Twice in the past month I had the opportunity to spend time with two of my ex-boyfriends. Both times, afterwards, I was struck with how much I enjoyed them and lovely it was.
A dear, married-for-20-years friend has always teased me about how weird she thinks it is that I have remained friends with all my exes. It isn’t true that I’m friends with all of them –there’s 1-2 that turn my stomach– but, for the most part, I am friendly with most of them. It’s nice. And it works for me.
Here’s whatI like about it:
-I appreciate the company of a man. They’re different from my girlfriends in ways that are good and ways that I still don’t always get, but that difference is what makes it interesting.
-We know each other well…or as well as a man can know a woman. We’ve shared many intimate moments (not just the physical kind) and we’ve seen each other at our best and worst. There’s no pretense, so it’s comfortable.
-Since we’re just friends now, and no longer dating (and no longer “doing it”), I get to focus on the good things about them, those things that drew me to them in the first place. And when they start to bug me, I can say “good night”. I get to shut out the other sides of them that are the reasons we broke up in the first place.
-I know who’s good for what. When I need someone to hang with me –escort me to yet another gala, or see a movie, or go to a concert –I know who likes what, so I know exactly who to invite and who not. (When you’re dating, he has to go with you whether he wants to or not, which doesn’t always work out so well).
Sometimes it can get tricky when he’s married or has a steady girlfriend. I know that it’s innocent and strictly platonic, but that’s a hard thing to convince her of. And I get it. I’m not sure how I’d feel if my (presently non-existent) boyfriend was spending time with his ex.