Who Said That You Have to Be Friends with a Person You Dated After You Break Up?

For starters, I had a steadfast, iron clad rule when I was dating. DO NOT DATE BROTHERS, ROOMATES OR FRIENDS. Ever! If you have done this, then you know what happens.

Growing up in the South and dating had its own rules. I did learn that there seemed to be no differences with dating guys from the South or guys from other places.

I remember when I was dating, and my friends would tell me about their recent break ups with boyfriends. Many of them would say, “now, we are just friends.” Well, whoopee for you! Why are you friends if you broke up? Friends do not “break up.” I’m just sayin’.

I do know that you can be friends with people you date once you break up, but this does not apply to many situations. When people break up in a relationship, why must they say, “we can be friends.” Guilt for breaking up with someone is not a reason to say you will be friends, because you obviously do not mean it. You are just trying to “soothe the blow” to the other person. Just break up and move on with it. Dating is not the definition of marriage for a reason. Besides, if you married this person, you would probably be divorced within a year!

Who came up with this cliché’ that tends to compel people into feeling as if they have to keep up “a good face” with people they have dated? I have dated some real losers, idiots, cheaters, liars, “players”, scum bags, thieves and just complete fools. Why would I want to be friends with any of them after we broke up? Some of them I still do not like as a person, let alone as a friend.

I once dated a guy that I thought was the “whole package.” He was funny, silly, entertaining and very social. He even had a job, which most of my dates did not. We had a blast for a time. Then, I started “seeing the cracks” in the relationship, after a few months.

I later found out that this pond, scum bottom feeder, lying in the dirt toad with “man problems” was actually cheating on me. What? He was not exactly the “king of the bedroom” to start with while we were dating. I was more curious about how he had the ability to cheat on me when our “hein’ and shein’ time” was awful. (This is coitus, by the way) As my husband says today, “to guys, bad sex is better than no sex.” Really? I do not think this applies to women.

I can clearly remember the night that I was thinking about breaking up with my “playboy want to be” boyfriend. I was out with the dirtbag (boyfriend), his friends and my best friend. I told my best friend that I had strong suspicions that my boyfriend was being “unfaithful.” (These were not the actual words I used, but you get the point.)

Upon discussion with my bestie over a beer, I decided that I had had enough of the night and talking with him in a crowded bar was a sucky idea. I just wanted to get away from him for the time being.

So, “suspected cheating” boyfriend was looking for me at the bar, as I had decided to make my “exit” without informing him. I hear my sorry-butt, lying boyfriend hollering my name across the bar. Apparently, I was not where I was supposed to be when he was looking for me. This was not going to go well. I tell my best friend that it is time to go and we were leaving. Um, my best friend had other ideas, and several beers.

As I try to secure a cab to get us out of there, I hear my “bestie” hollering at my “soon to be ex-boyfriend.” God, love her. She was a mother tiger when it came to protecting her “cubs.”

My boyfriend was 6’6” and my “bestie” was 5’4”. I walk into the bar to get her into the cab to go home with me. As I walk in, there is a sight to be seen that resembles a theatrical production on Broadway. I wish that I had a camera for pictures or video recording of the whole thing. However, I was thinking only of my friend and my survival of the evening, at the time.

My little “bestie” was standing on the top of a picnic table with a beer in one hand and her finger waving at my Goliath sized boyfriend’s face, as he hung his head in submission. It gave me pause. Who could ask for a better friend that defends you when you were not able to defend yourself? She was fearless, and on a tear. I did not hear all that she said to Goliath, but I knew she was clear. She was my champion when I could not be one for myself. Thanks, Shaz. One of the many times that you saved my heart!

None the less, my primary goal was “escape.” As humans, one of our basic instincts, in stressful situations, is to simply RUN. This was my plan from the time I heard my name yelled across an open bar full of people. Now was not the time for the “are you cheating on me” talk.

As my bestie wraps up her soliloquy of scolding Goliath about his behavior, I manage to get her to come with me to the cab. She walks to the cab and tells me she was not finished with him. I said, “oh, yes you are.” I would live to fight another day, just not right now.

Needless to say, my two timing, low life of a boyfriend and I broke up. I do not recall the details of the “break up scene”, but I assure you the statement of “let’s be friends” never left my lips! Who wants to be friends with a cheater and a liar?

Not all of my break ups went down like that one. I certainly had amicable break ups and was “friendly” to most of my ex-boyfriends. However, we did not hang out together to get a burger or anything after we split up.

Have you ever dated the same person more than once? I did. Stupid me later realized that we broke up the second time for the same cottin’ pickin’ reasons we broke up with the first time! I actually dated the same guy four different times over a period of a few years. Apparently, I continued to be a slow learner at dating. I think, at the time, that I thought we had both matured and maybe things would be different each time. Nope, broke up four times over the same crap. After this one, I never dated the same guy twice.

I often wondered if there was some “magic key to dating” book that I had not heard of or read. I mean, I have heard so many people say that they are friends with “all of their exes.” I have a very difficult time believing this is true. It is not like you get “extra points” in heaven because you were friends with people you used to date.

Why does there seem to be so much social pressure to maintain any relationship with someone you dated and broke up with? Dating is loosely defined as a person you have a social or romantic engagement or appointment. There is no mention of what happens when you break up, though.

I am not suggesting that you remain angry or hostile against an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. That is counterproductive and only wastes your energy. I think it can show great maturity to be civil to and ex, even if in your opinion, they may not deserve it.

However, when I think of a friend, I think of someone that I want to be around and enjoy myself. I think of someone who has “my best interests at heart”, not someone who is trying to break it. My friends help me out when I need it and I help them when they need it.

I have some ex-boyfriends that I would not trust to babysit my pet cockroach. (I do not have a cockroach, it was a joke.) Some of the guys I dated could not even hold down a job, much less take care of someone else.

I remember casually dating a guy and he asked me to go back to his place for a drink. I thought, “Ok, let’s see how this goes.” Before we left the restaurant though, he proceeded to “warn me” that we had to be quiet because his mother was at home. Humm, I asked, “does your mother live with you?” He said, “actually, I live in my mother’s basement, right now.” What? You are a grown ass man and you still live in your mother’s basement? I bet she does your laundry, too! I promptly developed a “headache” and took a cab home! Your mother’s basement, really?

I guess the point that I am trying to make is not to be too concerned if you are unable to be friends with an ex. Sometimes break ups can be brutal and unfair. I know some people that have had bad break ups and never “get over it.” I truly believe in forgiveness. I also believe that in this forgiveness is your path to healing yourself, then true happiness.

As for me, I know that I was no picnic to live with for anyone. I kissed a lot of “toads”, made some horrific mistakes, wallowed in my sadness after breaks up and cried a lot. It made me stronger, though.

As for my “exes”, I wish you well and hope your find your happiness. Just know, we will never be “friends.”

2 thoughts on “Who Said That You Have to Be Friends with a Person You Dated After You Break Up?

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