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What she's thinking when you meet up with your ex

By Dr Pam Spurr
What she's thinking when you meet up with your ex
Related articles
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:

1. The venue for your meeting should be somewhere neutral. Your ex's flat should be off-limits!

2. Keep it to daylight hours — somehow the night will feel more threatening to your new girlfriend.

3. Make it short and sweet as there's no need to torment your girlfriend by having a marathon meeting with the ex.

4. 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.

Dr Pam Spurr 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.

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User comments
A couple of years ago I was seeing this girl for a few months. Back then, I had just finished from High School and I was now facing a world that is unknown to me. I knew I had something special between me and her. It was like I was her drug, and she was my medicine. Those couple of months were the best times of my life. She use to come and support my rugby games, I use to go support her netball games. Things were great...until she bumped into her ex one night when she was out clubbing. Days later she introduced me to him like "John, this is Alex... Alex, this is John" - as if I were nothing more to her. She started changing, stopped informing me of when her next netball games are but she invites her ex. Eventually she left me for her ex =( 5 years later and I have my Bachelors, Honors and Master’s degree but most importantly I am in a happy relationship. Until I received a letter from my ex saying that I have a 4 year old son that she wants me to meet. ***!!??
Read the title. Ladies... this is for you. If you are starting out dating someone who has just exited a serious relationship (ie over 1-3 years or such) and havent allowed the proper amount of time to pass, it's YOUR fault, not his. Stay away for at least 6 months for your own good (unless the woman he was previously involved with was a brazen battleaxe). If you act insecure, the male will probably treat you as such and your fears may come true. So do the world a favor and get over yourself. .. If you've left the right amount of time for his 'feelings' for his ex to have passed you have nothing to worry about. Lastly, make sure the *** is worth the time. Especially early on. If you're so insecure about his ex that you fail to met sexual requirements then maybe he will go back to her..... again, who's fault is that really?
'Babe' sorry, but you need to get out of that relationship. Sounds like he still feels a fair bit for his ex. You know, people say their past hook ups don't matter? What trash! Seriously, the less baggage the better, so keep your hook ups to a minimum and confine them to the people you do care about... A life filled with exs isn't going to be fun for the 'real' partner you meet.
What if your partner doesn't have any links or reasons to their ex. IE, they don't have any belongings in their ex's hands, no children with them, don't work with them, aren't in any business with them. But your partner still, for some reason, has an interest in his ex - like what they're doing, facebook friends, still has their phone number but under a pseudonym, still has their email address and even though it's been 6 or so years since they broke up and 5 of those years you've been together, they still haven't deleted their ex's email address, other details, or changed their contact name from "Mi Hunny" yet, inspite of the time they've had to get over their ex. What does that mean?? Do i have good enough reason to hate my partner's ex and not trust him then???
Ha, a very timely artice, currently going through this with my new girlfriend, and I share a child with my ex. I am constanly being accused of not being patient or understanding enough. I get so confused at why the paranoid questions constantly get fired at me and hypothetical situations that may occur with my ex.! So got alot out of this article. as it doesn't seem to matter what I do or say, the insecurity is still there....but hey love is patient and kind....
My ex used to always text and talk about his ex every where we went, even in bed!!! Until I dumped his a***. Now he can't stop texting me lol.