Friends with Benefits have become the new-age relationships that people don’t seem to want to admit that they have. Many of these relationships actually started at the time of their breakup, and with at least one selfish person in the mix, continues to harbour feelings of confusion for the other.
Even if sex isn’t to be had, the ex who insists on keeping the other person around is no more manipulative than a smothering partner who shows just as much possessiveness.
This Take is inspired by a guy who asked a question about wanting to end a friendship with an ex, but felt like he might hurt the girl’s feelings. The issue I had with this scenario is that the girl did the breaking up, yet the girl wanted the friendship afterward. Even when told that he didn’t feel comfortable because there was flirting and mixed signals coming from her, making him believe they could get back together. Selfishly, and issuing guilt, she asked him, “So I get nothing then?” (Complete with the little, sad emotey face.)
Precisely. You get nothing, my dear. Your privileges with this guy are no longer yours to have, I was thinking.
I am a great fan of Greg Behrendt, particularly when he coined the famous He’s Just Not That Into You concept for the TV series Sex and the City, and the bestselling self-help/humour book of the same title.
Behrendt’s book was meant to help women, but I am certain that it can be applied to help men in this case too. Guys, if the ex doesn’t want to be with you, move on. If they really wanted to be with you, they would stop going through the motions and make an effort to be your girl. If you broke up, you broke up for a reason – realize that reason and apply that reasoning to your friendship. If they were no good to you as a lover, what makes them so special to have as friends? Your heart was munched by this person at a time when trust and love was suppose to be at its utmost with them and now they want friendship? – Friends don’t do things like that to their friends.
Unless there are children that you both share together, there is such a thing as being amicable. Even then, the cool-let's-hang-out type of friendship does not need to be in these cases either. This Take is mainly meant for those who can cut ties and not have kids to contend with.
I’m not going to suggest what to say or do as I think many people already get the idea. It’s just my opinion, but sometimes it’s best not to say anything and ride off in to the sunset. What exactly do you owe to someone when there already was a breakup to be had? Moving on to me means blocking them on social media, and taking them out of your phone and blocking their number (check with your provider on how this is done). It means really cutting the ties and moving forward. Stop looking back. This person had their chance with you and they blew it.
If something must be said, keep it simple and make it apparent that these are going to be your last words on the matter. “Things didn’t work out, and I wish you the best of luck. I’m letting you go now.” That’s it. You don’t need to be dramatic, or fill in the niceties that you think are necessary to soften any blow. It doesn’t work that way when ending things with someone twice. You had a relationship, it didn’t work. You have a friendship and that’s not working either. No one said that you had to remain friends with this particular person just because they once held the title of being your girlfriend or boyfriend. If you feel you are being played or that you aren’t comfortable with the closeness that this person wants, then your comfort level trumps whatever friendship it is that they think they want out of you. If it was made clear that friendship was all they planned to give you while they prance around and date while you’re not ready or comfortable to see this, then let it be known that you are removing yourself from this situation, because it's just not what’s best for you – and you are the one who should be looking out for you because it’s clear that between the two of you, no one else seems to be.
Above all else, your future love will thank you for dropping this person. Someone who wants to put in the 100% to love you and appreciate you and not play these games deserves your full attention. Stop the merry-go-round of hurt with your ex – the person who made it clear that their feelings come before yours at your expense. Move forward, and either build your strength as a single making better friends, or look for that future love who will respect you as a lover and a good friend.