Its always a tough line to dance around — especially factoring in how long the relationship was and how it ended. Being able to separate current feelings from the comfort and habits formed during that relationship to make sense of the new situation at hand.
Let me just go ahead and say this now: YOU CAN NOT BE FRIENDS WITH YOUR EX.
Now before you stop reading because you think I’m one crazy mutha (shut yo mouth!) …let me explain.
Anytime you involve yourself in an intimate relationship, you have emotional investment. Even after a break up you are going to have feelings for that person, at the least, care about their well being. That is only natural, it is almost inhumane not to care…and that’s not even factoring in physical attraction.
Being on good terms and/or being an acquaintance is much different and slightly more detached than being a friend; especially when a new relationship is on the horizon. Maybe I see the definition, or the gravity, of words differently than some people, but these are some of the reasons why I don’t think its healthy to be friends with your Ex:
1. Respect — Respect for people and their decisions. While maintaining a line of communication is important, you must mindful of appropriate topics in which you bring up or talk about. You two are no longer involved so certain things are none of your business — no need to try to compare yourself with the current or plant seeds of malicious intent, however if you do chose to talk about the new relationship use discretion; respect the privacy of you and your partner. Respect the new relationship, respect the decisions that were made and understand your new role. If you are trying to temp each other into infidelity, why don’t/didn’t you just stay with each other to begin with?
2. Consideration — Why put yourself in a situation that would raise eye brows? Have consideration for your current partner– “my girl isn’t the jealous type, she wont mind if i go over to my ex’s pad and watch a movie and have a glass of wine”– no, it doesn’t work like that. And to top it off, that is a great way to hurt someone you supposedly care about. Have consideration for your current relationship and if you are maintaining an acquaintance know boundaries. Checking in on each other every so often to make sure you are alive and well, the family is doing well, you’re in a good place in life…cool. Calling every other week to go kick it, maybe have a few drinks…suspect. If you’ve ended your relationship, it was for a reason.
3. Progression — Learn from mistakes. Relationships are a learning experience. You take the good and expand on that. You learn from the bad and fix it for the future. There were particular reasons you ended your last relationship, remember those reasons when going into the new relationships so history doesn’t repeat. Even more importantly, if the new relationship isn’t working don’t regress and go back to the old relationship because you are blinded by JUST the good memories you had with the ex while your current situation might be out-weighted by the bad moments. You left the last relationship to progress forward, its important that you do so and not take steps back…especially because of a comfort zone or better yet, accessibility. I remember Marilyn Monroe saying something along the lines of, “Good things fall apart, so great things can fall into place.”
Believe in yourself and your decisions. Stand by them do whats best for your star player. You always hear people say, “never put all your eggs in one basket.” Well that doesn’t apply to love. If you are going to love someone, you have to do it whole heartily for it to work. You can’t do it partially or part-time, its a conscious decision you make regardless of outcome. Invest in that new relationship, and don’t be afraid to love. If it works out — GREAT! If it doesn’t — you live, you learn, you progress.
Now, I’ll never understand how people can say, “oh, yeah I’m good friends with my ex. We hang out all the time…its nothing, its all good.” So you’re telling me you don’t look into that persons eyes and remember nights that you may have stayed up all night talking until you feel asleep? You’re saying don’t remember intimate moments shared and all the good times that were had when you are around them? You don’t remember how you felt or how that person made you feel just from being around them…and maybe during a brief moment of, lets just say mental connection, a spark might not of come about while just “chillin”? You can completely block those out?
I know for myself, I can’t. If I’m in close proximity to someone I was once in love with…over time it would be rather easy to over look certain short comings and fall back into the same unhealthy cycle/relationship we were once in–which consequently were the same reasons why we ended the relationship. I have to remove myself from that situation — its not an immature, “I hate you, I hate your face, stay away from me” type of deal, but rather I know how I operate and I need to keep my distance in order to successfully detox. Make that transition, and build myself back up again so I can enter into a new relationship in a good state of mind, an open point of view, and an accepting willingness and understanding of knowing when to compromise, or when to hold firm. Be able to love unconditionally and be able to do so in a way that displays my growth where I’m not blinded by my past.
For you, well you pave the road to your own success: I just hope you use quality craftsmanship.
So for myself, at least, how do I move forward without untying the chain that would hold me back?
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