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Exes and friendship?

When a relationship ends, you usually don’t just stop caring about the person. There are lingering emotions and sometimes attraction. So does this mean forming a friendship is a bad idea or the best idea?

When you go from friends to lovers then back to friends again, how should the dynamic change?

A lot of us have a particular ex who we prefer to pretend does not exist anymore, but what about the former loves who you really want to stay connected to? Those great people who turned out not to be a great match for you but you want in your life. Is it naive to expect a friendship or can it be done with good expectations and communication?

How many of your exes are you still friends with and have kept communication?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

217 comments Add your comment

Lily

May 22nd, 2012
7:21 am

No lingering friendships here. Put the past behind you.

FrankNErnest

May 22nd, 2012
8:30 am

I avoid the communication, as she is married now and so am I. I would be lying if I said I didn’t often fantasize about hooking back up with her every now and then though. She was like a nuclear bomb in bed!

The man formerly know as Dan - still...Superior

May 22nd, 2012
8:38 am

I still do, if we ended as friends. Not to keep the door open, but like you said, the caring just won’t stop, can’t stop, take that, take that..

Teena

May 22nd, 2012
8:48 am

Wow this is a topic I can relate to….I think it depends on how the relationship ended. If it was done tactful and with respect on both parts (ie, no cheating or lying). A friendship can eventually be redeemed. But I think there should be time apart to get rid of any lingering feelings especially if the breakup was onesided. I have exes that I probably would never speak to again, then I have some that I am friends with. Definately a case by case basis.

Row 125, Seat 11B

May 22nd, 2012
8:55 am

One of my best friends in the world is someone I use to date….To this day, I still love her and would do anything for her. She is now married to a great guy and they have a wonderful family…She trusted her relationship enough to come clean with him concerning our history and he and I are now cool enough to golf together a couple of times a month. I think the key is to be an adult and to make sure there is the highest level of respect shown…..

Bluzgirl

May 22nd, 2012
9:01 am

So far, I have only been able to remain close friends with one ex. We were a horrible match as a couple, but he was such a good person and fun to hang out with. We were together for three years off and on. When it finally ended, we tried the friends thing immediately and I couldn’t do it. It took me about 6 months of no communication before I was over the feelings and was able to see and talk to him. We remained good friends until he passed away in March.

The recent ex…I’m still undecided if we will ever be friends. Right now, I still want nothing to do with him. Who knows what the future holds. I have a feeling that I won’t want to be friends later…

Randyt (what you talkin about Willis?)

May 22nd, 2012
9:11 am

Mixed answers on this one. I still maintain a friendly relationship with my ex-wife just because of family. It is/was just easier to put the animosity aside and that has been mutually beneficial. It has, however, caused problems with relationships since then. It is intriguing that sometimes they want to maintain a relationship with their exes but don’t want or understand that you might.

Lovers…now that is a different subject. Somehow wanting to “remain friends” is always easier for the “dumper” than the “dumpee”. I think it is, at least for me, too hard to keep a friendship with someone when emotions were once strong. Occasionally over the years I have touched base with my “transition lover” and she would really like to be friends, but frankly I still remember the pain and the betrayal and the rejection…and I don’t need the questions bubling to the surface. Is this petty on my part, maybe? What can I say, I am a textbook Scorpio and a poker player…when I go all in, I go all in.

For me, it is better to let the dead bury the dead and not look back. I highly doubt I would have anything to do with my ex-wife if it weren’t for the children we share.

Celisea....William Levy is my "cross over"

May 22nd, 2012
9:45 am

Morning all,

I think break-ups that end tumultuously will almost always have both parties swearing to never speak again. What I’ve found and learned about growth is as time heals all wounds, time has a way or dissipating anger….that is if you’re willing to grow and move on. With that being said, an ex is an ex and the ex stays an ex but simply because that season has passed. I didn’t always know or see it this way but like I said…I’m growing :)

I’m not looking to hang out or keep in touch but I’ve experienced swearing an ex boyfriend off, crossing paths years down the road only to find that anger you held to disappoint even you. It’s nowhere to be found…lol At the least I’m pleasantly surprised that we can speak or exchange pleasantries for a few minutes, mentally note “hey not as mad or as madly in love as I thought I was” and continue on with life. Will we break bread subsequent to that acknowledgement? Likely not. Is it benefiting releasing and growing and moving on? Most definitely.

kimmie

May 22nd, 2012
9:45 am

Morning All!!

Somehow wanting to “remain friends” is always easier for the “dumper” than the “dumpee”. Randyt, I SO agree with this!!!

I guess you could say I am still friends with one guy I used to date. But that’s because we were really good friends while we dated, true friends. He married over 10 years ago and lives in TX. His family still loves me and I was friends with his sister as well. Every now and then we exchange an email. He emailed a pic of his nephews and I emailed a wedding pic. That’s about the extent of our dealings, because we respect each other’s relationships. We are friends more on an intellectual level than anything.

All the other dudes I dated – no. I have never wished to remain friends, even those where there were no hard feelings. We were not friends before, so no need or desire to form a friendship after the breakup. I am fortunate that I have wonderful, lifelong friends that I don’t have to worry about spouses or SO’s getting jealous or uncomfortable. I hung out with my 2 best friends from college on Saturday and there was no threat of disrespect to my marriage or theirs.

I don’t care how “mature” all parties are, trying to hold on to some “friendship” after you’ve broken up is more trouble than it’s worth. Remain civil if you’ve got kids together. Otherwise, I’ve got enough friends already.

i'm swiss

May 22nd, 2012
10:00 am

I guess I just don’t really see a reason keep exes around as friends, unless I’m still tapping it every now & then. I’ve got enough friends. Once I got started getting serious with Mrs. Swiss, all communication with my ex stopped. Not out of any animosity toward my ex, but more out of respect for Mrs. Swiss.

Randyt (what you talkin about Willis?)

May 22nd, 2012
10:03 am

@ Im swiss…when are you going to post those videos of your ex on YouTube? “Enquiring Minds Want to Know” (okay, just kidding)

Peter

May 22nd, 2012
10:04 am

I had an ex contact me 15 years later last year though Facebook…… she stated she was married so her last name was different. He question to me was……. “are you Happy ” ?

I never responded, and just deleted the message. My thoughts are why in the world would you contact me again ? That was the past, and really it brought up some anger in me…..I realized I was still in a way pissed at the ending, and the lies, from the way past.

I also wonder about this person who was cheated on many times over in the past via her other relationships, why she would contact a past relationship, and never considered how it might hurt her current husband if he found out ?

Randyt (what you talkin about Willis?)

May 22nd, 2012
10:08 am

@Peter…interesting post. I strongly suspect that scenario is played out daily on FB. Things like that can cause more damage and hurt than anyone can know. Emotional affairs are just as damaging as physical ones…and usually start just like this.

i'm swiss

May 22nd, 2012
10:08 am

Randy — LOL… I’m not that vindictive…

i'm swiss

May 22nd, 2012
10:11 am

…But I am vindictive enough to keep those little cinematic masterpieces around just in case… LOL

Randyt (what you talkin about Willis?)

May 22nd, 2012
10:12 am

@ swiss …I WAS just playin wit ya…just remembered your mentioning some, ahem, “interesting” videos. ;-)

Celisea....William Levy is my "cross over"

May 22nd, 2012
10:14 am

There’s a difference in letting past hurt go between you and an individual versus trusting that breed that’s simply no good. Folks that are habitual cheaters or those that believe they’re slick enough to fish from the same pond, that’s who they are. There ain’t enough Kumbayaing in the world to make me dismiss character deficiencies…lol

disco

May 22nd, 2012
10:15 am

hey y’all. good morning. well I’ve already been down this path with y’all. I’ve got a few exes that I am friends with. two were family friends already when I got involved with them and are still ingrained in the family dynamic. they grew up with relatives of mine and are still friends with those same relatives today. I live in another state and so those two exes actually attend more of my family events than I do. lol. with the third guy there’s no family connection. there was no drama or animosity, we continue to speak by phone and if one of us is in the other one’s town we try to drop in. it’s his family reunion that I plan on “crashing” in Charleston later this summer. the odd thing is that all of these exes are from more than 10-15-20 years ago. my how time flies.

i'm swiss

May 22nd, 2012
10:17 am

Randy — Oh, I know, dude.

But you know, I really do believe behind every dark cloud is a silver lining. And behind the dark cloud of my f__ked up relationship w/ my ex was the silver lining of some nice, homemade lesbo p0rn. And for that, I’m thankful. :lol:

Randyt (what you talkin about Willis?)

May 22nd, 2012
10:22 am

swiss – ;-) …nothing more to say, just ;-)

kimmie

May 22nd, 2012
10:24 am

disco – That’s actually cool that you are friends with those guys. Sounds like you all were “actual” friends before and during.

The few that really wanted to be friends with me after we broke up just wanted to hang around and keep ish going, I do believe!

i'm swiss

May 22nd, 2012
10:26 am

“…just wanted to hang around and keep ish going”

Can you blame them, kimmie? You know you’ve got that fiyah booty. :lol:

kimmie

May 22nd, 2012
10:36 am

Swiss – They lost all rights, priviledges therefore ascertained when we broke up!!LOL!! They just wanted to hang around and keep things messy! Not I!!

disco

May 22nd, 2012
10:39 am

kimmie – I don’t know that I’d say we were friends before so much as that they’d always been around and so everything was always comfortable. they have definitely cemented their place as friends of the family. even if I wanted to walk around acting stank towards them my family would probably just tell me to go sit down somewhere and then go fix them a plate. lol.

Randyt (what you talkin about Willis?)

May 22nd, 2012
10:41 am

@ kimmie…your 10:24 reminds me of a somewhat spooky incident. First let me say that long before there was caller id, my Mom always knew when the phone rang who was on the other end…she just knew. I inherited some of that…sometimes I just “know”. It was probably five years after my breakup with my “transition lover” and I hadn’t seen or talked to her in over three years. A friend called and suggested that we go to Johnny’s Hideaway and I had this strong premonition that I would see her, because she used to go there some. The feeling was so powerful that I was going to run in to her that I felt a major relief when he changed his mind and suggested another dance bar miles closer. We walked in to this bar and I’m there five minutes when I look up and guess who. I see her on the dance floor…and even with a change of plans, I still ran in to her. I had grown a beard and she did not immediately recognize me, but as she walked by I sort of lightly grabbed her arm and said “hello Barb”.

We talked for several hours and the chemistry was just as strong as ever. I contemplated (no I just wanted her right then and there, no contemplated) taking her back to her condo, but it was like a voice kept whispering in my ear, “don’t do it, don’t go there”. I listened to that voice and went home and took a cold shower (figuratively). The next morning I am sitting in North Point Community Church listening to Andy Stanley give a sermon about the “Holy Spirit”. All of a sudden he states that the “Holy Spirit” is a voice that comes in to your mind advising you “Dont’ Do It, Don’t Go There”. Exactly the same words I had been hearing in my head a few hours before.

Strange.

i'm swiss

May 22nd, 2012
10:45 am

” the “Holy Spirit” is a voice that comes in to your mind advising you “Dont’ Do It, Don’t Go There”.

As opposed to the “Swiss Spirit” which would have been telling you, “Beat that puddy like it owes you money, dog!!!!” :lol:

kimmie

May 22nd, 2012
10:46 am

Randyt – WOW is all I can say!! You and I are kindred spirits in that I have such a “gift” as well!! I think I get it from my mother and grandmother!!

Yes, that voice in your head is very much the Holy Spirit. I have learned to listen to it more and more over the years!!

Randyt (what you talkin about Willis?)

May 22nd, 2012
10:48 am

LOL…i’m swiss…I wanted to, boy did I want to, but as I’ve said and truly believe, “there is no such thing as free sex…it all has a price tag”. If it is any consolation, there are times I have wanted to kick my own azz for not going home with her, but…

Celisea....William Levy is my "cross over"

May 22nd, 2012
10:52 am

William Levy is the only forbidden I want to take home with me :)

Leggs

May 22nd, 2012
10:58 am

Good morning.

All I can say is I haven’t burned any bridges with any of my ex’s. They will remain ex’s but if I were to run into anyone of them, there’s no bad blood.

One particular ex’s laugh makes me cringe to this day. I just seem to tuck my head into my shoulders whenever I hear it. Like chalk on the board!

@Randy ~ when it’s that strong and you DON’T listen, harm usually comes to the person. Glad you took heed!!!

abc

May 22nd, 2012
11:07 am

I don’t maintain contact with any exes. I really don’t understand why anyone would. If my girl did, I wouldn’t like it one bit — I don’t believe that there are any male-female ‘just friends’. The potential is always there, usually not even under the surface, just right there.

Randyt (what you talkin about Willis?)

May 22nd, 2012
11:08 am

Okay, the blog nazi just ate a particularly imaginative post of mine. I knew i should have copied it just in case.

abc

May 22nd, 2012
11:08 am

The thing about following the Spirit is you have to listen for it. Not always easy to do, with all the racket and chaos of contemporary life.

disco

May 22nd, 2012
11:10 am

leggs – I know a few folks with voices that make me cringe.

abc – sorry to advise you but potential is everywhere. at least with exes a person might take the time to remember why they are exes. it might be all that new potential that you have to worry about.

abc

May 22nd, 2012
11:15 am

That’s why me and my girl adhere to a policy that doesn’t include the opposite sex.

kimmie

May 22nd, 2012
11:17 am

disco – I get what you are saying, but why invite trouble when there is really no need. And I’m not talking about your situation with your exes, but you get it.

Randyt (what you talkin about Willis?)

May 22nd, 2012
11:17 am

I agree with abc. Women don’t always comprehend this, but men usually have an agenda…even if even they are not aware of it. Think about it. If the hot young thing in the office needs some comforting conversation, and so does 60 year old Aunt Mildred…who gets the sympathy from the guys? Men seldom develop or continue friendship just toatally for the friendship’s sake. I know there are some exceptions, but not generally. I’ve said before that men smell vulnerability like a shark smeslls blood in the water. That is why, women should particularly avoid confiding in other men while in a marriage or a relationship…just not wise on any level.

kimmie

May 22nd, 2012
11:26 am

Randyt – I have to agree with you. There are exceptions, but it’s just not worth it generally, at least if either or both of you are in another relationship.

And sorry, all that “haven’t stop caring” is for the birds as well(generally). Sure, immediately following a breakup emotions are running high. That’s when you shouldn’t attempt maintaining a friendship anyway. For the most part, my exes are all good guys. I wish no harm on any of them. But do I still “care” like that – no I really don’t. I wish them well, but that’s it.

Celisea....William Levy is my "cross over"

May 22nd, 2012
11:27 am

I understand it all too well. I think friendship between a man and woman means sex is always on the table. I would have a problem with my SO being tight with an ex. It’s a matter of respect and a matter of not placing yourself in harm’s way. No I’m not jealous nor paranoid nor insecure but if I have to “watch it” and keep men at bay, tell me an ex of my SO is hot and he ain’t thinking what it would be like to bang her while she’s talking about something totally to the left? Just saying. Respect the boundaries. An affair is an incident just waiting to happen.

abc – Keep your policy. I live under the same premise. I’ve been told that I’m paranoid. Yeah right. No one wants to be in a situation that’s stifling but all to often we hear of folks saying “what had happened was” Maybe not all of us can attest to getting just a tad too friendly with someone taken but I’ve been there and it’s real.

The man formerly know as Dan - still...Superior

May 22nd, 2012
11:27 am

I chose to hang with her because she was good people; that we didn’t work out as a couple is a matter separate from her (or me) being good people.

As I generally don’t like people, why wouldn’t I want to keep the few that I do like around?

Y’all make things too complicated.

Lady~Love will win the fight~

May 22nd, 2012
11:33 am

Interesting…………..

disco

May 22nd, 2012
11:35 am

randy – I just love to hear a guy tell the truth about waiting on the opportunity to get in there. I hate when guys try to front like that’s not their motive. I feel like it’s almost always the motive even if they don’t believe they have much of a shot they still like to hang in there for the just in case.

dan – I’m siding with you today. still I think we are outside of the norm. sort of like when the topic of friends dating your exes came up. a lot of people have a huge problem with that. not me.

Mike P

May 22nd, 2012
11:37 am

I don’t befriend a women unless there’s ZERO attraction on my part.
If we’re friends, then we’ll never be, ever! lol
Ain’t gonna be no “let’s be friends first.” If I approach, you better recognize, its on! No? you don’t like my “all or none” approach, then you can fade to black! enough of yall out there, who needs you? bye bye!!!
When an Ex becomes… she’s delete from my habits and thoughts. just done.

Leggs

May 22nd, 2012
11:37 am

Some men love the chase, even if their conquest out runs them…some men are simply diehards at heart and never seems to give up. Not a good look.

disco

May 22nd, 2012
11:41 am

mike p – another shout out to honesty!!! guy I recently met trying to tell me he asked for my number because I looked like someone he wanted to get to know. I call BS. he asked for my number because I looked like someone he wanted to screw. he accused me of being one of those women who thinks everyone wants her. I replied with not everyone – just the guys who ask for my number. lol.

Randyt (what you talkin about Willis?)

May 22nd, 2012
11:48 am

@disco re: 11:41…that’s funny. I admit I use the “you seem like someone I’d like to get to know”. Technically speaking it is kind of hard to say “honey I want your number because I want to screw you”. LOL Can’t win ;-)

Randyt (what you talkin about Willis?)

May 22nd, 2012
11:52 am

(I never could pull off the old, “Why don’t we get drunk and screw?” like the Jimmy Buffett song).

Robert

May 22nd, 2012
11:55 am

“How many of your exes are you still friends with and have kept communication?”

I never really quit seeing my exes. Keeping the lines of communication open are what real friends do. For example I have several exes who have gotten married over the years’ but we still remain friends and stay in contact. They usually call whenever they have a problem and need to talk to someone who will listen and not be judgemental. I try to be a “friend in need” without the drama associated with being friends with married women who call to talk but really want the life they once had. I had a few friends who wanted to continue a sexual relationship. I do not date married women or women in a committed relationship. I have a lot of respect for myself and my exes.

Randyt (what you talkin about Willis?)

May 22nd, 2012
12:00 pm

@Robert…I’m not disputing what you said, it is well written and logical. That said, do you ever wonder what the husbands of the married ladies are thinking when their wives confide in someone else…and specifically someone they were involved with? It may be innocent, but is it smart…for them? Seems dangerous to me, just does.

abc

May 22nd, 2012
12:06 pm

Any man that would intrude upon my relationship has a real problem on his hands, no matter what his opinion of it is. Serious problem.

In my younger days, I had no problem with living the Buffet song, Randy. Just as I once was a teenage boy, so I know what they’re after, I was also once in my 20’s, and was single in my 40’s. I know better than to think that truly platonic exists.