When a friend takes up dating your toxic ex

Whether your sweetie is too clingy but it's about you, or your P.O.S. ex is wreaking havoc and it's not, you ask The Q, and Life Judge helps spread the love.

Q:

I’m all about being a lesbian. My issues are with the other ‘L word’: Love. My girlfriend is getting too close for comfort, but she says my past heartbreaks and even internal homophobia are the only obstacles to me feeling the same way.

She leaves things at my house. She wants to introduce me to her mom. I want to bolt.

Why do girls do this when things are fine as is?

Dear Phobia:

This sounds like it's more about you than it is about her. Your emotional shield against being hurt in the future may be hurting you in the present.

None of your girlfriend’s actions constitute a lifetime obligation. Stick around long enough to discover what’s next. Progress comes from outside your comfort zone.

 

Q:

I’ll never forget my ex’s alcoholic, spiteful, cheating and backstabbing ways. It was bad. Like, Cops bad. Hair-pulling, throwing things, the whole nine. I’m glad to be away from her.

That was years ago, but a friend of mine who wasn’t around back then is dating her now. I felt I owed it to the friend to warn her about this toxic P.O.S., so I did. Now she’s mad at me.

I was just trying to protect the friend from sure trouble, but somehow I’m the bad guy. I don’t give two shits about the ex, but how can I move forward with the friend?

Dear Petty:

Even if you’re right, you’re wrong. Injecting your anger and experiences on someone else’s private life, much less unsolicited, is not your place. Their relationship is not about you.

Your dire predictions may be perfectly accurate, but there’s also a chance that you might be wrong. Just because the ex was a nightmare with you doesn’t mean she hasn't changed, sobered up, or learned her lessons – or that your friend will make the same mistakes you did.

You’re the exact wrong person to offer these people any input. To you, she’s the asshole who wreaked havoc. To your friend, she’s the romantic interest she’s trying to grow. No matter how you slice it, you’re the odd woman out.

Your friend’s defensiveness was predictable, even probable, and you poked at a sensitive spot with a stick anyway. You can try to rebuild trust by admitting to yourself what you did wrong and apologizing sincerely.

Assuming you’re able to repair the damage, stop judging – even and especially if you’re right about your ex. Be prepared to take “I told you so” to the grave.

The Q is intended for entertainment purposes and not as professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to [email protected]

Illustration by Brad Gibson

This article originally appeared in Q magazine. Read the full issue below: