Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ex to the Ex

We broke up. I broke up with him. He broke up with me. The “it’s over”-thing. Yes… that thing.

The break-up is what one would consider a very intense, colorless (or -full?) and frail experience. For instance, the scenario could look familiar to this: not only do you go through the “angry moaning and ugly complaining” - part where you question over and over again some things like "what brought you two to this conclusion" and consequently "why you are still such a fool over him". You may surely also have that profound urge to rip your eyes out because you want to finally stop crying your broken heart out. Of course, the hours of therapy and comfort zone with your best gals are a major factor taken into consideration. And last but not least, the special moment(s) where you know it’s all about you facing what is ahead.

The story goes on as it should be. But suddenly, you come to realize that the big fuss is over and you find yourself in its aftermath-zone. The break-up lies far away like a distant memory. The history of you two being together almost seems like a forgotten episode of the last drama season. You are happy. He is happy. The wound leaves but a scar now. It might forever be visible but you got through the pain and are now over it. Water under the bridge? Something close alright.

This subject got me thinking about that possibility you can usually be confronted to after a break-up: considering this person to be someone other than your man... and be… well, a friend. You are happy. He is happy. And not in each other’s lives: Everything is going smoothly. You are happy. He is happy. But in each other’s lives again…as friends? Going as smoothly? Hmmm... Of course, it is not meant just being friendly (with all the awkwardness, unresolved feelings that are fresh “after all” and the long silences in-between)…but to be real friends. How heart-aching and not pretty your story might have ended, could this often wished of “let us stay friends” aftermath be actually taken seriously? Is it possible in some sort of parallel universe to cross the friendship line with the used-to-be one? When are you really just friends with your ex?

In truth, long have I regarded that request to be total crap, nonsense and just some sort of bad rationalization to come up with in the wish to appear clean in the story. Classic bad taste! But taking that option into account may come in different packages of "handling it". First of all, how do you handle your PRIDE factor (and NOT the love thermometer)? Opening that old window to some fresh air, or even a brand new one perhaps: Why not? Acknowledging the fact that you are actually better off as friends than more-than-just-friends? Well, maybe that is the simple and honest truth, and there is nothing else to it.

And secondly, and the first factor is a piece of cake beside this one, you got to pass the NOT-IN-LOVE-WITH-YOU-ANYMORE test. I guess Next’s song “We can’t be friends ('coz I'm still in love with you)" makes total sense after all. I am assured that even how nasty, tormented and bitter the break-up was, it is all about that “All or nothing” – phase that is hard to overcome… because at some level, you just know that all and everything comes down to this specific detail. You are over him, but he isn’t! He is over you, but you’re still hung up on him! And that is the reason why that odd and maybe hopeful something will always be floating in those clouds. [And we are not even taking in consideration the (big) probability of you falling in love again since you’ve been there before. Hmm...] You got to be on the same wave length. If you, and especially if both you two, are finally not in love with each other anymore, then it’s only at that moment that you might become friends… the real friends that this famous break-up line “let’s stay friends” implies. You might even be happy for each other’s new lives (and new-found loves?) Ain't that dystopia? So ponder on an even better possibility: this person you truly loved in another lifetime, and who actually knows you better than any other, might end up being the friend giving you advice on love... and life. Utopia, might not.

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