Mumsnet users are urging a woman to dump her boyfriend over his “emotional affair.”

In a post shared on November 15, user harrystylish explained that “something feels off” regarding her boyfriend and his ex. Although her boyfriend says they are “just friends,” a string of flirty texts and four-hour long phone calls has the poster on red alert.

After sharing the messages with the Am I Being Unreasonable? forum, users advised the woman to end the relationship—before his emotional affair becomes physical.

A stock photo of a young woman looking at a cell phone and holding her head in despair. Fellow Mumsnet users told the woman to break up with her boyfriend over the suspicious messages and phone calls.
AntonioGuillem/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Can You Really Be Friends With an Ex?

Alice Leach, dating expert and founder of hook-up app Tapdat, told Newsweek it is possible to remain friends with an ex. However, the success of the friendship depends on a few factors, such as if you were friends prior to dating and how the relationship ended.

“[Ask yourself] who was this person while you were in a relationship with them? Are you motivated by friendship or are you desperate to keep someone in your life in some capacity?” she said.

Nevertheless, Leach said there are plenty of reasons not to remain friends with an ex, from difficulty moving on to jealousy over seeing them with a new partner.

“You need to ensure there has been a respectful end to the relationship and you have had time to clear the air. You don’t jump into an intense friendship. Give it time to grow naturally,” she said.

“In a lot of cases, friendships can be created many years after a relationship comes to an end, and equally, many should not pursue a friendship where the intimate relationship lacked consideration, communication, or respect.”

Have you noticed any red flags that made you end a relationship? Let us know via [email protected] We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

‘Something Feels Off’

In her post, harrystylish asked fellow Mumsnet users for advice after finding suspicious messages on her boyfriend’s phone. The texts were to his ex who he split from two years ago and who lives in a different part of the country.

“There’s some from him that I’m a bit p***** off about, eg ‘nice tan, been away?'” she wrote.

“But then there are others like ‘can I call you?’ at like 2 a.m. in the morning, and ‘I wish I could call you whenever I wanted to’ wtf?”

Harrystylish explained that her boyfriend’s contact with his ex isn’t constant but is always “lingering in the background.” The former couple will go periods without speaking, before re-establishing contact again.

“They can go a few months not talking but then back to late night FaceTiming and phone calls, planning days out,” she said.

“They do meet up occasionally and spend a lot of time together when they do—eg a whole day.”

Although harrystylish doesn’t believe they are sleeping together, she also thinks they are more than just friends.

“It sounds pathetic but he’s still got her name saved in his phone as his pet name for her with emojis next to it and it makes me feel uncomfortable,” she continued.

“All this and they’ve got each other blocked on social media, it just doesn’t make sense. Call logs of 4-hour phone calls though. Something feels off but deep down I don’t think he’s cheating.”

Mumsnet users suggested her boyfriend is having an emotional affair, and might not be fully over his ex.

“He’s emotionally cheating by being so connected to his ex and not you,” said Shoxfordian.

OhMaria2 agreed, writing: “This isn’t normal and if he tries to convince you it is, run a mile.”

“They’re not just friends, no way,” wrote DontSpeakLatinInFrontOfTheBooks.

“Doesn’t mean he’s literally cheating on you but they’re very hung up on each other. I couldn’t be in a relationship with someone who felt that deeply about someone else who isn’t me.”

TheClogLady said: “She’s probably dating someone else whenever they stop talking. And then when she’s lost interest in/broken up with the other chap they start messaging again.”

While UnderHisPie commented: “You’ll send yourself mad with all the ‘Whys?’ They are not through with each other and their behavior spells that out very clearly. Go and find someone who has their whole heart free to give…”

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