Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Art of Being Friends with Your Ex…

  So it’s been 9 years since my 10 year relationship with Paul dissolved. Now, we didn't break up because we hated each other or because someone did something to upset the other. We broke up because we just weren't able to maintain our relationship with out bickering and the foundation to which we had built our relationship (marriage and children) changed. Although we both loved (still love) each other it was mutually decided, for the best that we dissolve our relationship but remain the friends we were prior to being involved. With that being said I’d known Paul a little when we were in junior high, we became friends when we were 23 and actually got involved when we were in our late twenties. We simply have a “connection” which is why we got together in the first place and spending all that time in each other’s “hip pocket”, there is a fluidity and protectiveness that takes place between us. Does that mean we should be together; no.

When Paul and I broke up, we immediately talked about who would take over our apartment and how our things should be divided up. We are both fairly selfless people so in dividing up our things, we were fighting over who got what, Me wanting him to have everything and vice versa. We decided, after heavy debate that he got what he came into the relationship with and anything that we purchased together, I kept. We both decided that he should leave in the morning as not to “drag” things out for we both needed time to make sure that this was the proper path for both of us. He disappeared to a remote cabin out of state and I stayed in our apartment getting used to living alone. After about a week of both of us sobbing our eyes out, Paul came back to the apartment and moved out his things. He assured me that this was the best thing for both of us and we should both be looking forward to what lies ahead. I’m a very negative person when it comes to stuff like this so at this time I couldn’t possibly imagine I’d love another person on the planet but him.

The thought of Paul being out in the world without me was horrible for me to think about, but to think of him dating another girl was like a knife to the chest. Every time I’d think about it would send me into tears. I started asking him if he was dating someone, then ask who was calling him so late or texting him when he was with me. I even tried to seduce him sexually, which he politely told me simply was not going to happen. So, he resolved as to not to ever tell me for risk of hurting my feelings. I’d say it took me a good year and half to finally get over the fact that he was dating other people and we would not be getting back together-ever. I tried jumping into the dating scene right away and force myself to get involved but it didn’t work, not for a while.

Now, I talk to him about the guys I date, my issues and problems. He checks in on me every night just in case something happens. I call him if I get into any kind of trouble and he always helps me; always. Granted we still bicker…a lot and even hang up on each other if it gets too heavy, but we know that at the end of the day we are family, we will always end up forgiving each other and talk in the morning when tempers have simmered some.

I have this type of relationship with almost every boyfriend I’ve had. It takes more time with some than with others depending on what the break up was over. What I’ve discovered in each of them is that I needed to get back to what I liked about them in the first place; they were all great men and great friends first. All of them. Most of them weren’t great b-friends, but that doesn’t make them shitty people. Does this mean that I’m still attracted to them and them to me? I can’t speak on behalf of anyone but myself, but my answer is no. For me, when it’s over, it’s over. There is no casual sex, serious flirting, attraction or anything of the like. In some cases, a break up had to happen so they could be with other people and have what they wanted, whether that meant marriage, children, or simply a better partner than myself. I understand that and can step aside to let that happen.

Point here is you can’t make an ex be friends with you, it has to happen and be desirable to both parties. You can’t have any hidden agendas for all of that will come out eventually. Is there some secret, some method to becoming friends with your Ex again, to that I can simply say , no. You both need to want it and work to make sure there are no slip ups, jealousy issues etc .  You also have to set aside your feelings and think of the other person and their happiness, whether it is with or without you, which is also very difficult to do. When a break up happens you need space, that means not seeing each other.  You didn't see each other all the time when you were friends, and you have to lend the same mentality to this situation.
Post a Comment