Most people come with at least one ex and it’s no big deal. It’s like all the previous chapters in your love story—including the ones where you and your current partner were with other people—were practice for the relationship you’re in now.
Then there are those other times when it is a big deal because your partner’s ex is still around and driving you effing insane. Here’s how to deal with a few of those scenarios.
These exes are warm, generous, and likable. They’re still in touch with your S.O.’s family and friends, still dropping off homemade chocolate chip cookies on birthdays and holidays, and still winning everyone over. You want to like them, but you also want them to go away and give you a chance to bond with everyone.
The worst thing to do is try to compete or bad-mouth them.
The best thing to do is set some reasonable boundaries with your S.O. (like a family dinner where the ex is not invited) so you get some distance and your own chance to shine.
Mantra: They broke up for a reason. We’re together now. There’s room for this ex to be our friend.
These exes are everywhere. Whether invited or not, they seem to always show up at the parties, special events, and neighborhood joints you frequent. They play it off like it’s coincidence, but you doubt it.
The worst thing to do is stop going out together just to avoid the ex.
The best thing to do is ignore this person as much as possible and take the high road by always being polite and calm when you do have to interact.
Mantra: I feel bad that this ex cannot move on, but I’m not going to let that get in the way of my time with my S.O.
In your mind only, these exes are flawless. From their glowing skin and glossy hair to their perfect body to their undeniably amazing style, you feel like a troll in their presence.
The worst thing to do is compare yourself to them.
The best thing to do is tell your inner-critic to STFU—here’s how to do that—and focus on the genuine attraction and connection you have with your S.O.
Mantra: I’m desirable just as I am. My body is a freakin’ wonderland. I’ll enjoy this relationship more if I relax and trust what we have instead of comparing myself to an ex.
Stalkerish. Overdramatic. Mean. Something’s not quite right with these exes and whenever you see them, you feel uneasy, as if they might make a scene.
The worst thing to do is taunt or provoke them.
The best thing to do is take this seriously. If you truly feel threatened, be prepared to protect yourself. If your gut tells you this person is only seeking harmless attention, freeze them out, block them where you can, and try not to acknowledge them in any way.
Mantra: Nobody has the right to threaten or bully me. Ever. I will get help with this if it starts to get out of hand.
Remember that common sense, maturity, and patience usually take care of the exes who are annoying. And for more serious situations, it’s all about setting boundaries. Hopefully you don’t have to deal with any of this stuff and it’s all happiness, hot sex, and great birth control for you.
P.S. Some meds mess with birth control. Find out which ones to avoid an unplanned pregnancy scare.