Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Friends with an Ex, Part Deux

So there was a time on this blog when I asked, can you be friends with an ex? The discussion got good and then I got conflicted. All my exes (save one who flat-out refuses to talk to me because he thinks that talking to me will break up his engagement--come on I'm not that evil/fascinating/rich for that to even be a consideration! Think about it, Person Who Hates Me) want to be/have wanted to be friends at some point.

Methinks there is an ulterior motive sometimes. Others, I can't say. When you break up with someone (or someone breaks up with you) isn't one person basically saying to the other person "I deem you unworthy as of this moment" and shouldn't both parties just straight disappear forever? Won't you always be rehashing old times and pissing off your current boyfriend/girlfriend? What is the point unless you are going to try it again, and btw, don't ever try it again if you broke up because that trust can never come back, right?

I am full of questions tonight after an ex called long-distance because of a song 'that reminded me of him' and I sort of asked all these questions inappropriately. I sort of had a grandstanding speech when the guy was just trying to tell me he missed me. I sort of said, "We're fake friends, not real friends! I want real friends and we can never be real friends!" I got hung up on. I don't recommend following in my path. It feels crappy.

But crappy or not, is it true? Or am I clinging to some antiquated idea of what friends are and affixing myself to the pain of our relationship which ended years ago! Will I forever be the brat who can't let bygones be bygones?

I'm dying to know...


Lindsay Champion said...

In my opinion, you can only be friends with an ex if he/she turns out to be gay after you stop dating. Or straight, I guess, if they were gay to begin with.

lindsay || newyorkwords.net

Rowe said...

Hi Kate, I always remind myself how would I feel if my boyfriend/husband/partner was regularly seeing or communicating with one of his exes. Answer - I would always be somewhat suspicious and uneasy about it and probably prefer he did not.

K said...

Rowe and Lindsay,
Agreed. So very agree! It's hurtful...to someone...and not sure who, as it keeps switching...at any time. Now let them be gay/straight!


Anonymous said...

It doesn't work. I'm engaged and randomly saw an ex on a train platform Monday night. Even though I broke it off with him and didn't ever really, really like him to begin with--and, like I said, am engaged--for some reason, there's part of me that wants him to follow up on our conversation--send an e-mail, a FB message, whatever. Maybe it's curiosity, maybe it's this childhood fantasy that someone is still pining for you, somewhere out there. Even if he's no Prince Charming. Even if he thinks using Esq. since becoming a lawyer is cool. Even if he treats waitresses badly, hence the future you. Okay, I'm now rethinking this whole reconnection thing... It's a very bad idea. You (or he) broke it off for a reason....

Broady said...

Can't be friends. I've always been of the clean-break school of thought. There are only two exceptions that I can think of, one is the aforementioned gay card, and the other is if it was a very short relationship and neither person had really deep feelings to begin with.

I have an ex from my college days, that when we broke up I was devastated, and actually hopped on a plane and flew to the opposite coast so as to force a clean break (this was before every college kid carried a cell phone and he didn't really use email).

So fast forward 12 years later, and he has Facebook-friended me, sent me his attempt at a couple of "meaningful" emails... and all I can think are 3 things: 1) Thank god I did not end up with you; and 2)apparently girls can also be blinded by one's hotness, b/c there can be no other excuse for my infatuation with that guy; and 3)you are too boring to be friends with, even if it was appropriate for two married w/ children exes to resume a friendship (which it isn't).

I agree with you: the only reason to keep up friendships w/ exes is to poke, prod and inflame old emotions when we are bored or lonely.

K said...

I am having the same 3 thoughts about my ex!

Have always loved the rule about how they treat waitresses--also, in the same vein, I've been told how they treat their moms. I had one that basically treated her as a food/laundry machine. He wouldn't done the same to me down the road I'm sure!


Maeko said...

I think that sometimes couples break up because they love each other as friends or even BFF's but no longer love each other as a lover. In which case, it could be an amicable split after which you could probably be friends.

If it was the "I no longer deem you worthy of me as of this moment" type of break, or something more egregious--as in cheating, or intellectual unequals, then, more likely, no--you cannot be friends, nor should you. If you broke up and the one broken up with was unworthy at that moment, and was a reasonably normal adult mid-twenties or older, most likely he/she will not change--so why assume you can be friends later?

My first ex was totally cool for the first year we were together, then he started getting judgemental, negative (toward me and my image) and totally douchey. In fact, I think he was kind of a fairy deep down. He would flinch the moment I raised a fist + loved baby babble. Needless to say, we are not friends now.

Anonymous said...