There are few things that can put stress on a new relationship quite as severely as each person’s relationship with their ex. For some people, once the romantic partnership is over, that person is dead to them. Like, “Bitch BYE, please stop existing now.” But for many people, especially if the relationship doesn’t end because of some great betrayal or traumatic event, it’s perfectly normal to continue being friends with someone well after they’ve decided to stop getting naked together. And these can often be some of the strongest friendships – you already know each other intimately, you’ve been through some shit together, and you’ve weathered the emotional ups and downs that come with transitioning from a romantic love to a friendly one. If you are able to survive all of that and still be on good terms, you’ve potentially got a new BFF instead of just another ex.
That said, the “ex/best friend” relationship can create a bit of insecurity if you happen to be the person who just started dating one of them. It’s a tough position to be in – on one hand, you want to be the kind of cool person who is completely fine with it, becomes friends with the ex too, and is generally capable of having mature, complex, highly evolved relationships. You are dying to be that person, and for the most part, you genuinely are. But on the other hand, how many of us have stayed friends with an ex out of some vain hope that they would eventually realize how crazy in love with us they are? How many people tell themselves and others “oh, no really, we’re just friends now. That’s it. He is like a brother to me, seriously, I vomit when I imagine seeing his penis, like BarfFest 2014, you have no idea” but are secretly still deep in sexy love with that person? Most of us have done it. It’s not a proud situation to find yourself in, but it happens.
So what do you do when you’re the new person, and the guy or gal you just started seeing has a bestie who is also their ex? What if you have this nagging feeling that maybe, just maybe, they aren’t completely over each other? How do you know when you’re just being paranoid, or if you truly have something to worry about?
Don’t worry, babe. Just look out for these 8 red flags. If you experience any of the following, it might not just be your imagination:
He/she calls out their ex’s name during sex
If your beloved closes their eyes and screams the name of their former flame while in the throes of fuck times, it’s possible they have some unresolved feelings for that person. It might not be a bad idea to gently ask them what’s up with that after they’re done being up in you.
You keep finding his/her underwear around
That’s weird, right? It’s not just you?
He/she tells you they love their ex
You tell people all the time how much you love your best friend, so it’s really not that weird. It’s totally fine if your paramour’s ex-lover just happens to be their best friend. It happens. So obviously they love each other. So how do you know when declarations of affection for the ex turn from friendly to potentially something more? If your partner starts saying things like “soul mate”, “love of my life”, and “literally my favorite person out of everyone” while looking you intensely in the eyes, your suspicions about them might be for a good reason.
You find a bunch of porn magazine (Aww, magazines? How vintage! You love your new person! That is the most adorable way to consume porn ever! Like, who even does that anymore? *Swoon*)
With their ex’s face cut out and pasted on every single naked, waxed, airbrushed body. You know they used to do a lot of art projects together, but it’s understandable if this somewhat pushes the boundaries of your comfort.
They wrote a beautiful love song
Their ex’s name is in the title. It was written a week ago.
Your boo can’t hang out on Valentine’s Day
Because he/she is with their ex. I mean, whatever, it’s not even like you’re that into Valentine’s Day. It’s totally cheesy. Who cares if they spend that one day together? Only lame people give a shit about that corporate romance bullshit. And so what if they exchanged gifts and had a picnic on top of a roof with champagne and turned their phones off?
Their ex keeps threatening you
Labels are the prisons that hold less evolved people prisoner, right? So what if they dated? We’re all just people! You refuse to be an unreasonably jealous person – there’s really no good reason why you can’t all three be great friends. Sure, you’re a little uncomfortable with the hundreds of texts and phone calls in the middle of the night from your boy/girlfriend’s ex, saying things like, “Stay away”, and “Watch your back, whore” but, like, you totally understand that everyone communicates in different ways. You really are committed to having a friendship with this person who is clearly important to your significant other, but it’s hard when you literally fear for your bodily safety.
You saw them having sex
I mean, I know I wasn’t actually there so feel free to use your own judgment about the situation, but as a rule, if you visibly see your babe and their ex in the literal act of sexual intercourse, there’s a strong possibility they are harboring secret feelings for each other.