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It can be tough for a person you were once in a serious relationship with to hear the news that you’re engaged to someone else. However, does that mean an ex is owed an exclusive heads-up about an engagement before the news makes the rounds?

A colleague of mine once told me that before he got married, he met up with his ex-girlfriend soon after popping the question to his then-girlfriend, now wife, to break the news to her. When he told me this, I nodded slowly as though I could understand the necessity of such a meeting, but inside, I was quite confused. Meet up for what?

He basically said he just wanted to be respectful of the woman’s feelings. Even if they didn’t have communication down the line, he felt that it would be nice for her to hear about everything from him, and not from people on social media or friends. I could understand that part. I know people who’ve definitely felt some type of way when a so-called friend seemingly rubbed in their faces news that an ex was getting married to someone else. And while such reveals can definitely be a bit of a burn, do we really owe it to people from our past to give them the heads-up about our future?

Our intentions may be pure in the idea that we don’t want to hurt people. Still, as my friend put it, “If you’re going to be hurt, you’re going to be hurt regardless. No need for me to be a shoulder for you to cry on.”

If you have a child with someone then it might make sense to let them know before the rest of the world that you’re bringing someone into the life of the child you both share on a permanent basis. But aside from that, I don’t believe that we really owe our exes much of anything. Not to mention, meeting up or calling your ex about your engagement and worrying such a great deal about their feelings isn’t really being respectful to your new partner.

If you’re feeling a semblance of guilt over what you weren’t able to give or do for the person in your past, that happens, but you still can’t give them what you’re planning to give your future wife or husband. And calling or meeting up with them to let them know what’s already obvious — that you’ve moved on — seems like way too much and could makes things worse. Now, if you have some unfinished business that you should have tied up a long time ago (i.e., you’ve been seeing more than one person and now you need to cut the other off), then that’s a whole other issue — and shame on you.

But such is life. We love people, we lose people (or leave them), and we move on from people. Unless you explicitly told your ex that you weren’t interested in marriage, there’s no reason for them to automatically assume that you wouldn’t eventually marry someone. Whether it happens months after that relationship ended or years, that’s your business, and telling them face to face or over the phone won’t change that. You can wish the best for them because of the love you had for them in the past, but you don’t owe it to them to fill them in on your plans with someone else…

But as always, that’s just my opinion. What say you? What do you think about contacting a longtime ex to give them the heads-up that you’re going to marry someone else? Is it not a big deal? How would you react if your future husband or wife did it? 


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