Dear Hot Stuff,
I'm faced with a bit of a predicament. My girlfriend of
six months has just announced that her ex-boyfriend (AKA the only
man she has ever loved or slept with) is coming to stay for a
weekend. Now, I'm a very reasonable person when it comes to exes.
It just so happens that both my girlfriend and I have best mates
who happen to be exes. We both have close relationships with them
and I have no problem when her ex-girlfriend stays over or
vice-versa. But they're girls!
I keep trying to rationalise the issue. The fact that
it's a man shouldn't bother me, but it does! I feel like some sort
of reverse sexist. I also feel a weird jealousy that I would never
feel with a girl. This has never happened before!
Dear (S)Ex-ist from Surrey,
I was trying to do something clever there with the name, my
darling, tell me if it backfires or not?
I have to say, it's taken me a little longer than normal to
reflect upon the ins and outs of our little 'situation' here. As
someone who frequently advocates the benefits of maintaining close
relationships with exes, I have to say, I have never been faced
with a male ex either, and I agree that it would be a tad more
complicated for me to accept, too.
I think a big part of your fear lies the fact that, in your
mind, all of your girlfriend's exes have come to be represented by
her best friend. The familiar one, the bezzie that sleeps over and
that you've grown mentally accustomed to. Ask yourself, if suddenly
another female ex appeared from the past, one that your girlfriend
is only ok mates with, how would this new female ex make you feel?
Similar to how you're feeling now, I reckon. Something along the
lines of 'Shit! There's bloody another one on the scene,
I'd just gotten used to the first one.' So, before you go knocking
yourself for being a big dykey man-hater, think about that.
Let's talk ball nows. Having perhaps rationalised part of your
anxiety, we cannot of course, ignore the obvious. Yes, it's a new
ex but it's also a dude with a penis and facial hair. Now, I think
we all agree that vintage man-bashing lesbianism is no longer à la
mode. Personally, I like men; they have a certain simplicity that
makes them great to work and have beers with, even though I
definitely no longer want to sleep with them. That said, I would be
automatically disposed to dislike the only fella that managed to do
the dirty with my dame. And you know why? Because deep down
I'd be frightened that somehow my girlfriend is going to take one
look at him and think that she misses guys and wants a piece of
But that's just silly.
The answer, my darling, is to speak calmly with your girlfriend,
explain how you feel, try to gauge her reaction and proceed from
there. She should invite you to take part in the weekend, to go for
drinks and what-have-you. Anything it takes for you to see that
there is nothing dodgy afoot and for her ex to see your
relationship and respect it. If she doesn't like this plan, forget
gender, there is perhaps a more serious conversation to be
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