Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hola mi gente!

It's gettin' cold, y'all! And you know what that means. My single women know exactly what I'm talking about. The wind is a little brisk, you stay under the covers a little longer in the morning, you wear your cozy socks around the house....and your ex-boo's start calling again trying to get warm :) Funny how that happens right? Guys who were missing in action all summer long are all of a sudden calling like "hey, what you been up to?" or "damn, I missed you." LOL!!

Uh huh...y'all know what I'm talking about...don't act like it's just me! :)

Anyway, Today's blog is kinda long, so I hope you have time to read it. I thought I would piggy-back off of yesterday's discussion. A lot of you responded to me yesterday - either in the comments section or via IM or personal email - saying that going back to an ex was a no-no. But most of you also said that you're all friends with, or at least cool, with your exes.

So today I'd like to take that a step further and ask - can exes be JUST FRIENDS? I was watching an episode of Samantha Who? last night and the episode was about the main character's apprehension with telling her new boyfriend that her roommate is not only a man, but a man she used to be in a relationship with. When she finally told him, he was relieved. Why? Because HIS best friend is also HIS ex.

You'd think Samantha would be like "whew!" right?

WRONG!

She was actually uncomfortable with it. When it came time for them to introduce each other to their exes, Samantha wondered "is she prettier than me?" It bothered her that her boyfriend's best friend was his ex, even though she was living with her's. And here's the kicker! She THEN got jealous when her boyfriend's ex hit it off with her ex. Watch the clip:



It's funny how our feelings play tricks on us.

Would any of you have a problem with your current boyfriend/girlfriend having a close relationship with their ex?

Let me take it even further. Are any of you friends with an ex that you want back, and it's hard being their friend while they date other people? Are any of you still friends with your ex, but have a "friends with benefits" relationship with that ex? Can former lovers make great friends? Or should you stay away, for fear of falling back into familiar situations? The questions about can you simply be just friends with an ex seem to be endless. There is no right or wrong answer.

Personally, I think exes can be great friends, but it may take some finesse. And time.

If you started off as friends, you should be able to maintain the friendship right? Sometimes the friendship was the best part of the relationship. Just because you don't make it down the aisle doesn't mean all is lost. After all, you've shared memories, made each other laugh, confided in each other and know each other's deep dark secrets.

But some may say that this is exactly why you CANNOT be just friends. You've shared memories, made each other laugh, confided in each other and know each other's deep dark secrets - AND YOU'VE SEEN EACH OTHER NAKED!

Sometimes it's hard to bring a relationship back to the friendship level after having been the most intimate with someone. You will always have an image of that person naked, and memories of your sex life could be triggered by something as simple as the smell of her perfume or hearing a song that you once made passionate love to. You might consider yourself to be the most evolved, tough guy or woman when it comes to putting your feelings aside, but it's sometimes very hard to see someone in a different light after you've smacked it up, flipped it and rubbed it down!

Aside from sex, sometimes you can't be friends because you DID confide in each other, and now you feel you can't. The person you once shared any and everything with may be dating someone new now and you might not want to hear about their new relationship. Or you may feel awkward telling your ex that you have a hot date tonight. You might be reluctant to tell your ex how your new boo hurt you for fear of appearing silly or vulnerable - even though appearing silly or vulnerable was never an issue when you and your ex were together. That comfort level is no longer there.

As in the Samantha Who? clip, she was jealous. If jealousy comes into play, then no, you can't be friends. If it was a bitter breakup, even after some time, you may not want to hear how the new person they're dating is the love of their life. Who wants to hear that crap? Especially if you're not really over it. Even if you're the one who did the dumping and you don't have feelings for your ex anymore, if they find new love before you do, you might be resentful. Petty yes, but feelings are feelings. The thought of someone else taking your place in the world that you and your ex shared is sometimes painful to imagine. If you can't be sincerely happy for your ex because of jealousy or if you haven't moved on from the break up, then you can't be friends - because true friends are happy for one another.

What if the passion you feel for your ex is still there? You don't want them with anyone else because YOU still want them. Sometimes our relationship was so riddled with problems that we wondered why we were with that person to begin with. And then we realize...the sex was good! She had a big booty! He had a big...ahem...uh..feet! ;) Chances are we stayed in relationships based on passion and sexual chemistry, not because we were meant for each other. We may mutually agree to break-up after we come to that realization, but that doesn't mean the attraction is gone. So even if y'all start to "hang" under the guise of being "just friends," it's possible something could jump off "just for old times sake." Then that could bring you back to square one, how you felt right after the breakup, just when you were starting to get over it. Damn, damn damn!

Then there's just a matter of what went down in the breakup period. How many of you tried to remain friends with an ex just so you wouldn't feel guilty about dumping him or her? You know...the whole "it's me, not you....can we still be friends?" thing - when what you really want to say is "kick rocks bee-otch!" LOL!! Whatever you do, don't force a friendship when you really don't want one. It's not fair. The peace offering of friendship isn't sincere, it's just a way for you to feel easy about yourself and telling yourself you're not an asshole for dumping the other person.

Also, if you know your ex still has feelings for you and you still want to be friends, walk a fine line. If you did the dumping and can move on with ease, be sensitive to your exes feelings if you know there are still feelings there. You might have no problem meeting for coffee or hanging at the movies with your former flame every once in a while. But your ex, whose heart you broke into a million little pieces, may not like it that you can move on while still sending them happy little emails all day. They might snap on you, so be careful! LOL!

Everything I said above may seem like it's not really a good idea to be friends with your ex. But the elements you need in order to be friends may simply be time, space and maturity. If you're going to keep that ex still programmed in your phone, then make sure both of you have moved on and you don't have that person lingering around in your life unless you really, truly have a genuine friendship worth preserving. In a perfect world, exes can succeed at being friends where bitterness, jealousy, passion and human nature DO NOT EXCEED reasoning and rational thought. Yeah, good luck with that :-) But it IS possible.

If you two were the BEST of friends before, broke up on the same terms and it was perfectly mutual, neither of you have a problem with your ex seeing new people and you both are totally honest with each other...then be friends. If you can't say that, then leave the friendship behind...along with some really great memories.

-b

24 comments:

elizabeth017 said...

I can't.

I tried that once and it ended in disasrer. we were "friends" for about 6 months until we fell into "friends with benefits". Then we couldnt define our relationship after that. What kind of relationship did we have now? We werent friends and we werent together; we were something more. being in this stage had its great moments because we both felt like we didnt have to apologize for anything that we felt or did and werent scared to let each other know what we were thinking. On the other hand, it sucked because there I was trying to define my feeling and he would go out with other women. I couldnt feel bad or disrespected because after all, we were just friends - but I did.

We wnded up ending it for good about 6 months after that and for me, it was for the best. I didnt need him in my life. I had a great life before meeting him and guess what? My life is so much richer afterwards. I finished that book and was not in the right frame of mind for a sequel. The past is a prologue to the future and I knew better.

Now, I congratulate anyone who can carry on a healthy relatonshp with an ex; I just know my limits.

Brooke said...

Well, for the most part, we simply have to be honest with ourselves. If you know you can't do it, the trick is not to fool yourself into thinking you can - so good for you Liz!

Anonymous said...

I think you can be friends with an ex, as long as you dislike them enough to keep them at a distance. One of my greatest friendships came after my most horrible relationship. It was kind of strange, but I've seen it happen for others as well.

Dr. BW

Anonymous said...

In fact, I thought a little more about what you said and came to these conclusions:

- Having a stack of ex-girlfriends/ boyfriends as friends is seriously detrimental to future relationships.
- The advent of the internet has led to more social baggage, as people are now staying in touch with individuals who would have been lost in their past just 15 years ago. This opens the door to a heck of alot more infidelity, as it only takes one little "How ya been?" email to get the fire started again.
- If one is friends with an ex, they should probably be careful to dictate the boundaries of that friendship and the degree of interaction that they deem appropriate.
- The sanctity of marriage is probably best protected when you don't keep these friends at all. Having an ex as a really good friend is like a recovering alcoholic going into the bar to get a soda (especially for men).....it might not be such a great idea.

Dr. BW

Anonymous said...

Interesting....

When I was single, I would have said HELL YES!! I was always of the philosophy that people are people and just because we do not work out as a couple does not make them a person I can't be friends with them. Most of my friends are guys and some of them are exes. We agreed that it didn't work out but we did not want to lose the friendship because we were friends.

We may have gone through the difficulty of hearing that the other was in a relationship with someone new or in love or having kids but we moved passed that because we were friends.

I guess you cant make a bed buddy into a friend but a true friend will be your friend and like you said want you to be happy.

Gleana said...

I would say it depends on how your relationship ended, but I've never been one to hang on to my exes. They occassionally call or want to hang around, but I like to have a clean break. I wouldn't have a hard time with it, but as Liz mentioned in her comment - you tend to fall into the habit of friends with benefits. If you're up for that then more power to you, but it's def unhealthy for your future relationships to have that going on in the background.

I def wouldn't like it if my man were doing the same thing. It would be hard for me to trust him with his ex girlfriend hanging around always in the background knowing that they shared intimate moments...

Keefe said...

As I commented yesterday, I am friends with most of my ex's. As a matter of fact, one of my ex's speak to my wife more than she speaks to me.

The "can we be friends" question truly depends on how you end the relationship.

Rene The Harlemite said...

I am friends with most of my ex's...If you are in a relationship with someone they should be your friend as well as your lover. I think that seems to be an element that s missing in alot of relationships.

Anonymous said...

The reason all you people are friends with your "ex's" are probably because they were not "the one." (if such as thing exists)

If they were "the one", you likely would not be maintaining contact with them while they are dating and boning other people..
That would be too painful...

Brooke said...

I also think it matters how you define "friend." When you say you're still friends with an ex, does that mean you all still hang out on a regular basis, talk on the phone all day, etc? If so, then that means you're really still IN a relationship, just maybe without the sex part. Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that sex makes a person be in a relationship - it doesn't. Sometimes we fool ourselves by doing "relationship" things without calling it a relationship.

If you still talk to your ex once in a blue moon, or have them on your distribution list of daily motivational emails and that's the extent of it, then technically you're not really "friends" per se, but merely associates who might communicate every now and again. "Friends" may mean one thing to one person, but something completely different to the other.

Anonymous said...

I think you can be friends with an ex, depends on how things ended, how long ago since the break up, and if either are currently in a relationship...not that there wouldn't be awkward moments.

Keefe said...

I have to disagree with that one. It shouldn't matter if she was "the one" or not. It's going to come down to how we ended the relationship. Another defining factor will be the friendship we developed while we were together. If its a TRUE friendship, it will last. Through thick and thin a real friend will always be there.

Brooke said...

I agree with that. There are exes I have who were my friends for at least a year before we decided to have a romantic relationship. I guess sometimes we think "if we're such great friends, then we'd probably be better lovers!" and that's not always the case. A couple of my relationships ended because we both realized we were more friends than anything else and we decided to stop fooling ourselves into thinking there should be more. If the friendship is truly a great one and both of you realize how special that friendship is, then you can be friends with no issues.

Kat said...

Yes, I really think it depends on the two people. I have a question for the group: What if your current bf/gf requests that you not be friends with your ex? What do you do?

Brooke said...

ooooh, tough one Kat!

Hmmm....I guess I'd have to ask why the friendship I had with my ex was a problem for him. Am I displaying any behavior that leads him to believe that the relationship might not really be over? Does he feel my ex is being disrespectful to my current relationship? I'd need to know if he was making that request based on something tangible or out of his own insecurities.

elizabeth017 said...

There is a new song out called "It's Over". This DEFINITELY described my relationship that I mentioned earlier. It's kind of long but basically, thyis is what happened to me:


We've run out of words we've run out of time
We've run out of reasons really why we together
We both know it's over baby bottom line
It's best we don't even talk at all

Don't call me even if I should cross your mind
Hard enough I don't need to hear your voice on my messages
Let's just call it quits it's probably better
So if I'm not returning your calls it's 'cause

'Cause I'm not comin' back I'm closing the door
I used to be trippin' over missin' you but I'm not anymore
I got the picture phone but baby your picture's gone
Couldn't stand to see your smile every time you dialed

'Cause it's over
Girl you know it's over this time
So when you call I'm pressin' seven
Don't wanna hear your messages messages
I'm tryn to erase you from my mind
'Cause it's over
I swear girl it's over this time
So don't keep callin' leavin' messages
Don't wanna know where you been
Baby 'cause it's over

I still wake up every morning quarter to ten
I still eat my cereal right at the kitchen table
I can't even remember how long it's been
No trouble stayin' occupied

Oh they ask about you whenever I come around
I do what I can not to put my business in the streets
Last thing I need's another episode
Keep conversation short and sweet because

'Cause I'm not comin' back I'm closing the door
I used to be trippin' over missin' you but I'm not anymore
I got the picture phone baby your picture's gone
Couldn't stand to see your smile every time you dialed

'Cause it's over
Girl you know it's over this time
So when you call I'm pressin' seven
Don't wanna hear your messages messages
I'm tryna erase you from my mind
'Cause baby it's over
I swear girl it's over this time
So don't keep callin' leavin' messages
Don't wanna know where you been
Baby 'cause it's over

You know that it's over when the burnin'
And the yearnin' inside your heart ain't there anymore
And you know that you're through when she don't do to you
And move you like the way she moved ya before

And you wanna pull her close
But your heart has froze
You kiss her but her eyes don't close
Then she goes out of your heart forever
And it hurts you but you know that it's better

Girl you know it's over
Girl you know it's over this time
So when you call I'm pressin' seven
Don't wanna hear your messages messages
I'm tryna erase you from my mind
'Cause it's over
I swear girl it's over this time
So don't keep callin' leavin' messages
Don't wanna know where you been
Baby 'cause it's over
'Cause it's over
Girl you know it's over this time
So when you call I'm pressin' seven
Don't wanna hear your messages messages
I'm tryna erase you from my mind
'Cause it's over
I swear girl it's over this time
So don't keep callin' leavin' messages
Don't wanna know where you been
Baby 'cause it's over

Dre Lew said...

Yes...you can maintian a good friendship with an ex. But there a couple of points. In defining friends...that to me isn't your best and only friend that you tell everything. They are an ex for a reason, so things do change in what and how you communicate. By them being an ex, especially if it recent ~ you tend to work at it, knowing if they were hurt and what hurt them. A friend would not needlessly put them in some bad situations(with a current girlfriend). Yes...I agree a large amount of being able to be friends is how you broke up.

I have admit, I have been a little jealous of my ex dating ~ for no good reason that I can think of, just didn't like it. And when I say no good reason...I would be dating too. But that seems to only be rightor shortly after the breakup...later I'm cool.

Now...if the person I was dating wasn't cool with me being friends with an ex or all exes. I would first have to ask why. Can't say what happens after that...but would say if I was doing something that caused her to be uncomfortable (I would stop)vs. just not liking exes to be around period(I debate).

It does put a bump in the road if your ex uses the friendship to get back in the door. But if you're like me ~ breakups are hard enough, I don't want to go through it a 2nd time. Probably one reason why I don't go back. But...nothing ever is writen is stone ~ so that's to-date*LoL

Brooke said...

Here's a question - can any of you be friends with an ex who cheated on you?

Anonymous said...

I will say that I do believe you can be friends with your ex...unless the breakup was due to cheating - you can only still be friends unless one of u was treated badly. However my ex thinks we cannot be friends - just acquaintances - especially if I found someone else. To her, that just means I have "found someone better than her." How sad is that?

-J

Brooke said...

I agree Dre, I can't answer the question of what I would do if a current boyfriend asked me to stop being friends with my ex. Honestly, I can't think of any exes that I communicate with so much that it would even be an issue. If I was displaying a certain type of behavior, then I'd have to stop...and then analyze my behavior and ask myself if any feelings are still there. In that episode last night, when her current boyfriend asked her if she was sure she was over her ex, she paused. He then told her to come back to him when "the pause was gone." Sometimes we think we're over it until we see them with someone else.

Amanda said...

Good, good points and interesting ones too ;-) I believe that yes it can happen and work but definitely on a case by case basis...
There can be SO MANY different scenarios as well as things to consider before making that decision so it really depends.

Great blog!
Looking forward to the Random Thoughts one ;-)

Brooke said...

I could have done the "Random Thoughts" one yesterday AND today! My mind has been racing with all sorts of crazy random thoughts the past two days that it would seriously come across as rambling in my blog :-) LOL!

momo925 said...

ok so I know I'm a tad bit late on this one but here it goes. I am not a happy camper when it comes to men maintaining friendships with their ex especially if it was a serious relationship or if they weren't the person who ended it. I feel like it hinders you from totally moving on and creating new bonds with people. For example, you were in a relationship for 4+ years and it ended...anyone new you meet is never going to know you longer than that person before them knew you. So you are continueing this "friendship" with your ex instead of trusting a new person with things you already feel comfortable trusting your ex with. Now I'm not saying that you should trust a new person with your life or anything but they deserve a fair chance and shouldn't have to compete with your ex because whether you know or not, you will compare the two. Secondly, when I tried to be friends with my ex he wasn't capable of not saying things that were flirtacious or inappropriate b/c of the history we had. I mean granted, even though I was building a friendship, he was really just looking at me as his girl so in the end we didnt have a real friendship to hold on to. I guess we were trying to build a frienship for the sake of holding on to each other now that I look at it. my point is... are you telling me that little sexual jokes here and there that most likely will never go anywhere, aren't made from time to time even if he or you has someone new in their life? Now, I know someone who has an ex girl and claims they are really good friends. They were in a 3-4 year relationship and he just came back from a trip halfway across the country with her. His story is that he chose to take her "b/c he knew there would be no messing around and nothing romantic because its not like that". Now you can't pay me to believe that they kept it strictly platonic lol! I do believe that it may not go anywhere between them b/c they have decided that they aren't right for each other, but come on! no feelings between them? The fact that he decided to take her says something in itself and its not screaming "friendship" to me lol.

Brooke said...

Mon Mon, you crack me up!

Yeah, I don't buy it either. Sounds like some straight foolishness to me! He was hoping you would fall for the okey-doke on that one! HA!

Yes, I think if you are too close to an ex as a friend, then future relationships might be strained because of it and may not get a chance to thrive the way it would if there was no ex lurking in the background. People have to be honest with themselves about what they're really doing and be careful not to involve anyone else in their muddled feelings.

Good response (as Pranny would say) Mo-Na-Na!

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