Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Let's Just Be Friends

Today's NaBloPoMo Prompt: Do you remain friends with ex-boyfriends/girlfriends after you break up?

It totally depends. One, I'm in a closed monogamous lovey-dovey relationship, so if I have boyfriends or girlfriends at this point, Joe's going to be pretty irritated and probably make me break up with and then forever stop talking to these fictional boyfriends or girlfriends. But previous to my married state, it depends. It depends on what you consider "friends." It depends on who did the breaking up. It depends on whether looking at the face or hearing the voice of that ex would make me physically ill or wish a weeping pox upon that person. So it depends.

Sometimes, if I didn't want them to suffer an ugly, violent "just a flesh wound" demise, then maybe I'd consider staying friends. I think that happened once or twice. I've dated mostly decent people who I still wish well, even if they crushed my heart. I even ended up marrying one of them. But can anyone really be good friends with an ex if you were dumped by that ex? Am I the only wounded, vindictive woman who likes a solid, scorched earth, "you're dead to me" policy? It just seems healthier somehow. Or after decades have passed, the modern equivalent, which is being Facebook or Twitter friends that I hide every couple of weeks when they irritate me. Or the kind that I read their occasional moronic status updates out loud to my husband in a goofy voice and we laugh a shared laugh that says, "lady, you dodged a bullet with that one." That's just a step up from waving at someone when you run into each other at a farmer's market. It hardly counts. It's not a true friendship.

And anyway, how do you heal if you're constantly hanging out with your ex still? How do you get over that person and find someone new? And isn't the "let's just be friends" a complete cop-out anyway? It just means "I'm bored with you and interested in sleeping with other people, but I don't want to feel guilty about this feeling, so let's be awkward platonic friends until you grow so weary of me banging your former roommate/friend/bartender that you'll stop talking to me, and I won't have to feel guilty or pretend to be your friend."

I have friends. I have plenty of friends. And if you don't want to date me or be with me, then we're done. But it depends. If I've done the breaking up, then let's have coffee next week, ok? My treat. I know you love a peppermint mocha, and one of those scones, you've gotta have one of those scones you like. My treat.

How about you? Still friends with everyone you've ever dated? Come on, really?

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