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Why can't we be friends?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  March 13, 2009 12:41 PM

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Are they really friends? Let’s help a New York gal deal with her ex.

Q: I am recovering from a three-and-a-half-year long relationship. Seven months after our initial break, we hooked up last weekend. It was a wonderful thing, and a terrible thing. I am set back again emotionally though I understand the reasons we had - valid ones - for ending things. I, for a brief time, was sucked back into a romantic fantasy we both lived for too long. I know what we had was real and true love, flawed though it is and impossible to continue. Due to guilt I harbor over a past break-up gone sour, I feel compelled to make certain we remain friends. I thought I was doing ok with this till we hooked up again, and I realize I have to keep boundaries drawn tight and sacred now. Feeling sad and rejected all over again sucks even when you know it's the right way.

a) What are the true odds on being friends with an ex? b) How long does this take if one takes the responsible friendly route?

I know these questions don't have concrete answers, but this is all true. Hit me with some wisdom.

-- photogirl, New York

A: photogirl, sometimes we put ourselves in the position of getting rejected a few times by the same person -- just to make sure the rejection is real. Maybe you wanted to see if a one-night reprise could turn into something more. I get that.

To be honest, it doesn’t sound like you want a friendship with this guy, at least not right now. It sounds like you’re still in love with this person -- and that you want to keep the door ajar, just in case.

You’re right about the boundaries. If you know for a fact that the relationship has no hope, it’s worth cutting ties. I know it’s hard. You loved him. He loved you. But cutting ties doesn’t mean that you’ll never know him again. It just means that the honest, no-strings-attached friendship you claim to be seeking just isn’t possible within seven months of your break-up.

Try to be honest with yourself. If you’re not sure you want to end your romantic relationship with this person, you’re allowed to admit that – and to tell this person you’re not so sure you want to let go. But if you know the relationship is over, let it be – for now. Let yourself be broken up for a while without the pressure of making nice. Let yourself be miserable. You're supposed to be miserable for a while.

I can’t tell you when you’ll be ready for a friendship, but I can tell you that quite obviously, it’s too soon.

Readers? Is she really done with her ex? When should she try for a friendship, if ever? How long does it take to be friends with a past love? photogirl wants to be hit with wisdom. Give her some here. Read yesterday’s letter and comments here. Submit your own letter on the handy dandy form we now have on the main page (look to your right).

-- Meredith

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53 comments so far...
  1. Rico says:

    It is sometimes difficult to seperate our desire from what is reality. Rico trys to maintain a positive relationship with all past lady aquaintances...but sometimes that is not possible. Rico has had MANY lady aquaintances and knows this.

    As you all know, Rico is married and since that has happened, other old flings have not been part of Rico's life. They have not needed to be since Rico has found his one true love. Rico loves that extra junk in the trunk!

    Photogirl, you should try to distance yourself as far from him as you can. It will only lead to more heartbreak. This, Rico knows. Rico is the master of all things relationship.

    Peace and love,


    Posted by Rico March 13, 09 12:56 PM
  1. I to have been rejected(a few times) by the same woman:( her name? Meredith....

    Posted by Josh March 13, 09 12:57 PM
  1. From my experience, I have seen this a million times. It may be too early to say, but it seems to be that the sparks are still flying. Photogirl, before you get too serious again, make sure he wasn't expecting just a one-time thing.

    Posted by Russell March 13, 09 12:57 PM
  1. Rico says:

    You used a one night hook-up to try and revive a dead relationship...You need to get over it (or not) but just move on and get your "satisfaction" elsewhere. He obviously saw it as an easy way to satisfy his natural needs of the moment and you happened to be the one available for his time of need...and possibly your own. But his need may have been for a night while yorus is for more and as such you will always be hurt everytime you get into this situation. Sex does not make a relationship, it enhances it.

    Move on, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger (unless you were stupid and didn't use protection).

    Play smart and have some fun out there,

    Love Rico

    Posted by Rico March 13, 09 01:00 PM
  1. Meredith, Josh really wants to date you....why are you rejecting him!?

    Posted by Situation March 13, 09 01:14 PM
  1. Here's the deal: You willingly [slept with] a guy that you split up with 7 months ago after a 3.5yr relationship. Apparently you learned nothing during those 3.5yrs and 7 months of hurting after the breakup. The only thing that matters to you is that you have someone in your life. You don't want a friend and you used sex to try and reclaim a relationship long dead. You need to realize the truth and move on. Stop trying to revive dead relationships and put effort into new ones or creating new ones. Being friends with an ex is ok but having sex does not make you friends.

    Posted by had girls like you March 13, 09 01:17 PM
  1. I too recently hooked up with an X. A 5 yr relationship, hadn't seen her in a year, ran into her and ended up back in the same bed we used to sleep in. I feel like it's always harder on the woman as I spoke to her a few day after.... she wanted to talk about old times, and what happened with us. I would like to remain friendly but at the same time I am a single handsome gentleman and am not looking to entertain a relationship with an X. My problem, and I know this isn't about me but I heard she got fake cans so i had to find out the real story.
    The way I see it, there were specific reasons as to why it didn't work in the first place. It may be helpful for you to list out the pros and cons, review the list and decide what you want. You can defintely be friends with an X but if that sexual connection is still there it may be tough to hold back, especially after a couple bevies. In that case you are better off to avoid it.

    Posted by rock March 13, 09 01:20 PM
  1. Rico has an imposter out there?

    This is the real Rico, I had nothing to do with the first posting. My advice will be posted shortly as you will see.

    Thanks for reading...

    I will be out of the country with little or no internet access for the next week so I hope my fans will be forgiving when I don't write in. I'll be back March 23rd to reclaim my spot here.

    Have a nice week everyone

    Love Rico

    Posted by Rico March 13, 09 01:20 PM
  1. photogirl,
    In my experience, staying friends has always been difficult, especially in a former-long-term relationship. The issue is that you remember how great the romantic times were, but as you realize, you're only setting yourself up for dissapointment. As satisfying as it may be in the short-term to re-kindle an old flame, it is much more rewarding and just as exciting to put your efforts in a new direction. Mr. Right may be just around the corner!
    Guess how much I weigh?

    Posted by P.Troni March 13, 09 01:27 PM
  1. The true odds of being friends with an ex? Very good, but likely at a distance.
    How long does it take? To the point where you stop thinking about the person.

    Go watch the movie Swingers and you will get the point and a good example. The movie will give you something to do while you mourn and work your way back to yourself.

    Posted by spaceman March 13, 09 01:29 PM
  1. Photogirl,
    So many people try to stay friends to prove to everyone that they are the better person. That they have moved on, when in reality they're still hoping a little bit that the ex will admit they can't live without them. That, hardly ever happens. Just rip off the bandaid and end it. Don't baby the wound. You need to give it time to heal. If he's around that won't happen.

    Posted by LP March 13, 09 01:40 PM
  1. There's a difference between remaining friendly with an ex and being friends. It's an important distinction.

    I understand that you want to be on good terms (friendly) with your ex; that's an admirable goal. But to be friends with him is probably an impossible goal right now. The romantic/sexual feelings are too strong, as are the feelings around rejection. You also need to be honest with yourself about this friendship stuff. Are you really willing to be friends with your ex, or are you just trying to leave the door open for the future romance? I suspect it's the latter as you linger still in a hopeless romantic fantasy. If it really is impossible, close the door.

    For now, you need to simply say that you need to be away from him and focus your life elsewhere - no blame, no excuses and no recriminations. My rule of thumb is that it takes an amount of time equal to the relationship to really get over a relationship - for you, that means 3.5 years! And I honestly do believe that exes can be true friends (some of my best friends....). But it does mean resolving the romantic feelings for real and for good and you are nowhere near that point.

    Posted by Nancy G March 13, 09 01:41 PM
  1. I have never seen the point in trying to stay friends after a relationship ends. You certainly don't want things to be acrimonious, but unless you have a shortage of buddies in your life, let it go and you will eventually be able to move on.

    Posted by KGF March 13, 09 01:43 PM
  1. As one of Rico’s former lovers, I can attest to his desire for keeping things friendly. Rico hates to be thought of in a negative light. When we were dating, he kept up with his former ladies, but never crossed the line. As a married man, Rico wants to make sure all his exes are well taken care of because we have not all found the happiness and chi he has found in matrimony. Unfortunately, that works for Rico, but leaves me stuck in the orbit of ‘What Could Have Been’. If I were smart, I’d say goodbye for good (even though it’s only an affair of the heart). Then I could manifest a healthy new relationship going forward.

    Posted by tamale March 13, 09 01:48 PM
  1. It's very difficult to remain friends with an ex, and that requires a great level of honesty on the part of both parties (with themselves and with each other) as well setting up certain strict boundaries. It's even much more difficult if the break-up wasn't amicable and/or mutual, with certain dangling threads and lingering questions remaining post-break-up. Which seems to be the case here.

    So, I'd say forget him, put some distance between him and yourself, and direct your energies into yoga (to center yourself) and dating other men. Like me.

    Posted by Rico's brother March 13, 09 01:49 PM
  1. rico is hilarious!

    Posted by nunya March 13, 09 01:56 PM
  1. You answered your own question by hooking up. You do not want to be just friends with this person.

    I'm going to share some additional enlightenment with you. This guy is also leering at people at his workplace and he just dumped his other steady girlfriend suddenly and won't return her calls, texts, emails, etc.

    It's time to move on.

    Posted by Hoss March 13, 09 01:57 PM
  1. You CANNOT BE FRIENDS with an X - that's why they call it an X.....
    If you were meant to be TOGETHER you would be.
    DO NOT BE A DOORMAT!!!! YOU CAN NEVER BE "JUST FRIENDS" WITH A FORMER "PASSIONATE LOVING RELATIONSHIP GONE BAD". Unless you have kids - then at least you'd have to be civil with each other.
    Time does heal - takes a while - but one day you'll say "wow - I wasn't bumming out most of the day" it'll just get better.after that....

    Posted by Been around March 13, 09 02:01 PM
  1. I agree with Nancy G. Friendly, yes; friends, probably not. And there's nothing wrong with that.

    Posted by Alvin March 13, 09 02:04 PM
  1. photogirl, let go. I am doing the same thing long-distance and its pure self-destruction. A year from now you'll look back and wonder why you wasted your time. I can't wait to get to that point...

    Posted by E March 13, 09 02:14 PM
  1. Photogirl,

    I've had one successful friendship with an ex-boyfriend. I have one unsuccessful one. There are a couple of things at play here, the biggest one, is your expectations of what friendship with an ex is. Needless to say, different men bring different expectations.

    The successful one happened because I had fallen out of love (although I still loved him) and he got married. The passion had left the relationship, friendship was easy after a year or so for everything to fall into place and for some distancing of the baggage. I can say this man truly cares about me, but he is now extremely limited by how much friendship he can show me in front of his wife. While the wife and I are friendly and were close friends…well, there is still some tension because it will be 8 or so more years before she has known him for as long as I did. While we can chat about old times and what is going on in our life, our input into each other’s lives is very limited.

    The unsuccessful one is unsuccessful because we are still attracted to each other. We are also very close to each other emotionally – even if no words are spoken. He has recently been married too but even before that, due to attraction that still exists, you just can’t have a friendship. There is no way his wife would be cool with me in his life. Now why he married someone that didn’t somehow dissolve his feelings and attraction to me, is beyond me. I believe once you have found “the one” desire for ex’s and other women should be very low. At this point, as long as my relationship with him is not out in the open and requires little effort for him, he is fine with it. But what am I getting out of this? You always have to re-evaluate. Generally speaking, you are better to just move along and cut all ties. I am still struggling with this and it has been years. I’m a sucker when he “needs me” even if he hasn’t been there for me for years.

    Never date a person thinking you can change them. Be honest with their faults, ask yourself if they are deal breakers. And be very careful not to fall into love with their potential – some people never met their potential or ever see it.

    Posted by Sunshine March 13, 09 02:16 PM
  1. Ditto what Nancy G. said, that's the best way of differentiating it I've seen. If you wanted to really be friends you wouldn't have slept with him again. Give yourself a break and realize that it's enough to be friendly with him when you do see him, it doesn't mean you have to remake your relationship as a friendship. Someday you might be friends, but that will definitely never happen if a. you force the issue and b. you keep sleeping with him.

    Posted by susan March 13, 09 02:31 PM
  1. Burning a bridge is not necessarily a bad thing. Forget the friendship goal. I think it's generally a waste of time. Love affairs often aren't friendships too.

    Posted by graycliffer March 13, 09 02:57 PM
  1. Photo Babe, take a deep breath for a sec. You hooked up just a week ago (I don’t know what the lead time is between a reader submitting the letter before being published). Your letter doesn’t specify what happened the morning after and why you feel rejected all over again, but it sounds like he wasn’t interested in anything more than a hookup. He should have been clearer about his intentions before you hooked up, but hey, he’s a guy; that would be asking the impossible of him.

    I don’t know what your sex life has been since the breakup with Mr. X, but if you’ve been in a slump, so to speak, you’re probably not thinking clearly. You need to separate the emotional from the physical ramifications—and I mean this in the scientifically-proven fact that sex releases the oxytocin bonding hormones in women that men don’t have as much of. It’s the whole old story about why men can have one-night stands and women get all “where’s this relationship going” after the first month.

    You used to love this guy, you broke up, you backslid. That’s not a capital crime. You’re human. But you’ve fallen into a predictable scenario: being intimate with Mr. X. So your brain is going to stir up old feelings. You’re going to feel connected. It’s your brain falling back into its old pattern and making you recall you loved this guy, and wonder why it had to end.

    You know why you had to break up with him. Focus on that, and consider your little interlude a final farewell; chalk it up to closure. And I agree with an earlier poster about being friendly, but not friends, with exes. Let it, and Mr. X, go, and focus on yourself and getting over him.

    Posted by Madra March 13, 09 02:59 PM
  1. When you can move on emotionally and are in love w/someone new - that's when you see your EX in a different light and can remain "just" friends...........

    Posted by Elaine March 13, 09 03:01 PM
  1. Another vote for Nancy G. Love the "friendly vs. friends" comparison. The notion of friends is just your natural longing for what was...and that's ok, but it's not friendship. Time and distance are the only things that will eventually get you to friendly. I have achieved friendly with an ex after a few post-breakup slips. We are now fully friendly; I don't consider us friends, but we have lots of fun memories and with enough time and distance, I was able to enjoy and appreciate them for what they were: distant memories of good times past. You'll get there. But give yourself some time and distance and you'll be in much better shape for your next wonderful relationship!

    Posted by Jetta March 13, 09 03:08 PM
  1. photogirl, You had sex with someone you knew would be impossible to have a real relationship with. If I were you, I'd be asking myself how that seemed appropriate or a good thing to do at that time. Was alcohol or drugs involved prior to your making this choice? Since you have not found a meaningful relationship with another man since your breakup with him, friendship with him is a lie to yourself. In this case, the best you can do is to reflect on your choice to have sex with him, determine positive proactive steps so that you do not find yourself in this situation again with him or another ex, and have a loving relationship with yourself. ...signed the Guru

    Posted by exvermonter March 13, 09 03:10 PM
  1. It absolutely IS possible to be friends with an ex, but not until you are a) both over it and b) not unless you both agree you are not right for each other and it is better this way.

    If one person is still holding out hope, it cant work. If one of you cheated on the other, it cant work. But I am friends with 3 or 4 of my ex's....a couple of them are great friends that met my last girlfriend....in fact, we went to my ex's wedding together and have become good friends with her husband and her.

    It takes time and maturity and a desire to firmly bury the past in the past, but it absolutely can happen.

    Posted by Chris P March 13, 09 03:10 PM
  1. Photogirl never said her ex was a guy. It could very well be a woman, especially given the desire to remain friends, which is so totally and tragically lesbian.

    Posted by Been there March 13, 09 03:12 PM
  1. Josh, have you received the restraining order notice yet?

    Posted by Meredith's lawyer March 13, 09 03:20 PM
  1. As a man - I can say this - Men really don't have female "friends" - especially someone they have broken up with. It is almost contray to human behavior to think you can break up with someone and still be friends - no matter how you define it. A nice concept to talk about but has very little real world application - sort of like altruism or justice (sounds good, no one really knows what it is since we have never seen it). If there were good reasons to break up - have they changed? If not - you need to put out the torch and move on - easier said than done - but oh so true.

    Posted by orcamjh March 13, 09 03:24 PM
  1. Here's another one from a guy's perspective:

    I stay in touch with my ex-wife from time to time because we parted amicably. We met at work so I give her updates on workplace gossip, etc., and also how about the health of the cats that I kept when we split up. But even if she still lived in the same town, we wouldn't socialize much.

    Generally, I haven't stayed in touch with my earlier (non-marriage) exes and I'm not aware of too many guys who do that. Even if that's something you'd like, you need to be sure it's in his personality to maintain that sort of contact if it's going to work. And I wouldn't get overly optimistic about that being the case.

    Posted by David March 13, 09 03:31 PM
  1. You cannot be friends unless the ending was mutually exclusive, which it never is. So no, you can't. There will always be an imbalance (no matter who) for the person who still wants it to be more...

    Posted by DJMcG March 13, 09 03:58 PM
  1. No, you most certainly cannot be friends after this type of relationship. You probably have lots of other friends, as does he. Leave it at that.

    Posted by lilmonkeybean March 13, 09 04:14 PM
  1. Test's came in buddy, we need to talk.

    Posted by Josh's local free clinic March 13, 09 04:29 PM
  1. I'm in the Nancy G camp too. The best test to tell if you are friendly vs if you are friends is to see how your gut reacts the first time he introduces you to his new girlfriend. If you are "friends" then he has every right to expect you to welcome his new girl, just like his guy pals will. If you think that meeting his new girl will hurt, then you are not ready to be friends and perhaps deep down you don't want to be anyway. My ex-husband and I are friendly. This does not threaten my current relationship at all, but when my ex-husband remarried, our status went from "friend" to "friendly" since his new wife was freaked out by our friendship. We only exchange Xmas cardss now, and that's ok. Hello again Rico - you are my sage.

    Posted by J Bar March 13, 09 04:33 PM
  1. You can be friends with an X...but it takes a long time. I went out with someone for three years and we had a complicated, painful breakup. After months of "trying to be friends", I realized we could not, at least not at that time. A few years ago now, we reconnected unexpectedly after about 4 or 5 years of only occasionaly bumping into him and exchanging awkward hellos. Now though, he is one of my best friends. The relationship feelings are no longer there. We are both in healthy new relationships, and I am just glad to have my best friend back :) So wait it out and one day you will be able to be friends.

    Posted by Lily March 13, 09 04:58 PM
  1. You were never in love with this guy, you were in lust with him, and he with you. You were using each other.

    If it were true love, it would be mutual, and it would include an intention for permanence, even before marriage. Wait til you find the right one who wants to be with you forever, and you with him forever. Ask him about kids; that will either scare him off, or perhaps show he's the right one.

    Posted by gaudete March 13, 09 06:40 PM
  1. I come to you from a far different world, not only geographically (Calif.) but different in time (pre-AIDS). A lot of the conservative stuff around dating revived the 50's due to STD fears. But even so, I remember my father saying that he could not imagine being friends with an ex. Maybe my era was supposed to end that kind of "sexism".

    So I've watched my kids' dating, and I have to say that my daughter's boyfriend bothered me. They are both really good-looking. He seemed to want to have it both way - flirting like mad with other females, while announcing to everyone that he was "in a relationship" with my daughter (for three years!). I think he was making a fool of her. Eventually he "broke up", and then I saw that he still wanted to hang around, going so far as to try to be friends with her brother, and hang out with him. What's with the kid? I'm not sure I want him to be a son-in-law ever. I assumed that he was the one who broke up with my daughter due to the flirtatious behavior around her friends. But since he seems to have been hanging around a lot, maybe the break-up wasn't as mutual as I thought. But afterwards, my daughter seemed so blue. I wasn't there, but from my own experience, guys like the kind he seemed to be, are kind of confused, and I just wish he would leave town.

    But it isn't my life. And I like to imagine people are pretty complex and not just easily assigned to little cubbies.

    Posted by musings March 13, 09 11:36 PM
  1. In my experience (which is sooo vast at 25 years old), I have remained friends with my exes - if we were friends before we were a couple. Most past relationships break along that line. The guy I met at 15 in Hungary, I dated in college for two years. We broke up. It was awful. We're still friends. The guy I dated post-college, who I met at a bar? I talk to him on facebook now and then.

    But sometimes you need to not be around the ex, no matter how friendly you are. The ex from Hungary and I didn't talk to each other for several months. Also he moved to China, but that's another story.

    Maybe you need a clean break for a while. And then you can see, in six months, or a year, or however long you need, if you can be friends again.

    Posted by dare2be March 14, 09 12:41 AM
  1. photo girl, look into your heart and find the love of self, if he fits into that then whatever you want to do is ok... no one can tell you how to feel but be honest in love speak what your heart requires don't be afraid because thats when you lose!
    if your hooking up because you want to and you know theres no future thats fine, but if your doing it because he wants to and you know theres no there no future then your only hurting yourself. i'm going through a break up now because i didn't know how to be happy with me, so i couldn't make her happy and she left, i didn't treat her bad, i didn't cheat, i didn't lie or hurt her, i am just unhappy and going to take care of it>>> hopefully she will be there when i'm better and i can convince her that i am ready to be happy for me, then maybe i can make us both more happy>>> love self above all and then you will know whats real. Friends with him is possible, but look deep and ask yourself was he ever a friend at all and that will help you with your decision.

    live life
    love life
    love self

    Posted by joe kelsey March 14, 09 10:24 AM
  1. My fiance of three years just recently broke up with me.. specifically a couple weeks ago! It was horrible.. Our wedding date was set for this May, and a couple of months ago, he seemed so excited to marry me.. But two weeks ago, he told me he doesn't feel the same way about me anymore and he wanted out. I think that if any breakup is this hurtful and not mutual, no two people can remain friends.. Unless they're setting themselves up for more pain.

    Posted by depre.. March 14, 09 10:36 AM
  1. As a woman, this seems very female to me, the need to make sure the guy is all right, there are no hard feelings and you're friends. Well, I can tell you that the only thing you should feel "compelled" to do is to take care of yourself. And it sounds like it would be too painful to try to maintain a friendship with this person, at least right now. Why try to force things because of the last break-up you had? You need to let yourself move on.

    To those of you landing on photogirl because she hooked up with an ex, it's not that easy to keep from sliding into old habits and people are human. Try not to be so judgmental.

    Posted by WJG March 14, 09 10:47 AM
  1. it's tragic that we want closeness and affection from the people we love, that doesn't mean we want a relationship. with that said it's understandable that you two "hooked up" however, it was just to seek solace. back away, stay away, you have other friends,lean on them.

    Posted by Anonymous March 14, 09 11:06 AM
  1. The bottom line is ... you don't generally sleep with your "friends" -- you sleep with people you want to be more than friends with. Give it some time, some space, some room for other people to fill the role of "friend". You can't go back, you can only stand still or move forward. Get moving.

    Posted by Inf March 14, 09 11:52 AM
  1. Friendship is the most wonderful part of life...Love is too. It is hard to go from one to the other. You are always looking for something more. It never happens. Move on stop punishing yourself.
    Take it from someone who know.

    Posted by Maureen March 14, 09 02:03 PM
  1. The break-up nearly killed me. I tried being friends for a short period of time, and that almost finished me off. I had trouble staying "friends" with someone I stilled loved. No, keep your sanity and move on.

    Posted by papa12800 March 14, 09 05:55 PM
  1. Meredith-
    Josh is a Rico operative, trying to sweep you away from the Globe to have many babies. Guess who wants to fill the void?

    Posted by valentino March 14, 09 07:56 PM
  1. Fundamental Issue: Friends are different kinds of people than partners and EX's. Examine the personalities of all your friends; and then all of your partners and EX's - DIFFERENT, right?

    Do you have ANY other Friends that even resemble your EX? That is, how can you be friends with someone when, really, there is no basis for a true friendship? It seems like most everyone's girlfriend/boyfriend are very, very different from all of their friends - who can say why, but there seems to be a set of ineffable qualities a person must posses in order for us to form true friendships with them. It seems that everyone's EX's are completely different from their true friends, and lack those set of qualities. After all, we don't fall in love with our friends like we do with EX's; they are different from the start and they cannot be your friend because they remain different from any of your current friends. Put differently, would you become friends with your EX or someone just like her/him IF you just met them (and didn't have romantic feelings)? Probably NOT.

    Posted by Kevin C. March 15, 09 08:47 AM
  1. Fifteen years ago I ended an engagement. After The mind games he played with me about being "friends" went on for several years. He didn't want to go back and it was preventing me from moving forward but I allowed it to happen. The best advice is to shut that door -- for good. Should you meet in the future be cordial but make sure you set clear boundaries. Good luck...

    Posted by pinkladyj1991 March 15, 09 12:54 PM
  1. Agree w/#10. It's obvious that you have been hurt by the breakup and that in the back of your mind you hold out hope for an eventual reuniting.
    Having sex with him was a mistake - it hurt you and his willingness to use you in this way makes me think that even under the best circumstances he cannot be your friend - he simply lacks the respect for you and will use you again in the future. Guys can be dogs and women often let their guard down in the off-chance that somehow they will steal their hearts. Guys count on that hope to get laid. My heart goes out to you - I know what its like to hurt and hope. Over time, the hurt lessen and you will be open to other possibilities. Don't feel guilty about breakups gone sour - breakups are not meant to be sweet. The best reunion you could have with an ex is when you can actually feel happy about seeing him happy with someone else. Even then, being friends is probably out of the question. There will always be a romantic past between you. That is a problem - redefining yourselves with one another. Most breakups don't end to everyone's satisfaction, so learn to define your life without your EX in it. Forget the friendship - it's not happening and he will have the upper hand - don't give it to him.

    Posted by Anonymous March 16, 09 10:28 AM
  1. Fifteen years ago I ended an engagement. Best thing I did was break all ties with him. It's hard and you'll need the love & support of your friends and in the end you will find mr. right. We were too young & I know in my heart it never would have worked.

    Posted by jules March 16, 09 01:55 PM
  1. Sounds like you've decided the relationship is not going to work, but you miss the affection and intimacy. This is why the poet says tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. But the hard part now is breaking all ties, but you know its best for you and him. Forget him...for his good and yours.

    Posted by Reckoning March 18, 09 06:01 PM
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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