Saturday, September 6, 2008

An Honest Question

Am I the only person in the world who finds it exceedingly impossible to be "just friends" with ex-boyfriends? I feel like once you've crossed that tenuous line of intimacy where you sleep together and fall asleep together and smoke cigarettes naked and watch an endless amount of bad cable television in bed and bitch about how your families don't get you, it's impossible to just sit across from them at a shitty downtown restaurant with a watery smile pasted on your face and ask how their classes are and if their little sister is still playing lacrosse.

If you are one of those amazing people who can see an ex-boyfriend without wanting to sleep with them or even just hold their hand, how on earth do you do it? Even if the relationship ended poorly I've never been able to be casual friends with someone I've dated. I either end up not speaking to them at all, or entertaining this strange concept of friends with benefits, only inevitably one of us ends up liking the other one more than we should, and eventually we're back to start. The only way to escape the cycle is to constantly remind yourself why you broke up or why you are dysfunctional as a couple, but that becomes especially difficult when you're spooning and listening to Iron and Wine. The reasons you ended things immediately seem so far away. We've changed, you tell yourselves, we're mature and fit better together now.

Here's a hint: No. You haven't, and you don't.

I think part of it is that I'm just lazy. It's much easier to fall into the intimacy and great sex that one craves by rekindling it with your ex-boyfriend than it is to go searching for those things in strangers. And even though I'm, well, "pre-dating" someone now, the idea of having to work so hard to eradicate awkwardness and establish lives that work smoothly in tandem seems so exhausting.

So I'm leaving the country! Boys are confusing and pretentious literary circles disappoint me so I'm fleeing the country so that I can find the exact same boys and the exact same pretentious, disappointing literary circles... only in French, which makes them sexier and more drunk and thus clearly better.

But really. Are any of you just friends with your ex-boyfriends/girlfriends? Enlighten me!



Vanessa said...

No. Sorry, you probably saw a comment to this entry and thought someone had left some wonderful advice about how to do it, but no. I have no idea. I am living the awful never-really-break-up-cycle right now and it is horrible. And I don't believe you can just be friends. I just don't believe it.

Sorry. Enjoy Paris!

Marshall said...

I don't need to tell you what that punching bag looks like, but it needs another arrow.

Susan said...

I definitely think its possible to stay friends. I have with at least one ex and its to the point that I can't remember dating him, I only really remember being friends with him. Also, we don't live in the same city, I think that helps. Also time helps a LOT, as well as wanting to be friends. Right now, it really sounds like you don't want to be your ex's friend you also don't want to disappear from his life. That's completely normal but not the best situation to avoid awkwardness. I wish I could give advice on how to make it work, but just know that it can. Also, its person to person, he has to want to be friends too otherwise, like you said, one person ends up wanting more than the other. Also, remember that even friends argue and scream frustrations and often times you've fought so much with that person in the past, that arguing now seems almost enjoyable. Enjoy Paris. Hook up with hot dirty french men who don't speak english. It'll do wonders for you! Everyone needs to have a few memories like that to bring them back to reality when they find themselves spiraling.

Miranda the Panda said...

Max and I are still friends.
It doesnt help that he lives across the street from me.

Gay Toast said...

i only remain friends with exes for the possibility of a future drunken, nostalgia-fueled hookup that will shatter all possibility of actual friendship. because sometimes you're lonely and you want someone who knows you to touch you.