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Picture this; it may have happened to you. You’re sitting in a restaurant with your new boyfriend, maybe you’ve been dating a few months, but you’re still in that honeymoon stage where everything’s fuzzy and warm and looks like rainbows. You’re staring into his eyes, when your gaze is diverted by the most gorgeous girl you’ve ever seen. Literally, the music stops, heads turn, she glitters. Then her face breaks into a huge grin and suddenly envelopes the newest love of your life in a very friendly hug. It’s his ex. Um…what?! Sometimes, it’s easy to forget your dude has a past…involving other girls. Here is a survival guide of the five exes you should steer clear from if you can…and how to handle them if you can’t.

The one with his kids

As we get older, as weird as it sounds (since I still feel like I’m 13), it becomes more and more possible that the dude you have your eye on has a kid. Although you should also start dating him cautiously (no matter what, there’s a third person involved, and you don’t want to end up being called Mommy when you don’t even know what a Diaper Genie is). With kids, naturally, comes their mom. Not only does this mean your new guy has an intense past, but he also has to talk to and see his ex on a regular basis…forever. There’s no room for you to be the “Jealous Girlfriend” here, because that kid will always come first, meaning the baby momma will always come second. Do the whole messy deal a favor, and don’t try to be BFF with the girl, just respect the boundaries and don’t discourage their relationship if it’s friendly. No need for a Jerry Springer: She’s Messin’ With My Baby Momma Part IV episode.

Watch out for the “hook-up” boys

The one with the stink-eye

This is for the ex who shows up everywhere. He insists that they’re casual friends, but for some reason, she’s strangely at every event, party, and movie you guys attend with the whole “OMG, how are you guys? Soooo weird that you’re here too!” Then she gives you the cold shoulder and spends the whole night refilling his drinks and bringing up past inside jokes. If you can get past the serious annoyance aspect, just give your guy a heads up on what she’s doing, if he doesn’t know already. Then, proceed to be amused by the whole thing. If anything, he will appreciate you acting cool in the midst of his crazy ex, and recognize that you’re “The Cool Girlfriend.”

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