When we're going through a difficult breakup, it can be impossible to remember why we fell in love with the jerk gentleman in the first place. Sometimes all we can see is a person who has been put on this earth to crush our hopes and dreams. But that's the beauty of time and distance -- former loves look a lot better after a few years. Maybe you firmly believe that once something is over, you needn't speak that person's name again. And, while there's something to be said for that approach, you can totally hang out with and be friends with your ex. AND his new girlfriend or wife.
I get why it seems like a weird thing to do. Naomi Campbell made headlines this week when she was spotted hanging out with ex-lover Flavio Briatore and his wife on a trip to Kenya. People immediately wonder how the "new" woman can be civil to the "old" one when both have seen the same man naked.
But that brings us back to that whole time and distance thing. Naomi and Flavio dated 10 years ago. I'm certainly not the same person I was when I was 20, so it makes total sense to me that the person I dated all those years ago is not the same person I need in my 30s -- and vice versa (otherwise, we'd still be together).
I can't say I've stayed close with all of my exes -- I mean, that would be asking for a lot. There are some I wouldn't want to bump into at a grocery store because we honestly wouldn't have more than two words to say to one another. But my husband and I are friendly with two of my exes and their new wives and, though we don't make it a habit, we have shared drinks and meals with them. And it was a truly pleasant experience -- for all of us, I think.
Once the romantic spark is gone, it's gone. But you can usually find some reason why you liked a person you dated, particularly if you got to know their families and shared many memories. If all parties and partners involved are okay with it, why lose that connection to them entirely?
And as far as new girlfriends/wives go, most of the time they prove to be just as cool as you are -- maybe even cooler. You may even gain a friend.
Have you stayed friends with exes?
Image via Sam Howzit/Flickr