Should you remain friends with your Ex ?

By | October 10, 2011

Unless two virgins get together, the man you love and have partnered with probably has a history.

While many people have several ways of handling this touchy subject, I find it interesting when people allow an X to take up a significant amount of their life space. How can you invite someone new into your life and have any chance of happiness if bachelor number two is still lurking about ?

I am particularly curious as to how you move from one station in a person’s life immediately into another.

If you have dated someone a while and things don’t work out there are only a couple of options. You can break it off like an adult and seek your needs elsewhere. You can hunker down for a life of misery and simply “grin and bare it”. If we were a couple and now we’re not there are probably some very valid reasons.

However, I do understand that given some time and some space apart, there might be a chance for a very familiar, cordial relationship. I have yet to see queens give anything any time. We break up on Monday and Thursday we are going out for cocktails.

Personally, I broke up with a guy and still had sex with him periodically for the next three months.

While I agree this was not the best use of my time and energy, it did allow confusion, angst, fear and resentment to remain. Basically, there would be no emotional healing or road to psychological well-being engaging in these shenanigans. Which leads me back to my original point, should I remain friends with X’s ?

My initial reaction is a big fat “hell no”.

I have also learned in growing older that you never wanna rule nothing out because that thing will come back and bite you in the ass every time. Do I allow exes to simply run amok ? How is a balance obtained between raving bitchhood and a simple I don’t think this really works for me in any and or all situations ?

Maybe the key here is distance.

Luckily for me and whomever I choose to date, all of the individuals I seriously dated live far, far away. There is never any danger of bumping into them or ending up at the same social gathering when I live in California and they live in NYC and Tennessee respectively.

My big discovery is that I get to decide the nature of when and how my relationships in this most precarious and particular of situations play themselves out.

I can’t allow someone else to decide based on what they are comfortable with. I have recently opened the lines of communication with my past lovers and have learned to keep the conversation focused on what we do well and our individual gifts.

Sex talk of any kind is strictly forbidden and the “why didn’t we work out ? “ seems pointless and pain- inducing.

While these techniques work in my world and for me, what is to be done when the person you are currently seeing has his own way of handling past flames ? Because just as winter turns to spring, the person you’re dating probably has their own way of doing everything.

If you are dating someone who thinks yea I want to chat with my ex daily, go out for drinks and go on trips that require us to share a hotel room (all are things I have personally heard of ) then how is this negotiable ?

Remember that we both teach people how to treat us and that you can’t get someone to share your values if they don’t see a reason to respect the values you have created.

Many times, I fought with a paramour who truly believed that what they were doing was not damaging to the relationship.

There was an inability to understand the jeopardy they could potentially cause our union.

If a reasonable amount of time has passed and there are legitimate and nonnegotiable boundaries set, it might be time to allow a restructuring of the past relationship.

If there is confusion, hope for a reconciliation of any kind and or constant visits and interaction, there will definitely be a need to decide which relationship matters the most and proceed accordingly.

4 thoughts on “Should you remain friends with your Ex ?

  1. John

    I had an ex who lied constantly and basically did what ever he wanted without thinking of the consequences to him, me or us.

    Another great article.

  2. dk

    If you truly love someone, I believe it changes but never goes away. Treating it like a watch that you lend to someone and then have returned to you is not realistic. As long as the exes are honest with each other and don’t have any hidden agendas, I see no reason why they can’t built some sort of truly platonic relationship post romance.

  3. JG

    Awesome topic – I’m one that tends to be friends with everyone including those I’ve dated in the past. However I’m not of the mindset to have sexual relations with a past romantic interest specifically a former boyfriend. Until reading this article I hadn’t thought of what it might look like going on a trip with a former lover — not that we continue to have sex but outsiders or someone that I’m pursuing might think so. As to someone that I’m pursuing and his relationship with his ex-lover … I certainly hope they remain friends if they have good communication… as I want to be around a happy whole person…. and not someone that is sacrificing his interest in hopes of making it with me.

  4. Al

    I am on friendly terms with my ex’s ..except for one ..the bf from hell, and when we did bump into each other (quite accidentally) a year after the carnage, it actually was a pleasant conversation but I could see he was up to his old crap with his current bf. Poor guy ..gotta’ wonder how long THAT lasted. This sure hit home, Anthony!!!


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