Monday 26 July 2010


My friend saw her ex the other night for dinner, not for any sense of closure – it had been several years since they split, amicably in fact - or any real reason other than to just say hi to someone she spent a large part of her life with. Her current partner, whom she is very happy with, had no problem with her doing so. I suppose for many, the subject of exes is contentious at best, and is a surefire way to create a nice shit storm of jealousy; For others, not so much.

I definitely fall into the latter category. I’ve kept in touch with some of my exes on a casual level, and have even made good friends with some of their new partners. I suppose to many – so they tell me – this is odd. But for me, it’s never been something I have spent too much time thinking about (aside from now of course, or when others bring it up and tell me how odd they think it is).  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not best friends with any of them or anything, but from where I sit, I knew these people very well, they were good, interesting people (most of them) and I’m from the vantage point that if you liked them as people once, that isn’t just going to disappear. And furthermore, there is also the category of ex that you were better friends with to begin with, than you were lovers – ah hindsight got to love you. And hence, friendship trumps the stupid notion that you have to cut this person out of your life forever - in my book anyway.

Now, the exes that weren’t good, trust me, I don’t waste my time on, they’re just idiots that I was too young or stupid to realize were idiots (or I was into idiots at the time. I mean, nothing like a gorgeous idiot). And then of course, there were the good ones that had moments of idiocy, and I suppose I’m pretty lenient when it comes to that too – I figure, in our youth we are allowed such free passes. Ask anyone that knew me years ago and you’ll get a variety of responses as to the quality – shall we say – of my behavior. The funny thing is, I can look at my exes and say to myself things worked out exactly as they should. Their wives are great, they’re perfectly suited to one another, and it is clear that we never were. Hence, the universe is balanced. Ah Yoda, it feels so good.

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand those that shut the book on their past and never go back there. It’s clean, easy, and seems like the natural progression of things. I suppose I’m just too curious for that sort of thing. I want to know how things turned out for people; the idea of seeing how someone you spent time with and once identified with and how they’ve matured (or haven’t) is fascinating to me. And then of course, what does that say about you and that part of your life? It is kind of like having living photographs if you will of a particular period of your life. ‘That was when I was reckless and free, living in a garage, such a bohemian man!’ Please, get a hold of yourself.

All this said, I also think it is up to your current partner in terms of how he/she feels about you being in occasional contact with someone you used to date. As I’ve said before, my man and I are pretty confident people, and neither of us dips into the jealousy pool that often, if at all. If in fact, he hated that I exchanged the occasional email with someone from high school that I dated, I’d of course honor that. The funny thing is, he has no desire to see any of his exes, and I’m always asking why not? Doesn’t he want to know how they turned out or where they are? I do, and I didn’t even date them. He finds it incredibly amusing that I’m so curious and want to look them up on facebook and see if they got fat and ugly. Cause well, you know, it happens, aging isn't kind to everyone...I didn’t say I was always mature about everything.

Copyright © 2014 Anthea Anka - Delighted And Disturbed