A reader asks:
“You are dating a girl and as the relationship progresses (year or so) you begin to notice red flags or basically character traits that just bother you and make you feel like you two are not going to be compatible, BUT you still really like the girl and want things to work. You are having trouble really speaking to anyone because her family will be biased and so will yours. Your friends will not know the situation or her well enough to give you any constructive advice as it takes intimate knowledge of HER to really give advice on her.
You are also aware that the girl had a long term ex who has since married and moved in with his life. Is there any situation where contacting her ex is a good idea? If the ex is no longer in the picture, has moved on, married, he perhaps can be unbiased enough to give some objective, constructive advice on her or things he would have done differently when he was with her.
Aside from an ex who was with her for a considerable period of time, really knew her, AND of course has now moved on, indicating he may be unbiased since he doesn’t have a horse in the race at this point, as unorthodox as it may appear, can it actually pay off contacting him? Or NO under any circumstances?
Imagine if someone contacts you about your ex girlfriend? Just asks for advice. Would you talk to him or say, ‘you know she is out of my life now and I am not getting involved in your issues. Obviously this is my situation now, but to broaden the question – are there any circumstances where contacting her ex is a good idea to get advice on your current relationship?”
Practical Happiness Answers:
First, I try to imagine how I would feel if someone contacted me about my ex. I think I would be eager to share my two cents on that relationship and the issues that I might have experienced that appear to be recurring, or a few words of wisdom about what the guy should or should not be doing. I believe many of us have the desire to help others with advice in many situations, when we have experienced something before that they are dealing with now.
It’s possible that some guys will assume that this is a freaky thing to do and would not want to talk to you, but the main thing to keep in mind is obvious – what do you have to lose? The worst that can happen is that her ex will not call you back or will not feel comfortable sharing his personal views with you about the girl he used to be with or will just hang up on you, because he still has feeling for her, he is jealous, or for any other reason.
The best case scenario – you get an interesting and valuable insight into the girl you are dating and care about from someone who knew her and had a relationship with her (possibly for longer than you have). And if both of you dealt with similar issues when dating her, talking to someone who experienced the same things might make you feel better about the whole situation. You might be able to learn how her ex dealt with the same problem you are having with the girl, and make your own conclusions about how you should go about handling the same issue, and what your chances of handling it actually are.