Should you be friends with your ex?
That was the question on my mind yesterday. I got a lot of different opinions, many of them completely contradictory. But as this is an opinion question, every single comment I received was CORRECT. NO ONE IS RIGHT OR WRONG. This is an individual decision. I did however, come up with a list of things worth thinking/talking about.
- If children, especially minor children, are involved- it is in the best interest to remain at the very least, friendly. This might crush you, but you must try. (Of course, I do not refer to those cases were parents and children can’t be together- I’m speaking in generalities)
- Both parties must be mature, sensible and rational (As I’m rarely mature, sensible and rational this would leave me out…..)
- What does the significant other feel, and how much does what they feel matter?
- There was a reason why you two are no longer together- does this reason make the friend relationship impossible/improbable?
- How involved was the prior relationship? Was is a short term thing? Was it sex buddies? (I’m going for PG-13 here) Were the two of you engaged at what point?
- Do both parties truly want to be “just friends”?
- Would the relationship dynamic be affected if significant others are involved? ie- would you ever double date?
- Does having a friendship with an ex signal trouble in your present relationship?
- Is one person seeking out this friendship because of loneliness? Now, I realize you look to broaden your social circle when you are lonely, but is friending an ex the best way to combat loneliness?
- How good was the sex? Seriously- I think it matters if there was once an insane amount of chemistry.
- Did Facebook open up a whole can of worms that was probably better closed?
Now- we go to the personal side- mine.
I once had a great relationship with G. We broke up rather amicably- at the time we were both very career centric, and our careers were taking us on differing paths, and we both felt that the relationship wasn’t as important as our careers. After reconnecting on facebook 7 years ago, we’ve maintained a cordial relationship. When I went on vacation to his town a few years ago, I didn’t even think about contacting him.
I am not a jealous sort of person. My husband has had lunch with his ex-fiancé when she was in town, and dinner with an old girlfriend from high school. I was fine with it- my opinion is that if I’m worried about him seeing an old flame, I should be worried about him having relationships with any woman. I make the assumption that our relationship is strong enough to endure friendships with members of the opposite sex.
Out of the 3 exes I mentioned (sorry- I only had 4 significant relationships in my life, so we’re about out of stories) there is one that I CAN NOT be friends with. I don’t feel I could be friends with someone I know still stays in my heart. I know I can’t be friends with another because he wants something more from me.
Now G. Here’s the parts that nag me:
- Why did he switch to private message? Does he not want someone to know that he wants to meet up with me? Is he afraid that my friends are going to see it and scream “Bad Idea”? (my friends are not particularly open minded about this sort of thing)
- Why was my first thought, “Damn he still looks amazing. Is it possible to lose 1000 pounds and have a facelift by Columbus Day?” Is it just vanity? I mean- he hasn’t seen my in awhile….I look OK for 53, but I do have an ego…..
So….I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t even know if he is actually going to end up in town, or if he will reach out again about meeting up…..But I’m going to think about it…..
And if there is indeed a decision to be made- I’m pretty confident you will be in the loop…..
Thanks again for all the amazing feedback yesterday!