Is this a new friendship or a ticking timebomb?
September 26, 2012 7:07 AM Subscribe
My ex has sneaked back into my life during a difficult time. I'm appreciative of his support but I'm nervous about backsliding emotionally. How do I set the right boundaries? Or is this just the "being friends with your ex when you're ready" thing I've read so much about here on the green?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Years ago I was in a very passionate, unbelievably codependent relationship with my "best friend and soulmate". We were briefly engaged until I got dumped in spectacular fashion. After that I cut off contact completely for several years -- it was difficult but after about two years I really felt over it, like I had gained perspective, and was no longer mourning the loss of that potential future.
About a year ago the ex reached out to me with a nice email to ask how I was. I responded in kind, that was the end of it. A few months later he started casually texting me -- again, totally innocuous, friendly stuff. We kept up a sporadic, fairly impersonal correspondence and I was comfortable with that. It didn't upset the rest of my life and I didn't find myself feeling any unexpected emotions (like a "thrill" when I received his messages, etc).
Recently I've been going through a very hard time with a difficult diagnosis... conveniently my ex is a doctor. He's very interested in talking about what I'm going through, and, quite frankly, it's been a huge help for me to have a medical professional who is interested in talking about my illness, whenever, via text message, for free. We've been communicating a lot more lately, a lot more openly, and sometimes the conversation strays into more familiar/personal territory.
I've had a spidey sense over the past year or so that my ex might be trying to lay the groundwork for getting back together. I emphatically am not interested. I do appreciate his friendship and support. Is there a way to set that boundary without being narcissistic/needlessly harsh? And conversely, am I setting myself up for disaster by letting myself get close to him again? I know a repeat of our relationship would be wrong for me, but I'm concerned that continuing this friendship might lead me to a place where I would consider it and maybe even go through with it.