Part 4: Dealing with EXES (NO EXES AS FRIENDS): Michelle's Method: Dealing with Men 101

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Part 4 of my series on dating and men.

Exes: Michelle’s Method #10 Dealing with Men 101

 

The rule of thumb according to Michelle’s Method is that exes are not friends. The beginning of the new relationship should signify the end of the old relationship. How something starts is how it should finish. 

 

Do not blend relationships, either. If you are unhappy with one relationship and wish to start another, end the first one and wait two months before starting the next one in a serious or permanent fashion. 

 

In the meantime, you can be friendly or casually date the other person before getting serious. But end the first relationship first. Cheating and lying are not condoned by Michelle’s Method, except  ‘acceptable little white lies’ for specific situations. 

 

Since a romantic-sexual relationship started off with chemistry and attraction, it is the opposite of a friendship. By its very nature, a friendship with an ex cannot exist. It is a contradiction in terms and not really desirable. There is really no compromise here, unless you want to be friends with all your exes. I have eight of them, including one ex-husband. I find life much more enjoyable without any of them around. 

 

And I don’t want to burden any new or future companion with the weight of past relationships. The relationships ended for a reason. I don’t want to be reminded of why on a daily, monthly, or weekly basis. I am not the type to reminisce and ask why not. I don’t have their pictures, gifts, music, and letters around me. Put yours in a box and stick it in the basement or wardrobe. Nobody wants to date you if you have framed love letters and photos from your past love life.

 

There are plenty of opportunities to have casual friendships with family members, co-workers, and members of the opposite sex in order to have the same experiences without all the baggage and history of fake ex-based friendships. Why bring old baggage into a new relationship? For gay and bisexual people, the same rules about exes apply.

 

Old baggage is threatening to new relationships. It is not logistical to have exes around, and their presence threatens the sanctity and territoriality of new relationships. Humans are territorial animals, particularly in the realm of sex, mating, and reproduction. Don’t threaten your relationship by violating the basic tenets and aspects of natural human expectations. We are mammals. We take eighteen years per offspring to raise them. Territoriality is a natural part of our DNA and evolutionary history.

 

You would probably feel threatened yourself if your spouse or companion invited an ex to your birthday party, wedding, double dates, sporting events, outings with friends, etc. And posted pictures of the ex’s children and lovers on Facebook. And wrote out long letters and cards on special occasions, attached to an expensive gift. And went with chicken soup to visit them at the hospital. And went with them on a yoga or business retreat. Or talked about your relationship with them. Or spent holidays with them. Or took them on a surfing vacation. On and on... 

 

The heart has room for one and one only. That should be your current companion, not your ex. And it is damaging to your ex’s relationships. And it is hypocritical to demand your current companion accept your ex into his or her life unless you are willing to do the same. And that stance on both sides just complicates things even further. Don’t do it. Find friendship elsewhere from platonic friends, male and female. 

 

Too many jealous incidents, competitions, affairs, issues, financial drains, and fights have occurred due to fake friendships with exes. It is also hard to get over an ex hanging around all the time. Why would anyone want a friendship with someone who used to be a lover/companion? It doesn’t make sense and can only hinder personal development and emotional progress. Carrying a weight of the past around on your back is hardly a positive way to begin a new life and relationship. 

 

A sexual attraction with romantic interest is not the basis for friendship. Friendship is platonic and non-sexual in nature. For this reason and many others, Michelle’s Method bans friendship with exes. If you want to be a priority with your current companion, then remove your ex from your life. There will be no question about your faithfulness and trustworthiness if you do so.

 

Friendships with exes can cause old feelings to stir up and not go away, as well as desires for explanations and issues. There is also nothing more embarrassing and awkward than forcing encounters, evenings out, and double dates with your current companion, your ex, and his or her new boyfriend or girlfriend. It is also awkward to watch. Why do you need to do it? Hearing about it is enough. If people get upset just seeing pictures and hearing stories about new relationships, why endure it happening in front of you? It sounds like self-immolation to me. 

 

It is bound to make the ex feel obligated to stay in touch, send pictures, and invite you to events, which just gets awkward. Everyone will think you will get back together or keep old stories going. This is not pleasant attention. Visiting an ex’s family is not like visiting your uncle’s family for reminiscing and a catch-up. Who wants to enjoy the ex’s wedding, births, birthdays, and other holidays? This behavior stems from a sense of forced obligation. 

 

There are also awkward arguments and conversations about why the relationship went sour. There is the tragedy of watching an ex treat a new partner better than you were treated.

 

There is the real re-emergence of inappropriate old feelings and jealousy. There is the forced and compromising expectation you place on yourself not to be stressed, anxious, or upset. There is the need to explain your relationship to others. You must contact friends and family members of the ex, often people you did not like or who did not like you. Save the self-trepidation for some other situation. The ex act is not worth it. 

 

In order to have a successful relationship with a new companion, that person must be the priority. In order to establish trust and loyalty, boundaries must be sought, maintained, and reinforced. It is impossible to have a successful relationship with a new person based on a foundation of lies, suspicion, and mistrust. Having an ex around that you claim is your friend is counterproductive, damaging, and a threat to the new relationship. 

 


Submitted: November 23, 2020

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