While Dan's on vacation, we draw from the Letter of the Day files
Published: August 8, 2012
Your girlfriend is gonna have to decide who's more important to her: her current girlfriend or her ex-girlfriend. And she's gonna have to decide which feelings are more important to her: her current girlfriend's feelings or her ex-girlfriend's feelings.
But those might not be decisions she has to make right now.
You don't say how long you two have been together, and that's an important detail. You can't expect to come first if you've been dating this girl for only a few weeks or months. It's generally a bad sign — a sign of emotional immaturity — when a person puts a brand-new girlfriend (or boyfriend) first; it's an even worse sign when a new or newish girlfriend (or boyfriend) demands to be put first. Dating is about discovery: You spend time with a person to determine if they're the one you want to put first "for the rest of your life." (In theory, anyway.) During this trial period — the time that falls between a first meeting and a joint decision to make a more serious commitment — your girlfriend's close friends, family members, and even her manipulative ex may have a stronger and more legitimate claim on her time and attention than you do.
So if it's been less than 12 weeks, FL, then I would say your girlfriend's willingness to prioritize her creepily controlling ex could be excused. But if you've been dating for longer than three months, if you two are very serious about each other, and your girlfriend still abandons you whenever her ex snaps her fingers ... well, that's a very bad sign. Your girlfriend may have a serious and seriously dysfunctional emotional entanglement with an ex. If that's the case, FL, I see confrontations, ultimatums, tears, broken leases, and other dramas coming your way over the next three to six months.
Decide now if your current girlfriend is worth the grief.
Find Dan Savage's weekly podcast every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @fakedansavage on Twitter.
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