You will get all your dating questions answered by both sides of the gender line. Each week Datingish writers Jack
will answer a question that a reader has asked with responses from the male and female point of view. Don't be scared--there's no question too big or small!
Our first question for "He Said, She Said" is from a female reader. Her question to us is: Should she remain friends with her ex-boyfriend that broke up with her because he feels they are too busy with school for a relationship, but wants to one day get back together if the opportunity presented itself?
One Man's Take: I've seen this one before. It's an old question: how do you stay friends with someone that you have strong feelings for?
The short answer: you can't.
As both a guy and a realist, my take on this is bound to come off insensitive and/or crude, but I'm going to call it how I see it. Speaking from experience - myself, and from an outsiders perspective of other relationships - I just don't think it's possible; not right away, at least. We're human, and we can't control our emotions, no matter how hard we try. As long as the feelings are still fresh - and believe me, right now they are - it's going to be nearly impossible to be just normal friends.
Breaking up with someone is like quitting smoking - while it's possible to do it little by little, the recommended approach is cold turkey. I'm not saying you have to avoid him like the plague, but you're not going to be able to make a seamless transition from dating to the friend zone. What happens if he starts hooking up with another girl down the road? Are you still going to be able to be his friend?
Also, if you're both in college, I find it hard to believe that he's "too busy" right now. Too busy what? Doing bong rips?
I'm putting myself in his shoes for a second. I just broke up with my girlfriend. Almost immediately, I feel remorse, as any warm-blooded human being would. I'm used to being around you, hanging out with you, and when you're used to anything, it's tough to completely give it up, be it a girlfriend or a morning jog. Once a week passes, and then a month...feelings start to fade. I've seen countless relationships end with a "when the time is right, we'll try again" tag neatly wrapped around the toe. They never do. As time goes on, you meet new people, old feelings slowly wither, and before you know it you realize you haven't spoken in six months.
If I was you, here's how I'd play it. Tell him you don't think you can do this friend game, and you need a break (you do). Cut it off clean for a couple of weeks and see how you feel. I've got $10 that says you'll have a more clear-headed view of the whole situation by then, and another $5 says you get hit on at Starbucks at least twice in that time. If he really needs you, he'll come crawling back by then; if he doesn't, well, that's all you needed to know.
I have to agree with Jack on this one. There is no way that you two can be just friends right now. Trust me it will just cause for more confusion and pain for you in the long run. My ex boyfriend and I tried to remain good friends after we broke up, and every time I saw him or talked to him I wanted to be with him more and more.
My philosophy with break-ups are--There is no going back once it's over! There are way too many guys out in the world for you to be hung up on a guy that says he can't be with you because you guys are "too busy." Sorry chica but if he really wanted to be with you it wouldn't matter if he was taking a full load of classes, working in the student center, and volunteering his time tutoring elementary school kids. He would still find the time in his hectic schedule to be with you. I've heard this line one too many times and trust me all it is, is a cop out way to say "I am just not that into you." I'm sorry if that sounded way harsh, but I don't sugarcoat.
I'm sure you are a very nice girl, and I know it really hurts right now that the guy you had in your life for the last seven months isn't there anymore, but take this time to focus your attention elsewhere. When I'm dealing with matters of the heart I like to re-focus my energy to something positive. I suggest doing some volunteer work. I'm sure there are some wonderful opportunities in the neighborhood you live in. As time goes on I promise the emptiness you are feeling will go away, but just remember take it one day at a time without your EX in your life! If you feel he is just that good of a friend that you can't do without -then try having a platonic friendship with him (after some much needed time away).
Hang in there and stay strong!