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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » The stress of "staying freinds". Advice, please?

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Author Topic: The stress of "staying freinds". Advice, please?
IHKVEC
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Member # 35779

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This issue has been niggling at me for a long time and with a whole new load of problems among my friends, i really cant afford to have this one keep on getting me down. It requires a little back story i'm afraid, but i'll try my best to keep it simple...

When my first girlfreind and i broke up around May, i was distraught (umm... maybe this should go inthe lgbt bit? mm, nah - it hasnt got much to do with gayness. I dont think. makes little difference.) We'd been friends for a two years or more before we finally confessed. It was first love... well, at one point or another. Either way - i was very emtionally invested in our relationship, despite the various issues we had which now seem so gut wrenchingly obvious. If i had been honest with myself, i wanted to end it too, but nonetheless i was heartbroken when she dumped me. But, for the sake of our peer group and whatever remained of our friendship, we decided to "stay friends".

A month or so later, and we can be perfectly civil together. Naturally, sometimes it was a bit more difficult than that. Confusion and hormones, nothing more. Still, we could actually hold a pleasant conversation – which is more than most people in a my situation could say. We became increasingly relaxed around each other, and on the whole – things are going swell. We could have a laugh, chat one to one, even have a giggle over a little in joke from when we went out . Still, things have been getting... worse for me lately. I find it harder and harder to like my ex. Well, easier and easier to pick out the stuff that i don't like.

Now, on the one hand - thats a good thing: it means im moving on, not being lovey dovey, silly and smitten like i used to. On the other - we're "staying freinds", and friends are supposed to get on with one another.

PLUS - before went out we had both liked each other for a long time... About a year for both of us, as we gradually grew closer and closer . This makes me wonder whether there really IS a friendship to return to, or whether our friendship before was only ever one was fueled by romantic feelings? Does that make our friendship now impossible?

I know that, for the sake of our other freinds, its best that she and i stay freinds... But is it actually possible for someone who broke your heart to also be your friend? Is it impossible to be friends unless there is ABSOLUTELY ZERO romantic feelings between the two? Is it healthy to stay friends with an ex, or in order to move on completely, should i cut all ties with her? Was "staying friends" a bad idea from the start? How can i make this kind of friendship easier on myself? How can i make easier on my friends? Should i stop worrying my pretty little head over it, because of course its gonna be tough?
And.. uh ... i'm running out of headspace to deal with this... um ... HELP?! [Frown]

LOOK, if you've read all this, both you and i will know i wont get a magic fix for all of this. All i'm asking is for is any tips, advice, or suggestions, on the whole “staying friends” thing. If you've been in a similar situation, it'd be great to have your opinion, or to know how you dealt you with it.

ANYTHING would be MUCH appreciated.

Posts: 4 | From: uk | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Blue Koi
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There is no steadfast rule on whether or not two people should stay friends after a breakup. For some people, this works smoothly, and for others, they need their space before going back to being friends, and for still others, they just grow apart. It all depends on how comfortable with the situation, and if you believe what you have now is a healthy relationship for you. I noticed that you said you want to stay friends for the sake of your other friends. But ask yourself, if they are truly your friends, they will support your decision to see/not see your ex, regardless, right? It may be uncomfortable, but if you are unhappy, then you should decide what would be best for you.

It sounds like you are finding it hard to be around your ex. If you still want to stay friends in the run long run, perhaps taking a break from your friendship to collect your thoughts is best for the both of you. And sometimes you find other interests and grow apart in the process, and that is okay too.

Again, it is possible to stay friends for some people, and not for others. It is a good idea for some people, and not for others. It depends on your particular situation. Good luck, and I wish the best to you!

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"Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions."

Posts: 171 | From: USA/CHINA | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Spectrespecs
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I'm currently in the same boat as you are, just in the other seat. My boyfriend and I had been dating for what would have been three years in November. I decided to end it about a month ago due to feelings of under-appreciation and the sort. We made the pledge that though we were broken up we'd "stay friends". After all, how could we survive without each other? We'd been friends for so long. You can't just drop someone out of your life who has been there for years and years. But as we go along, I have found he's not holding up his end of the deal. While we've been apart, I've been trying to move on but he seems to mope around. He gets angry when I hang out with other boys and was appalled to find out about my exploits with others. Now he is furious at me and can barely hold up a conversation with me without accusing me of being a whore, of being stupid, and a slough of other hurtful remarks. His jealousy is quickly getting out of hand and it's interfering in my new personal life without him.

Long story short, my advice is this: it's best to part ways for however long you must in order to heal and become your own independent person again. There will be hurt for whoever moves on first, painful memories and wistful thoughts. It's best to throw yourself into your own world without holding metaphorical hands with the person who you're trying to lean to live without.

Posts: 2 | From: USA | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PenguinBoy
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Heya

before I move onto the main question; Spectrespecs, if you were still with him and you told us that, I'd probably be recommending you get out of that sexual relationship for being clearly clearly abusive, this is the same for your current relationship/friendship, you deserve not to be accused of anything for living a perfectly healthy healthy single life.

Hi IHKVEC,

quote:
This makes me wonder whether there really IS a friendship to return to, or whether our friendship before was only ever one was fueled by romantic feelings? Does that make our friendship now impossible?
I'm going to answer this first and say that here I think romantic feelings and wanting to be friends are both about liking someone and wanting to spend time with them, simply in different ways. Friendship and romantic relationships, therefore, are also similarly linked. They're different variations on the same theme, but they're all about having the sort of relationship which fits specifically who you are as a person. If it doesn't work one way we adjust it, which is what you both did when a more romantic relationship was something you felt was having an adverse effect on you two. The only direct reason a friendship wouldn't work is the same, not that it wasn't there before but that you're not happy.

After an intense romantic relationship, sometimes we do bring all our baggage with us into the friendship, and maybe the problems you had then, haven't gone away completely now, or maybe new problems are lurking simply from bad memories... but these are ok.You could just take some space away from each other completely then come back to a new sort of friendship when you both feel more ready.


"But is it actually possible for someone who broke your heart to also be your friend?"
Yes, but only if you work out how you work. You sort of have to start over, but it may not always be possible.


"Is it impossible to be friends unless there is ABSOLUTELY ZERO romantic feelings between the two?"
I'd say I have the potential for romantic feelings with a lot of my friends, but it's not instrumental to our friendships and I don't have any intentions to change the friendship I'm happy about nor the feelings that I'm happy about

"Is it healthy to stay friends with an ex, or in order to move on completely, should i cut all ties with her?"
There's nothing you "should" do... you've said you feel you've moved on but just no longer feel you get on... is there any reason why you can't simply spend more time with the people you do feel cool about rather than officially end the friendship?

"Was "staying friends" a bad idea from the start?"
No, you obviously wanted to save a part of the relationship that you were still happy with, and maintain contact with the person you still liked... You can't make a bad decision here, it's all best defined by how YOU feel anyway.

"How can i make this kind of friendship easier on myself?"
Perhaps to focus less on it... I'm guessing this is one of many friendships, but this one is niggling at you. It's just doing what you enjoy, and you're not enjoying that friendship.

"How can i make easier on my friends?"
If you decide not to talk at all to your ex, then it may have a pretty bad effect when you're all together and everyone else is talking to everyone and there's two refusing contact... but otherwise it should make little difference to them, if you're all clear about where you stand, try to avoid arguments and essentially your friends are going to be pretty pleased if you're both happier

"Should i stop worrying my pretty little head over it, because of course its gonna be tough?"
There's nothing wrong with talking about this, it's how you're feeling and you're not going to get much happier unless you do talk about it

I hope I helped. x

[ 08-27-2008, 02:08 PM: Message edited by: PenguinBoy ]

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Posts: 633 | From: Bedfordshire, UK | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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