Some years ago I made a friend. We were both single. He for a little longer than me. We met, we clicked. There were not great sparks but there was definitely potential for...something.
It became a bit on and off. The friendship strengthened. But any extra dimension was driven by him and seemed to change by the day. He couldn't decide. He wasn't ready. It wasn't me.
He prided himself on having remained friends with every girl he'd ever known.
A year later, my patience had finally worn thin. I got tired of hearing how there were 'no suitable girls''. He only called me if he didn't have a date. I learned he had said some less than flattering things about me. I decided I was worth more and I ended the friendship. It was ugly and it hurt and I think it was probably the first time anyone had ever done it to him.
Around the same time I read an article about men who were supposedly unable to maintain healthy relationships. The writer maintained that part of the problem for these guys was that they were unable to end things well. The point he was making was that these guys want everyone to like them. They like having female friends and they don't want animosity in any form. But their avoidance of confrontation, their inability to make a strong decision, was holding them back from actually getting into a relationship at all.
I wonder, could there be some truth in this? Does the same apply to women?
Personally I think it's great to be able to remain friendly with people I have been emotionally involved with. But actually friends? I'm not so sure. Why would I want to? Is it because I want to leave a door open...just in case? What's going to happen when one of us meets another 'friend''who is less enlightened on the value of ongoing friendship with exes? How many exes - in fact how many friends - can one person have or need?