Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Ex-Files

Tonight I realized something important.

At some point my college boyfriend will be sitting in a Thai restaurant (well, maybe not Thai) with a beautiful girl across from him and he will bring up my name and she will cringe. Not because she hates me (or maybe she will), not because I am the opposite of her kind of lady (although that may very well be true), but solely because I am the "ex-girlfriend."

My college boyfriend and I are close. For real close. I speak to him weekly, just to check in with each other. In many ways we are family. Years ago, we made a promise to love and care for each other always. We've made good on that and that is something I'm intensely proud of doing in my life. Each time he has tried to date another woman, the woman in question has not understood our bond. Don't get me wrong: we are not nostalgic for the past. Our relationship failed . . . but also succeeded. It failed as a sexual bond and a life partnership. It succeeded as a loving and supportive friendship build out of mutual concern for the other person.

See, it turns out that my dear boyfriend needs to make an exchange of goods this weekend with his ex-girlfriend who is visiting the east coast from her Midwestern outpost of hell. I didn't know what to say when he told me about this crap. I encouraged my dear boyfriend to see her if he wants to and to do whatever he thinks is best in the situation. Deep down, I know that is the right thing. But, I would be lying if I said I like her and think she is a stand up gal. And, I don't entirely know why it is I feel this way. My dear boyfriend "effectively" left her to be with me after being with her for 5 years. Basically, I hate her for no other reason than because she is the "ex-girlfriend." Well, maybe I have a couple of other reasons too.

I hope the day will come when we stop having to devote hours and hours of conversation to topics that relate to her. When we will stop having to consider her feelings? When will we no longer have to discuss how to fucking send her birthday greetings even though she told my dear boyfriend that she doesn't want him in her life?

Then I step back.

I also hope their relationship grows into the kind of lasting friendship that I have with my college boyfriend. I do honestly hope they can settle their differences and get past the awkwardness to a place of real loving compassion. I would hope that is possible after 5 years of being in a relationship.

I guess it seems inconsistent to want both things. But, I do. I wish her the best and I wish them the best in rebuilding their friendship. I never want to hate people for no reason, but is being the "ex-girlfriend" reason enough? I wish I had a fucking clue.


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