Thursday, February 19, 2009

The X-Files

I got to thinking about ex-boyfriends last night. Not in some creepy, fanatical way, but more about how I have handled them in the past vs how I am handling it now.

So let's review - POM history X.

X-1. We dated when we were very young, but dated for 5 years. I was dev-a-stated when we broke up. I'm sure my girls (hi kris) are rolling their eyes right now. Like I said, we were young but we went through a lot of bad family crap together and were very close. I moved away after the break up (looking back this is the BEST thing that happened to me but you never see that at the time). We didn't talk for a year. Then we tried to reconnect, but at this time another woman and a baby were involved. It didn't work. About 5 years after that, we reconnected again. But this time I was over him and we were able to be friends. We had a few dinners. He even came to stay with me (platonic) one weekend. To this day, I would consider him a friend. We don't talk, but it wouldn't be awkward if we saw each other. He invited me to his wedding, but I declined.

X2. Ok, honestly X2 is about 15 guys over the next 10 years. They all sort of blend together. We would date for about 3 months, then call it quits for whatever reason. Man, I have some good stories about these guys - but I'll save it for another post. But I can say that I am on friendly terms with most of them. SIDENOTE: There are 2 that I would never, ever want to see again. I dated 3 Matts in a row. Only Matt 2 was nice -we're still friends. I will blog about Matt 1 and 3 another time. It's some gooooood shiz. Back to what I was saying, I am friends with them. They are on my facebook. We occasionally meet for a drink or chat via some form of el communicado.

X3. The boyfriend before the Captain was J1. (Hi J1 - he reads sometimes). We dated for a while. Then broke up, but stayed friends. Like active friends. We texted, IM'd, emailed. He got another girlfriend and we even managed to stay friends through that. They broke up and we started hanging out again. It ended kinda ugly with me throwing a drink in his face at a bar (Sorry J1 - you really pissed me off that day). But we talked after and made up as FRIENDS. We're still cool to this day. I might even call him if I was in some type of pinch - and he could do the same with me.

So that brings us to the Captain. We've broken up so many times, but we always continue to talk (once again, I'm sure my girls are rolling their eyes). I don't see how we can NOT be friends. We both really care about each other. Just because we don't have a future and he won't be my baby-daddy doesn't mean that I can throw away the friendship part of the relationship that we have developed. I know I need time to get over the hurt part. But I am already over the going back and forth part. He is still my go-to guy. He fixes things on my car and I do laundry at his house. He brings me fish and I bring him ice cream. That's what friends do, right? I know problems will arise (like the first time we broke up) when I start dating other people. He will freak out, but that's his issue to work through.

What do you think? Friends with exes: Excellent or Excrement?

42 comments:

P.O.M. said...

I wonder if anyone has noticed that I've mentioned POO in my last 2 posts. ha ha.

Sarah said...

I only have 1 serious ex, and we NEVER talk. We were long distance through most of our relationship (ended that way - not started) and I actually have not even seen him since we broke up.. which was over the phone..

He's contacted me over IM once and over Facebook once, we played catch up both times, but that has been it.

Although I'm COMPLETELY and TOTALLY over him (and was pretty much the minute we broke up .. which should have happened years earlier) I still often wonder how he's doing and what his life is like. I live in the hometown we both grew up in, where a lot of his family and friends still live.. so I know that eventually bumping into each other will happen.. and I'm not looking forward to that AT ALL... wow I could go on and on about this subject.. I'll stop now :) Maybe I just need to write my own post about it... :)

aron said...

i definitely think it just depends on the circumstances for being friends with an ex... its hard especially after a long relationship because they truly are your friend too, and its hard to lose both. i think as long as there is the line and you are over the hurting part, the friendship is easier.

cant wait to hear the matt stories :)

i have always wanted to throw a drink on someone :) lol

Robin said...

Hmmm, I don't know. I got married when I was 12 (ok, maybe I was 23) so I don't have very many ex'es. But I was never friends afterward.

I do love reading about your love life. It is kid of SATC. :)

RunToFinish said...

I think that you can be friends with a long term relationship person after you've had some time.. right now I think it's probably making it hard for either of you to really heal and move on.

I was friends with my college ex after we broke up...until I started dating my now hubs and that really freaked him out, now we both live in different cities and I don't know if it would be awkward or not. Other than that all my dates were like 2 times and then over, so no real concern about not being friends.

Lisa D said...

I have never been able to master the 'friends w/ exes' thing. The only ex I am friends w/ is the guy I dated in college and it took about 5 years before we really were truly friends. Now we can talk about the people we are dating etc. Other than that, I am not friends w/ any other exes. When I broke up w/ my serious boyfriend last January, I wanted to try to be friends, but just knew it wasn't going to be healthy for me... Seems like both people say they want to be friends but one person is actually hoping you'll end up being more than friends. And that 'one person' just always seems to be me!!

That's funny that you dated 3 Matts. I've dated about 5 Brians. Now when I meet someone w/ that name my natural reaction is to say - 'sorry, this just isn't going to work out.'

Marcy said...

I don't know . . I'm in the same boat as Robin. Married and I had my kids "young" (got pg with my first at 23) so all of my "exes" came from college and HS. Not exactly deep stuff there (at least not for me). We're "friends" meaning yeah we're acquaintances but we'd never hang or anything like that.

Abby said...

An interesting question...

I have three serious exes and a bunch of two-or-three-month exes, and I've spent a lot of time thinking about this. I'm still friends with all three of the serious exes (went to the wedding of the one who's married - one of the more excruciating experiences of my life, but still... and recently had dinner with my husband, one of the other exes and his girlfriend).

The only thing is, I know that one of the consequences of staying friends with all of them was that there was residual more-than-friends-ness with each of them that perhaps could have been avoided if contact had been cut off. But now that we've moved beyond all of that murkiness, I'm really grateful to have each of them in my life.

eurydice said...

excrement! good riddance.

Runner Leana said...

Friends with exes... As much as I think it might be possible I haven't successfully managed to stay friends with any of them. We wind up hanging on for the benefits, and well...after that being friends without the benefits just doesn't seem to work out.

Incidently, I've dated three Rays and three Mikes.

Carolina John said...

I don't stay in touch with exes, so i say excrement. once i'm done with somebody, they no longer exist in my world. i might not be the best judge though, since my last ex happened 12 years ago in another state.

Chic Runner said...

you are so newport throwing a drink on someone! :) i kid i kid!

Glam said...

It definitely depends on the circumstances and maturity levels of all parties involved...

I'm not "friends" with my ex, The Fiance, but I know I can call him or text him if I really needed something. In the past year since we broke up, I've talked to him a couple of times and only seen him twice.

I'm still in contact with The Patriot, but we were friends first. Now, I wouldn't even consider us friends. Friends don't break up with you via text message unless they're utter douchebags....

And as for The Man... Def not. I'm pretending it didn't even happen!

Cheree said...

A lurker delurking to give my 2 cents:

MOVE ON!!! Including the friendship. You cannot be friends with exes – and even if you could, they’re nothing but roadblocks. Your future considerate, loving husband and “baby daddy” will just see those “friends” as obstacles that he doesn’t want to deal with, and he’ll keep on walking. Move the roadblocks!

Love your blog btw – been lurking for quite a while. Trying to get the motivation to lose those last 10 pesky pounds which are really ticking me off!

the gazelle said...

First serious ex (we dated for 3 years) I would never see/talk to/anything again. Unless it was court or something. It was ugly.

Then - five years of short relationships/one night stands/casual "friends with benefits" stuff. I am still acquainted with some of the FWBs, but not the others (the one night stands mostly just fade into history). I was pretty damaged by the first ex-, and the short relationships were generally with asshats.

Then, I met the architect. We are still friends.

The end. :) (most of my exes are excrement)

Petraruns said...

First serious ex - never again. MAN! He TRAMPLED on my heart. I finally ditched him (because, of course, he always started to want me back when I got over him) when I met my now husband. I just knew that my husband was / is a GOOD guy. And he is. No more exes. Was butt ugly for the first 18 years of my life, bloomed briefly for 2 years and made the most of it by serially dating and never having a serious relationship (apart from the one above) and then met the GOOD guy. Who I'm still with. Who's loved me through the good, the bad and the butt ugly...

Mrs. K said...

it depends...for some reason the only men I cannot seem to ever want to let back into my life is x2- we'll call him Jackass because Jack was his name - momma's boy. And the Captain who was my most recent x before my husband. IT's been what? 3 years since the relationship perished? But for some reason he was such a piece of shit that I don't feel he's even worthy of my friendship because damn it I'm an awesome friend.


X1? I am totally in cahoots with him and would hope to attend his wedding when he does marry and bring my husband along and my daughter. He was my college sweetheart and we dated for 6 years.

Amber said...

I still text, MSN, facebook my Ex quite a bit but we never hang out face to face. Eric, my boyfriend now, and I were on and off for the first year of our relationship and we'd try to be friends during the off period but it'd always morph into more. If we ever do break up I'd hope that one day we could become friends again but I think it'd take a while!

Kate said...

I think with long term ex's it's not really possible, especially if it ended with feelings still on one side or the other.

But I do have alot of guys I dated for 2 or 3 months, and never had it go anywhere, who I'm still friends with, and chat with. Hell one is even married (and I went to him wedding!).

Marathon Maritza said...

First boyfriend - still friends with, but when we are both single...the lines inevitably get blurry.

Second boyfriend (but would consider 1st serious) - broke up, never heard from him ever again. Not even through other people. Have no idea what he's up to or where he lives.

Third boyfriend (2nd serious) - recent breakup and I'm having a hard time being 'just friends.' I may opt out of that altogether.

I loved your recap! We'll definitely need to hear about Matt 1 and Matt 3!!!

Heather said...

Of the really meaningful boyfriends, I'm still friends with one. The others = meh. I talked to one about 6 years ago and he basically told me to never call him again. I thought we were friends -- guess not. I've found that I just can't be friends with guys after I date them. There are a few on FB that I'm "friends" with, and I wish them well, but only ONE who really meant something to me I remain in contact with.

SHM said...

excrement. i dont hate any of my exs or anything like that, but they just don't have a place in my life anymore. i dont need another guy friend, i have brothers and a husband. there's always going to be some sort of underlying romantic tension. if there wasn't you wouldn't have dated, right?
i dont know, just my retarded opinion.

Mrs. Hibit said...

I tried to be friends with my exes for a long time. For awhile, I thought I was really accomplishing something.

It wasn't until I started dating my now-husband that I started to see how unhealthy it was. Two years and some change later, I am not in regular contact with any of them - even those I considered close friends before.

I guess my conclusion is that if you are single, and these friendships are enriching your quality of life - go for it! But there will likely come a time when they will cease to be beneficial, and will likely fade to the background. Hopefully it's a smooth transition.

X-Country2 said...

I'm not friends with a single one of my ex's. Which I'm pretty sure is a poor reflection of me instead of them. Whatever, I own it. :o)

Viv said...

I think friends with ex's is tricky but who the hell am I?! seriously
I loved the grass is greener on the other side post. I always have to remind myself of that sometimes. You manure list sounds heavenly....

Michelle said...

In my experience, its never too cool to be friends with ex!!! To much history and memories....

But thats just me!!!!

If you want to facebook friend me, you know my name???

Let me know if you want to!!!

Judi said...

***rolling eyes***

leave the captain alone and find another guy to bring ice cream to.

Jess said...

I'm only friends with one of my ex's. We still IM from time to time to catch up and see how life is doing. We broke up because we were going to colleges in different states though, so it's not like there was some big drama involved. Otherwise I think it's really hard to stay friends with an ex, especially right away.

Marie said...

It depends upon what kind of relationship you had with your ex. X1 was an on again, off again boyf for 3 years, not a good relationship. Finally, got out of it and didn't talk to him for 2 1/2 years. Then we started talking again and we are friends now.

X2 and I were going to get married. But we realized that we didn't want the same things, so we broke up. He started dating someone immediately, got engaged 5 months later and is now married. And he was lying about it to me. So yeah, we don't talk and I don't think I could ever have a friendship with him. Well, maybe in 10 years.

But if being friends with your ex prevents you from moving on, then I say, just cut the cord. Hard in the beginning, but gets easier in time.

chia said...

I'm still friends with quite a few ex's. There are times I wonder why (like seriously, who really should talk to an ex-fiance that walked 2 months prior to the wedding?) but I don't really have problems with them until the jealousy card is thrown. Then all bets are off, thanks for viewing, carry on ;-).

I hope he becomes lactose intolerant because he so doesn't deserve you ;-). Hell, even I'd make babies with you (not really, but it's the point).

Laurel said...

OK, first, you threw a drink in a guys face at a bar?!?!? I thought that only happened in movies! You are such a sassy-pants!

Second, I love how you ended the post like Carrie Bradshaw..:)

I am not friends with any of my exes simply because I moved far, far away from all of them. LOL. It makes things a lot easier. :)

Tammy said...

I have a couple of exes that I am friends with. None of them have spent the weekend at my house, but we get together and chat from time to time.

What is it about dating guys with the same name? I think I've dated about 5 Brads.

Anyhow, I did have an on-again / off-again ex when I was in my late 20's. He owned the gym, and my second job was aerobics instructor. At the time, I could not imagine us NOT being friends, similar to you and the Captain. We both loved each other, but wanted different things and knew that it wasn't going to work out over the long haul.

Finally, I had to start going to a different gym. Neither one of us was willing to move on while we were seeing each other all the time. It hurt more and more each time we got together and broke up again.. This year will be 10 years since I first met that guy, and I don't know if I could be his friend to this day. I think when the feelings are that strong, it takes more time to be able to be "just friends".

Sorry for the B & N. You struck a sensitive subject for me. I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

Sarah said...

My super bad habit is to stay GREAT friends with the exs that break up with me until I have a mental break down - just kidding. But I just never want them to know how much they matter to me, so I just stay friends. Eventually, we move on and stop talking - but it takes years.

The ones I break up with - I never talk to again!

Alisa said...

I'm only friends with one of my ex's but I haven't had that many. I think it can be done BUT there has to a "grace" period. This story is rather long and probably best suited for email. Be on the lookout.

Charmaine said...

If you break up with him, possible but no recommended.

If he broke up with you EXCREMENT!

Or...my final offer is to not speak for at least 6 months so you can REALLY get over it. Then see.

Where are my drinks? Where were the boys? arg

BOBBI McCORMICK said...

friends but has always been to my disadvantage:(

Erika and Blake said...

I've got a mixed bag, friends with some, not with others. But I gotta say, given your history with the Capitan, do you REALLY and truly expect to get over him when you're seeing him all the time? Your track record with him would suggest otherwise, you know? This isn't meant to be mean, but it would seem that you don't want to get over him even though you logically know that you should.

Anyhoo, just my 2 cents.

the Bag Lady said...

It's hard to stay friends with someone who tells you it would be cheaper to kill you than to divorce you.....
So, no, I'd say I'm not friends with my ex-husband.....

Monica said...

Hmmm, be "friends" with a serious ex long enough to collect the money he owes you. Almost took mine to small claims court, and now I just don't really care one way or another what he's doing (he was a Matt!). Being as close as you are with C might hinder that whole "moving on" thing...

I'm pleased that I'm getting ready to move to a city I love for myself instead of one I hate for him. If he travels the 1600+ miles after I'm settled I'd probably let him buy me a beer, though. :)

Sagan said...

Loved this post. I'm nosy so I love hearing these kinds of stories :D

I think it can go either way. One of my ex's is probably one of my best friends (though we started out as best friends before we started dating too), but I refuse to speak with 2 of my other ex's and the other ex is someone I do my best to avoid. Need to just find a GOOD guy to date next time...

look forward to hearing more of your dating escapades :)

Footfeathers said...

Ah, late to the party as usual. Stumbled into this interesting (and entertaining) post through a string of other like-minded bloggers.

Well, firstly, this post and the related relationship insights you provide should be put into a little booklet with a small looped rope attached, so guys could wear it around their necks and reference it anytime they feel as though they're doing something dumb on a date or with their girlfriends.

Secondly, and more to the point of this particular question you raise, the level or even existence of a post relationship friendship is in direct correlation to the depth (or height) of emotional saturation during the relationship. If true love is involved, then an ensuing friendship is nearly impossible. If it's casual dating and you like the person sort of how you like a particular toothbrush (I like the soft bristles with the flexible rubber thing on the neck), then the transition to friend status is an option.

Personally, I have never made that transition to friendship. To me it's like having a 911 Porsche Turbo parked in the driveway and you've lost the keys. Or, it's like a rusty, oil leaking, bald tire pick up in the driveway that you never want to see again but it won't start, so you can't get rid of it.

Essentially, there are too many people in the world to suffer through hanging on to a failed relationship in any capacity.
-Footfeathers

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