The Ex-Factor




A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

I have several friends that hold many significant roles in my life. I have friends that I've grown up with since I was a kid, friends I've met and made through adulthood, ones I talk to daily, and others I rarely speak to yet would drop everything for me if I needed them. I have good loyal friends. Deep, genuine connections. I believe that the friendships I foster are some of the most tremendous blessings that I have received. I love my friends. The question lies in if I can be friends with someone I've passionately loved. Someone that's held a place in my heart deeper than any of my friends ever have. Someone I've been intimate with on every level. Is it possible?

I believe that once you've connected with another being whether you stay together or part ways you're always energetically connected. I also believe there are couples who are never meant to separate, along with the ones who should run away from one another just to save themselves. What about those couples that are left in that gray area? The uncertainties. The one's who you loved and who you lost. What if you were left with no answers? How can one move on if there was never an understanding of why the other left in the first place? The answer is: Time. They say time heals all wounds. This is mostly true, and years can go by and you can assume you're completely over someone.

I recently dated someone briefly who was still friends, 'scuse me, BEST friends with his ex girlfriend. This made me extremely uncomfortable. I have always been the rip the bandaid off, walk away forever, delete from my phone, delete from social media, never look back type of gal. When I'm done I'm done, so this "friendship" didn't make sense to my meager heart. I didn't feel threatened by this so called friendship, I just couldn't comprehend it. I was told that this man broke it off with this woman because he didn't see a future with her. He told me that she was devastated and that she most definitely did not want the relationship to end. This devastation somehow turned into a friendship not even a year later. This blew my mind. Two years prior I was her; that poor woman, being told I wasn't wifey material and forced to say sayonara to my perfectly preplanned future. Long ago as I picked up the pieces of my shattered heart there was no way in heaven, hell, or anywhere on earth that I could have even considered being "friends" with my last love. No way. Nah. Nope. See ya never. Byyyyye. Click. :::::dialtone::::

I was broken hearted. I knew that if I tried to be "friends" that I would be lying to myself and secretly hoping for more. So what was this chick's intentions with my new man? I didn't like it and I didn't appreciate it. When he asked me why it bothered me he said "Is it because I'm emotionally attached to another woman?" Ummmm yea bro. Nailed it! He was a smart one, this guy. (Insert rolling eye emoji here) But it wasn't just another woman, it was another woman he'd been intimate with, shared his heart with. I find it disrespectful to talk about past relationships unless you've learned a great lesson from them. In this case I didn't dig deep enough for answers to try to make sense of the situation because I wasn't sure if it was worth it. I really tried to be open to the fact that this is a possibility for some and with great effort I remained calm. Whether he wanted to admit it or not, this friend of his was holding an emotional commitment with my man that I couldn't attain because the position was already filled. Needless to say it didn't work out. I walked away for other reasons as well, but this one definitely topped the list. Buh Bye. See ya never. Adios. Click. :::::dialtone:::::

It's been two years since the devastation of my last love that I thought I'd never recover from. Guess what? Time passed and I recovered. I have my shit together, in fact I am thee best version of myself. My 30 year old self doesn't even recognize my 28 year old self. I've dated many men since our split and have a clear picture of what it is I'm looking for in a relationship. I've also come to the conclusion that what I do want and need my ex isn't capable of or willing to give me. So after his latest attempt in reaching out and offering to grab coffee to "catch up," I thought, "Sure, why not. Let's see what this friends-after-love thing is all about." I honestly wanted to know if it was possible for me.

Three weeks ago I walked into the coffee shop palms sweating and sunglasses hanging on my white t-shirt. My heart was pounding so hard I could see my shades pumping up and down at my chest. When my ex walked in I noticed he was just as nervous, maybe even more so than I and for a moment I caught myself feeling incredibly smug. My eyes met his with hesitation, but I felt at ease once I saw his smile. My heart. Oh my heart, it was still pounding just as hard, but to a beat I recognized from the past. I found myself feeling ashamed of my resurfacing feelings for him. I suddenly recalled what my memory had worked so hard to forget over the past two years. His humble, sweet soul crept back into my deepest darkest closed off crevasses. I wished we could go back to the beginning when we were just strangers and our hearts had never broken. Two hours went by in what felt like two minutes. There was definitely catching up, along with heavy flirtation that left me feeling conflicted. I was enjoying myself far too much during this friendly encounter. What in the everloving fuck!?

When you try to be friendly with an ex that's broken your heart you wind up knee deep back in devastation. I left our coffee catch up feeling completely confused. I went through all of the stages of grief again, but this time it only took two days to pass instead of two years. Thank God! I was shockingly confused and kept trying to deny my feelings. Then the anger set in. In fact I was so angry I wrote a nasty letter I would never send him, but man oh man was I pissed. I called a girlfriend screaming and yelling about what a selfish kook he was. She laughed and said she had never heard me like this before and I told her it's because I had never loved anyone the way I loved him. He is the only man I've ever loved for the right reasons. Then the sadness, oh man the sadness. It settled it's way in. How could I be here again? Why was I here again? I was struggling to find meaning to why I even agreed to see him in the first place. What was I thinking? What were his intentions? Why did he want to see me? Was he feeling the same way? There was no way he left that coffee shop not feeling what I was feeling. No effing way. Instead of leaving each other with an awkward hug, I so desperately wanted him to come over to my place and cuddle me. How fucking lame is that!? UGH!!!! If I had known that seeing him would have left me feeling this way I would have gladly and graciously declined. I was thoroughly annoyed with my lost love and the feelings that arose inside me once again.

When I tell friends of our meeting the common reaction is shock and protectiveness, "He doesn't deserve to know about you or your life. I can't believe you told him that!" they say. But the person I am now shows up honestly and fully no matter who comes my way. Don't get me wrong, I don't go around sharing intricate details of my personal life with every single person who comes my way, but when a man I've shared my heart with asks how I'm doing I'm going to give him the details. The most prominent lesson I learned from our relationship is how important vulnerability is. I constantly hid the ugly and scary details from him when we were a we. I hid inside my fear. This didn't allow for our relationship to progress. I actually knew this fact then, two years ago, but still couldn't find the courage to give myself to him fully. I let fear take over my mind and create my future for me. I no longer allow fear to create my reality. Sure, I still get scared, I'm human, but I move through the emotion. I weigh my options on the outcome of what will happen whether I stay scared or whether I become brave. Bravery usually wins and even though it can be painful, I stay true to myself. I have him to thank for that.

When we decided to part ways I wasn't given any reason as to why he couldn't see me in his future. I was left with the ambiguous notion that "something was missing." What was missing? Did I not share enough of myself? Did I work too much? Did I not make enough money? Was my family too fucked up? Was I not tall enough? Did I drink too much? (probably) Did I not give enough blow j's? (doubtful) Did I snore too loud in my sleep? (yes) We all know there was an answer, he just didn't want to give it to me. What in the F was missing? I needed that answer, but being the aloof man that he is I knew I wasn't going to get it. So I decided to move on answerless. Life becomes easier when you learn to accept the answer you never got. Towards the end I felt the structure of our relationship slowly disintegrating, but I thought the love that we created inside was made to last. I was shocked he didn't want to at least try to mend our love. To put back together the outside and work harder on the inside. Still, I never felt a helpless kind of loss when he left. I felt deep sorrow, as if someone had died, but I knew that this must be what we each needed to become who we we're meant to be. As much as I wanted to build a life with this man I too knew deep down that it wasn't our time. This saddened me even more. Trust me, heartbreak hurts no matter how it's received, but when someone leaves you because they are being true to themselves it's heartbreak mixed with respect and unconditional love and it hurts like hell. The relationship was over, but our love was never lost.

It was hard enough to force my eyes to see the end of our relationship two years prior. I wasn't about to force myself to see a friendship between us now. I clearly couldn't handle it. He will always have a friend in me, but being a friend and maintaining a friendship are two very different ideas. There will be no more coffee catch up's or leisurely luncheons. Not interested. Yet if he ever needed me in a dire situation, I'd be there because I love him. I always will. Even though the form of a relationship can change, sometimes the love never goes away. The truth is I love him too much to just be his friend. Pretty much, he needs to marry me or go away! Those are the only options.

That leaves me with an answer to the question - Is it possible to be friends with your ex? In this scenario and for me it's a hard resounding fuck no. Could things change? Anything is possible. It's silly to have these feelings resurface because I don't even know if I would consider being with this man again. He seems to be my only weakness and I'd really prefer to be with someone who is my strength. I am so grateful for the time we shared, it catapulted me into my true self. The ending of our relationship and the heartbreak that followed is what gave KindyVerse her voice. In that heartache is where I found my true love for the written word. I found my sense of self and remain connected to who I truly am. I am assured that there is a greater story unfolding. I am acknowledging and accepting these emotions that have come up, but know that no matter what everything is exactly as it should be in the grand tapestry of life. Our only obligation is to always be true to ourselves and to allow life to happen. My cliche conclusion doesn't take the pain away, but I'm just being honest and the truth really does set you free.

One last thing: Fuck that Adele song for coming out when it did. There is no room left here for Hello's.



Kindra MurphyComment