Opening the “ex” files is a little bit like being witness to a car crash on the motorway in the way that as much as you don’t want to see what’s happened, there’s this niggling sense of curiosity (or “nosey person” syndrome) which gets the better of us, so we arch our necks as we drive past. In the same way, as much as you’re aware that your latest beau has a history which came before you and you don’t really need to know the ins and outs of them as a couple, something inside pangs to find out/curiosity kills the cat and the human need in us to be a little bit nosey takes over.
Allowing the case of the ex into your relationship is a hurdle that you can never quite get over. I’m very much a “we didn’t work out, you need to not exist” kind of deal. I’ve never stayed friends with my exes because the “ex” part of that ex boyfriend term means that something didn’t work out, so people who stay friendly with their exes are like aliens to me.
Especially when the person who is friendly with their ex is your new beau.
You don’t want your new guy to harbour extreme hatred and rage for their ex girlfriend, because they’re the kind of guys you see on the Daily Mail with dead fish eyes and a bag marked “exhibit A” containing a bloodied object, but there’s something equally as unnerving as BFF exes.
Much like people say that men and women can’t be friends without one harbouring feelings of a romantic or sexual kind for the other, I don’t believe that you can simply evolve from being in a relationship with someone to just being friends. To put it crudely: how can you be just friends with someone who’s been inside you and witness to your sex face?
Stepping into the shoes of an ex is girlfriend is difficult especially if they were a couple for a considerable amount of time and you’re the new girl, fumbling around and constantly learning the complexities which make up a human males mind. When you have the ex girlfriend on the other end of the phone and your heels feel constantly hot and your toes are well and truly trodden on, at what point are you able to step out of their shoes and into your own? When post coital slumber is followed by a text to an ex and a.m cuddles are interrupted by a good morning message, how do you keep your feelings from being bruised and feeling like “the other woman” in a Dawsons Creek style love triangle?
I wonder whether I’m a cynic and my scepticism of men and women being friends post relationship taints my understanding somewhat.
So the question goes…can you be friends with an ex?