“There’s always that one person, That will always have your heart, You never see it coming, Cause you’re blinded from the start, Know that you’re that one for me, It’s clear for everyone to see, Ooh baby ooh you’ll always be my boo” Usher & Alicia Keys
“5 Rules for my man who wants to be friends with his Ex”
I eschew the idea of being friends with an Ex. I don’t have a lot of male friends. It’s really difficult to be a platonic friend to straight male in general—but when you add to the mix a previous romantic chemistry, it’s even more awkward. Secondly, if I’ve ever had deep feelings for you, they won’t go away just because the relationship is over. So I stay far away to save myself from limbo.
The Kane Show recently brought up a listeners dilemma where her ex of four years came back in the picture after cheating on her, wanting to be friends. She’s in a new relationship and the new boyfriend formed a set of rules for the “new friendship”. Some of the listeners and @misssarahfrazier said the rules were borderline controlling. The men on the show thought it was a great idea. For some reason reading SBM.org and VSB has me siding with the dudes most of the time. But it also got me thinking what 5 staple rules I would require of my man if he wanted to be friends with his ex.
1. The rules & the discussion of those rules are between us alone. Here’s the thing (and what I wrote about in the Kim K divorce) the perception of your relationship by others has a lot of weight. [Single] folks are mad vocal about what they will/will not do in their couple-hood; and by listening to that constant chatter there’s the potential to have one of those ideas trickle into your harmony. If you feel constricted come to me first.
2. No late nights alone ever. This includes late dinners, drinks, texting, telephone calls. It’s true that freaks come out at night and that the unleashed tension from either party will release when you’re together… memories flood in, the need to recapture the moment, blah blah blah. All it takes is one pointedly inappropriate comment/caress for you to forget about the great person you have waiting at home.
3. All communication is fair game. I hate to turn into the police on this one, but if I want to see an email/ text exchange or the records of how often/how long you talk to each other— then you can’t say no. I’m not a snoop. I’m not going to dig for dirt. If you leave your email open I’ll close it, if you get a text I’ll simply hand you your phone. I’m very trusting in a relationship and I hope that you will share these conversations with me in the same way you share other events in your life— without me asking. But if I ever start to question your loyalty, I would expect you to relinquish your right to privacy. Call it a cursory review of potential evidence.
4. Limit interactions to public functions. Don’t start treating your Ex like your current. This means she shouldn’t be your date, plus one, or guest of honor for any work function, friend’s party, family event, the movies, etc. Don’t invite her to your house and you betta not be at hers. These are intimate acts which distinguish a platonic friend from a special someone. Your significant other reserves all rights to these occasions.
5. If you catch feelings, tell me immediately. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not going to fight for you—it would be a shallow victory anyway. If I win over her, I’m left questioning whether you really want to be with me in general. Eventually, it would tear us apart. What I will do is present the facts. I’ll remind you of why you left her; I’ll count the reasons why we’re good together; I’ll tell you what you mean to me— that’s it. The choice is yours after our litigation of sorts. If you still choose to proceed with the separation SAYONARA! Life is too short to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you.
As long as the communication remains open, I’m cool with Ex’s as friends. But I hate being caught off guard. So if you decide to build a replacement life with her, respect me enough to tell me ahead of time. Cheating will turn the most dignified woman into a hoodrat, #truth.com
Readers: What do you think? Can Ex’s be friends? Should there be rules? I’ve come up with 5 key rules, can you think of more? Do you agree/disagree with the list I’ve compiled?