Question: “So earlier this year I surprised my girlfriends with tickets to a concert in another state, so with that we just decided to turn it into a vacation. We have been planning for about three months and have our plane tickets, Airbnb and fun things to do all sorted out. Well, two days ago we were going to pay for all of these things, and my friends decided to tell me my ex-boyfriend (who I dated for two years) is coming! We broke up six months ago. I didn’t know what to say at that moment as I was shocked. I’ve been thinking about it constantly and how I was trying to do something nice for my friends, but I don’t understand why they would invite my ex-boyfriend along.
It was originally going to be us four girls and one of their boyfriends. So they say my ex is coming to give the other guy company. But they never said this to me the whole time we were planning, and waited until the day that we were paying for the rental and plane tickets. I want to have a fun time, but now I’m in my head about being on a trip with my ex for 10 days. We have not talked since I broke up with him, and I do not consider him my friend. I don’t understand why he would even agree to come on this trip that I originally planned. I also don’t understand why my “friends” would think this is OK. I’m sure they wouldn’t like their ex partner to come either. I don’t have anything against my ex, but now I feel like my experience will not be the same since he will be there. But I also don’t want to ruin the trip for anyone. I just wanted to do something nice for my friends because I love them. But at the moment, I’m pretty upset with them, and it’s just eating at me because I would not do that to them. Who in their right mind thinks this is OK? I don’t know if I am taking this too personally or if I am overreacting? Please let me know what you think.”
Answer: “I’m sorry that you’re dealing with this sabotage on what was meant to be a fun trip. It’s unfortunate that your friends have turned such a nice gesture into something you, the one who gifted the concert tickets, won’t even enjoy or be comfortable with. I don’t think you’re overreacting by any means. This is an odd situation, and I’m left wondering what their real motive is. That being said, how should you handle this going forward?
My best friends are dating and one cheated: Should I get involved?
I think a sit-down conversation with your friends as soon as possible is a must. They need to understand what your intentions were behind this trip and why this is so upsetting to you. Regardless of how amicable the split was, I don’t think it’s anyone’s ideal vacation to be around a previous partner for 10 days straight. You’re supposed to be having fun with your friends, going out, maybe meeting new people, and that’s a little difficult with an ex breathing over your shoulder. And he may not create issues, but it still isn’t what you wanted for a trip that you initiated, and that’s what needs to be communicated to your friends. Maybe during this conversation it will become clearer why they felt the need to invite him.
If they insist that he attends and you’re still uncomfortable with it, I would consider modifying the plans somehow or canceling altogether. If you can’t invite others or get refunds/credits/sell your tickets, you may consider forgoing your nonrefundable deposits. I’ve had a previous trip with a friend go so badly that I had to get my own hotel for the remainder of the time, and I haven’t talked to her since. I would hate to see you have to go through something like that because things are so uncomfortable when you get to your destination. I did notice you called them your “friends,” and I do think you could be on to something. Real, true, considerate friends would not invite an ex along on a trip. However, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and hope there are no ill intentions behind this invite. Your conversation with them will provide more insight.
Wishing you the best and hope you get the trip you wanted,
Morgan Absher is an occupational therapist in Los Angeles who hosts the podcast, “Two Hot Takes” where she and her co-hosts dish out advice. She writes a weekly column, sharing her advice with USA TODAY’s readers. Find her on TikTok @twohottakes and YouTube here. You can reach her by email at Mabsher@gannett.com or you can click here to share your story with her.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Girls trip gone wrong: Friends invited my ex-boyfriend on our vacation