We can't be friends

First, the question was posed to me (and some others) from nice ladies over at The Witches Brew, as follows...

"Do you feel comfortable being in a relationship with a woman who is friends with all of her exes? Would you worry that she's smashing them on business trips and the like?"

My response was direct and honest...

"No, not really... The problem with 'exes as friends' is that they seem more interested in being the 'dick in a glass jar,' and in such disrespect the relationship in how they often flatly state things like 'I'mma get you back' or something of the sort. If boundaries can be respected, then all is fine, but if a dude doesn't stay in his lane then he must go.
Alone time is a strict HELL no. In the interest of fairness, I would expect the same in return as it relates to my female friends and exes/old jumpoffs. The past is the past for a reason, leave it back there."

And I MEANT that shit too...

Things being as they are, I went on about life, mostly neglecting my blog for the most of the summer (of which there are 20 days remaining), and as of when I type this, they had not used the question yet.
[Phlip correction - they put it up today, link]
However
The question has come back around in at least two other ways since then, once specifically on the FaceBook profile of a former coworker, see...
"True/False: When an ex becomes an "ex", severe all ties (no kids involved)?"

To me, that means that I was SUPPOSED to post about this one.


It has always made sense to me that relationships start as friendships. This approach allows one to learn about the individual with which they’re getting involved without the filter that human beings put on when getting romantically involved.

[Phlip note – please miss me with the ‘not me!’ bullshit, you’re all guilty]

Now at the age of 31, I have had 6 “girlfriends” total in my life, including the one to whom I am currently engaged. One was a matter of convenience (I was 16), and all of the others started with something that could be called a friendship – without expectations of more at the time – prior to them BECOMING more. Trust, this vetting process makes for the conversation that needs to take place to avoid entering relationships that you shouldn’t be in. Many of us can name people – some even married with child(ren) – who would be in a better place in their lives if they had acted with some caution.
With each (well, 4… but we can discuss that in another blog – she’s married now) of the 5 evil exes, however, there was something in the relationship that caused a breakdown of the connection and, with it, a split in the relationship. From there, things were such that friendship was not an option.

Simply put, a friendship can BECOME a relationship, but once that breaks down, there is very little to no going back.

I don’t see my situation(s) as terribly different or out of place compared to those of most people to enter/exit relationships. The simple fact remains that once you have known someone in a certain manner (use your adult imagination, here), it is hard – nigh impossible – to go back to a life involving that person without it. For that reason, I have always been the one to accept that the past is the past for a reason and leave that shit back there.

Is there a reason for this?
Damn right there is!

And this is speaking in the most general of as-observed terms…

Men – often seek to conquer the world with what is in our pants. To remain friends with a woman we have been intimate with in the past is – more often than not – a play on that chance that we will become the above-mentioned dick in a glass jar.

[Phlip note – “in case of emergency, break glass” for those of you who don’t get it]

In the mind of some dudes will fester the feeling that the dude (or chick, for the ladies that are into recreational homosexuality) that she is with now will EVENTUALLY fuck up and she will need a microphone to speak into shoulder to cry on. This is the place to be as the “platonic friend,” and being an ex on top of that adds an air of familiarity (read: less challenge) to the equation.


on the other hand...

Ladies – more than men, often fail to disconnect sex from emotional attachment. With that in mind, having been invested in someone emotionally and physically in the past will make it VERY hard to maintain a proper separation of such in the future.
That being said, it is very necessary that a very healthy distance be maintained – even if the interaction after becoming exes is described as a “friendship” – lest one will find themselves squarely back into a situation that they did not want to be in.

[Phlip note – or perhaps they DID want to be in, some people are just fucked the fuck up like that]

Comparison of the devil you know (an ex) to a devil you DON’T know removes the element of surprise and/or the difficulty of building new and healthier friendships. In my opinion, there is no way that a friendship maintained with someone you couldn’t maintain a relationship with is anything CLOSE to healthy. I find this owed to the specter of that failed relationship looming over it, not to mention the possibility of it turning back into more, based upon whatever residual feelings may be there.


You damned right, the Ladder Theory is real and very absolute.


That being said, I am only comfortable with the "friends of the opposite sex" thing as it relates to people who know their lane and stay the fuck in it – lest they become no longer friends. Also, I am adamantly against even the very idea of “ex mates as friends,” just as much as I am against anything even RESEMBLING one-on-one time.

"But what if there's kids?"
No one said you had to be friends with an ex just because there's kids involved... All that is necessary is to behave like civilized adults. Be civilized adults when it comes to the kids, but again if you were capable of a realistic friendship, you might still be together.
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