Monday, July 2, 2012

That Post Break-Up Thing

And then you reach that awkward moment where you see the last guy you dated in public for the first time and can't find a corner to run to and hide in. Or, you make plans to see the last person you dated so that when (and if) you happen to run into one another again, you can exchange pleasant hellos can carry on like normal humans and not a 5 year old hiding from that weird old man who keeps winking at you 3 pews back. I cho(o)se the latter.

When I first began to date...well, I suppose I should stop myself before I make over-generalizations that aren't historically accurate. I once had a psuedo-stalker, so when that ended, we stopped speaking. After that, the next guy I dated dumped me and married his ex, so we stopped speaking. (Years later he would find me on FB. We now converse there.) The next guy ended amicably and there was no question we would be friends; the relationship always veered more towards friendship anyway. So the first time I had a choice (it was after nearly 3 years together), I said I couldn't be friends. I was absolutely heart broken and couldn't ever see him again. Only we began speaking about 6 months later and were friends for the next 8 years - until he met his now fiance and somehow I became the enemy. Prior to her, at times, I certainly called him my best guy friend, but, I suppose, time and circumstance made him an asshole. Unfair, to say the least. The Ex and I talked for a while after our break-up, but as the past few years have gone by, we don't speak much besides the holiday/birthday wishes and occasional checking in. It's not on purpose, but likely correlates to when he is back in a relationship. The Pink Elephant wasn't ever really a question because, despite having had a great friendship and lots to talk about, the now lady in his life certainly wouldn't welcome me into his (which I understand, considering what he did there). As for HG, refer to the first paragraph and otherwise consider him having fallen off the face of my Earth. Why? I'm not sure; suffice to say that he said he "can't" be friends with exes (though I don't consider him an "ex") and "never has been". Which begs the question: Just how little did I (and the others) mean to you?

Am I taking it too personally? We had something, right? Where does all of that go? As I surveyed the room, I found that most women are willing to keep in touch; it's men that struggle with it.

Men, not women, seem to find it impossible to be friends with exes. But, perhaps, it's not all men's fault. Perhaps it is the women they are with at present. Only, the thing is, is that were it not for the women of the past, they wouldn't be with the girl of the present and - at least for me - they wouldn't be the man they are with her. I find myself often the teacher of men, a sad and increasingly obnoxious obligation the universe has seemed to saddle me (and countless other good-natured women) with: Here dude, have a lesson, the next lady will benefit. So then, I find it so perplexing why future girls would see any intimidation by having a slight presence of the past in the life of their current mate, with a previous partner with whom they were intimately drawn. Because, as time would have it, that intimacy is now dead, so wouldn't the threat be less intimidating than, say, that rando at the bar? He's been there. He's with you now. (Then again, maybe its not the girl and it is just him; or at least how he perceives the situation to appear. File under: Stupid Assumptions.)

But just because that part of the relationship died, it doesn't mean the attraction to the personality died along with. What about the inside jokes? Or car games? Or remember that concert we went to? Remember the time...and...? All those things don't just go away, do they? Sure, people move on and sometimes friends lose touch - but this complete and utter avoidance of an ex or that past psuedo-relationship or that girl who taught me something or the "person that brought me to you" - how and why is it so required for them to disappear so quickly? Am I the only one that finds fault with this? With this complete disregard for someone that once meant something to you? I think we put too much into these things to let that happen - and so often, so easily.

Hurt fades. People move on. But the connections you build with someone that, at least for a time, became your very best friend; for me, they just don't die and fall away. It makes me sad to lose those each time; I put a lot into them. And I think that's the hardest part. And maybe that's why we hide in the corner; to avoid that hurt that you were so easily detachable...or maybe just the sadness that you lost your good friend.

I wish it didn't have to be like that.

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