ETA: OMG some of you guys referenced Captain Awkward, which I did not know about at all. I found an article on her site that is basically this exact situation. THANK YOU!!

“7. Do not negotiate with terrorists. Someone who is actually meant to be your friend will understand about time, space, limits, boundaries, and social cues. Someone who is just hanging around trying to guilt you into continuing a relationship that you don’t want to be having is not your friend. You don’t have to hang out with someone because you feel sorry for them, and you don’t have to let someone badger you for reasons why you broke up just because you weakly agreed to be friends when you dumped their ass. There is a language pattern that I call “keeping score” and it is a huge red flag for me in interactions – if I sense that you are a score-keeper, I will quickly delete you from my life.

A score-keeper is the kind of manipulator who tries to hold you to everything you say like it was a sacred vow. They keep track of everything you say in order to hold it against you so that they get what they want. It’s like a little kid saying “But you promised, Daddy” in a tiny voice when you’ve forgotten to pick up the ice cream you said you’d buy if they were good while you ran your errands, but it’s coming from adults. They suddenly become unable to take a polite, indirect refusal for what it is and so look at every interaction for what they are entitled to, from you, and also, you are never allowed to change your mind. If you dated one of these people, this constant badgering will not be new behavior, so now that you’re not dating them anymore, feel free to say “You know what, I thought we could be friends, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. Good luck with your life.” Also learn to get comfortable with the words “This conversation is over. Goodbye.””

Hello Groupthink! I have not been here in a long time due to insane an work schedule and moving. Today marks my return.

I need some advice. I never thought I would have to deal with this in my current relationship but...the ex-girlfriend is coming up. I’m almost 30 and I feel like I’m back in middle school.

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Some background: my boyfriend and I have been together for about 1.5 years. We’ve lived together for about 3 months now and things are going very well. Everything is really easy and great.

I knew that he moved to the United States for his ex-girlfriend (and for grad school) and they broke up after going on a long “break” and then they officially broke up shortly before he and I first started dating. He told me basically they just weren’t good for each other and it was bad for about a year for them and they “kinda decided together to break up.”

I never had much of an opinion about her...I had obviously seen her photos on facebook. I really thought she seemed nice from what I knew and if we ever ran into her, I couldn’t imagine it being weird.

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Anyway, the other day my boyfriend was like “Look, I am feeling a little weird about a situation I need to talk to you about. My ex girlfriend has been continually contacting me and asking me to be her friend.” I asked him “Okay, do you want to be her friend?” He said: “No. It has nothing to do with you, I just really do not want to be her friend, but I don’t want to be mean to her.” I gave my advice which was basically “why don’t you just nicely tell that you’re sorry but you don’t want to have a friendship with her?” and he was like “well that’s the thing...” and proceeded to show me a email interaction that really has me worried. He had already told her “Dear ___, I do not want to be friends. I’m not being rude, it is really how I feel. I wish you well. Thanks, ___.” She responded that she DESERVED to know why BECAUSE THEY WERE SO CLOSE AND SHES THE ENTIRE REASON HE IS IN THIS COUNTRY AND HE OWES IT TO HER TO EXPLAIN EXACTLY WHY HE WON’T TALK TO HER.” He responded: “Because I do not think you have moved on and this would complicate things. Please understand.” She then wrote him multiple emails, not addressing what he had said, just about how they had been so important in each other’s lives that he cannot cut her out. He just ignores her but she has not stopped emailing and now texting.

I am very uncomfortable with this situation and I really think she is crossing boundaries and being very disrespectful. I have been heartbroken before and confused why someone did not want to hang out, but I would never act in this manner.

So, boyfriend wants to keep ignoring her (but not block her). I would feel much better if he spoke with her and explained that this was affected his life now and asked her to stop.

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PLEASE give me advice. It’s been so long since middle school that I have no idea how to handle this/feel comfortable.