Okay, ready for Part 2? My big, dark secret?
Well, I’m sorry to disappoint. And if you were hoping for reconciliation with TWD or a torrid affair with someone else, I’m afraid you are going to be disappointed.
But here’s the thing: I don’t do friends.
By which I mean I don’t do friends with ex-boyfriends.
And not for lack of trying… I’ve tried and failed MISERABLY. The main reason I don’t want to try with TWD is not because I’m afraid of what it would do to me (although this is a valid concern) but because I’m afraid of what it would do to him. I’ve caused a lot of hurt in the past.
I’ve sent letters I never should have sent, rekindled flames I had no business rekindling. To this day, I still feel guilty about my college boyfriend, and this guilt is reignited every time he sends me a friend request (thankfully, I’ve learned that feeling lonely sometimes feel an awful lot “I still love you.” But they’re not the same thing. They just look alike.)
I honestly don’t get how people do it. I am sort-of-friends with my first boyfriend (as in I Facebook stalk him every few years and say things like, “Oh my GOD—your wife had a baby??? Congratulations!”) but that’s the extent of it.
I also tried being friends with my former-flat-cum-boyfriend but he cut me off completely (which, in my humble opinion, was totally unfair. Yes, I ended the relationship, and yes, he was devastated, but we were friends way longer than we were boyfriend and girlfriend… couldn’t we just go back to that?)
I don’t have the best track record. In fact, of the five official ex-boyfriends I have, I’m only “friends” with one (and even then, Facebook stalking to comment on life events is hardly real friendship).
Part of the reason for this is because I’ve always allowed myself to have messy break ups. The “let’s take a break” type of break ups, the “I think I might still love you” type of break ups. And breakups such as these aren’t exactly the best foundations for friendship…
But that’s not the only reason. The truth is I’m just downright terrible at being friends with men. I’ve always preferred male friends, and at certain points in my life, I’ve had more male friends than female friends, but I can never walk the platonic line for long. I always end up developing a crush, and sometimes that crush spills over into “Let’s give this a shot,” and then said shot spills over in “Umm… maybe not” and then things are just awkward. (Or, on the other extreme, I suppress said crush and fixate instead on the small scraps of kindness tossed my way; I could give even the best revisionist historians a run for their money.)
Sometimes I’ve done the opposite: turned a flirtatious relationship into a platonic one, but even then the specter of romantic attraction is never far away.
People do it, though. I know they do. I have friends who do. Real live friends who don’t just remain friends with their exes but who actually discuss music with their exes, give career advice, dance together and even attend each other’s weddings.
This is a foreign concept to me.
But I wonder, maybe six months down the road, if TWD and I could be friends.
I know we couldn’t be friends now. I haven’t been with anyone else yet. I haven’t gone on any dates yet. I haven’t even kissed anyone yet. A man did buy me a drink a few weeks ago but that’s a long story (and he was drunk, and too old for me, so it doesn’t really count), but the point I’m trying to make is that I haven’t exactly wiped the slate clean, so to speak. If I saw TWD now, I would either A) fall into a crumbling, crying mess or B) attempt sleep with him.
(And, let’s face it, I would probably succeed.)
But maybe, eventually, when I reach the point at which options aside from Option A and Option B begin to present themselves, we could be friends.
I mean we did a pretty good job of being a couple, and we’re doing a great job of not being a couple right now (seriously, this is worst break up I’ve ever gone through but it has also been the cleanest and I am very proud of myself). Methinks, therefore, that we could someday do a great job of being friends. After all, I’m not the same girl I was in high school, or college, or grad school. And TWD represented a lot of “firsts” for me.
Maybe he could be a first boyfriend-turned-friend too?