Tuesday, January 1, 2008

security in relationships

i'm aiming for a little discussion with this post. i want to know what you think of this all-too-common scenario that plays out with opposite sex friends.

as billy crystal's harry burns famously said, "men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way...no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her...the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story." when both agree that something might be there and dating is attempted, sometimes it's amazing and lasts. sometimes it's a disaster, both parties agree, and the friendship remains after a date or a month.

hang on. i'm getting to my point!

after moving on, why do the new beaus have a problem with the resumed friendship? leda thinks (and i agree most of the time) that an ex is the last person that a current should be concerned about. they tried, it didn't work, they think highly of one another, and if it's possible, they have a normal friendship. why the concern for lingering feelings? or the sense that the ex is some sort of threat?

i can easily see the issue with a long relationship. there's a better chance of lingering feelings in that case. although i'd say that in most cases, if the person is dating once more, aren't they gone? i'd define the shorter one as one where the friendship was and is a longer amount of time than they dated. no worries, right? she (or he) is with you now. you win, ex lost.

if you're one that takes issue with such friendships of your beau, why? if not, why not? i'm severely curious about this, as it seems to be such a cause of dating strife. so much so that i wonder if it's not better to just leave out that detail when describing your old friends to a new flame...

(i know people read my scribblings, but rarely do i expect much comment. please do!)


Michael J Johnson said...

Happy New Year, Be Jota, and way to start off 2008 with some philosophizin'. I'll bite.
I think it shows some insight into a person's character if they can remain friends with an ex. If there was friendship there in the first place, then it elevated into something more, then it takes work to rebuild that friendship. The easy thing to do would be to cut and run. It's hard to sift through feelings of "what-if" and "why-not" and get back to that foundation of friendship. Somebody who will make the effort to do that is, in my opinion, somebody who recognizes the value of a friend.
My wife was friends with / dated her ex for seven years before I knew her. The romance had run its course and she dealt with that and re-discovered what had made them friends in the first place. And now I count her ex as one of my close friends. Hell, we recently filled out an application for the Amazing Race together.
Exes shouldn't be anything to worry about. Somebody who worries too much about them is somebody who is not secure with either themselves or their relationship. If you have to tell a girl to stay away from her ex, then she's not really your girl, is she?

Mr. J said...

Well said! Having been in those shoes a time or two, both people certainly need to be willing to put that work in. It's usually apparent right away if both are willing to do so. Though when they both start dating again, that's where the problems arise. Insecurity in the new beau rears its ugly head, and threatens the stability of that friendship that has likely been around for longer. Do you suppose that's why some people tend to disappear when they start dating someone new, a fear of conflict and having to choose between their new relationship and their old friendships (esp. those with exes)?