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Can an ex ever be a friend or, inevitably, end up a backburner?
I read an article in the Man Repeller blog by Haley Nahman called “Can You Be Friends With an Ex No Strings Attached?” and it struck a cord with me. Not because I entirely agreed with what was being said… not exactly.
I definitely didn’t agree with her assumption of “If you’re still friends with an ex, you’re either still in love or never were”. This immediately made me think of LF. As I mentioned in my post about my stepdad “Times not always a healer: in loving memory…” LF was my boyfriend at the time that whole event happened.
I am not in love with him but I do still love him. I will always love him, as a friend. And I want him to be happy. One of the major bone on friction between me and my other ex’s after LF was that they don’t not want me speaking to LF. Which I do not agree with. I have always said that no matter what happens if LF needs to speak to me or needs me there then I will be there for him. And if my partner has an issue with it then, unfortunately, they just have to deal with it. Its not because LF is my ex boyfriend that I will be there for him, it is because he was not only my persons during that time but he was also there for my mum and met my whole family. At the funeral.
Now to put this into perspective, the amount of respect and love I have for LF is a lot. LF and I had only been together for a month or so before Neil died. He just met Neil maybe twice? Definitely once. And then LF stood up and not only helped me and held me, he also helped my mum.
He didn’t have to do that. He didn’t need to stay. He could’ve just walked away or not been as involved as he was, but he is not that kind of guy.
Apart from my next boyfriend after LF. I respected that request because LF was my then most recent ex so I understood the uncomfortableness.
LF did the same to me when he got a gf after me. He stopped speaking to me when his girlfriend at the time was uncomfortable. I didn’t like it. But I was happy that he found someone and I understood why he did it. He is a very respectful guy.
Theres more to the story of LF and I but I feel like this is not the post to finish that particular story. This is about my thoughts on all my ex’s in general.
I believe that ex’s can be friends. But there has to be a period of no contact for a while to get used to thinking of them in another way, as a friend. You know you’re over an ex, I feel, is when they talk to you about who they are seeing currently or that they are out dating and all you can think about is how happy you are for them and excited to have a little chat and goss.
I know that I would like to think I’d happily (maybe awkwardly!) speak to nearly all my ex’s, apart from one. But thats the thing, its hard to say how you would react until you encounter them. Which, if am honest, I don’t particularly want to. Which leads me to believe I’ll probably just ignore them…
If they contacted me I would be open to a friendship but I doubt that would ever been something that would happen with any of my ex’s. Apart from LF.
Not because I consider them a back burner or I still have feelings for them. I do not believe in going backwards. Only forwards. I think ex’s CAN get back together and it COULD work. It has happened in the past, with other people. But I do not believe that I, or my ex’s, would ever consider that as a possibility for us.
So now that has been clarified is it right to have an ex as a back burner? Or even as a friend if it hurts them?
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I wanted to ask these questions because I feel this whole article is a very self focused topic. Which is understandable because when you think of an ex the natural thought doesn’t go to oh I wonder what My ex’s thinks or feels about my communication with him/her or the intentions behind it.
When I asked Caz about it she said that it entirely depends on the situation and the people involved, and I agree with that entirely.
This assumption I am having, aka to consider an ex’s feelings, is on the premises that your ex is a decent human being, that has no ulterior motive to be manipulative. Which lets face it… is kind of rare. If your ex is incredibly negative and toxic for you then definitely do not take their feelings or considerations into ANYTHING that you do!
You want to cut them out to stop them from worming their way back in? DO IT!
You want to block them off all social media so they cannot contact you so they be little assholes? DO IT!
You want to block their number or change your number so they can’t call you at ungodly hours of the night? DO IT!
Good now that that has been clarified, lets get back to the topic at hand…
But if you are true friends that I feel like it should. And to become true friends with an ex can be hard. I remember when I was watching How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM) there was an episode that talks about winners and losers of a break up. If you ex is happy and moving on with someone does that mean your losing?
I think the initial answer is yes, of course!
But in the long run. I think it all comes down to timing, luck and situations. If your ex happens to meet someone that they get along with and they are well suited. Then that is just lucky, a good luck. But still luck.
Of course there is a huge possibility that they are on the rebound and its always hit or miss.
Instead of feeling omg I’ve lost the break up, I’d like to try and reconfigure my thought process and think I’ve just not meet the right person. And it be better to meet the right person at the right time.
Now in general you’d want your friends to be happy, you don’t want your friends to be hung up on someone that isn’t going to reciprocate it. Even if it the person they are hung up on is you.
This was something that I was honestly a bit worried about with LF a few years back. In fact when I was dating AM I had to tell LF that I couldn’t speak to him for a bit. Not ever, but for a bit.
I think LF made a sexual reference about him and I and our past active sex life. This I knew was very inappropriate to me as I was in a relationship. I don’t think I ever told AM the real reason why I stopped speaking to LF for a bit. I didn’t want him to know cause I knew that once LF realised that him and I were not meant to be he would get over it.
And he has.
He was always the one that my mum and my friends had thought we would get back together. But again, I am a big believer in never going back. Only forward.
I honestly believe that LF deserves better than being anyones back burner. I said to my mum and my friends that I want someone to love LF whole heartedly, all consuming, deeply in love, love. That is something that I can’t do.
He is not the one for me and I am most definitely not the one for him.
To summarise I think ex’s can be friends, with the necessary time apart, if both parties genuinely want the other to be happy. Which may sound simple… but feelings are so so so complex!
What do you guys think?
Thanks for reading lovelies