Dear Carolyn: I am about to get engaged, and my close friends and family say I must part with some “baggage” before I do. They say I must stop remaining in touch with some of my friends because I was involved with them at various times. Some were one-night stands whom I stayed in contact with. Some were friends before we became involved, and we remained friends after. Others were co-workers whom people tried to fix me up with, but there wasn’t necessarily a spark. Some I remain in touch with because I became really good friends with their families. What is the proper way to handle this situation? My betrothed does not currently know about these involvements. – K.
Rough idea – if all these “involvements” were to gather in one place, would they fill a movie theater, NHL rink or football stadium?
Not that it matters. There is a standard of decency here that’s far less complex than your current personal entanglements: You keep the innocent friendships by introducing these friends to your girlfriend; you end the friendship with anyone you don’t want your girlfriend to meet; and you impose a self-restraining order on all unfinished business.
I say this assuming, silly me, that you and your girlfriend at least agree in principle on where exes fit in. If you haven’t had that talk yet, have it now.