About Me

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I'm a loving [although sometimes crazy] wife, a [very] loyal friend, a passionate educator, an involved citizen, a sensitive soul, a faithful Christian, a fiery Aries, and a classy lady.

Friday, January 20, 2012

On Being Friends with Ex's

I have always been the girl who has a lot of guy friends. I'm also the girl who has stayed friends with ex-boyfriends after a break up. Just a couple of Sundays ago I posted something on Facebook about my church being pretty full of New Year's resolutioners, and two of the three serious boyfriends I had before P came into my life commented on it. Last October, I had a conference in St. Louis, which is also home to my "first love", and I made it a point to visit him and his family while I was in town. I don't see anything wrong or inappropriate with any of this. Neither does P.

So many people find this strange. I have plenty of friends and have read plenty of articles that say "Staying friends with your ex is dangerous!" or "I would never stay friends with anyone who's seen me the slightest bit naked before!" Well, unless your ex is actually a dangerous person, you should be safe. And, if I wasn't friends with anyone who has seen me at least partially naked then my parents wouldn't speak to me, half my girlfriends would've disowned me, and I'd have to find a new massage therapist every month. Way too exhausting.

This is the truth: I've dated some pretty decent guys. I've been serious about 4. They are all kind, educated, and thoughtful gentleman. Just because it didn't work out between us doesn't make them (or me) a bad person. And even though the romance ended, they are still the wonderful guys I'd become friends with when I first met them. I call them every year on their birthdays. I will probably continue to do this for a long time. Maybe (hopefully) forever.

P also happens to be friends with girls he used to date. Heck, I'm friends with girls P has dated in the past.

I'm writing this because I've noticed that this is a huge issue with several of my friends in their relationships, and I've always found it interesting how people can have such drastically different experiences. I know people who've been seriously hurt and found a way to forgive. I also know people who don't remain friends with an ex on the principal of the matter. Whatever works for you - I support you completely! This works for me.

I also get told how "weird" I am because I'm friends with exes. Maybe I am, but I'm probably a bit weird for many, many different reasons.

I've also been the girl-friend (not even an ex-girlfriend, just a friend who happens to be a girl) of a guy whose wife forbids him to talk to me or any other girl beyond her friends and his guy friend's wives. I do not understand the hatred or annoyance. But, that's a whole different blog post.

Of course there are reasons for folks not to remain friends with an ex:
1 - Mental or physical abuse.
2 - Drug or extreme alcohol problems.
3 - They are a source of drama in your life.
4 - You can't get over them emotionally. Or vice versa.
5 - They kicked your dog.
6 - More that I can't name because it has just never happened to me.

Maybe I'm lucky. The only hurt I've been is the normal break-up pain. I realize that this probably doesn't happen for everyone, but I consider myself lucky to have known good guys and still know them in our post-relationship life. One of them is married with two beautiful children. My heart could not be happier for him. Another has found the girl he will likely marry someday. I get so excited when I hear about their happiness. Just like when I hear about pretty much everyone's happiness.

The reality is that P and I chose each other. We had other opportunities and potential life partners and knew each other through many, many relationships. But, we chose each other. We wouldn't have chosen each other if either were insanely jealous or harbored crazy amounts of resentment. It's just the way we fit.

I hope that when we have children and they date people, they have the opportunity to meet nice men and women. I hope that if it doesn't work out with those men and women, they don't place more blame or anger on the ex or themselves that is truly unwarranted. I hope that they can remain friends - if they want to. There is no one-size fits all experience.

Maybe it's just because I like being friends with pretty much everyone, and that includes people who've hurt me and people I've hurt. We're human. We make mistakes in friendships and romantic relationships. I hope we just don't let it scar us too much.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year, More Blog Commitment

We just celebrated our first holiday season as a married couple. It was wonderful to start new traditions and find a balance that worked for our newly formed family!

Speaking of balance - I'm trying to find a better balance. Part of this balance will be a renewed commitment to blogging. I'll still be talking about the happenings of me and P, but I'll also be rambling about random issues that are important to me.

Topics may:
- Why everyone should do service
- How teaching makes me a better student
- What it's like to be a military wife
- P's deployment to Qatar this year
- Girl on girl hate and why it needs to chill already
- On being friends with ex's
- Being comfortable in your own skin
- Other blogs I love
- Weddings and babies of dear friends
- My office's health challenge
- My 10 year high school reunion
- Whatever pops into my random brain

Got anything you want to see me ramble about?