I’ve never been a firm believer in the idea of men and women being just friends. The only times I’ve successfully been able to maintain a friendship with a guy where neither of us developed feelings is when one or both of us was otherwise involved (and even then, I’m sure I had the occasional 6th grade crush on the 8th grade boy with a girlfriend). Of course this isn’t to say anything has ever come of all of those non-friendships, often not even a kiss, but it doesn’t change the fact that at least one party was thinking about it.
This being said, naturally, I’ve never fully understood or agreed with or refrained from giving that “are you fucking with me?” bitch brow to couples who claim to want to “still be friends” after a breakup. It doesn’t seem plausible to me, mainly, because you were never friends to begin with; you were always more than that. I just don’t see how you can casually grab lunch with a guy and now suddenly have to pay for yourself. Do you have to wear a bra now when you stay in and watch a movie? I mean…you would go braless around your girl friends…but never around any guy…but he has seen you naked…so many factors to consider. Are you even allowed to stay in and watch a movie? That is literally what friends do…but you’re not really just friends. Or are you?
Plus there’s the whole…”what happens when you have a new boyfriend?” factor. I’ll tell you this much, I’ll be damned if any guy I date thinks it’s okay to call up his ex and catch up even if it’s only once every five years to make sure she’s still fat. You expect me to be okay with them laughing over coffee over the good ol’ days, which is no doubt, part of her evil plan to steal him back from me with her slut face? I do not think so. And honestly…I’d be lying if I said I want any of my ex-boyfriends to move on and be happy with someone who isn’t me. It’s not so much that I want them to be miserable as it is I want them to always remember that I was the best they’d ever had and that in no way was this “for the best”…ya know, for them. It was obviously for the best for me, or else we’d still be together. My point is, I’d be SURE to passive aggressively make sure any new girlfriend was insecure in my presence and totally aware that we are toooootally just friends now, but I still know what he likes in bed and he’d still rather have me there than her, so…no matter how much she hated me, it would behove her to get on my good side.
Aside from all the obvious things, the basic, most important factor, for me, is that staying friends and doing all the same things you did when you were together really doesn’t seem like the best way to move on from someone. If the only difference in your relationship is that you aren’t sleeping together any more, you aren’t going back to a friendship, you’re going back to middle school. I’ve always always always felt that the best way to quit someone was to go cold turkey. Of course, in the past, I’ve always been the dump-er and even if I missed the guy, I was just so 100% certain of my decision that there was no reason for me to really try to stay in touch anyway. I didn’t want feelings to linger, I didn’t want to hang out, I wanted to get over the relationship as quickly as possible, because I’d already been over the guy for months.
I still feel that just cutting yourself off from the person is the best way to get over things, or at least the best way to avoid relapse. Undoubtedly, there are going to be moments where you are missing the guy, or just missing having a guy who cares about you…the difference is, if you’re not regularly talking/hanging out, you’re a lot less likely to make out with him, or worse let a drunken “I still love you” slip out. Recently, however, I’ve been seeing the other side of things. Not because I’ve been dumped, obviously, but because my most recent breakup was out of necessity, rather than being “over it”. (Wait, did I just say out loud that I’m not over it? That’s against sorority law I’m pretty sure…Oops.) Long story short, he sucks and I realized he’s never going to change, so like…bye. I’m just in this weird limbo now, where I’m like wait though…I still like being around this person, I don’t want that to end, but the pseudo relaysh obv has to…God, I just wish there was some way that he could still be in my life where I don’t have to stress about his commitment issues, his overwhelming and stifling Oedipus Complex, and the fact that I don’t think he’s the type of guy I want to father my children…and then I was like BAM: a friendship.
It really seems to make sense to have this friendship situation thing as a segue from “I love you” to “let’s grab lunch next week” to “somebody that I used to
blow know.” The problem with breakups is that they are so sudden. When you are entering a relationship, you don’t just meet and suddenly text each other all day long to let each other know that your mom is being so loud on the phone with your aunt because your little cousin just got her first period and he’s grilling asparagus with his dad, though he prefers zucchini, and will be eating in about 45 minutes. It is a gradual buildup to the place where he can see your cotton panties, and he stops pretending he just “suddenly” felt compelled to take a shower…that requires him to flush halfway through…conveniently 27 minutes after you ate Papa John’s. Why then, would it make sense that you don’t slowly build it back down? It takes time to adjust, and perhaps friendship is the perfect step down from what you were. Or maybe, you should have just been friends all along – this could potentially be ending a disastrous would-have-been relationship and leading instead to that perfect girl-boy best friendship you’ve heard exists, but much like the $10,000 bill and the female orgasm, you’ve never seen in real life. Maybe you were just confused about the true nature of your relationship because he smells so good and he has a really great car. Or maybe you’re just making excuses, it’s really hard to say.