Say yes to the ex?

14 Jul

I don’t like to say that I’ve had a lot of boyfriends, lovers, man friends, etc, but there are some guys in my past. And most of those guys come with weird yet wonderful stories that could only happen to me. But some others are pretty normal (i.e. no teeth falling out during dinner or letting me know that they were in prison for four years right in the middle of eating an appetizer), cue in Saturday night.

Saturday night I went out with my ex boyfriend from college. We dated a loooooong time ago- I’m talking 2003 but have kept in touch on and off since then.

I’ve never been a girl who really keeps in touch with exes. Most of the time it has been the cycle of break up, hate each other and never talk to each other again. And I’m ok with that. I go with the school of thought that they are an ex for a reason.

With this particular ex, It was a bit of a rocky road getting back to friend status or just to where I wouldn’t be a complete beezy to him. He hurt me very badly and it took awhile for me to get over it. The last time I saw him was in 2005 when I first moved to Charlotte. He visited for a weekend however I always wanted a do over since that was before I started losing weight and looked like a hot mess. We tried to meet up a few times since then but one of us would always cancel on each other and it just wasn’t in the stars.

When driving up to DC last week, I texted him on a whim. I really wasn’t planning on talking to him or letting him know I was in the area. He lives about in WV so it’s a bit of a drive with the distance + traffic. But I texted him anyways and he asked if I wanted to go for dinner, drinks, etc. I hesitated answering him then finally said yes.  I was nervous and I don’t know why. It took me awhile to get over him and I feel like I’m finally at a good place with where we stand. I was nerve wracked the entire day of, I don’t know if it was old feelings coming up or what but I was just straight up nervous. I kept asking my friend what if he doesn’t show up or what if he thinks I’m ugly, as if we never met or anything.  He text me that he was on his way but would be there late because of an accident so I just waited some more and enjoyed a beverage. He arrived and I went out to his car, we hugged and were on our way to Georgetown. Driving there, it was weird. It was comfortable in the fact like I felt like no time had passed since we saw each other but also because we got along so well that it was as if he never broke my heart. There were times where a minute or two would go by without us talking and it wasn’t awkward. After battling traffic in Georgetown, we finally found a parking spot and walked around, had dinner and a couple of beers (and yes, he paid for everything thank you)

After the bar, we ended up sitting near some canal waterway and talked…..for two hours. About life, college, how we’ve changed, etc. Nothing really too interesting but it was just nice because it wasn’t awkward. He would ask me a question now and then but he talked the most so it was a lot of listening on my part. Anyone who knows me knows I can be a talker so any time that weight is taken off of my shoulder, I gladly take it. As soon as knew it, it was around midnight so he drove me home, dropped me off, said good bye and waived good bye. I don’t know i I was expecting something more other than that but it was weird to be so platonic with each other. The whole thing was just weird yet comfortable at the same time. He texted me the next day saying something along the lines of “hey let’s do it again”  so it was nice to see that the entire night wasn’t a bust and boring to him. I put effort into looking good but wasn’t heart aflutter like I would have been if this was five years ago. This whole being friends with an ex thing just perplexes me since I really don’t talk to any of mine after the fact. Maybe I could stay on good terms with him without old feelings coming back into play? With him, we always had a good rapport but other exes couldn’t even carry on a conversation so I think I would go batty if I were friends with them after the fact.  Some of my friends stay in contact with their exes and others write them off like I have done with a lot of mine so I think it’s interesting to hear what about other peoples thoughts are on the subject.

Do you say yes to the ex?


12 Responses to “Say yes to the ex?”

  1. Tiffany July 14, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    Exes can be tricky, though I have “re-dated” most of mine (or at least become semi-friendly again), oddly enough! In fact, I even married one. 😉 Granted, we didn’t date for long the first time around, but it was an awkward situation, and we didn’t see each other more than a few times for about 8 years in between the first time and the “reunion”. When we reunited, I felt very tentative about it–he was actually the last ex I ever expected to date again. Perhaps because of that, I went into it (we hung out as friends first, since I was actually in another relationship that was about to end) with ZERO expectations, and we realized we’d both grown and changed a lot, and had become more alike in our thinking… We just clicked the second time around, and though we hadn’t been very close the first time, it felt familiar and quite amazing. Some things are meant to be, but I always advise people to proceed with caution with an ex. Still, you never know. 😉

  2. Abby July 14, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    I don’t have a lot of relationship experience, but I always kept “an ex is an ex for a reason” in the back of my mind. After time passes, we always look back on the past and remember only the good things, not the things that caused the break-up in the first place.

    On the other hand, people can grow and change with time. I think it depends on what you’re looking for– a friend or a relationship? I know most guys have enough “friends” and are usually looking for something more. What is it that you want? I don’t think it hurts to test the waters, but go into it knowing what it is you’re actually going into and get a feel of his side of things…eventually. A few drinks for fun can’t hurt 😉

    P.S. Don’t bring Matilda yet. It might be too soon to introduce another woman.

  3. leashieloo July 14, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    I’ve never been friends with any of my exes because I’m an awkward sort, but I’ve known people who have maintained lasting relationships with exes and they work out well. If you feel comfortable and enjoy his company, I say why not?

  4. OliePants July 14, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    You know Binks was sort of an ex. Well, we dated and we were just in two different places and we took a break. And then after a while, we naturally just came back together. When we were both in the same place on what we wanted and we were better for it. I’m not saying that’s how all relationships with exes are because God knows that I’m not an example. Some are good – some are bad and some aren’t even worth mentioning. But, I don’t think I have any rules to write anyone off just b/c they are an ex.

  5. Monique July 14, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    Well I have been burned by every man I have ever loved romantically. I love that you have this kind of relationship with someone you have so much history with. It shows a great deal of growth on both of you. I am not going to sit here and say OMG YOU ARE GETTING BACK TOGETHER but I will say that you guys are definitely mending old wounds. It is probably a huge releif to him that you are so forgiving. We cant help who we are when we dont know any better, you know?
    When Henry (the last bf) cheated on me, the circumstances were different and I really wanted to be there for him to figure out his self. I was there for him but he didnt accept my friendship the way i wanted him to. He pretty much ignored all my offers to talk or hangout and 1 year later (recently), he emails me asking me if we can get coffee. I am a very forgiving person but not accepting my friendship when it was offered was pretty much his last chance. I told him to take a hike.

  6. Caitlin @ The Caitie Experiment July 14, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    I only have two ACTUAL exes, as in I’ve only had two other real “boyfriends” besides Andrew. I did that whole wild oats bit without getting seriously attached to anyone (which is a total lie because I totally Fatal Attraction-ed one of those dudes for an entire year… oops?). Anyway, to answer the question at hand: I’m still pretty good friends with one ex, who was my first boyfriend/kiss/etc., but we only dated for 3.5 months our sophomore year of high school, and had known each other since first grade before that. He’s just a great guy who I like a lot as a person, so becoming friends again wasn’t very hard once some time had passed.

    As for the other one, well… we dated for almost 4 years, from the end of my junior year of hs through the first semester of my junior year at college. It was a nasty breakup that should have happened about 2 years before it did, and it ended with me saying I thought we should get together to kind of end things on a good note, him saying, “oh yeah, I’ll let you know when works for me” (we were long distance, three states apart at the time), and then…. we never spoke again. Four years, just like that, done, over, finito, the end. It took me A LONG time to get over that, and when I did finally see him out in a bar in my hometown, four years post-breakup, I took the mature route…. meaning I just held my hand out to the bartender, who kept magically refilling my captain and coke, and when he had the nerve to come over to me, I let him have it in front of half of our high school. Then I threw up all over my best friend’s aerobed and brand-new rug a few hours later.

    So, basically, I think it totally depends on the situation of the breakup, and whether you actually want to be friends with the person again. Boyfriend A, yes, I like him as a person. We have a lot in common, and I want nothing more than for him to have happiness in his life. Boyfriend B, well, I’ve let go of the desire to see him on a pike over a bridge somewhere, but I still don’t like him as an individual — the pompous ass he was when we broke up is who he is now, not the sweet and good-natured guy I remember from when I was 18. So, I say: Go with your gut — if you wouldn’t be friends with him if you met him today, then don’t be friends with him. If you’d say, “hey, this dude is cool!” then go for it! Does that make sense?

  7. Amy @ Second City Randomness July 14, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    I’m on friendly terms with two of my ex boyfriends. It took a while to get there with both of them, but we’re comfortable around each other. Which is good- in both instances, we have a million mutual friends….

    However, I’ll still be pissed if they get married before me. Meh.

  8. shannonmscott July 14, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Being friends with an ex is quite rare. I think it takes a lot of maturity and the ability to accept that you weren’t right for each other but you genuinely like and care about the other person. My ex and I “tried” to be friends about a year after our break-up and at first it just ended up with us getting intimate and then my feelings getting hurt. Then when I met somebody who I really clicked with, my ex wanted to “try it again” and I thought I could finally JUSt be friends with him. Well that ended with him being hurt because he wanted more. Now we are amicable (we share mutual friends) and when I see him I can give him a hug and chat and yes in some ways it stirs up emotions but it doesn’t make me question where I’m at now in my life (a good place) and it only takes a minute to remember where I was when he broke my hear (a very dark place). Just be careful and allow yourself to forgive but don’t forget. It may be comfortable and natural being around him but don’t be quick to forget your past with him.

  9. nic - the auspicious squirrel July 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    To tell you the truth, just reading the title of the post, my first instinct was to say, “NO!”

    I say proceed with caution. All of my exes are exes for a reason. One of my exes kept in touch with my folks, that was weird. My parents loved him, but he broke my heart and I couldn’t forgive him. He tried asking me out a few times years later (while he was married!), but I always told him I had a boyfriend even if I didn’t.

    My husband and I were friends for years, but he was not my boyfriend. So my situation is entirely different. I’ve been with him for nearly 20 years, so exes seem really far away.

    I say listen to your gut.

  10. Juju July 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    I know a lot of people, my gf’s who stay friends with their exes, but for me, I just can’t. I’m the type of person, who remembers everything, especially if I’ve been hurt. Then remembering those moments, I can actually feel the pain that I’ve felt before, and I just can’t put myself back there.
    I will tell you this, though… I’ve noticed the only time I could actually look or be near an ex is if he didn’t break my heart, and I was the one who broke up with them. I’m not sure if it’s my guilt, but I always make the effort to be nice to them, or try to get along with them. Of course, in the end, I just back away and try to remember that they are my exes for a reason. And that’s that. Life is like a book, no? You just have to turn the page, to a new chapter… That’s how I see it… 🙂

  11. Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons July 14, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    I have a post about this coming up… but i’ll let you in on the punchline

    I married my ex 😉

  12. Lisa @ Dishes of Mrs. Fish July 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    Personally, being friends with an ex has never worked for me. A few years ago, I dated a friend. We weren’t best friends, but we still had a friend relationship before dating. We dated for several months, did holidays with family and everything seemed perfect. Then all of a sudden he broke up with me. I tried to remain friendly, but all that got me was him telling everyone at his work “I was a crazy word that rhymes with witch.” Oh, did I mention he worked with my dad? It just turned into a horrible situation for my entire family. Eventually, though I met a great guy, and married him. I work in the same school district as my ex’s mom and occasionally run into his mom and sister, who I am on good terms with. In my case, I’d say say no. But there are lots of factors to consider: why you broke up in the first place, is your ex emotionally mature, and if after your time apart you both grown into people you see each other being with.

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