Ask The Expert: My ex and I are still friends. We dated for a long time but now we are both with other people. His mother just passed away. Is it appropriate to send him flowers since we aren’t together anymore? Thanks. ~ Keely
Flower Etiquette Expert: I’m sorry to hear about your ex-boyfriend’s mother, Keely. In response to your question, it is appropriate in a few situations. There are a few very important questions to answer though. I have included the appropriate flower etiquette for each situation. I hope it helps you both deal with this hard time in a positive way.
“Do I get along with his new girlfriend?” — This one is hugely important because it will dictate when/where/if you are able to send sympathy flowers. If you do get along with his new partner, feel free to send sympathy flowers to his home but make a point to mention her as well on the enclosure card. This is polite even if you aren’t close to her. It can be something as simple as “please let me know if you and *partner’s name* need anything during this difficult time.” It’s simple and lets both of them know that you aren’t trying to horn in on her territory during a weak moment when emotions run high.
“Was I close to his mother?” — If you were close to your ex-boyfriend’s mother and remained that way after the split, it is appropriate to send funeral flowers to the funeral home. Sympathy flower etiquette also allows flowers to be sent to her home but usually addressed to the family instead of just one person. If you were never close to her, sending flowers to your ex depends mostly on whether or not his new partner would be accepting.
“Would my new partner be offended?” — The chances are slim that your new partner will react in a negative way provided you discuss sending sympathy flowers before the gesture is made. Otherwise, it may seem shady whether it was meant that way or not. If your new partner is offended anyway and refuses to budge on the issue, the decision to send flowers or not is completely up to you. At that point it’s juggling your partner’s feelings and consideration for those feelings should be put first.