Discussion: Dealing With Exes
Dec 2, 2011
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t date. Six years ago, I decided to take a break from dating after my first D.C. relationship ended in spectacular fashion, shortly after the longest relationship of my life sputtered to a halt. Somehow, the break turned into a way of life.
(Frankly, I blame my Father. If I so much as mentioned a boy that I had a crush on, he would proceed to tell me why that boy was objectionable (usually because of their family) and tell me that I wasn’t allowed to date him. So I spent the vast majority of my formative years single, until I found a boy from another city to date. Thus, single is my default setting.)
I’m not anti-men. I’m not saying I’ll never date again. And I certainly don’t bear any of the men who have held the place of Belle’s Significant Other any ill will. But that doesn’t mean that I want to be friends with them or even speak to them.
In my opinion, once a relationship is over, it’s over. You can continue to care about someone who had a profound impact on your life or who you once loved, but when it’s time to move on from the romance, I find that it’s just best to move on entirely.
I tried to be friends with a few of my exes, but it never really works out. Other women come into the picture. People move away. Feelings crop up from time to time and gum up the works. And I just prefer to separate on good terms and stay separated. (I suppose this is a luxury that I can afford since I don’t live or work in the same place as any of my exes.)
However, I didn’t realize that not actively seeking to be friends with your exes was such a novel concept until recently.
Several weeks ago, I received recognition for a very public accomplishment. And in the same 24-hour period, I heard from every ex-boyfriend that I have. Every.freaking.one.
On the one hand, it was nice that we all parted on good enough terms that they felt empowered to send a note of congratulations. But on the other, it was extremely uncomfortable. Like being transported by Portkey, only instead of the Quidditch Cup, the destination is the past. (That’s a Harry Potter reference for those of you not in the know.)
I hadn’t talked to these men in years. I know nothing about their lives, nor do I really want to. So it was all a bit awkward, like holding an antique hand grenade. You know its been deactivated, but there’s always a chance that it could blow up and maim you.
Luckily, all of these men are (mostly) normal guys, who were satisfied with a simple thank you. And we are blissfully back in the land of not being friends.
So this is my question for today: Are you friends with your exes? If so, what kind of friends (good, acquaintance, etc.)? And if you see your exes regularly, what advice do you offer on dealing with them?