Let's face it you may have very good reasons to meet up with your ex you have a child together, a business, or work together, etc. But even these believable reasons are never going to completely quash your new girlfriend's fear that you have ulterior motives for seeing your ex.
Deep down she's thinking there must be something else lurking in your mind. Probably that part of you wants to get back with your ex. And even if you have the most credible reason to meet your ex, like having had a child together, she's going to think it's a risky situation and you might want to play happy families together again.
But even when you're meeting up with her for a solid, practical reason like getting back the last of your things, your new girlfriend's always going to think, "Flippin' heck, why can't she just post them to you?"
Why our paranoia?
Because we know in our hearts just how hard it is to shake the last little feelings of love and sometimes lust for an ex. And since we recognise that we often harbour warm feelings for an ex-boyfriend or partner, we know that you're not unfeeling brutes and you probably harbour such feelings and occasional regrets too.
We recognise that even if you don't still feel love or even much warmth for her, you'll still be curious about what she's up to.
Your ex plus another man is a big worry
What really bothers us when you're meeting up with an ex is when she's found a new man. Guess what we start thinking? That you're going to see that as some sort of challenge to try to get her back. We think you're going to go into some automatic, territorial response-mode and you're going to feel the urge to mark your ex as still part of your territory.
It's incredibly basic, primal thinking on our part. We know just how territorial people can be about partners as well as the ones in the ex-category.
Your ex might threaten us
Something else we definitely think about is what your ex might have that we don't have. What do you miss about her? Was she better in bed? And OMG, could she have a better figure than we have? This is a key point to us accepting either reasonably happily or terribly unhappily that you're meeting up with an ex.
We fear you might be admiring the assets she has as you collect your box of belongings. Or that you're topping-up on a mysterious 'something special' she once offered you maybe even some understanding she has of your personality that sadly you're lacking with us.
And we are kept guessing what her magical quality might be that we don't have. It's a mental minefield for us and no matter how she says about "it's okay" you're seeing your ex, she's very unlikely to feel confident about it.
Your ultimate ex-challenge
Ultimately you might need to do a bit of soul-searching if there isn't actually a good reason for seeing your ex like why can't she simply post your box of possessions or give to a third party to give to you?
You need to be honest with yourself if your ex gives you an ego-boost or, even worse, if you know it gives you some power over your new girlfriend. That's when you're entering massive game-playing territory.
Also you need to be honest with yourself plus your new girlfriend if you're harbouring lots of heartache over your ex, or hopes for getting back with her. In that case you're just not ready for this new relationship.
So you're going to meet up with your ex
Here are a few key tips for handling a meeting with your ex:
The venue for your meeting should be somewhere neutral. Your ex's flat should be off-limits!
Keep it to daylight hours somehow the night will feel more threatening to your new girlfriend.
Make it short and sweet as there's no need to torment your girlfriend by having a marathon meeting with the ex.
Do what you set out to do - get your belongings, give back keys, etc - don't get dragged into a chilling-out session, reminiscing about old times with your ex... a very risky business.
MSN's relationship and behaviour expert Dr Pam Spurr is perfectly placed to give you the inside information on how the female mind works. In each month's column, she'll reveal the thoughts that race through a woman's mind at a common crucial moment in any relationship.