T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 45929
posted 02-25-2013 04:07 PM
Me and one of my best friends have been friends for about a year now. We had been acquaintances for a while, but we became really good friends when I started dating my current ex-boyfriend, and she was best friends/had a crush on my ex's best friend. He was a really big jerk to her for a long time because he didn't have the same feelings she did, and we became even closer when my boyfriend broke up with me. So, we were both dealing with sort of the same thing of dealing with these two guys who were being sort of jerks, but also us wanting to still be friends with them.
I've been through a lot with my ex and I go back and forth from wanting to be friends with him to not wanting to be friends with him. Over Christmas break I got very angry at him because he kept avoiding me and was being very rude whenever I tried to hang out with him. Me and my best friend tried to hang out with my ex and his friend, but they kept blowing us off and were generally just rude to us, so we decided that we were going to end the situation we had gotten ourselves in and stop talking to them. I guess this was easier said than done. My best friend has done extremely well, as far as I know, and we never talk about the two boys anymore. I didn't talk to my ex for about a month, but I sort of caved and started talking to him again. To my surprise, all of my interactions with him have gone really well, but I also still feel like I am too attached to him, as I know I shouldn't be. It's hard for me to figure out whether or not to stop talking to him because he has been such an important person in my life, despite some of the recent feuds we've been in. But I've been hiding this secret from my friend. I haven't told her that I've talked to him, or that I might be seeing him this weekend. I don't know what to do or how to tell her because I'm afraid she's going to get upset with me. One of the reasons why I didn't tell her was because I was so happy that she was doing better off without her guy, and I didn't want to give her a reason to start talking to him again. I also didn't tell her because we promised each other not to talk about them. But now I don't know what to do. I feel like I have to decide whether or not to keep talking to my ex (and how to stop) and whether or not I should tell my friend I have been talking to him. Can someone help me figure out what to do? I feel awful and I don't want to jeopardize our friendship, but I also don't know how to stop talking to him
Member # 101745
posted 02-25-2013 04:45 PM
I don't think you're under any obligation to share every aspect of your life with your friend, but I can certainly see how it would be awkward keeping this from her. Has she said anything that makes you think she'd stop being your friend if you started talking to him again? I get that your ex and hers are connected in your mind (and in hers) but they are separate people; just because you are thinking about re-opening communication with your ex doesn't mean she needs to do the same with the guy she used to date.
If you decide you want to tell her, maybe you could say something like "I know we were both really frustrated with these guys, but I started communicating with [your ex] a little while ago and it's been going well so far." You can decide from there whether or not it makes sense to talk about maybe seeing him. I also want to check in with you about worrying that you're too attached to your ex or feeling like you don't know how to stop talking to him. Are you getting positive things out of your current interactions with him? I think it can be really easy to fall back into old patterns with exes after a breakup, and sometimes those patterns are a mix of the positive and negative things that happened during the relationship. I don't know your history with him, of course, but if you feel like the dynamic between you two is slipping into a place you'd rather not revisit and you need any help finding a way to distance yourself from him, we can help you sort that out.
Member # 45929
posted 02-25-2013 05:23 PM
Okay. I just didn't know if not telling her would be detrimental, but I think I'm worrying a little more than I should be. I think I am mostly torn up because I have my own problems when it comes to dealing with whether or not I should keep talking to him. I think it was harder at first to talk to him before because I would get really mad at him for the way he treated me before and then we would get into fights and it was just bad. I'm starting to realize that we're not dating anymore and that I'm not going to hear from him as often as I have before, but there are some things that still really bother me, like the idea of him getting a girlfriend. I really am confused when it comes to deciding whether or not I should detach myself from him. I feel like since we are being friendly now it would seem out of the blue to make problems again, and he genuinely wants to be friends with me. He also expressed that he felt bad about the way he treated me in the past and that he's trying to change it. He's the only person I feel really comfortable with when it comes to telling when I feel really down, and when I have really bad moments he's almost always there for me in some way. But then again, there are still these moments where I get upset because I miss the way things used to be, and all the bad things come back and I get hurt all over again. I don't know what to do. I've tried so hard to not talk to him but it just makes me anxious and I can't find a way to stop myself from talking to him. I think I rely on him far too much but I feel like I've caused so much confusion for myself I don't know what to do. I would talk to him and tell him that I would like some space, but I've done that before and never kept my word and I feel like he won't take me seriously. I haven't really talked to any of my friends about it because they've heard these same things thousands of times before... but I'm not any less confused.. even though me and him are communicating well. I don't know what to do :/
Member # 101745
posted 02-25-2013 05:43 PM
Everyone has a different way of dealing with exes, but I do think that it can be very helpful to keep some distance sometimes. I wouldn't call it "making problems" to continue to take a break from him; you don't have to make a big deal about it to your ex but you can just not initiate contact with him for a while longer. Honestly if you feel really upset thinking about him dating someone else it may be good to continue keeping some distance between you for a while.
You say you feel like you can't talk to your friends about him, but here's a thought: if you do decide it would be better and healthier for you to continue taking a break from talking to your ex for a while, do you have some friends you could say "hey, I'm still trying not to talk to or hang out with my ex, can I call you up to chat or get together if I'm feeling lonely?" And then you could know you have some folks on your side who are willing to spend time with you when you have that urge to give him a call. You don't even need to tell them anything specific, actually, but if you're feeling like you want to talk to someone and miss that connection you had with your boyfriend, it may make sense to just reach out to some other people you're close to for a friendly distraction. It's great that you were able to share a lot of personal things with your ex when you were dating but I do think it's also a good idea to have more than one person you can tell those things to. Are any of the things you shared with him the sort of things you can talk about with your friend you mentioned in your initial post? If you are going to build a real friendship with your ex moving forward, I think it's very important to have a friendship that exists on its own terms, not one that's made up of missing the good parts of your relationship. Does that make sense? Sometimes it's easy to fall into a friendship that feels so much like a former relationship that it becomes a lot harder to move past a breakup. Your boyfriend may still be a great friend to you, but if you're missing that relationship strongly right now, I think it may be a good idea to cool things off with him until you can think about him as "great guy! too bad it didn't work out when we dated" and not "I miss having him as my boyfriend so much." (Not to put words in your mouth! I've definitely felt both of these things about exes though, and it really didn't work to be friends until I got past the strong missing-him part.)
Member # 45929
posted 02-25-2013 07:05 PM
Okay, that makes sense. Thank you. I haven't really seen it in this way and I think I really need to have someone to tell me to break it off. I can talk to my friend about the things I talk about with him, I just think that I'm hesitant about doing so because I'm just used to going to him instead of her. I do really think that I need to get my head together because while I don't miss him as much as I used to, I still miss him a great deal and I think it's hurting my ability to move on and create a new life. Thanks very much for your advice, I hope it works