You know, when I started “Friday Night Date Place,” I figured that after maybe ten blogs or so, I’d run out of stuff to say. Luckily for me, I still hang out with my single friends, and they can be a bitter, bitter bunch. Yay friend fodder!

For today’s topic, I think it prudent to once again mention that I’m not the best person to take advice from on how to deal with break ups. However, there is one idea that I wanted to examine: this notion of ending things on the note of “let’s just be friends.” Let’s face it, whenever I have told someone that “we can still be friends” what I really meant was “I really don’t want to be around you anymore but let’s part on good terms so that my pets don’t end up in a pot of boiling water.” (My other policy was straight “scorched earth”: usually by the time a relationship with me had run its course, neither she, her family, her friends, her work colleagues, nor her pets wanted anything to do with me).

Oddly enough, the world is not populated by people who think like me and some people really mean it when they say they want to remain friends. I think the question we have to examine is would we really WANT to be “just friends”? I think there are a few complications you’d have to keep in mind:

-the emotional confusion: the stuff that attracted you to each other is still there. Time is a dual edged sword. Given time, you will have moments of being drawn to each other, especially given your history. It would be hard not to want to be close again. However, time also dulls your memory and you forget that the reasons you broke up are still there also.

-future relationships: your future significant others might not be cool with the idea of you and your exes hanging out.

-and then there’s “NO!”: you know what? I have enough friends. I don’t need someone to do my hair and have pillow fights with. (Okay, I don’t know where I was going with this, but I’m now stuck with the image of me and Wrath James White in our undies and feathers flying all about us). Anyway, the point is that there are some folks you don’t want to think of as friends nor want them thinking of you as friends because your heart will always want more from the relationship.

If you’re serious about remaining friends, you have to allow space and time before proceeding. Space for the two of you to gain some distance, get on with your lives a bit, fall into new (or sometimes old) routines. Time to heal from the relationship, to let the memories of the relationship fade, and to let the affairs of the heart settle a bit. Getting over the loves of our lives takes time. I wish there were some magic formula, but the best we can usually hope for is that things will “hurts less”. Once they do, you can truly re-visit the idea of being “just friends”.

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