Luv Doc: Speculation
The facts are merely ornaments that adorn the Luv Doc's mighty Douglas fir of speculation
Dear Luv Doc,
After not hearing much from him the last few years, one of my ex-boyfriends moved back to Austin and has been contacting me (through Facebook and texts) asking to hang out. We used to get along before we broke up, and I know he is a good person, but I have been in a relationship now for more than a year. I don't really think he is pursuing me romantically, and I think he just wants to catch up, but I am worried my current boyfriend might be hurt if my ex and I were to start a friendship. Am I overthinking this or not being cautious enough?
This is one of those many instances when as an advice columnist I can say with all honesty and forthrightness, "I don't know." I don't know your current boyfriend. I don't know your ex-boyfriend, and I don't know you. That is a solid trifecta of ignorance, but I did not sign up for this gig because I am timid about talking out of my ass. Au contraire, with me, facts are merely the ornaments that adorn my mighty Douglas fir of speculation (psst ... that was a Christmas reference).
Let's get the facts out of the way first: 1) You clearly want to have a friendship with your ex or you wouldn't be troubling me about it. 2) You're not sure if your current boyfriend will be cool with you hanging out with your ex. There, that was easy enough. Now for the solution to your dilemma: Ask your current boyfriend if he minds if you hang out with your ex-boyfriend on a friendship-only basis.
I am not an expert in human behavior, but my guess is that your current boyfriend will have an answer for you almost immediately, even if it's simply, "How about I meet this guy and then give you an answer?" It could be that you all three get along famously and start sharing desserts and group hugs and whatnot, or it could be that your current boyfriend's response will be to run out and buy you a chastity belt and a burqa.
So here's my caveat: You probably already know how your boyfriend is going to react – especially if you have been with him for more than a year. Trust your instinct. If you feel like popping this question is going to blow everything up, maybe consider how much a friendship with your ex is worth. In the words of songwriter Guy Clark, "If you want good friends, they're gonna cost you." How much are you willing to pay?