Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Transition From Ex to Friend: 5 steps to the Friendzone.

Break-ups can be very tough on us. Whether we are talking about a relationship that is established or a 3 month's hard when you go from comfort to solitude. So I'm going to touch on a topic that I personally have dealt with multiple times in life.

The Initial Break-up

I like to believe there are 3 different kinds of break-up:

The Clean Break- This break up is when two individuals both realize that the relationship is going no where. You will usually start the conversation with something like "I think we both know what I'm about to say..." or "Okay if you're not going to do this I am...". Usually these are the cleanest break-ups because both parties expect and accept what is about to happen. These break-ups are actually more common with established, long term relationships or extremely short relationships. I would say the likeliness of friendship in these break-ups are high, but there is also a high chance of relapse. This relapse rate comes from the idea that stirs up in the aftermath bringing on thoughts like "Well we ended things so well... and we've been friends...I'm starting to forget why we broke up in the first place". See this is dangerous...because you will have lingering feelings brought on by loneliness forcing you into questioning, but I'll touch on that a little later.

The It's Not You, It's Me- Okay we all know that we see this in the movies, and although it may not be worded in this cliche, it is a real form of break-up. Sometimes even when one person thinks that their relationship is invincible, the other party is un-happy and dissatisfied in the relationship. These break-ups get a little bit messy and violent at times. You might even get a shoe thrown in your general direction and a lot of tears. Personally I'd like to use the generalization that these break-ups FUCKING SUCK. Sorry bout it, but no one wants to be told "Sorry babe I love you...I'm just not IN love with you anymore and I need some time to myself". Really they are saying "Listen. You just aren't all that I thought you were going to be. You're needy and attached and I am just not that into you." Usually these are more short term to medium length relationships. Most of the time the result of a relationship that has been rushed into or not completely thought through.

And last as well as least we have...

The Cheater- This category sometimes goes hand in hand with the It's Not You It's Me, but I think it is a completely different group in itself. These break-ups are the absolute messiest form of break-up. You absolutely will get a shoe thrown in your general direction and this time aimed at your head. These break-ups come with a lot of tears, "What did I do wrong"'s,  insecurities, and on the scale of one to heartbreak I'm thinking the heartbreak is extremely likely. Remorse is also very closely associated to these break-up's as well. It's almost sad that these break-ups have another high relapse rate. Not as likely as the clean break, but you are very likely to see "The second chance" happen, even though we are all familiar with the phrase "Once a cheater, always a cheater." Oh well, he or she will learn their lesson and in the long term they will, hopefully, become stronger in the end.

Side note: I have personally been through all three of these with the 3 guys in my life that I've been in real relationships with. So, I feel for any of you girls still going through this. If you ever wanna talk and/or party I'm always there to help my friends.

Now how does one go from heartbreak to friends?

I'll tell you it isn't an easy task and it takes a few steps, but in the end it is always nice to have that friend that knows you in ways that you don't know yourself. I swear sometimes my ex boyfriends are the only ones that can answer certain questions I have about myself. It may not be healthy, and there is always the dreaded drunk ex-dial, but when needed they are very nice to have around...well, most of them ;D.

FIRST step of all you will, depending on the break-up (less common in the INYIM's), bounce back and have a relapse...or two...or three. These are usually brought on by leaving the comfort zone and having a small form of mono-phobia. It's pretty soon after the break up when you start to realize that you are alone and that's when a. your friends throw a bunch of "your single! lets get fucked up!" parties or give you going out excuses ("Ay we have to go out because its the first hump day that YOU'RE SINGLE!!!!") or b. you get back together with your ex. Now 90% of these relapses do not work out. You get back together too soon when neither of you is ready and nothing has changed. So what happens? Well, you break up again...probably for the same reason that you split the first time. Repeat 2 more times. Then, finally something happens that finalizes the break up and you both realize that it really isn't going to work.

NEXT is step 2 the realization period. Here you are...wallowing in self-pity...going in and out of bawl sessions...looking at old pictures...feeling numb...watching something cliche like The Notebook or PS. I Love You...when you realize...that you are going to be JUST FINE. This part could quite honestly take weeks or even a year, but when it happens you know. Don't force it either because you can't give your heart to someone new until it is completely healed. It's kind of like when your dog passes don't go that day and get a new one...because you wont like it as much. Also then that pup will see you crying about your past puppy and it's just a big emotional mess. Also, don't force yourself to date! This is really common because we see our friends with boyfriends or casually dating and we think that we need to be doing that too. If you AREN'T ready then you AREN'T ready. So now that you have taken that next step to at least realize that your ex is just an ex and you're going to be can now move on to step 3.

STEP 3 Start dating (When you are ready, if not...repeat step 2) and when you do...give the guys a chance! It's nerve-wrecking going back into the dating world. You probably will start off a. rushing into something you aren't ready for and breaking some poor guy/girl's heart b. make a fool of yourself by being slightly unprepared or rusty in the dating game and c. make at least one poor decision in dating (if you know what I mean). All of these are perfectly normal. As long as you are putting yourself out there you are moving in the right direction. If you feel that feeling of butterflies in your stomach, smiles in your texts, and kisses that make you dizzy DON'T RUN AWAY. This could be a chance for you to explore yourself with someone new so don't pump the brakes...but put the pedal to the metal. If it doesn't workout don't sweat it, you have plenty of time.

Chris, if you're reading Let's hang Sunday!

STEP 4, The conversations start. Now I know that you and your ex probably haven't talked much other than drunken texting and sappy I miss yous, but a sober "Hey, How are you doing!?" is completely fine if you have given enough time. Remember: Some men/women may not be mature enough to handle this kind of interaction with you, but everyone has their own pace. Remember: you may be over it and he/she is still living in the past and not being able to move on. Most of the time the conversations are civil, mature, and end up with a good opportunity for friendship. Don't push your ex to hangout with you when they aren't ready, because quite honestly that will make you look like a needy emotional wreck...which we have already determined you aren't anymore.

STEP 5 begins the friendship process. Go to a park and talk about life, laugh about all of the stupid things you did with that person, and help them if they need it. Remember at one point in your life this person WAS your best friend and knows you. They most likely still care about you on a platonic level so if you want to talk to them about something going on with you do it! Just be careful for the danglers. I call Step 2'ers the danglers, because they dangle there on a string like a puppet. Even though you are ready for this friendship and are taking steps in the right direction, they are still checking your Facebook every ten minutes and laying in bed wondering what they did wrong. Hopefully though, everything is normal and kosher.

Friends at last

^^^CLICK ME^^^
Now that you've made it through the break up process and into the friendzone. CONGRATS!

I love that this picture negates my entire blog. MWAHAHAHAHA.

1 comment:

  1. I can't thank you enough for all that you have done for me. About 2 year ago I my partner had misunderstanding, we had both made BIG mistakes in our relationship. He ended up moving away from me to pursue a new life. I knew in my heart that he would be the only one to make me happy. I was relieved when I found your email: on a site about what you have done. I requested 1 to 2 day casting of the reunite us love spell and within 3days frank company had relocated him back to our hometown where I still lived. We immediately reconnected and move in with each other I can't really thank you enough.