Their Ex: Friend or Foe?
They’ve seen you naked, they know (some of) your secrets, they’ve seen you at your best and at your worst; and then they stamped ‘reject’ on your forehead when they left. Exes are an uncomfortable reminder of the murky past of dating, unavoidably representative of the fact that your partner loved someone else, instead of leading a celibate lifestyle, waiting for the perfection that is you.
Personally, I don’t believe that you can genuinely be friends with an ex. Quite often the relationship ends because, aside from all of the other issues, you stopped being friends. So why break up and then try to be friends again? So when a partner has ever remained friendly with an ex, I have been torn over two very different sides of the argument.
You see, on one hand, if they are still on friendly/civil terms with their ex, it shows that they aren’t a total asshole, and it’s like a good reference when vetting new employees.
Another bonus of them remaining friends with their ex, is that you find out who a person truly is by how they treat people they do not want to sleep with. Much like how a man treats his mother, and how he handles inanimate objects shows, firstly, what kind of a man he is, and secondly, what kind of lover he is. This is assuming (and you know what they say about assuming) that they no longer hope to slip between the sheets of the ex’s bed…
But on the whole, it’s idealistic to want to remain friends with the ex; this hope for friendship blurs the lines and is more likely to lead to casual, ‘friends with benefits’ style sex and maddeningly giving them another chance to repeat the same torturously idiotic mistakes, leaving you jaded. My exes have wanted to continue sleeping with me, or tried to win me back, using the guise of friendship, and when I’ve become unavailable (romantically) all pretence of said friendship has been dropped- I’ve even been deleted from Facebook (shock, horror)!
With that said, on the other side of the argument, it’s uncomfortable for everyone involved when your partner is actively friends with The Other Woman; going for drinks, seeing bands together, and generally socializing by choice is a no-no.
Some argue that it depends on how jealous you are as a person, and consequently, how insecure you are as a person. But ultimately it’s about boundaries, and about having appropriate relationships with people.
It would be grossly inappropriate for me to be friends with any of my exes, mainly because of the way my relationships tend not to have a clean break (is there such a thing?), and then there are confusing, lingering feelings that lead to the aforementioned ‘friends with benefits’ type sex, because I’m an independent woman that doesn’t have to be in a relationship to have fun with my sexuality. Then, when I’m crying because they haven’t called for days (because they don’t have to anymore), I realise I am right back to the old heartbreak. Not everyone has messy break ups, and sometimes, if you started out your acquaintance as genuine friends, you might eventually be able to salvage a relationship, but that friendship will never be as intimate. It just can’t.
Now my rule of thumb is friendly, not friends.
How do you feel about your partner being friends with their ex? Drop a comment below and share your thoughts.