Ex-boyfriends, we all have them, some recent, some old, some close, and some strangers. The age old question with this category of men seems to be, is it really possible for us to be friends with them?
Experience and observation would lead me to say no. When South Asian women are intimate, mentally and/or physically, with someone for an extended period of time, the majority of us have psychologically marked that significant other as ‘property.’ Very frequently female primitive instincts make it impossible to be 100% normal with an ex after the break up. For example, most women will want to still look nice for an ex, might get jealous pangs, or want to be more successful or better looking than the ex’s new girlfriend.
There are those special cases where both parties have equally moved on, fallen in deeper love with other people, and have spent a significant amount of time apart. In those rare cases, it might be possible to nurture a healthy, platonic relationship, but again situations that meet those requirements perfectly are few and far in between.
Women love to hold on to ex-boyfriends as friends, love love love do to it! Barbara De Angelis, Ph.D, author of Secrets About Men Every Woman Should Know, says that this is due to the fact that most women judge their self value by their relationships with other people. So to completely lose someone they invested so much time in from their life is really a de-valuing experience.
Take a realistic look at your ex-boyfriend(s) and see how you answer the following questions:
Are You and Your Ex Compatible As Friends?
Compare your ex to your male friends. Are your male friends and your ex similar in personality, interests, and/or character? Would you even be friends with your ex outside of a relationship?Â This question will probably weed out 50% of the girls trying to hold on to friendships with exs. You can’t hold on to a friendship when it didn’t start as a friendship and never was a friendship. When there is no friendship at the base, a friendship after the breakup is really just a mutual agreement to use each other as emotional crutches.
Break the Cycle of Destruction.
Taking away the stress and obligation of a relationship makes it easy to put best faces forward again. Yes, that initial face both parties fell for. In this situation, both parties are susceptible for falling for each other again, which could lead to getting back together again, which could lead to flaws not changing again (because really people don’t change), which could lead to a break up again. Don’t get caught up in a dramatic friendship vs. relationship cycle with the ex, save your energy for things more constructive for your future.
Care But From a Distance!
It is possible to just have good memories and lessons from the past, while not living in your past. For the healthiest transition, I suggest this rule of thumb: what you know about your ex after the break up should be equivalent to what you know about an old friend from high school that you speak to every few months. You can still care, but you can’t keep them in your immediate circle. You’re a good person, good people don’t abandon people, so it’s not wrong to let someone know you’re there if they need you, but it is wrong to use or let someone else use you as an emotional crutch, back up plan, and/or friend with benefits. That is psychological abuse and not conducive to a healthy, happy life.
Ladies, Liberate Yourselves!
As Maya sings in “Case of the Ex”, “obviously there is a reason that ish did not last.” You can’t fix him and a roller coaster relationship will not help you improve yourself, once that reality sinks in it is much easier to move on. Its time to find some closure, sometimes the guy will give it to you, but many times you will have to find it yourself. Take some time to look at your past relationship, see what you learned, did wrong, how you can grow from it. Take personal mental notes, and then close the book. Now you can look forward to a brighter future where the man you don’t need to fix awaits. â€”Natasha Khan