Sometimes in life, a man gets stuck between a rock and a hard place. A dirty dilemma, if you will. At such times, your best bet is if, somewhere deep in your cerebral cortex, you recognize that you’ve seen this situation before. Our friends at AXE want you to be prepared for that moment, which is why they asked Made Man’s editors, Joe and Steve, to debate such a scenario, providing the pros and cons to help you decide the lesser of two evils. They started us off with a tough one. Which is preferable: your girl spends a day with her ex-boyfriend or your girl spends a day with your ex-girlfriend? Let the arguments begin! (And see if you can guess which guy is engaged and which is single.)
JOE: I’m going with option 1, my girl spends a day with her ex-boyfriend. Main reason is, I trust her. She can spend time with whomever she wants whenever she wants. I know nothing will happen. And since I know nothing will happen, well, then, who cares who that nothing happens with? We have a bond. And when each of us does not freak out when we go outside our usual comfort zones, that bond gets stronger. I would not be with someone I did not trust. You shouldn’t either.
STEVE: That’s great and all, Joe, but I’m going with option 2, my girl spending a day with my ex-girlfriend. I’m assuming if she has actually come into contact with my ex, it’s not one of the exes who wishes me to be put in the iron mask, strapped to the rack, drawn and quartered, and whatever other medieval torments her vengeful mind can envision. That means we are still friends, she’s probably happy with whatever new guy she is dating, and she’ll spread that happiness by being normal and cool and lending credence to the idea that I, who dated her, am also normal and cool. And that’s a good thing.
JOE: Sure, Steve, but let’s be practical. Of all the things that could destroy a relationship, your girl spending time with her ex has to rank pretty low. Here are things more likely to destroy your relationship: money, lack of communication, unresolved issues, her family, your family, mental illness, personality differences, changing life goals and taking each other for granted. Going to lunch with her ex? It will probably lead to some serious snuggle time. With you. (Because if she really wanted to sneak around with him, do you think she’d tell you where she was going?)
STEVE: OK, but my worst case scenario isn’t too bad either. The way I see it, the worst thing that can happen when my ex hangs with my next is that she tells the truth: I watch too much sports, my apartment‘s a mess, and I’m a commitment-phobe. Thing is, these are all things my current girl already knows. Just like the last one, she thinks she can change me. I’m a project. Women like projects.
JOE: Riiight. Here’s another thing. Women, like everyone else, want to believe they have made the right choice. She chose to be with you over him. And if you’re treating her right – and you’d better be – then she’s going to see his faults and your value. There is a reason they broke up, and it’s not because they were meant to be with each other forever. It’s because they were incompatible. Subconsciously, she wants confirmation she made the right choice. So let her have it.
STEVE: I dunno. I think my girl wanting to hang with my ex is actually a much healthier behavior than your situation. Sure, she wants confirmation she made the right choice, but what if her ex has stopped smoking, hit the gym and finally waxed his unibrow? She might start to think that the right choice is…him. Meanwhile, what my current girl is doing indicates that she’s mature and well-adjusted, not an insecure, hyper-jealous psycho. Hopefully.
JOE: Dude, it’s not a bad thing for your girl to be friends with her ex. I know. On paper, this sounds crazy, but follow me. If your girl sets fire to all her past relationships, that’s a warning sign. It means she’s destructive. If she maintains platonic friendships, that’s a sign of good mental health. It means she is able to show compassion and discipline. These are traits that come in handy in a long-term relationship. Beware the woman who belittles all her exes. You’re probably next.
STEVE: That may be true, but her hanging out with my ex shows I have good mental health, which, without me doing anything, scores points for me. Forget the snuggle time you mentioned. Those points just might be enough to get her to put on her old cheerleading uniform for me. (Woohoo!) And now, the coup de grace: Simply put, the thought of her hooking up with her ex-boyfriend makes me sick to my stomach. The thought of the same thing happening with my ex-girlfriend? That’s actually kinda hot.
What do you think? Share your comments below.