Archive for May 6, 2010

Exes Should Not Be “Friends”

I wish sometimes that the song had been correct, and all my exes DID live in Texas.

I should probably rephrase that…cause I have a number of exes in the Greater Portland/Maine area code that are great guys and I’m more than happy to pal around with.  In fact, with a lot of them being friends has been easier than being involved.  I just get how to hang out with boys.  And I totally value their friendships.

So when one reaches out after the inevitable “split” happens (I realize that while *I* may be ok with the friends with exes thing, they may not…so I give them the opportunity to make the decision) I will gladly sit down and catch up over a beer at Rivalry’s.  The way I figure it, if we had enough in common to date at one point then we certainly should have enough to keep a friendly relationship in tact.  I mean, at SOME POINT I enjoyed having them around, right?!

Which is why it was a little out of character for me to be working on an article Sunday morning a couple months ago and freak the hell out.  No, not because I was freaking out about a date with a boy or anything like that.  But because I got a little notification that came popping into my inbox telling me that I had a friend request on Facebook.

Facebook…the social media tool that makes it possible for exes to track their exes down whether they live in Texas or Thailand.

Ghosts of the Past in Facebook
Photo Credit: Getty Images – Fursov Aleksey

Apparently we have a mutual friend that knew him years back and me now.  I commented on said friend’s wall post.  Ex found me.  And boom.  Friended.  After at least 3 years of def-con one radio silent communication.  I did what any red-blooded girl would do.  I felt all the color drain from my face, closed the laptop, get up off the couch and proceeded to go upstairs and do laundry.

Each time I walked past my cherry red Netbook it mocked me.  Enticing me to open it up and accept the friend request.  I avoided it for about two hours, then curiosity (and let’s face it…he was a great maker-outer…) got the better of me and I accepted.  And being the genuine person I was (cause really, why the heck would you friend someone that you had no desire to interact with?!) I sent him a note.

Carefully stategerized to be nonchalant and non-committal I responded “Hey Stranger, how goes it?”

I know…you are all jealous of my mad suave skills.

He wrote back a very nice email about life, what had been going on, and that I occasionally floated into his mind and he wondered how I was.  I wrote back about my life, stuff going on, and whatnot and thanked him for the friend request.

Now I should note that these next actions are NO DIFFERENT than the way I treat any of my other “friends” on Facebook.

I commented on a status of his, sent a note when said mutual friend and I were chatting about how they used to live in the same apartment building and finally (partially to test my own theory) on a photo.

I should also note that he is on Facebook all the time so it isn’t like he isn’t “using” the site frequently.


Seriously?!  What the what?!  YOU FRIENDED ME!!!

Are we friends on Facebook for the mere ability to stalk?!  Why on EARTH would you reach out after 3 years of ignoring each other just to ignore me IN A COMPLETELY NEW MEDIUM?!

Who cares if my exes live in Texas or not.  Thanks to Facebook they all exist a little too close to home.  And I’ve now hidden all his updates and statuses…who needs such drama in their life?  I’ve got enough of my own!

Are you Facebook “friends” with your exes?  Is there a statute of limitations on being friends (virtually or otherwise) after a break-up? 

It Starts In My Toes

And then it creeps up my entire body to my chest and neck and out onto my arms while trying to gasp for air and babbling hysterically to my best friends on the phone.

It’s the feeling before a second date.

The date where suddenly it isn’t fun and games anymore, it’s real.

The date when it suddenly becomes so much MORE.

More than that initial contact – a glance across the coffee shop, a handshake at a friend’s party, a Twittermance or when that cutie whose profile you’ve beenlurking at on OkCupid finally reaches out and sends you a message.

More than the playful flirting that happens over the phone or via email before your first date.  The smile that spreads across your face when you get a text or Facebook post and realize that maybe they ARE that into you.  The ride home after a conversation that lasts til 4 in the morning about everything and nothing all at once.  The uneasy yet exhilarating feeling when you are wondering “Will they ask me out? Should I ask them out? When will we have our first “sleepover?!” (Oh don’t judge, you know you have that thought when you are beginning to date someone!)

More than the deep breath you take as you open the restaurant door and step in for your first date.  More than the natural conversation that flows so easily as you wander through a toy store searching for kites and tiny rubber chickens.  More than the awkward yet palpable moment at the when you sit in the car at the end of the date wondering “Are they going to kiss me?  Should I kiss them?  Do we hug?  How do I reach around the seatbelt?  Oh god WHY did I order Garlic Chicken for dinner tonight?!”

It’s the moment I desperately wish that Proctor & Gamble made some sort of Boy Benadryl to get through it.

"Allergic Reaction" to dating
Photo Credit: Getty Images – Letizia McCall

Cause I actually (on multiple occasions) have broken out in hives the hours before a second date is scheduled to happen.  I know, all you psychiatrists and therapists reading this desperately want to send me a menu of your fees and schedule some quality time on the couch.  And not the good quality time on the couch.

My  Bucket List on myspace (yes, WAY back when it was cool to have myspace…like 2 years ago…) involved the bullet point of getting to a third date without having an allergic reaction to the idea of liking someone enough to hang out with them, in that “Aw, cute” way, past the butterflies and initial chase and sweet fun of the dating game.

I can’t explain exactly the thoughts that go through my mind during the pre-date freak out.  Generally a conflict of trying to figure out whether I like someone enough to go on a second date with them and convincing myself that I need to give people a chance and not discount them after one date.  And then wondering if I’m going to be single forever, since someone recently told a mutual friend “You might as well just give up if you turn 30 and are still single.”  And then remembering that my Dad once told me he’d be ok with whomever I dated, even if it was a Jewish boy (we’re a very WASP-y family and religion is important to my parents and he really just wants me to be happy.)  And then wondering if what I’m wearing is going to be ok for a second date.  And looking in the mirror for the 18th time in a three minute period to determine if I’m having a bad hair day.  And then…and then…and then…

Anyone else I would calmly explain that they are showing their seven shades of crazy all in one 60-second period and that they needed to calm the hell down.  Advice is always easier to give than it is to take.  And I know that I’m definitely conducting the over-reaction train on it’s way to Crazy Town.  But it doesn’t stop that small part of me from wanting to gnaw off my right arm so that I can’t drive to meet up with someone for what could be the beginning of something real.

Deep breaths…deep breaths…who knows, maybe one day I’ll actually make it through.  Til then, seriously…anyone know if Claritin works for this?

Which part of dating do you like more?  The flirty and fun time at the VERY beginning or the comfort that comes from something more cute and sustainable?