In the Huffington Post today, is an article titled, Of Course Exes are Allowed at the Wedding. Jade Walker writes that she is not only friends with her past ex-boyfriends, she had one as a witness at her wedding. Her reasoning being that she once enjoyed this person for who he was as a person and just because the romance died doesn’t mean the friendship has to. “The reason is simple: If I’ve spent months or years loving someone, I see no good reason to throw away a prized friendship just because our romance fizzled.”
I used to be like Walker. I’ve had two serious boyfriends in the past. I told each of them at the at the time we were dating, he was invited to my wedding and to my funeral. There’s so much intimacy shared in just the friendship aspect of a relationship, it made sense to have this person be part of these significant stages in my life. In a way, they helped me achieve the “significance” by contributing directly or indirectly to who I am.
Unfortunately, as I’ve grown and changed, I don’t think it’s as cut and dry anymore.
Walker says she has a clear understanding between someone in the “friend-zone” and someone in the “dating-zone”. She says some people blend the two, but because she never has, she is able to continue the friendships of her past lovers as they are now in the “friend-zone”.
I wish it were that simple but I’d like to think I’m ‘the one who got away’. Even if this were in no way shape or form to being close to the truth. It’s my truth. Which means, there’s no way an authentic friendship could be maintained.
Walker says, “I’ve been able to create a unique and wonderful circle of friends, many of whom just happen to have seen me naked at one point in time.”
It’s not so much for me that they just happen to see me naked, it’s the fact that we most likely had unremitting, sometimes awkward, sometimes mind-blowing, sex. And we will never do it again. I could see it now, sitting across from each other with our new “significant others” enjoying a nice spaghetti dinner pretending we never bawled our eyes out if front of each other, or spent days at a time in the bedroom only to come up for air and a quick bite to eat. “Kari, could you pass me the salt?” says ex-boyfriend. “Oh, the salt? Like the salt you poured on my wound when we were drunk and you were mean to me in front of your friends and made me cry myself to sleep? That salt?” I’d say. And then I’d just smile and say “only kidding” and everyone would laugh.
Or, perhaps we could all four go to a movie, and if there’s a sex scene, we could take turns between picturing each other and picturing our present partners. Then, maybe we’d remember the time we decided to take naked pictures of each other. Would it be rude to ask if he still has them? Maybe I’ll wait ’til the movie is over when we are all sharing a nice banana split. It will be when I’m eating the banana. Mike won’t mind, he knows ex-boyfriend is now in my “friend-zone”.
And just for kicks, let’s just say Mike didn’t care that I was friends with my exes. There’s no way their wives would be hunky dory with their husbands palling around with his shockingly stunning, perfectly shaped ass, non-saggy boobed, ex-girlfriend who isn’t married…okay, maybe I went a little overboard, but the last two are 100% true. (My boobs aren’t saggy, but that’s another post yet to be written: Kari Laskowski, the Late Bloomer.)
Walker ends her article with a list of questions to ask your partner. She claims if you had trust between you and your partner, being friends with your ex wouldn’t be a problem.
If you agree with her or not, they are still questions worth asking. Perhaps, if only to strengthen your relationship.
Here are her questions:
Do you trust your mate to never stray?
Do you trust yourself?
Have you discussed your sexual pasts and preferences openly and honestly?
Are you upset that your mate has had other lovers despite the fact that you knew he/she wasn’t a virgin when you met?
Have you made peace with your past, or do you dwell in “what might have been”? Has your mate?
Are you an unforgiving person or more open-hearted and open-minded?
I guess what makes this difficult for me is what I loved most about the men in my past was how they made me feel. They held me in a special place- which is where Mike holds me now. So, I’m good wishing them the best and making room for new friends who can compliment my life without complicating it.