I have been dating this girl for about one month now, and for the sake of discussion we'll call her Sally. Sally ended a relationship with her former boyfriend, we'll call him Billy, a couple months ago. Sally and Billy dated for a few months and briefly broke up, then got back together for a few weeks only to break up again after Billy threatened to release some "sensitive data".

For background, we're still in school, and Billy and Sally have classes together, (I have none with either of them). When I asked why she broke up with him, Sally said that it was because she couldn't hang out with him anymore, due to the conditions on which their relationship ended the first time (parents were involved).

Back to now, Sally and Billy regularly talk and Billy often does favors for Sally. Billy still has feelings for Sally, and makes them known. Sally maintains she only has feelings for me, and I trust her.

It should be noted that I also regularly talk to a former girlfriend, but the difference is that after we broke up - we've both moved on to other people and have just become good friends, as the relationship ended on good terms.

I feel uncomfortable whenever Billy talks to Sally, and even more so when he does things for her. I'd like to believe this is purely because he still has feelings for her, and maybe I'm just being jealous and quite frankly, pathetic.

For relevance, the other day Billy hugged Sally and apologized for what happened, which I'm not even sure how I feel about.

I have mentioned to Sally on two seperate occasions that I don't feel comfortable with her talking to Billy, at least in the volume that they talk which is almost as much, or maybe even more than we talk. Of the two times I told her, she said that she was sorry and that she won't let Billy become that personal with her again, and I'm not sure what exactly that details as nothing (seemingly) changed.

So I guess what I'm asking is, am I just being clingy/jealous? And furthermore, is my relationship with my former girlfriend a reason to not complain?

  • Do they only talk a lot with each other when you are not with them? Do they talk similar if you are also there. Or does it seem to you they talk intimate if they don't see you but change their behavior as soon as they notice you?
    – user8838
    Mar 10 '18 at 8:47
  • Is your gf particularly paranoid about you cheating, or overly obsessive? If so despite the fact you claim to have "moved on", she may still be paranoid and worried you might go back to her. Mar 10 '18 at 9:07

Jealousy can be a terrible poison for any relationship, and controlling those feelings is part of gaining dating (and life) experience. I have experienced jealousy in the past, but managed to overcome it to the point where I rarely, if ever feel jealous, whether about a relationship or just life in general. Here are some things you may want to think about:

  1. You can only control your own behaviour

Other people will always behave how they want to, and acting on jealous feelings by trying to control the behaviour of others rarely works out well. It usually causes resentment from them, and ultimately can destroy relationships.

  1. Be positive

Jealousy is a negative feeling, and even if you manage to not act on it, if you let it affect your mood too much, others will notice and it may push them away. If you learn to be positive and happy, it draws people to you like a magnet. In other words your girlfriend is more likely to stay with you if she sees how happy and carefree you are - it will make her ex seem dull and uninteresting by comparison.

  1. Trust is precious

I always begin a relationship with total, 100% trust in that person. Otherwise what's the point? From that position I don't mind who or how they spend their time - it's their life after all. I just focus on enriching their life when I'm around. If you have doubts already then it's a warning flag that the relationship might not be the right one for you.

Once trust is broken (and you know it, not just hearsay) then for me it's game over, no second chances. Which leads me to...

  1. People treat you how you let them

If you don't want to be messed around, then don't accept that kind of behaviour. Following on from the trust point above, once someone betrays your trust then you have a choice to let them off (and they may do it again) or tell them it's over and move on. It sounds harsh but in my experience people only learn to change their ways when there is a negative outcome from bad behaviour. Forgiving them allows the behaviour to seem acceptable.

  • 3
    Jealousy is a normal part of the spectrum of human emotions, and serves a purpose from an evolutionary perspective. If this girl is always talking about her ex, keeps in touch, etc. it's reasonable for her current boyfriend to ask her to not mention him so much around him, or to reduce the amount of contact they have. If she feels that this is unreasonable, then they're not compatible. However, it makes perfect sense that this behavior would bother the OP, as it is highly indicative of unresolved feelings, and a high probability that she's using him as a rebound.
    – AndreiROM
    Mar 10 '18 at 20:16

I guess its best if you accept the situation like it is. If Sally still has feelings for Billy then these feelings won’t just go away if you insist she should not talk to him (so much) anymore. In fact if you do this she will probably not like your behavior of telling her what to do.

I see two possible scenarios for the future:

a) She will stay with you because she wants you and probably after a while Billy will give up and probably she won’t talk to him so much anymore.

b) She will break up with you and go back to Billy

But independent of a) or b) there is little you can do about it. Obviously try to have a good time with her so that you and she feel comfortable together. Just ignore Billy.

The alternative would be that you bring this up, maybe several times, and she will get annoyed with you talking “bad” about Billy. Then you won’t have a good time together and maybe this talking could become a reason that she does not want to spend time with you anymore but that she prefers time with someone who does not give her headache with talking.

You can’t win with telling her not to talk to him. I think best forget about it and ignore it.

  • 3
    I disagree with your conclusion. The OP can, and should ask her to reduce contact with her ex if she's serious about being with him. It's not unreasonable in the least. Her behavior indicates unresolved feelings for her ex, and is making the OP feel insecure in their relationship. Any reasonable partner would understand that, and compromise on the issue, would you not agree? If she refuses, then the OP should probably stop wasting his time with this girl.
    – AndreiROM
    Mar 10 '18 at 20:19
  • @AndreiROM: She should know that already. If he is confident he can obviously tell her and insist on her not talking to the other guy (all the time). But if he is not so confident then maybe that won't work. What you write is obviously an option - but not the one I would personally recommend in this situation.
    – user8838
    Mar 10 '18 at 20:29

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