friends

Some Relationships Are Meant to be Friendships

Have you ever looked back at a past lover and thought ‘we should have just been friends’? I have, often. I don’t mean that in a negative way. I don’t mean that I’ve wondered ‘what was I thinking, we should have never dated’. I simply mean that some relationships are meant to be friendships.

Sometimes you meet people and there is an instant connection. You date them, because that seems to be the natural progression and for whatever reason, things end. You fall out of love. But that doesn’t mean you stop loving them altogether.

That ongoing love can be terrible or terrific. It can result in a heartbreak you struggle to get over, or it can give you a new lease on your relationship. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been really lucky with that ongoing love and that you definitely shouldn’t always stay friends once a relationship has ended. Everyone has to do what’s right for them.

That said, of the people I’ve dated, I now consider two of them best friends. Not just ‘we’re still Facebook friends and attend each other’s birthdays’ type friends, but actual best friends.

One of these best friends of mine has wisely answered the ever asked “why do you stay friends with an ex?” in the most simple and logical way. He said, “you spend all that time getting to know someone and you obviously enjoyed hanging out with them, why throw it all away?” I re-use his explanation all the time.

The people I have dated are still some of my favourite people in the world. They are people I trust with my life, people I know will look out for me, people who have seen me at my most crazy and know all my bad habits and still choose to be my friend. There is this unconditional love. They know more about me than most of my other best friends. They aren’t afraid to call me on my bullshit because they know I’ll still love them afterwards, and vice versa. It’s a unique relationship. It’s one I’m really grateful for.

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A Little Thank You Note

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It’s no secret that the qualities you value in a friend change as you get older. Everyone gets busier and there is less time for people who don’t genuinely value, appreciate, support and care about you.

And so, this is just a little thank you to the friends in my life who care about me, through the good times and the not so good times. The ones who show they are there for me, even if it’s through something as simple as a text, because it is absolutely the thought that counts and often the simple things that mean the most.

It’s one thing to celebrate successes with someone but totally different to be supportive during sad times. It’s the people who are there for both, that are the most special.

To these friends I want to say thank you – I do not take you for granted, I appreciate you. I appreciate your friendship. You are incredible human beings!

The Good in Goodbye

Today I’m driving my bestfriend to the airport and out of my everyday life. I can’t begin to imagine how I’m meant to get through life without her. She has been one of the very few constant things keeping me sane & incredibly happy over the last 10 years. To wake up tomorrow knowing her beautiful face isn’t just around the corner is going to be a harsh reality. I’ve never particularly felt like I’ve had my heart broken, but at the moment I feel like I’ve lost part of it. Of course she will always be there, a phone call away, as that is what true friendship is. But it still feels like I’m losing a limb. The great thing about a true bestfriend, someone you love unconditionally, is that their happiness is often key to your happiness. With that in mind, I couldn’t be happier that she is moving away to look after herself and put her happiness first. I hope more than anything in the entire world that she finds it. Because if her world is happy, my world is happy. And then our worlds are one step closer together. Distance is nothing in the face of true love. And while I don’t believe in soulmates, if I had to choose one, I’d choose her.

You Had Me At Goodbye

There are some people you meet in life who are different from the rest, they are special, worth holding on to. We pluck them out of the 7 billion other people on the planet and call them friends. Some are better than others, some are the best. If you are true friends, then one of the most important things to you becomes their happiness.

That’s not to say it won’t absolutely suck if their happiness involves moving away from you.

I’ve recently had a friend move to the other side of the country. Another one, who has been the best friend for over 10 years, is mere months from moving to the other side of the world. I am incredibly proud and happy for them to be taking control of their lives, not worrying what anyone else thinks but doing exactly what they want and putting their happiness first. That said, I’d also like to take a moment to be selfish because, for me, it also absolutely sucks. I am losing two of the best girls I know from my everyday life. While it’s easier than ever to keep in touch across countries these days, there is only so far a message, skype or phone call can go before you realise that nothing can replace a real life hug, chats over dinner or girls night antics.

There are some people you meet in life who you know are going to stay in it, regardless of distance or timezone. They say real friendships aren’t about seeing each other every day, but not seeing each other and nothing changes. I am going to miss these girls so much it’s going to hurt. When I stop and think about it, I’m not sure how I’m going to live without them. But I know, no matter where we are, they will always mean just as much to me, we will always have this friendship and their happiness will always be one of the most important things to me. I love them both, and love knows no boundaries.

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Can Ex Equal Friend?

This blog was created for me by an ex for my birthday (as you can see by the previous post – the one he wrote to me that didn’t feel right to delete). To some of you this may seem odd. To me, that’s just how he is. It was a lovely gesture and of course very thoughtful but honestly I wouldn’t expect any less from this former love. He’s always been thoughtful and I’m sure he will always continue to be. We split in May of this year and are trying to stay friends. So far it’s going okay, but remaining friends with an ex is a minefield of emotional drama which most people will tell you to avoid at all costs.

I am not one of those people.

I’m one of the others, one who believes you actually can be friends with someone post split. I believe that just because you didn’t make it as a couple, doesn’t mean you can’t make it as friends. However, there are some variables that need to be considered for this equation to work.

Firstly, you need to both want to remain friends. It won’t work if one of you wants friendship and the other gets a kick out of dreaming up scenarios where your car brakes ‘accidently’ fail and you end up nose diving off a cliff. If the split ended badly, if it looked like an episode of Jerry Springer and there was screaming and the throwing of Valentine’s presents/china wear/refrigerators involved, or if one of you slept with the other’s best friend/sibling/pet, then it’s best for both parties if you just call it quits. Do you really want to stay friends with someone who thinks the worst of you and fantasises about your death? I didn’t think so.

Secondly, you need time apart. By this I mean at least one month without talking to each other. No phone calls, no txts, no Facebook comments. In fact, avoid their Facebook page altogether. Trying to jump straight from relationship to friendship without a break in between is a horrible idea. It should be avoided at all costs. You need time to get over each other. I know it’s hard to see someone you love/d struggling and it’s even worse if you’re the reason for it. However, one of the best pieces of advice I’ve received when it comes to relationships is that you can’t help someone through your own breakup. From experience, I can tell you it will end in one of two ways;
1) With the two of you falling back into old habits and back into bed or,
2) With one of you wishing you’d fall back into old habits and being disappointed when you don’t.
Scenario 2 also has the added bonus for the person not wanting to get back together feeling guilty knowing their ex does. What a great bonus! Knowing you are the reason your ex is unhappy while trying to remain friends isn’t fair for anyone. Give it some time.

Thirdly, you can’t get jealous. Oh, you can be jealous. Jealous if they move on quicker than you think they should, or move on to someone hotter/funnier/richer. But you can’t get jealous. You can’t show that you’re jealous. You have no right to be after all, you’re no longer together. Being the jealous ex only makes you pathetic, crazy, or annoying. Not exactly good traits, are they? From the other end of the spectrum, you also can’t brag. Bragging about your new squeeze only makes you mean spirited. Friends don’t do that to each other. In fact, if the wound is still healing, it’s probably best to steer clear of conversation about new relationships altogether.

Fourthly (and this one is optional, but also the best remedy for staying friends in my opinion), find someone new. It is a lot easier to be around an ex if you’ve moved on. Having someone else clarifies any uncertainty that the two of you might be getting back together (in any capacity). It helps erase any lingering sexual desires because you are now focusing those desires on someone else. It puts into perspective the true nature of your old relationship as you now have something new to compare it to, rather than romanticizing and placing your ex on a pedestal that they may or may not deserve. Plus, you’re now single and meeting new people is fun!

I’m happy to say I’m still friends with someone I dated five years ago. And I hope the same can be said in five years time about my latest former love. When it comes to ex’s, I believe time can heal all.