Thursday, June 04, 2009

Friends With An Ex

I've often asked the age-old question in this forum and in many late night drinking games, the one about whether men and women can truly be friends. Sometimes this morphs into even trickier territory -- can you be friends with an ex? And then, should you be friends with an ex? A friend of mine told his beloved if she so much as had dinner with an ex-boyfriend that he would have her head on a platter. If this were the case in my life, I'd be a virtual John the Baptist centerpiece. I'm friends with all my exes. Usually, they were good friends, regardless of how the romance worked out. This usually doesn't go over so well with your current love. They're a little jealous. Like Medea.

So any opinions? Anecdotes about how well or poorly these friendships turn out? How would you feel about your current love being friends with an ex? I'd love to hear what you guys have to say and write about it all tomorrow.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"If you cannot be a poet, be the poem." David Carradine

Cocktail Hour
Drinking memoir suggestion: Only As Good As Your Word Susan Shapiro

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!


Anonymous said...

If you cannot be a work of art you should dress like a work of art.--Don Cherry, no, Oscar Wilde, er, no--JLCGULL(Go Wings!!!!)

boneman said...

not sure how 'on topic' this is, but, I have been what I thought was good friends with all my ex-wifes sisters.
Till the divorce, that is. Now my name is unpronounceable from their perspective.

Now, I always thought I had good rapport with my brother's wives.

They were good girls.
One may have been a bit loose, and one a bit not loose....but, of the six, his #3 was a real terrible person.
I liked the other five, and often tell him if he messes up #6, I'm gonna have to punch him out.
Anyway, I had a photo of #5 and #4 in my computer, and when he saw them, he went off at me AND them.


jodi said...

Dear Michelle, NO,that is why they are called exes. The fact that we have had sex, always screws things up. Friends are friends without the baggage of old sex stuff. Too much tension!

Scott said...


I can only think of one ex that I was really friends with, and maybe that's because our relationship was never that serious to begin with. The other exes would try to cause trouble in my new relationships, and I had one ex , who broke up with me, mind you, try to interfere with me meeting new girls if she showed up at the same parties as me...she would ignore me until I was talking to a girl, and then she had to come over and insert herself into the conversation...she even got mad when I was having lunch with some girls after she broke up with me...I could pick 'em back then, I tell ya, LOL.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've never been particularly "good" friends with any ex. I suppose it could happen, though.

the walking man said...

The woman I share kids with and I are friendly, I like her husband of the last twenty odd years and he did well in raising the kids. But we do not call or talk with each other more than once every couple of years.

Of the few people I can count that I have let in close enough to be called friends (4) all of them are female. These friendships work because I and they make few demands on each others time.

Of the women I have slept with, other than the old lady they are so far in the past that I don't know them anymore. The longest lived friendship I have at the moment is less than a decade old.

R's Musings said...

I think it depends on the ex. I do not want or need a relationship with my ex-husband. He was someone I used to punish myself way back when. That need has diminished considerably as I've aged. In general, I believe that when the relationship has fulfilled itself, it will end. What's done is done. It will only linger if there are unresolved issues that need to be resolved with that particular person and/or situation. Otherwise, we just continue to play out our unconscious behavior patterns with the next unsuspecting collaborator. Good question, M. :)

Anonymous said...

I was friends with two ex-girlfriends up to the moment that I got married (in 1993 and still married). Then I had to dump them as friends (which was fair, since they had both dumped me as boyfriend). I remember saying to one of them "you are not a friend, you are an ex-girlfriend!"

I agree with Jodi: the old sex stuff is baggage you can do without.

YogaforCynics said...

As to the general question of whether men and women can truly be friends, I say yes, absolutely, no question. Most of my friends are women and my closest friends are almost all women.

At the same time, it's important to be in a context that allows for it--generally, the more mainstream the people in your circle of friends are, the more difficult it'll be to have a male-female friendship without running into friction. Most of the people I hang with are academics or artistic types, or otherwise bohemian/liberal, and a number of them are gay, and none look twice at friendships across gender lines. On the other hand, a friend I've known since high school, who's now a suburban housewife running with a pretty conservative crowd. I think stopped inviting me to parties because too many of their friends were making suspicious comments to her husband (he and I are completely cool) about me. So, now, we just get together for lunch or whatever.

As for being friends with exes...I'd say it's complicated, but the biggest problem is often current significant others who can't handle it.

justin said...

stop being friends with your ex's and you then you won't have any more ex's......

Heff said...

NOPE, on all counts.

Anonymous said...

All my Ex-es live in Texas...