Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Let's Be Friends

So as I've previously stated on multiple occasions, I am really bad at being friends with my ex-boyfriends.

First of all, a giant percentage of them are assholes and/or douchebags (shocker, I know), which means we had ugly breakups, which aren't very conducive to any sort of communication or friendship afterwards.

Secondly, I keep a pretty tight circle around me of people that I trust and enjoy spending time with, so I usually write off anyone that I used to date. Obviously, if you couldn't keep me as a girlfriend I see little reason to keep you as a friend.

On the few occasions that I have been able to be friends with an ex, it usually took many years for us to get past any weirdness and just be pals.

But I am now wondering about this policy because I saw an ex this past weekend that I still care for deeply, and it was a relief that we could be together again without awkwardness (for the most part), and fall back into the rhythm we had before we started dating.

And it was really nice to know that I can still keep him in my life, that he's still there for me. After all, he was a major part of my life for a period of time, he knows me better than a lot of people out there, he gets me, and he accepts me for who I am. I've found that people like that, outside of relatives who have no choice but to love you, are few and far between.

But on the other hand, things aren't quite the same as they were between us when we were friends before our relationship. Back then, I would talk to him about the guys I was dating and ask him for guy advice. And we had no problem joking to each other about every topic under the sun, including inappropriate ones like sex.

Now, there could not be a topic more off-limits than sex and other people. Even seemingly innocuous jokes told by third-party friends made me blush with embarrassment. Which is entirely out of character for me. Totes bizarre.

Worse, whenever I found myself about to tell him a funny story about something that happened, but I realized I was about to talk about someone I had dated since him, I found myself stumbling over my words as if I had something to hide.

From the people I know who do manage to remain friends with their exes, the key is being able to talk about these things and be honest with one another. But for some reason, I can't wrap my head around this. I worry that it's too hurtful and uncomfortable, but maybe in this case it's just too soon.

Or perhaps, it's because given the circumstances under which we ended our relationship, it's not entirely out of the question that someday we get back together. And if this were to happen, I'm sure he wouldn't want to know about my escapades during the time we were apart.

Nor would it be very fair not to disclose to him important details about what I've been up to. Which leaves me in a bit of a quandary, but I'll worry about that when the time comes; there's little point in stressing about it now.

In the meantime, I am collecting tips from people who have managed to maintain positive, healthy friendships with their exes after a breakup. Because I have a newfound respect for those who manage to pull that off. Props!

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