Anna Breslaw, Glamour magazine
In all the hubbub surrounding Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise's divorce, there's been no solid advice for Katie when she decides it's time to move on with a new guy. I asked another A-list celeb's ex-wife for her tips. Sheree Fletcher, who stars on VH1's Hollywood Exes, was married to Will Smith--yes, that one--from 1992 to 1995. She is now married to football-player-turned-pastor Terrell Fletcher and gave us some good advice for how one might go about introducing her former and current flames in the most innocuous way possible--especially if kids are involved (Will and Sheree have an 18-year-old son, Trey, together). Katie, are you listening? Here's what Sheree had to say:
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There's no need to introduce the new man to an ex unless he is high on the "prospect chart" and you're considering making a life with him and the children that you and your "ex" share. (Otherwise, in my opinion, unless there are children involved--or you are connected in a joint business venture--no introductions are necessary).
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Before making the introduction, you need to have made the decision that he is a qualified "keeper" (I'd say that you should have at least six months under your belt with this guy), which means that you are not requiring or needing the approval of your "ex" to help you come to this conclusion. If you go in with that mindset, then your "ex" is still very much present in your emotional well-being and you're giving him power that he neither deserves nor should he have. This is unhealthy for "everybody" and it will sure enough make the new dude question the relationship between you and your ex. And between you and him!
Do it on a neutral turf. It will put everyone involved at greater ease. Perhaps you all can meet for coffee, but do not meet for drinks! This meeting will be better had if all involved are sober-minded!
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Omit the element of "surprise." Both parties should be well-informed and prepared for the meeting.
Resist the urge to "reminisce" about your past relationship with your ex. It will make the new guy feel uneasy--and like a bit of a third wheel. This goes both ways; don't try to make your "ex" jealous with the new guy. Be very inclusive--no dividing and conquering.