A friend of mine is having a lot of trouble with his ex-girlfriend's "post breakup meetings." These meetings can have any of the following agendas:
- We need to give each other's stuff back
- I need to tell you what a bastard you are
- I just want to see how you're doing
- I found out you were cheating via Facebook after you dumped me
- Maybe if you see my face again and talk to me you will want me back
- Let's try to be friends
That last one is interesting because my most of my friends have not remained friends with their exes.
Now, I no longer talk to my ex-girlfriends, but this is because I end up making them so angry after we break up, they can't stand to be around me.
Here are some reasons that it is tough to become friends again:
You Will Both Date Other People
Even though you're broken up, do you really want to stand there and watch your ex date other people? You might even be counted on to provide advice for the greater good of that relationship.
You Broke Up Because That Person Sucked
So, you finally did it. You gathered your strength and got out of the relationship. Why? Maybe because they sucked: they were boring, selfish, breached your trust, rude, or whatever. You didn't want to date them because they sucked, so why would you want a friend who sucked?
You've Seen Each Other Naked
Everything physical falls under this umbrella. From kissing to sex to seeing each other naked — you've crossed a threshold that you don't cross with your regular friends. Unless you can get over that history, it will plague your potential friendship. It's just too bad that Eve bit that apple — otherwise I guess we could see our friends naked and not care.
Your Family Still Loves Them
How annoying is it when you're done with someone and your family can't let them go? It just perpetuates things if you let them stick around as a friend. Your family will ask if something might happen between you two again. One of my sister's exes still communicates with my mom regularly. Don't think my sister's too happy about that.
They Hurt You
Along the same lines as "they suck," if someone hurts you — friend or lover — it may be impossible to forgive them. Would you want to be friends with an ex after they hurt you?
The Best Thing About Breaking Up Is Moving On
In my experience, that moment when you move on is just as much of an emotional high as that moment you fall in love. Independence and change are great cures for post-breakup blues. Once you have that fire going, you don't want to suppress it by keeping your old ex around as a friend. They are part of your old life, and you're a new and better person once you move on.
My buddy has a theory that in every friendship between a guy and girl, one or both participants were attracted to the other at some point. I agree with this, and it's amazing how rarely this little attraction bubbles over to something more. Perhaps we all do know that we may "ruin the friendship" if we get together.
What does it take to move to this next level? Most people are probably dating people that they consider to be a good friend — but something caused them to take that next step. Is it an undeniable feeling that pushes the participants to take a risk together?
When you get into a relationship with someone, the possibility that the relationship could end looms in the back of your mind. And this could mean the end of a friendship.
If you are going remain friends, there needs to be some time for you both to move on, change, grow, and come back as two different people. Perhaps that fundamental connection will remain, without that romantic edge that got you together in the first place.
Do things change when you cross that threshold of physical intimacy? Have you remained friends with many of your exes, or do you agree that it's really hard to be friends after a serious relationship? Have you ever crossed a "threshold" and ruined friendships?