Leaving the Baggage

  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Oct 15, 2007 2:14 PM GMT
    So it's over. Together you've realized it's not healthy to continue dating. It's a mutual decision, which leaves open strange possibilities which include friendship.

    How do you go about the process of changing a relationship where you were dating someone, into just being friends with that person?
  • OptimusMatt

    Posts: 1124

    Oct 16, 2007 12:14 AM GMT
    Well, lol, I'm currently sitting in my ex's living room...in the house that he and his new boyfriend bought. Staring at the 52-inch tv that we bought together. Waiting to watch heroes, lol, and continuing our traditional "Heroes" night.

    It's been slightly difficult, but....I dunno. Our contact waxed and waned over the past few months, and now, we're in this sort of 'friendship' state. *shrugs* best of luck, lol.
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Oct 16, 2007 2:54 AM GMT
    ooo that sounds rough. I hadn't even thought about what would happen when one of us starts to date someone new.
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    Oct 16, 2007 11:04 AM GMT
    It is not uncommon for gay men to have "slept" with their friends. For many of us, the friends we hold close today used to be our boyfriends, FBs, lovers... It is a wonderful aspect of gay 'family' that my hetero friends envy.

    You have already realized the truth that you and he are not meant to be. That's the difficult part. Why must this correction now be at the exclusion of friendship with someone you have enjoyed knowing? And, looking ahead, if you honestly want the best for him and your self - why not respect his new choice of bf/fb too?

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    Oct 16, 2007 11:13 AM GMT
    I agree with PHLmuscle8.

    Take a deep breath, move on with your own life, and why deny yourself the pleassure of someone you were close to for a time?

    Try to look at it as an old friendship rather than an old affair.
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    Oct 16, 2007 12:00 PM GMT
    In my experience, if there was any emotional intensity at all to the relationship, there needs to be a "cooling off period" where you don't talk to one another. Otherwise it's too easy to fall back into old patters that can turn disfunctional in one way or another.

    Also, don't ever try to pretend that your relationship with the guy is something that it is not. You are never going to be "JUST friends"... you will always be "just friends now, who used to date." And that's ok. But pretending that that history isn't there will not be healthy, either.
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Oct 16, 2007 1:50 PM GMT
    Cooling off is a good idea.
    I dunno.
    You guys all give good advice, even if it's contradictory.
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    Oct 16, 2007 2:30 PM GMT

    You compartmentalize the whole situation and will the pain away. Suffering only briefly (Like when u hear the song "Another Suitcase, Another Hall) when necessary so you don't go nuts.

    Hide behind a well crafted smiling mask as much as possible and stay SO busy that you have no time to think about, or feel, the pain.

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    Oct 16, 2007 3:25 PM GMT
    Um, I think StripperRocco's response is one approach that even he will acknowledge is not the best for long-term health.

    As for my experience, I had a relationship that ended very badly and it was very hard to deal with seeing him date a guy while I was trying to extricate myself. Like gregsteven says, if things aren't at white hot intensity, it could be very manageable and move into a friendship as it did with other guys I dated.
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    Oct 16, 2007 3:27 PM GMT
    OH yeah... CERTAINLY not the best way to handle things... but it's what i do.
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    Oct 16, 2007 3:56 PM GMT

    I know it hurts....BAD...

    But, you are doing yourself no favors by dwelling on it.
    It is different for everyone.

    I, personally, would take some time just to be away from the guy for awhile. You need clear your head.
    You need to get YOURSELF together. Decide exactly what you want to do and do it.

    NO ONE else will do it for you. You have to do it for yourself, your sanity and your well being.

    YOU come first.

    Don't worry about him or the being frieds thing or anything else but, you.

    Good Luck.

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    Oct 16, 2007 4:33 PM GMT

    It takes time, and you do need some space, but most important is communication and a desire to be friends. my best friend actually happens to be my ex from almost 2 years ago. I love him to death, and consider him closer than family. It's an interesting situation and there are those awkward times especially when one of us is dating someone cause that creates a lot of rules. when we are both single we have cuddled and watched movies, but thats it, when one of us is dating that doesnt seem right.

    The hardest part was when he started dating a guy who I had gone on a few dates with and really liked, but who had told me he needed some time because he had just broken up with eachother. Neither knew the connection till after they started dating, and both told me so while it was hard and there were hurt feelings, talking to my friend made everything ok, and even though my friends thought I was crazy I invited them both to my birthday party a week and a half later. Seeing him happy makes me happy, and I alwasy have someone to talk to when I need it, as does he
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    Oct 16, 2007 6:12 PM GMT
    Hi there Briar,

    I agree with the other men here who advised a cooling off period... even if for no other reason than this: should you decide you want to be friends with this guy when all is said and done, a little "no-contact" time gives you a chance to get to a spot emotionally where you can come back to that person in the true spirit of friendship rather than that of the heartbroken lover hoping for something vestigal to hold on to.

    A few years ago, I had my heart broken really badly by someone I was seeing. It wasn't a big, dramatic breakup, but it really took me by surprise and hurt a lot. I still tried to be his friend thereafter, but when he showed up (invited) with his new boyfriend to a birthday party that my friends were throwing me, I thought I was going to die of heartache right on the spot! (Yes, chungo44, it happened to me too!) Well anyway, that was when I knew I needed my space, and I figured I should say something so that it didn't just come across as me rapidly turning into an asshole overnight. I remember telling him that I that I really wanted to be his friend, but it was too hard to do it right now, so could we please just give each other some distance for a while. He said he understood, and was glad that I spoke honestly with him about that.

    Strangely enough, just us saying that to each other made the next few months of recooping and regrouping a lot easier because we both knew where we stood and somehow "understood" that there was a boundary that needed to be respected by both of us for a short time. And sure enough, when we finally saw each other again and talked for a while after a few months, we were able to be friends. And although I can't speak for him, I believe the reason that was possible was not only because I wasn't in the same spot emotionally as I was shortly after the breakup, but also because in that "no-contact" time I had come to peace with that "history" that gregstevenstx was talking about and was able to asses for myself what I was really hoping to get from/give to a friendship with that guy. I think that until two things happened, it was sure to be damn-near impossible to be his friend.

    I don't know if my story helps you at all and I apologize for being a bit "long-winded", but I guess it's just a little experience/strength/hope from a guy who's been there to pass on to you. Keep your chin up.... one way or the other, you're gonna be okay.

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    Oct 17, 2007 12:43 AM GMT
    sahem I invited them both. My friends were the ones who though I was crazy. I just realized that you know I could have my little drama but if I didnt get over it I would lose this incredibly important person in my life.
  • cityguy39

    Posts: 967

    Oct 17, 2007 4:44 AM GMT
    I'm actaully in the throws of my relationship with my now ex, morphing into a friendship, we are a long ways off from friendship given that we just broke up a few days ago. My ex will need to stay with me until he can get himself together. We both have agreed no trade in the house, the house is neutral territory. Plus I'm not in the mood to hunt for sex right now. We discuss our situation on a daily basis. Sometimes it can be hard to admit when a seemingly good relationship just isn't good for you. Thats how it was for me, I just wasn't happy. My ex is a great guy, just for somebody else. Right now I just want to have fun and get to know my single self again.icon_smile.gif

  • GQjock

    Posts: 11648

    Oct 17, 2007 11:12 AM GMT
    It depends on you two guys...
    also on the interplay between you two and the way you two broke up
    some people need some time apart... like some guys have suggested - a cooling off period and others can go right into transforming the relationship into a friendship

    is sex a possibility? That's a minefield you might wanna really avoid