Being Friends With Exes: Is This Normal?

By: Amy Estes |

I’ve dated a decent number of people, and maybe I’m weird, but I’m still friends with most of them. Not “hang out every week and act like best friends” type of friends, but definitely the kind of friends who get coffee occasionally, go out for a drink once in awhile, wish one another a happy birthday, etc. In fact, most of my exes have met my current boyfriend at housewarming parties, birthday soirees, etc. and are just among the people I consider friends.

My girlfriends think I am nuts. Most of them think it’s the weirdest thing ever that I talk to my exes. They think it’s strange that I go beyond the usual Facebook stalking, and that I’d even want to have contact with them. For a few of them, I agree — we didn’t end on good terms, or it’s been so long that we couldn’t possibly have anything in common. Another friend insists that I’m begging for an opportunity to cheat on my boyfriend, which is most definitely not the case.

So…why do I keep them around? For each one, there’s a separate answer. With my very first boyfriend ever, it’s nostalgia. I was 15 and young and he was the first person I ever loved, in a totally innocent way. He was my first real kiss, the first guy I ever said I loved, and someone I thought was really nice and interesting. He’s still nice and interesting, and we have known one another for half our lives. We’re not best friends (he lives in another country) but the occasional Facebook chat about our current lives is nice. With another guy, we dated very briefly because we figured out that we’d be much better just as friends. Our friendship is really close but completely platonic because there were never “real” feelings there. With my most significant ex, we have so much history that it’d be a shame to not keep in touch at all, although we talk so rarely that it’s more just a friendship in name only. I’m over each of them, have been happily involved in my current relationship for five years and truly have no anger or ill will towards these guys.

In general, I’m a person who doesn’t have a lot of drama or grudges. I have very few friendships that have ended dramatically, and I don’t have any sworn enemies (uh, that I know of). I take the same approach with most exes (there are only two people I never, ever speak to) because I like to think I chose decent people to date, even if we didn’t work out in a romantic sense.

So tell me: Is being friends with your exes normal?