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  • Writer's pictureAminah - Team Flamme

Should My Partner X his Ex? Lessons from "Love Is Blind" Season 6


Jimmy and Chelsea argue over his friendship with a close female friend he has had sex with.
Photo Credit: Netflix

Ah, "Love Is Blind," the hit reality TV show where couples fall in love without seeing each other, is like chocolate for us relationship junkies. It's addicting, and we're riding the high of these latest episodes from Season 6. While many tune in for the sweet drama and unconventional romance, we watch to feed our obsession with spotting red flags and opportunities for relationship growth.


If you've seen any of the previous seasons, then you know this show is a pressure cooker for relationships. Imagine getting engaged and moving in with someone you just met a week ago...in a pod, no less! Sounds crazy, right? Challenges that typically take months, even years to uncover and work through are forced to the surface as couples must decide if they're ready to tie the knot after only 4 weeks of dating. I don’t know about you, but 4 weeks is barely enough time for me to decide if I want to commit to a new gym membership, let alone a lifelong partner! As each episode brings new conflicts for us to dive into, we’re going to address a major one that stood out from episode 10: Is it okay to stay friends with an ex or someone you've been intimate with?


Spoiler Alert! The "Love Is Blind" couple, Jimmy and Chelsea, find themselves in a heated debate concerning Jimmy's close friendships with other women. It was revealed that he has previously had sex with one of these friends and even spent time with her while Chelsea was out of town. Although Jimmy insisted their connection is purely platonic, Chelsea was not convinced. Her feelings on the matter erupted during a drunken conversation with Jimmy that spiraled out of control, leaving them both hurt and on the brink of calling off their engagement. This is a tough dilemma, one that might resonate with many of you facing a similar situation in your relationship, so let's explore this topic further.


From Lovers To Friends


The thought of your partner being friends with an ex or past fling might immediately trigger alarms in your mind. It’s understandable to question whether there are any unresolved feelings between them. While this may be the case in some situations, research suggests that there’s more than one explanation. The four most common motivations for maintaining a friendship with an ex are:


  • Civility: Easing the blow of a breakup by offering to stay friends.

  • Practicality: Sharing mutual friends, working together, or having close ties with each other's families.

  • Security: Valuing the friendship for reasons outside of romance or attraction, such as shared interests, emotional support, or mutual trust.

  • Unresolved Feelings: Holding onto the hope of rekindling the spark in the future.


Maintaining a friendship with an ex or past sexual partner isn't an immediate red flag. However, it does indicate it's time for a deeper discussion with your partner to understand their motivations for keeping that connection alive. Think of it as a yellow flag urging you to proceed with caution. Here are some strategies to help you effectively navigate this conversation.


Get Personal


From what we've seen of Jimmy and Chelsea's argument, Jimmy started off on the right foot by being upfront about his sexual past. Initiating these conversations can be difficult, but transparency is essential. If your partner is still friends with an ex, investigate further! Ask how and when the relationship ended, who ended it and how did they feel. Was it just sex or was it love? What does their friendship look like now? No questions should be off-limits. As you discuss, it’s important to keep an open mind. The goal is not to attack your partner, but to truly understand the dynamics of their relationship and spot any reasons for concern. Often, a person's reaction to a question is far more telling than their words. If they seem overly defensive or evasive, it might be time to wave the red flag!


Identify Your Boundaries


Relationship dynamics are rarely straightforward; they're filled with gray areas, such as “what classifies someone as an ex”. Is it someone who held the official title of boyfriend/girlfriend, a person they went on a single date with, or anyone they've been intimate with? Only you and your partner can define what's acceptable in your relationship by communicating your personal boundaries. If you’re not sure what your boundaries are yet, then it's time to engage in some self-reflection.


Consider these questions to clarify your feelings and expectations:


  1. How do I personally define a friendship with an ex?

  2. What are my deal-breakers when it comes to my partner maintaining friendships with their exes? In what situations would I feel compelled to ask them to choose between our relationship and their friendship?

  3. Are there particular scenarios where being friends with an ex seems more or less acceptable to me?

  4. Does the relationship status of the ex (single vs. in a relationship) influence my comfort level with their friendship?

  5. What types of communication am I comfortable with my partner having with their ex (texting, phone calls, social media interactions, in-person meetings) and how frequently (daily, weekly, monthly)?

  6. Am I okay with my partner spending time one-on-one with their ex? If not, does my comfort level change in a group setting or if I'm present?

  7. Are there specific topics I believe should be off-limits for my partner to discuss with their ex? (Details of our relationship's challenges, their past romantic or sexual history, etc.)

  8. Is there a particular time of night by which I prefer my partner not to communicate or meet up with their ex?

  9. Do I want to be informed every time my partner interacts with their ex?

  10. How do I plan to manage any feelings of jealousy or discomfort that might emerge from this situation?


Engaging with these questions can help you better understand your own boundaries and prepare you to communicate them effectively to your partner. There’s no right or wrong answer, only you can determine where to draw the line based on your comfort level.


Express Your Insecurities


Chelsea's heightened sensitivity to this issue stems from past experiences with infidelity, which can really shatter a person’s trust in future partners and oneself. If you have past experiences that cause you to feel less secure in your relationship, share this with your partner. Clearly state why you feel the way you do and what your partner can do to help reassure you. Someone who cares about their partner's feelings will seek to understand their insecurities and be mindful of them.


Trust and Let Go


That said, trust is the foundation of relationships. You can't control your partner's actions. Whether your partner is talking to an ex or an attractive stranger at the grocery store, you have to decide if your partner is worthy of your trust. This decision is based not just on their actions, but also on the communication and understanding you've built together. Trust is nurtured over time through consistent, honest interactions and a commitment to respecting each other's boundaries and feelings.



Helpful Tips


  • Ask thoughtful questions and remain open-minded. Sharing your boundaries isn't about laying down the law but about being vulnerable enough for an honest conversation with the intent of finding middle ground.

  • Embrace your partner's past and the significant relationships within it. A secure relationship provides space for other connections, as long as they respect established boundaries.

  • Don't let insecurities from past relationships haunt your current one. Your partner deserves to be judged by their own actions, not someone else's.

  • Bonus: Alcohol and heated arguments don’t mix. Save serious discussions for when you're both in a clear state of mind ;)


Conclusion


While reality TV may be scripted, Jimmy and Chelsea's challenges are very real. Their dilemma highlights the importance of engaging in those tough discussions, setting clear boundaries, and building a relationship grounded in honesty and trust. If there's one thing to take away from this, it's that an overwhelming majority of relationship issues boil down to communication. Regardless of how uncomfortable, awkward, or taboo the subject may be, the path to better understanding your partner and resolving conflicts is to effectively communicate. Don't wait until you're days away from your wedding to tackle these essential questions! Download Flamme to discuss this and many other spicy relationship topics with your partner today.

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