I had a bad break up. But I would like to know if it’s possible to be friends with an ex?
Dear Mending Fences,
It’s amazing how a simple question can generate such a complicated answer.
The truth is, there is no quick answer. Chance suggests you weren’t friends before you were lovers, and now that everything has gone to shit, you’re hoping friendship with be like a cosmic second chance.
I had ex’s in the past that I couldn’t stomach talking to after the relationship dissolved. I blame youth, ego, and drinking. It was like I couldn’t examine those dynamics through the martini haze. And it wasn’t from a lack of trying. I worked it out more than Britney. I clung to any answer to the lessons as if it would lessen the pain.
The perils of brining sanity to an insane situation.
And the more in love I thought I was, the more I wanted to hold on. I learned early that the time you invest shouldn’t go to waste. There needed to be a reason, any ole reason would do, Lady Gaga needed it too.
But what if there is no reason? What if you fucked the wrong guy one drunken night feeling guilty, and turned that into a relationship? Or it’s been a long and exhausting winter and you are desperate or destitute clinging to new things, hoping or humping until Spring.
I realized that my relationships don’t make me. They also don’t often make sense. And that I don’t need to be friends with an ex to have self-worth. You don’t need to reflect on the past to move forward in the present.
You are made for now like Janet. The past doesn’t matter. But what happens next does. It’s in how you cope. Don’t be dumb like me, clinging to carbs and extra calories. That’s the catalyst to a horrible summer. This is the time to focus on being the best of you. The post breakup version, where you launch your comeback. A star is reborn and recast. Focus on perfecting the relationship with yourself—Remember that person you fell in love with? Do you remember what you enjoyed about yourself? What your dreams were before him?
If you have no idea what I’m talking about then it’s time to do some soul searching. Find your passion outside of being in a relationship. People waste their lives living for the relationship. The relationship is not the answer.
I’m not going to lie like you’re not going to be tempted to ease the pain with some sexual healing. Because you will. Your body will crave what chocolate or cocktails can’t cure. You’ll tell yourself that you need someone new when you’re feeling blue. And that’s ok, too.
I clung to any answer to the lessons as if it would lessen the pain.
Yet it’s the wrong answer. I auditioned so many so-called lovers on my sofa before realizing that exchanging eyes and smiles with strangers left me starving. But I digress. Even when you know better you still give your blood, sweat, tears and cash to someone who can’t even complete your sentences.
But if you still want to be friends with this person despite your relationship ending (for a reason), you should first give it time. Fucked up relationships are the hardest to see because you have to admit your complicity. Nah sis, it ain’t complicated, you were in cahoots.
You’ll be better off trying to miss someone new.
Casper may be a friendly ghost but your ex is not. The ghost of relationship’s past will piss on your present. But if you ain’t afraid of those ghosts, then have at it. Why not take on the gremlins and goblins too?
Got a question? Email your letters to [email protected]