I have an ex-boyfriend who, after nearly ten years since our breakup, still texts (or calls!) me a couple of times a year to update me on his life. e.g., “moved in w/ my girlfriend,” or “starting a new job on Monday,” etc.
We live in different states and I am now happily married to someone else. I don’t want to be rude, so I keep my responses brief and friendly, but it baffles the mind! Is he seeking my approval? Or just trying to stay connected? Should I say something to help him “move on”? Or do you think it will peter out in (more) time? Thanks!
Dear (noun plural),
You will have to pardon me here, but I guess I don’t see what is so baffling… texting or (gasp!!) calling a couple of times a year? How dare he! Can’t he just be obsessed with his current girlfriend, that he lives with, like a normal guy, and leave you alone for those precious minutes of your time?
Yes, I am being sarcastic. And a little bit of a dick. Why? Because I think most people (men and women) would gladly trade their memories of a douchey ex for what you are experiencing right now.
Have you ever stayed friends with an ex? Was it a bad break up? Was he hung up on you after, pestering you? Begging to take him back? Did he cheat? Hurt you? There really isn’t enough information here to make even a reasonable assessment, but to be completely honest and frank, every time I read your question I get the impression that perhaps you think he is still in love with you. Nothing you wrote seems strange to me except the fact that you don’t understand why an ex would want to stay in touch.
So you had an amicable breakup, and he still wants to talk to you? Congratulations! Revel in that! Not everyone can be so lucky! Not convinced? Then TELL HIM. You don’t have “put up” with these unwelcome, occasional, seemingly warm updates about his life, when you clearly want him 110% out of your life.
So lets just assume that you still feel this way after reading my guilt trip: how do you let him know his updates are no longer welcome? Try saying this:
“Sir, while I am happy you are successful in your career, and are happily pursuing new relationships since we dated 10 years ago; but I feel that whatever connection we had has since faded, and I am no longer interested in your life.”
Ok, so maybe not super nice, but he will get the point. You could even text it! Otherwise, just stop replying. Clearly being “polite” is sending him the wrong message.
I hope this helps, and is not too harsh, but I am a bit mystified by your question… I am not kidding when I say that I think this is one of the toughest questions I have read, only because I think what you have is actually pretty ideal. Occasional, genial conversation between two people who have shared something deeper (hopefully) than fluids, and have no bad blood?
That is all I have,
How would you guys respond to very occasional messages from a long-past ex? Are you friends with your exes? What advice would you give our friend?