Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Can you really be friends with an ex?

I had to learn the hard way this past week that even though it seems mature and civilized to stay friends with an ex, it really takes time and lots of healing to get there. At least for me it does.

I recently had dinner with my ex. We broke up 6 months ago, and although I've been doing fine, when I see him, it stirs up old memories and feelings and I end up being confused and hurt.

With all the things there are to talk about, he brought up the topic of who he was dating, telling me about her income and that he enjoyed being with her. This stung me and I tried to play it off casually and mentioned someone I was talking to. I tried to be mature and smile and be happy for him, but it was impossible. I had an overwhelming feeling of sadness and I got a little choked up. He too seemed a little emotional and I took it as feelings that he still cared.

All in all the dinner was enjoyable and we had a nice time, but I left confused. Later I sent him an email asking if there was a way we could work it out, and although I know that feeling stemmed from my sadness, and it's probably the best that we are apart. When I'm feeling emotionally strong, I'm fine with the break up. But, it is obviously too early to start hanging out and trading dating stories.

My ex mentioned that although it was difficult, there was no going back and that we needed to move on. He thought it would be possible to remain friends, but not if I couldn't move on. His reasons were selfish he said.

I think what is most selfish is when someone doesn't want to entirely give up someone, yet they don't want to pursue them either. He told me he always wanted me in his life. But as a friend.

So what's the point? To trade stories of who we are seeing? To mourn the passing of our relationship? If a person has a soft spot in their heart for me, but they don't want to work hard enough to make it work, what is the point? I don't need a long list of ex lovers as friends. It has rarely worked for me.

Maybe in the future, when I've gone completely crazy for someone else, I could be friends with my ex. But, then, maybe my new love wouldn't see the point in it either.