Men and women alike have endeavored to be “friends” after the demise of a relationship. Friendship with the ex, also known as the “consolation” prize is an offering of mere civility, not to be confused with actual friendship, that holds the door open for unresolved feelings, awkwardness, and general confusion if one or both people are not over the relationship, or have not received something akin to closure as a result of dishonesty, acts of omission, protection of feelings, and etc.
I repeat friendship DOES NOT work if there are prominent lingering feelings. I’m not speaking of those passing feelings of fondness. I’m referring to thinking, obsessing, ruminating on what was, what could’ve been, and what it isn’t. Friendship after a relationship only works if both parties have MOVED ON.
I’ve heard many examples of my friends “friendship” with their exes. Hey, I’ve had my own. The talking from time to time, maybe once out of the month about myopic conversations that could’ve been saved for facebook walls or your diaries. The “just checking up” on you call is you crossing their mind, not a play by play of the guy/girl lost. Sometimes it’s just, I’m bored and I have no one to talk to and I know you’ll talk to me. It’s ego.
If you find yourself in a position where your creating music video scenes of the day you’ll get back together, dreaming the same dream every night, or maintaining a vigil on their facebook page of what’s going on in their lives, chances are your friendship is not a friendship. Friends actually know what’s going on each other’s lives without the use of social media. Friends spend time together. Friends talk on the phone. Friends include you. Now, you might be saying, I know my “friend” and they’re busy or absentminded, or are superheroes. Fantastic! Last time I checked though, inconsistency was never a good thing. If they knew how to make contact once before, they could do it again. It’s possible you just don’t warrant consistent behavior. All of these things just lead to a mess of feelings. Your life should be about self-preservation, so don’t worry if you seem bogus, etc. Generally people who don’t want to hold themselves accountable for their own actions will come up with excuses for your behavior. If it hasn’t affected the price of gas or rendered your degree null and void, who gives a sh*t. Put an end to this pseudo-friendship and take care of you. By end, I don’t mean announcing the friendship is over. POINTLESS, and also seeking attention. Your “friend” is not contacting you enough to announce/resemble a friendship, so why bother announcing its end.
People need to give themselves time to really move on in order to be friends. You know if you’ll feel that consistent pang in your heart. You’ll know if you’re extra excited about a corny knock knock joke from your ex. You’ll know. So don’t play yourself. Especially if you had a bad breakup. If they didn’t treat you great as a partner, how on earth can they treat you great as a friend? The line is blurry when you didn’t have some blowup that led to a parting of ways. Regardless, refer to the indications that you just might not be over it, and don’t mindf*ck yourself. Silence is perfectly alright while you’re healing. There may be the rare few of you who have the ability to make attempts at a genuine friendship, only to find out that the other person’s idea of friendship, or handling of it, does not resemble it. This may lead to a recognition of (a) you might not be as over it as you thought you were, (b) you got a consolation prize from that person for any number of reasons, all leading up to them not being completely up front with you and rationalizing they were protecting your feelings instead of depriving you of the opportunity to really process the end, (c) theirs, or your, friendship was just holding the door open, or (d) all of the above.
So what was the moral of the story here? Oh right. You’re friends? But not really…