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Impending Call From Ex - Advice Please!


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My ex boyfriend and I dated for 3.5 years. We broke up in late May. We've been in NC (at my behest) for the last month.

 

I can say with complete confidence that I'm over the relationship, if not 100%, then about 98-99%. I'm guessing he's over it, too (but how would I really know?) because he started dating someone two weeks after we broke up. I started dating again last month. Things are really groovy with me right now - my friends have all commented that I seem like a much happier person since I stopped being in this relationship. They're absolutely right.

 

In short, I'm having no problems on the breakup front, but when I initiated NC, I was up against a wall. I had *tried* to initiate it before, but the ex kept e-mailing me, telling me he loved me (friend-wise) and would do whatever it takes to be my friend. I DO NOT WANT to be friends with him right now. This peace I have with the past and with this relationship is really new. I don't want to endanger it by coming into regular contact with him too quickly. Contact includes everything - e-mails, phone calls, everything. I JUST got my life back, and I'm not willing to relinquish it for the sake of someone who hurt me.

 

However, I can't see into the future at all, but I am fairly certain that I would like to be his friend a year or two (or three) from now. And here's the problem - when I initiated NC, I told him that if he wanted to be my friend, he'd have to make an effort and to get in touch with me in September. The woman who wrote that e-mail didn't have her head on straight. I wasn't over the pain. I was still angry with him. I wanted him to suffer.

 

Now, not so much. Now, I just want to live my life and him to live his. Separately. And here's the problem - he's going to wish me a happy birthday this weekend. I don't know if he's going to call or e-mail. I'm certain I can handle speaking with him on the phone. I'm even sure that if I ran into him and his new girlfriend, I'd be fine. What I'm having problems with is what to tell him when he calls.

 

How do you tell someone "I don't want to be friends with you right now" and not hurt their feelings? How do you tell them that you'd like to be friends with them in a year (if they still want to)? How do you handle this kind of interaction with class and grace?

 

To complicate the situation a bit, I am nearly 100% certain I will run into him the weekend after we have this conversation. I'm shocked I haven't run into him since we broke up, since we run in overlapping circles. I would like to convey to him that it's OK if we run into each other. I don't want running into each other to be unnecessarily awkward because I gave him a grand speech or hurt his feelings.

 

So... what do I do? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to alienate him, but I don't want to look like a jacka** either. I don't want to get into the reasons why I don't want to be his friend, but I will if others think this is necessary.

 

Help! Me!

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I *think* I want to be friends with him because I relate to him in a lot of fundamental ways. He's almost a kindered spirit; we really understand each other and we have better conversations than most. In short, he's a good person who is going to make somebody else very happy someday.

 

Whether or not we're really going to be friends is up in the air, though; he's the one pushing for it. I would be utterly content to let sleeping dogs lie for the time being. Frankly, I have no idea why he pushed so hard for my friendship. He knows me well enough to know how I am and how hard it would be for me to be friends with him right now. It's really weird and awkward. Part of me wants to ask him what the hell his problem is.

 

Gee, I sound really friendly towards him, don't I? Glad there's no rule that says we have to be friends with our exes right away.

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Whether or not we're really going to be friends is up in the air, though; he's the one pushing for it. I would be utterly content to let sleeping dogs lie for the time being. Frankly, I have no idea why he pushed so hard for my friendship. He knows me well enough to know how I am and how hard it would be for me to be friends with him right now. It's really weird and awkward. Part of me wants to ask him what the hell his problem is.

 

i know how you feel. i've wanted to personally maim my ex for asking me to be friends after all that he put me through. it was the most selfish request that has ever been asked of me, and i was deeply insulted, not to mention sad. i wanted to get back with him at the time.

 

i don't see the problem in waiting several months or maybe even a couple years to be friends. i'm sure he can completely understand where you're coming from, and i don't think he would reject you no matter when you decided to come back. if you really get along so famously, he'll feel honored to have you back in his life no matter when it is.

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oh, PS--try not to put a timeline on it when you speak to him, as in "i think we can be friends in a year." because if you're not ready then he may come hounding you again, and you might agree to beginning a friendship before you're truly ready. like i said, just say you'll let him know when you're ready, you're not sure when that will be.

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Thanks, Joyce. The bit about not putting a timeline on it was really helpful because it was my first impulse to tell him, "Oh, let's get lunch next June."

 

So, are you friends with your ex now? I never wanted to get back with mine, and he knows it. This just adds to the weirdness. Men are so difficult to understand sometimes.

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The bit about not putting a timeline on it was really helpful because it was my first impulse to tell him, "Oh, let's get lunch next June."

 

hahahah. scheduling a year in advance sounds pretty extreme. funny though. yeah, you don't need to make promises, especially if they're promises you can't necessarily keep.

 

So, are you friends with your ex now? I never wanted to get back with mine, and he knows it. This just adds to the weirdness. Men are so difficult to understand sometimes.

 

i'm not friends with my ex, and i can honestly say i never will be. i did want to get back with mine, i'm still very hurt by the breakup and very NOT over him. i can't foresee a time when i won't at least be extremely attracted to him. a few days ago i heard he might be with an acquaintance of mine now, and i'm VERY hurt. this relationship was a very big deal to me, we talked about getting married and i've never felt that deeply for anyone...not even close. so it's been very hard.

 

but for me, even if i was over him, i don't think he deserves my friendship. after insulting me in various ways, confusing me, being selfish, and hurting me more than he ever had to, he doesn't get my friendship. if any one of my girlfriends did that to me they'd be out the door forever, so i'm applying the same principle to him. besides, we were never friends to begin with, we started dating immediately after meeting, so i don't see the point. we were great friends in the relationship, but being friends alone...i don't even know how i could manage that with him.

 

hmm, so you never wanted to get back together? i wonder how this would affect my willingness to be friends with an ex. i suppose that fact would make it much easier for me.

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Wow, eeew. Sorry that you're going through all that. It must be rough. How long has it been since y'all split?

 

It is far easier to be friends with an ex if you don't want to get back together. It's funny, I just started corresponding with an ex (from four years ago) who cheated on me with one of my best friends. Typing this out makes me feel crazy! However, he too was super aggressive in his pursuit of my friendship, sending long letters of apology and such, and now, four years later, I am seriously contemplating getting dinner with him the next time I'm in NYC.

 

This earlier boyfriend and the current ex really confuse me. I don't understand this impulse to be friends with someone you used to sleep with. It seems rather counterintuitive. I can see being friendly with them, but to actually pursue a friendship is beyond strange. Especially with this last one, I feel like I'm just along for the ride. Then again, I have too much time on my hands right now (just finished grad school, looking for work). So maybe if this went down at a busier time in my life, I would be like, "Hell, no!"

 

I don't blame you for not being friends with your ex. He sounds like a chump. Actually, both of my exes were ultimately chumps, too. Sigh.

 

What do you think of my theory: men don't have as many deep friendships as do women, so when they lose a girlfriend, it's harder for them, hence their desire to be friends. Does this make sense?

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