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Her ex wants casual hook-ups even though he has a girlfriend. Good idea?

  • Author: Wayne and Wanda
  • Updated: November 10, 2018
  • Published November 10, 2018

Wayne and Wanda advice bug

Dear Wayne and Wanda,

A few months ago, I ran into my ex, "Jack." It had been a while, and I had missed him, so when he suggested we walk to a bar down the block for a drink, I was game. I went along. Conversation flowed, so did the chemistry — and the drinks. He eventually suggested we go to my place, and we went there, and he stayed the night. And it was great. Sigh.

In the morning, Jack told me he'd had a lot of fun and he hoped we could hang out again but then he completely shocked me by saying he actually has a girlfriend. He said he hadn't done anything wrong — that they have an open relationship, but she would prefer to not know about his hook-ups.

This bothered me for a lot of reasons. I guess I didn't know it at the time, but I hoped I was more than just a hook-up? And maybe if I had known he had a girlfriend, I wouldn't have hooked up with him? He said I should relax and enjoy the "casual nature" of our connection — that we were never serious anyway, and this is "best of both worlds" because we can still meet up sometimes. But I feel confused about this whole thing. Maybe I like him more than I thought? I'm not sure if I feel OK with just hooking up. But dang I like this guy and also would like to enjoy whatever I can get. Is that bad?

Wanda says:

Open relationships have become something of a trend. Once taboo, illusive and rare, being "polyamorous" these days — meaning, having a relationship where you're allowed to varying degrees to take other lovers — is way more mainstream.

Just because something is part of the conversation doesn't mean it's something you need to be comfortable with. Especially when you're the sidecar to the motorcycle. Too blunt? Sorry. But here's the deal: if your dude is telling the truth, then he has a partner who is his priority, and you are a plaything whose involvement is occasional and the terms of which have been pre-negotiated with his primary.

If she even knows. Let's be honest, this sounds fishy. She knows he's in other relations but doesn't want to hear the details? That's a convenient narrative to support him being able to carry on with you in complete anonymity.

Take a time out and ask yourself, what do you really want here? Just sex? You can get that with someone with way simpler circumstances, who would be available to you more frequently. Do you want a relationship? You won't find it with this guy. That, I can guarantee.

Wayne says:

Also ask yourself if you would even want more out of this if he didn't have a girlfriend. Seriously. Up until the point he dropped the 'oh by the way' on his relationship status, it seemed like you didn't mind just fooling around and continuing on with your respective lives. But then he gives you the scoop on his girlfriend and (possibly) open relationship, and you get all sensitive and competitive.

That's understandable because it is something of a bad-timing bombshell and a really lame spot to put you in. He should have been more open — pun intended — about his situation before things escalated to the sheets with you.

But he's your ex, right? You didn't mention why you two stopped dating, but you also didn't say that you were really really hoping to one day get back together with him. You randomly bumped into him and then you did some not-so-random, totally casual and probably very familiar and fun bumping and grinding. Old feelings bubble up, sparks fly, things happen — it is what it is, until you both made it something more than it is.

He should have been more honest with you. And you should be more honest with yourself — you're upset because he's dating someone else and he put you in an awkward spot, not because you really want him back. Trust me: No more sex or texts with this ex.

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