Are you friends with your exes?

I am not friend with any of my ex-boyfriends. I’m not even still friends with friends I slept with.

I’m not even still friends with all the friends I didn’t sleep with, so I am willing to concede that it might just be me.

I was something of a serial monogamist before I got married. I didn’t have a lot of boyfriends, but I had a couple of pretty lengthy relationships.

I just got caught up in people. I think that’s part of the reason I don’t want to talk to any of these guys. You kind of make a pig of yourself with them, wanting to know everything about them, and eventually, you’re sated. You’re done.

Like that time you had too much tequila, so you never drank tequila again.

(Except I eventually started drinking tequila again and I still don’t talk to my exes.)

Or that time you waited an hour for your food and when it came it wasn’t what you ordered and the beverage service was best described as “negligent” and now you never go back to that restaurant.

And if your friends suggest that restaurant, you’re like, no way! I had a terrible experience there! And so you have to pick another place.

Maybe I don’t have great instincts. I think there are some or a lot of women who will have a gut feeling about someone and avoid getting romantically involved. Historically, I’d be involved huge before I realized that my new boyfriend and I weren’t compatible. But by then I was invested, so I wanted to make it work. I wanted to force it. So you do that for a while, and that is just fucking awful.

(Then you break up and get back together because you are a masochist.)

By the time you are done, you’ve put each other through hell. Emotionally, you are the equivalent of raw, bloody, ground beef. You never want to see each other again.

After all the lying, the cheating (“We were on a break!”), the manipulating, I can’t imagine sitting at a table full of people who witnessed us trying to destroy each other and being like, “We used to date, god, years ago, but we’re great friends now. We’re going on a double date to wine country next weekend, actually.”

Once you’ve seen someone stripped of all their pretensions, or they’ve seen you that raw, it’s really hard to feel like you can pretend to be civilized around them again.

Impossible, really, for me.

I feel like if you never let your feelings get the best of you on the brink of the breakup, if you were always able to keep it civil, then maybe you weren’t passionately in love, and that’s the only way I love. I suspect that’s true of us all!

But some people are friends with their exes. Is it hard? Easy? Healthy? Beneficial?

Supplementary Reading: Science reveals what it may say about your personality if you’re still friends with your ex


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