thrown his productivity off for the day. He said his response had been that they had been broken up for two years, he’d moved on, and they weren’t talking regularly. I felt really good that he called to tell me and didn’t keep it a secret.
I really don’t feel like it’s my place to tell him whether or not he can associate with his ex. My sister said she hadn’t had any issues until the ex was upset about the FB posts. My sister’s position was that it’s one thing to stay friendly with an ex, but another to meet up with them again after they raised issues like the FB photos. I do not want to come across as crazy or controlling, especially when he has been nothing but trustworthy and communicative. He has female friends I have no issues with. He is also laid back – I had a one night stand with one of my good friends (drunken Christmas), and he’s aware and has no issues. I don’t want to set boundaries that apply to me, even though circumstances may be slightly different (ex of eight years vs two bottles of wine at a Christmas party).
I’m curious to how you would feel, and what (if any) steps you would take? Given she is still living in Europe until at least the end of the summer I’m inclined not to do anything and to just ask questions about how fantastic the holiday was. He has been texting me regularly since he left, although hasn’t mentioned her. Just “we went to Buckingham palace” or “we went for drinks” (again, group of five for the most part so I’m sure he’s not going to individually list everyone by name). If she does move back in the summer (who knows if she now has a serious boyfriend in Europe) their friend groups will overlap and I will have to re-think if a boundaries talk needs to happen. Thanks in advance for your feedback, Bees!