Does Ex-Boyfriend Automatically Mean New Best Friend?

Dear Greg Behrendt,

Naturally when I broke up with my boyfriend I lay in bed listening to Allure “All Cried Out”, eating ice cream and reading It’s Called a Breakup Because it’s Broken and I used your amazing words of wisdom to get me through what otherwise could have been a very difficult time of life. In fact, you are the reason I was able to take trips with my boyfriend and his family and his new girlfriend (who would, within 9 short months become the mother of his child and his future wife) even after the breakup. It’s the reason I didn’t go flying back to Los Angeles with my tail between my legs ravished with grief and unable to go on. It’s the reason I was able transform myself into a hot, happening Superfox and get a jump on the better, brighter future that awaits. All for which I so graciously thank you for.

Only one question remains: Does having him as an ex-boyfriend automatically make him my new best friend?

When breaking up it’s so cliche to hear all the things that are expected from one party or the other to say during the breakup:

1. It’s not you, it’s me.

2. I’ll always love you, I’m just not in love with you anymore.

3. It’s not that I don’t won’t to work on us, it’s just that I need to work on me for awhile. You know, find myself again.

4. I just need some space.

5. You deserve someone better.

and of course:

6. I still want to be friends.

Here’s the thing with that. Most of these things are just feel good statements that allow us to nod and feel peaceful about the amicable and mature way we’ve ended our relationship. It has so much to do with looking good for the other person and although these are the natural responses it’s rare to hear:

1. It’s not me, it’s you, it just took me this long to realize it and now that I have I’m clear that there’s no way I’ll be able to keep my life tied to yours for another minute.

2. I no longer love you and never was in love with you.

3. You have consumed my life and robbed me of my ability to be myself. I have spent so much time running behind you I don’t even know where you end and I begin anymore.

4. I’m tired of you being in my space you Stage 5 Clinger!

5. I deserve someone better.

and of course:

6. It’s ridiculous to think we’ll be able to be friends after we’ve spent the last 6 years sleeping together, seeing each other naked, making empty promises to one another, buying a car, two dogs and a Brownstone in Brooklyn together. Yet, we’ll make several attempts and it will often be awkward and uncomfortable and the pain will be more searing than a hot poker in the eye. We’ll continue to attempt until it gets to the point of ridiculousness because neither one of us will be able to admit we can’t be friends.

Right? I’m just sayin’.

So, I’ve been thinking about this alot and why not say what’s there? Why not speak the truth which is that you are my ex-boyfriend, you are in a category of men that few others are and you’re not going to be able to just easily meld into the category with my many male friends who have never seen me naked, never met my mother, never promised anything to me and never purchased anything with me.

Why not just nod and shake hands at the end of the relationship and go our separate ways, I mean really go our separate ways. Instead, what I notice happens is the effort to remain friends becomes so intense that there’s a constant strain on there being any kind of a relationship. It’s like you move from being ex-boyfriend to new best friend which on some levels makes sense because this is a person who knows you better than most people on the planet yet makes no sense at all because now you’re in a position to be around your EX-boyfriend more than you’re around most people on the planet.

I’m just having such a difficult time seeing the logic on why we feel the need to surround ourselves with someone who has made a choice not to be with you and who will find someone else to take your place in his bed, in his heart and in his life. What do you think? Are you best friends with an ex? Do you think exes can be friends? Should be friends? Is it acceptable to just part ways without creating a friendship once you’ve broken up?

Love Always,


One Response to “Does Ex-Boyfriend Automatically Mean New Best Friend?”
  1. Bella Syk says:

    I’ve always wondered about the friends with ex’s thing. I always promised myself I would be on speaking terms with anyone who saw me naked but now being an adult it doesn’t seem that simple. I am friends with past boo thangs. I’ve never slept with them though. I think it depends on how it ended and are you really in a place to want to see that person happy with another. With my jealously…Im not sure. When you have given your all to a person to see them give it to someone else would be hard

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