I’m going to be totally honest here: I don’t understand ex-girlfriend hate. It’s that weird insecurity that seems to creep in and strike the new girlfriend as soon as she comes to the realization that she was not always the woman in her now-boyfriend’s life.
There’s something about your boyfriend’s former lover, a regular girl who is probably a lot like you, that is totally intimidating. And I guess when you consider that they were once together—likely both emotionally and physically—and shared a part of their lives together, it makes sense to feel that way. That kind of history is intimidating, but unless she’s an outright bitch to you or is sexting your man in an attempt to win him back, should what basically boils down to insecurity provoke outright hate? I don’t really think so.
After all, you and this girl already have something in common—you fell for the same guy. The fact that girls don’t see this as an immediate advantage, not only in navigating their relationships but also just in life in general, is kind of ridiculous. Think about it: she’s been there. She’s probably felt your feelings. And, at least for those of you in the beginning of a relationship, she knows him a little bit better than you do. Even if their relationship was a total shit show and yours is perfection, there is always something that you can learn from their experience.
My boyfriend—surprise, surprise—has an ex-girlfriend. If I’d met his ex-girlfriend before I met him, I’m convinced of two things: one, that we would be immediate best friends; two, that I wouldn’t be dating him right now because exes are off limits to BFFs. She is that awesome. She’s also gorgeous, blonde, in great shape and they were even engaged at one point. If that isn’t intimidating, I don’t know what is. But that’s what actually drew me to learn more about Jenny* in the first place.
You know that episode of Sex and the City in which Carrie goes to a publisher to secretly meet Big’s ex-wife and ends up loving her? That, more or less, is my life. From looking at Jenny’s flawless Facebook photos to reading her super-juicy blog, it became apparent fairly quickly that this girl was probably the kind of girl I’d want to be friends with.
I was right.
After being introduced by a mutual friend, Jenny and I first became Facebook friends, which led to us tweeting and texting one another regularly. The better I got to know her, the more I liked her. Any of my previously harbored insecurity totally and completely vanished. Was it a little weird for me to publicly like or comment on her Facebook updates or request to follow her on Twitter? Yes, in the beginning. But now? We’ve gotten to the point where not only do I Twitter vent to Jenny but she “likes” Facebook photos of me cuddling with her ex. As she puts it, “No hate. It’s all love.”
Am I saying you have to be BFFs with or even befriend your boyfriend’s ex? Absolutely not. All I’m suggesting is that if you’re secure in your relationship, you have good intentions (i.e. you aren’t being sneaky or playing games) and you’re interested in knowing more about someone who was once a major part in your guy’s life, you shouldn’t hesitate to get your Bradshaw on. It just might be worth the investigating.
This is a post from the Feather archives. We lost all of our old content, so we’ll be reposting some of our favorite stories.
*The name has been changed.