Why Shouldn't You Be Friends With Your Ex?

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A story in today's Times of London wonders what the hell is up with people (Liz & Hugh, Jude & Sadie) who are friends with their exes.

"Exes are very interesting, particularly if they are now happy with someone else. There is often a frisson as you think, could they have been happier with me?


Now wait. If you truly care about the happiness of another person, and that person is by all accounts "happy," do you obsess over whether he'd be "happier" with you? What's the point of that? It's not like you can just take a pill and restore the newness and idealism and infatuation of first love; if you could wouldn't you have figured out a way not to break up in the first place? What is with this bullshit? I say exes should be friends, period. Yeah, it's natural to freeze out one's abusers and adulterers and ill-advised rebounds, but if more than half of your exes fall into one of those categories the problem, as Liz Phair would say, is you. (Of course, she was sort of making the opposite point, which is why that song is so devastating, but that's another topic.)

Anyway, there's this great scene in 2 Days In Paris in which Adam Goldberg goes off on Julie Delpy for cordially kissing hello to yet another one of her ex-boyfriends, and asks why the hell she has to be friends with all her ex-boyfriends.

And she's like: "It's just so TERRIBLY SOUL CRUSHING to get into a relationship with someone thinking you wouldn't be there if there wasn't any sex, that you wouldn't value the person even as a friend, that the person's utility to you has a fucking expiration date." Or something like that, only impassioned and French-accented and maybe a bit crazy sounding that I totally cosign.

And he's like, "No, it's really fucked-up that you're friends with your exes."

(And then he meets an ex of hers that she's not friends with, who turns out to be a pedophile; but again, another topic.)

The kicker, of course, is that Julie Delpy and Adam Goldberg did used to date, and he's starring in her movie, so there is a right answer to this dilemma and it is hers.

While We're On The Subject Of Ex [Times]



I dated a guy for years, we broke up, then started working together. It was very strange and hard and at times extremely rewarding because we knew each other so well. His current wife has always given me the stink eye because we were close right up until we both married.