“I hope we can be friends…”
It’s the phrase most spoken when a couple breaks up. I’m not sure if the one speaking this even believes it’s possible. I’m almost certain that in most cases, this phrase is spoken so that they can allay their own feelings of guilt for breaking up with someone. Or perhaps they’re hoping that the person won’t be upset with them and that the “friendship” will give them a “free-to-return” card.
The friendship card…is played to keep the avenues of opportunity open. When someone breaks up due to dissatisfaction or boredom…they don’t want to cut ties altogether. It’s almost like they’re breaking up with the person to 1) Give the other party a chance to get their shit together…2) Punish them (which is a more malignant form of #1) 3) They’re too punk-assed to say I’m done with you completely, so they offer the person “visitation rights” to their company and 4) They ACTUALLY believe they CAN be friends. *guffawing*
Okay, so in SOME instances, friendship between estranged lovers CAN happen. In my own experience, it takes time though. You can’t hop RIGHT into the friendship. If you’re trying to maintain an active friendship daily with someone you were madly in love with 2 days before…er, um…hell nah. That’s you (and them) holding onto the relationship…hoping for a things to get better under the threat of ending things. It’s denial…full-fledged denial.
No one wants to start over…
No one wants to go through the preliminaries again. Getting to know someone from square one. The niceties are a breeze. The sweet nuances that bring love to the surface, sourced from the butterflies in your belly. That’s easy. The hard part is learning to let go again. Knocking down the walls, the etiquette, rules of engagement.
~No displaying unfavorable qualities that might send someone fleeing in the opposite direction with jets on their soles…
Right? Isn’t that list of “things” the many things that a lot of us try to keep from showing the new love in the beginning? I mean, I don’t care HOW real deal you think you are…ladies NOR gents gets off with a SWEET “dutch oven” or an out of left-field “Where were you?”…without a side eye. ESPECIALLY if you’ve only been out a few times. You want to gain their endearment, their adoration and affections before you destroy the bathroom for the first time.
Also, no one wants to open themselves up rawly to the risk of hurt. Getting hurt IS the risk we take when opening ourselves to love…but, a lot of people would rather rumble with the devil they know than the devil they don’t. Who wants to put themselves out there again just to create a pattern of losing battles? No one wants to find out it’s THEM that is the recurring theme in a long line of bad relationships. No one wants to look in the mirror and be the unworthiness…that stigma…that comes with failed love lives. Ask Halle Berry, she is living testimony.
Regardless…because of these things and more idiosyncrasies…we often hold onto relationships that are often under the guise of friendship. Emphasis on the word “guise”.
Truth is…if your relationship ended due to the strain of betrayal, indifference, cruelty and lies…what kind of “friend” would they be? To me, the guidelines of friendship and love relationships are damn near the same. I apply almost the same standards to my girls that I do a man of interest (accept the sex and stuff). I actually hold my friends to HIGHER standards just because I understand how easy it is for men to lose focus.* My girls? Nah…I expect them to go to the mat for me just as I would for them. Friends are chosen family and that responsibility shouldn’t be taken lightly. My love? I expect him to do the same, but the truth is that men and women’s weaknesses to each other are way different than their same-sex friendships. You WILL most likely forgive an infidelity by a lover at least once in this lifetime, before you’d forgive the betrayal of a friend. Story short: Friends are supposed to have your back when all else fails and everyone else is gone…if your friend doesn’t do that, then why would you want to keep them around? Even if you found a way to forgive your friend, the friendship is never the same…so, why would you want to immediately transition an ex into a friend when they have no concept of true friendship? (Seeing as the best love relationships begin with the best friendships). Someone who can’t fathom the vulnerability, trust and honesty that goes into friendship can’t possibly muster up those same qualities for a relationship. The only incentive for them is the sexual intimacy that comes with it.
As I was reflecting one day…confiding in a friend…I said to her, “I’m pissed at him because he destroyed our friendship…we could’ve salvaged that if nothing else…but he took the whole ship down.”
Well, no…it couldn’t be salvaged. Not as it stood…not in that moment. I believe with time and forgiveness, a friendship can be cultivated again…but, only if it began that way. You need time and PLENTY of space or else, you’re not getting over them properly. Their presence as “friend” is really a security blanket and therefore no one is moving on…well, at least not EVERY one. He couldn’t be my friend again, because he wasn’t my TRUE friend from the beginning. He kept key information about himself from me, he put me in dramatic situations with other females (aka played them against me so that I wouldn’t know what he was telling them on the side) and he didn’t trust me with his heart…not really. That’s the important part…trust.
So, If you weren’t a good friend…then you’re probably not gonna make a good mate…and back again.
Friends nor lovers….treat you badly.
*I have since changed my perspective. I have learned that one of the biggest reasons why men are such repeat offenders is because WE women excuse their behavior. I believe that if a man has dare to call me his friend before the courting, he should be held to the same EXACT standards as your same sex or platonic friends. Friendship is friendship…even after it’s burgeoned into a love relationship.