Staying Friends

Why does it seem so unusual to stay friends with your ex? I was just asked today “if it was awkward”…because I was in a relationship with someone who I loved for 8 months, and now, 4 months later, am in a relationship with someone else. I really don’t know what she was referring to. I didn’t tell her that I still communicate regularly with my ex. I didn’t tell her that my ex and his metamour (who I had the hugest crush on) came to my small birthday party, where my new boyfriend was also obviously a guest. I didn’t tell her that I gave my boyfriend advise about how to stay friends with his recent ex, completely based on my ex’s (very good) actions following the breakup. I didn’t tell her (on second thought, maybe I did let this one slip) that I was texting him about the new girl he started dating.

In the poly world, I think it’s common to remain friends following a breakup. Love does not need to be limited. Even if your love is over, there was still something about them that made you an important part in each other’s lives…why should that end with the relationship? Even if you don’t see them often, you can still exchange things you think they might find interesting, and catch up on occasion. I suppose there’s sometimes a chance of getting back together, but usually, the breakup happened for a good reason, and if the post-breakup interaction was handled well, it should create a strong friendship, not something to get jealous of.

In both the case of me and my ex, and my boyfriend and his ex (who he broke up with shortly after we started dating), the boyfriend was the one to initiate the breakup. In both scenarios (massively oversimplified), he just wasn’t “feeling the relationship” anymore. In both cases, all parties wanted to remain friends.

It took me a week or two to no longer be actively sad about it. I tried to text him as little as I could, but that was still quite a lot for a while. The main thing that was important was that he waited for me to initiate communication. He almost never would begin a conversation. Getting over him was on my terms, not his.

It took me about 2 months to really be over my him. I could have met him after a month, but that would have probably been too soon, and would have just extended the time it would have taken to get over him. I didn’t end up seeing him again until 3 months after we broke up. We just had a casual conversation for a couple hours. It was nice to catch up. I wanted to make sure we could still be friends; that I didn’t hate him, and I didn’t love him. I wanted to make sure I just saw him as a friend. I wanted to be able to invite him to my birthday party and have it still be fun. All turned out well. My birthday party was fun, and we keep in touch on a regular basis.

Why is it a weird thing to stay friends with your ex?

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