Bad Girl's Guide

Friday, May 05, 2006

Friends With the Ex

Question of the day: Is it possible to be friends with your ex? If so, what kind of relationship would this be? Ok, being friends with your ex is an issue that has varied points of view. So I'm going to explain my point of view. Feel free to chime in ladies, I want to get the feel of everyone out there.

In an ideal Friend with Ex scenario, both of you have had time to heal and move on from the relationship before you attempt to reconnect. This might be a few weeks/months/years depending on how long your relationship was but eventually you do reconnect. I feel it's hard to be friends with your ex. Especially if one (or both) of you haven't achieved true closure. It will always be at the back of his mind that he might be able to get back with you. Or at least get into your pants. And this is where it gets dicey.

The problem with being friends with your ex is that for us women, it is harder to dissociate emotions of love/lust from friendship. Guys are better able to compartmentalize you into the new status and will treat you cordially and like a buddy quite easily. However we always have that grey area that is full of questions and uncertainty. Do you kiss him? Do you give him a hug? A handshake? Can you even have contact with him without remembering things about your relationship? Can you look at him without visualizing him naked? Can you heal your broken heart if he's still around? Will you even want to date other people?

If you have an ex in the picture, you are more prone to automatically substitute him for what's missing in your life. In fact, he might even retain his old status emotionally and in your mind, even though you both vocally deny that you are together. As your friend, you can call him to bail you out of trouble, you can go out 'as friends' on pseudo-dates to the movies and such, you can give him a helping hand, you can drag him as a date to your friend's wedding. He can cross fluidly from the roles of boyfriend/friend without a hitch and this can become a hindrance to your actual dating life.

With an ex that is still your good friend, why do you need a boyfriend? Why will you bother telling the new guy your life story to explain a crisis to him when you can easily ring up Mr. Ex and he totally understands where you are coming from and gets the details? Why bother cultivating new relationships when you can have the instant support and adoration you seek at the click of a button?

Added to that there is always the temptation of sex with said Ex. I've always felt that sex with the ex is an enormously bad idea however having him around as your friend presents that temptation to you on a constant basis. It's so easy to ease into old roles and habits, especially when you add loneliness and alcohol to the mix. Temptation Island? Hell yeah.

He represents the past to you when you are trying to move on to the future. This in itself is a huge handicap. And don't even tell me that you don't remember the bad times, the reasons you guys broke up in the first place and the fact that he shattered your heart into itty-bitty little pieces.

Find new friends. Preferably a coterie of fabulous women like yourself. Perhaps even a gay guy or a few high school male friends thrown in the mix. Just stay away from the stench of your ex.

And don't rationalize excuses for him. "He's changed, he's different now," I might hear you saying. Ummm, no. The reason you guys broke up is still there and will always be there, even though it might be camouflaged under layers of afflability and cordial friendship. So don't put yourself in harm's way. Remember, once bitten twice shy. Learn from your mistakes and move on babe. Move on to bigger and better men.

Further Reading: Sex With the Ex, Recycled Men

Your thoughts?

Posted by Vixen @ 12:52 AM :: 16 trainees letting it rip!

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