Last weekend I was honoured enough to be present to witness the wedding of two wonderful friends and feel a bit guilty for wearing a dress that is eligible for a “tight ass Tuesday” post however it’s what I do so I’m sure they understand that my budget dress is no way a reflection of how I feel about them!
I picked my dress based on both their personalities – cheerful, happy, positive and young. As the wedding was in a garden by the sea I have accessoried with flat sandals and a combination of wood and leather jewellery for a more casual look.
Did I mention the handsome Groom happened to be my ex boyfriend, a slightly unconventional friendship! A few conversations I’ve had around the place lately have prompted me to write about my thoughts on ex’s and friendship, and I’m not talking weird post-relationship friends where jealousy and constant texting are still rampant, I’m talking true friendship.
Firstly, there needs to be a good period of distance for a real friendship to form… It’s very difficult (almost impossible?) to transition straight from a relationship to friendship without some time apart to evaluate your frame of mind, for me this took about a year! Another important factor is also to ask yourself why you are remaining friends. Is it out of guilt (if you broke it off)? Is it out of comfort and security? These are not good reasons to remain friends as they are borne of feelings which remain from a relationship.
Boundaries – To allow yourself and your ex to move on these are so important, you cannot place the same expectations on each other that you once had. You must remember that as friends you no longer have partner privileges which means you cannot use the same pet names, cannot expect instant call/text backs, cannot expect them to be your knight/lady in shining armour when things go wrong. A friend of mine started dating a guy who would always get calls from his ex when she needed emotional support or help with something and he would always drop everything and go to her aid. The last straw for my friend was when he got a call at 3am from the ex saying she had diarrhoea and he promptly rushed to her house in the early hours of the morning to be by her side. Needless to say my friend was not there when he returned home…
Friendship is not your saviour, if you had issues around communication, differing opinions or simply they annoyed the shit out of you these issues will ALL still be there! As friends these things may bother you less but friendship is not a silver bullet to all your problems, if you can’t get past these issues then it sounds like there is no point in maintaining a friendship.
Moving on is the final and most definitive step and will likely trigger many painful emotions that you had previously thought you’d already dealt with. Many of the ex-couples I know who truly thought they were friends could not get past this last hurdle. This step is difficult and my only suggestion is that you have to be incredibly respectful to your or your ex’s new relationship – making sure the new partner is comfortable with your ex’s presence, ensuring they get see your interaction with your ex, and again knowing the boundaries. It’s at this stage that you will realise if the friendship will work with everyone moving on and being mates (new partners included) or the friendship will slowly dwindle out on it’s own.
The Groom and I have been lucky enough to survive the process and he even turned to my husband for diamond ring advice when he made his decision to propose. I have also gained a beautiful new friend in the process and last weekend I cryed… I never cry at weddings yet I bawled tears (and snot) of joy at how happy they would be together for the rest of their lives.