Friends with the ex? Not simple at all

I ran into an ex-girlfriend yesterday. This was our first time seeing each other in about 2 years. The break-up was “clean” (mutual) and we maintained contact via Facebook; you know, happy birthday and merry Christmas. We’re both now parents and we compare ‘parental notes’, but our online exchanges never go deeper than that. Our face to face encounter was a little different from online. I’m not gonna get into what was so “different”, but it made me think a lot.

She and I shared memories that made us laugh and cry. We’ve taken those experiences and moved on. Given that our break up wasn’t “bitter” we felt it would have been ok to remain friends or at least just maintain a ‘civil interaction. Neither of us was the proverbial “heartbreaker”/”dumper”.

I must admit that I felt a lil weird (jealous) when she told me about her pregnancy. Thought to myself “dat coulda been my child if things were different”.  We were friends before we went down the relationship path but we’ll never go back to that friendship we had. When we chatted yesterday lotsa confessions came forth. Things like how we both reflect on the amazing sex we had and how particular perfumes/colognes or even music triggers a flashback.

As much as we’re ‘friends’ now, we won’t ever really confide in each other. How would we tell each other that we’ve got a hot date lined up soon or that we’re going to Hedonism for a wild weekend with the new lover? It would just be weird. I figure we could share other details with each other but, but new lovers and mates are always going to be a sensitive issue.

Remaining friends seems to provide us with the security blanket that we’ll always be in each other’s lives but just in a different way. We check on each other once in a while to find out how we are, but we never actually KNOW how we really are.

A certain level of passion and sexual desire still exists between us, afterall, that wasn’t the reason for the breakup. This is a recipe for disaster but we’ve decided that we wouldn’t go back there, but o lord we want to. I wouldn’t mind 1 night of unbridled “goodbye” sex, for old times’ sake. I’m confident she feels the same.

Leaving the past behind is hard, but I’m glad we don’t see each other in person often. Otherwise we’d end up just lingering in each other’s lives and that would make it harder to move on. It’s almost like keeping one foot in the past, and another struggling to go forward.
I believe it’s a better idea to leave things with pleasant memories of the other person, rather than potentially doom a civil relationship.

In a perfect world, the ideal would be for exes to succeed at being friends. But in this world where bitterness, jealousy, passion, and human nature exceed reasoning and rational thought, it’s impossible in most cases to remain friends with an ex.

Moral of the story

Unless you and your ex were the best of friends before, you both broke up on the same terms in a perfectly mutual breakup, you’re both comfortable with either of you seeing new people, and have a policy of total honesty, you’re better to leave the friendship behind … along with the memories.

Published by Garth O. Williams

A seasoned journalist and communications practitioner; professional MC/moderator, voice-over actor and entrepreneur.

3 thoughts on “Friends with the ex? Not simple at all

  1. I still remain friends with all my Exes, we call each other; check up on them to see if they are okay. I learnt never to burn my bridges, for there will come a time those same bridges that you burn, you will need them to cross a certain path..


  2. I agree with you Garth, staying friends with an ex is a sticky situation especially if either of you have started another relationship. I have managed to stay extremely good friends with my all of my ex bf. I think it will work if both parties are no longer interested in a romantic rel. Feelings hav subsided


  3. Ur moral is spot on but the rationale seems a bit simplistic…easier said than done. There are certain situations where it would be hard to just leave it in the past. Let’s say u and this ex did have that child…u pretty much “stuck” with her and then if and when either of u moves on it would be devastating (in a situation where one person isn’t comfortable with the other seeing someone new). Even if both are comfortable I am sure there would be some residual feelings there.
    BTW…unnu shud a dweet…lol


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