Thursday, 27 June 2013

The Ex Factor: Lovers to Friends

Phone rings. It's one of my ex boyfriends. "Alright Girl! I'm in the city fancy lunch?" As tempting as wild mushroom polenta washed down with a Bellini or 2 is, I have another appointment so reluctantly decline. I haven't spoken to him since April and we've got loads to catch up on so we slip into a natural conversation about the current events of our lives. There are genuine and heart felt congratulations and commiserations between us. I really enjoy our conversation, he gives me advice and I give him advice and everything flows so naturally between us and I realise this is because we actually have a genuine friendship. I don't feel the pressure to be the all Loving, sexy, supportive girlfriend and he doesn't feel the need to be gentleman come all action super hero. There are no false barriers to hide behind. I see through him and he sees through me, we really are "Just good friends." And I absolutely adore him. 

Serendipity brought us together one afternoon. I'd been single for a while and he'd just come out of a long relationship so really and truly we were never really destined at that moment in time to have more than an intense and passionate 6 months together which we did. Loads in common bringing out the best in and inspiring each other.It was great but we were romancing on borrowed time. I wanted a grown up relationship, he was just getting over one so when he rang me and said "Baby we need to talk." I had an idea of where we were heading and although it was sad when he sat in front of me and admitted that he was still in Love with his ex I felt nothing but compassion, no anger, no bewilderment and none of the torture that comes from having lots of questions and no answers. As he opened his heart and honestly told me respectfully and kindly to my face that he couldn't give me the commitment I wanted I realised that I didn't want this amazing man out of my life. He was right we didn't have a future as a couple we had a future as something even more amazing, we had a future as friends.

When we get romantically involved with people our perspectives can go out the window. In a fit of passion and excitement we get caught up in the romance of what we want and can overlook the often overlooked reason this person has come into our lives. 

After having such a good open and honest chat with my ex I began to feel very thankful for his presence in my life. I appreciate him and I thank him for being the one who made the adult decision to end our relationship. But what makes me appreciate and Love him even more is the way he ended it. Instead of leaving me a "I'm sorry I can't do this." Post It note on the fridge or just ignoring me was kind enough to afford me the respect, compassion and kindness of ending our relationship with dignity. I respected him for this more than anything. I didn't walk away feeling used, confused or broken. I walked away with my dignity and it made a huge difference to what happened next between us. 

We weren't meant to be a couple long not really, but we had built an incredible friendship and neither one of us wanted to end that and we didn't have to. 

Today I've been reflecting on the saying that people come into our lives for a reason, a season and for life and I agree but I think if you scratch beneath the surface of that adage there is another layer of learning. Maybe one or two exceptional people come into our lives for a combination of reason and life, season and reason. This then poses a new challenge with regards to how we enter and exit the lives we touch.

A brave, simple, heartfelt conversation over a Cosmopolitan in a bar transformed 2 former Lovers into loyal, Loving, lifelong friends :-).

1 comment:

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