What is with the Lesbian/Bi/Queer (LBQ) womens’ obsession with being friends with our exes as a measure of how well adjusted we are? Since when is a bundle of ex girlfriends as friends a KPI of how good a human/ LBQ woman I am?
There are reasons I choose to stay in touch with some exes and not others – fair enough reasons I would say, I’m no longer in contact with the few who repeatedly lied to me, locked me out of my home or subjected me to physical abuse.
And yet some people think a measure of a healthy person, a useful KPI, would be how many exes out of 10 we stay in touch with.
It’s not black and white and not at all a useful measure as one never truly knows the circumstances that led to the end of a relationship between two people. Judging on whether they are now friends or not is perhaps one of the most damaging and unhelpful things we can do to each other.
Rosie Wilby elegantly argues in her new book “Is Monogamy Dead”, that perhaps there has been a need and indeed a desire to stay friends with our exes. Perhaps in an ideal world that would be awesome. For a group of people whose dominant relationship profile tends to be serial monogamy, is staying friends about ensuring we sustain a sense of community that isn’t threatened by who can’t stand to be in a room with whom?
All well and good if the relationship itself was healthy. But unfortunately some are not. And not only is ending those relationships hard, so is the process of healing and moving on. There is a lot of work to do to recover and it’s made harder by the fact we are a small community and the pressure to ‘play nice’ is high amongst people who don’t know or understand the dirty details.
I’d much rather be a healthier happier me on my own than stuck in awkward painful “friendships” that keep sore wounds open.
And as an aside who even counts as an ex anyway? Many of my “exes” have merged so seamlessly into wonderful nurturing friendships, that I don’t need to dwell on the fact we were once lovers.