So, it turns out that my ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend doesn’t like me. I suppose that’s not really surprising … it’s rare for that situation to prompt a warm bond between two women. What’s irritating, however, is that the “not liking” being specifically translated into pressure for my ex not to remain friends with me – and what surprises me is how readily he may acquiesce.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at that, either; but I guess I was left off guard by the fact that our friendship had seemed so durable over the year since we’d stopped dating. We’d certainly had to adjust to certain types of affection being out of bounds, and to our friendship becoming long distance after he relocated to his hometown. But after all of that, we’d still remained close confidants and advisors to one another, and it seemed that we both had appreciated such a smooth transition allowing us to preserve the best parts of our relationship.
Suddenly, that relationship is a battleground, or part of one, anyway. It’s frustrating because this is certainly not a battle of my own making; I’ve got no interest in preventing my ex from moving on to other successful relationships. But somehow I find myself an unwitting party to a her-vs-me tug-of-war that seems both immature and completely unneccessary, and my only options are to be combatant or casualty.
Well, actually, I’m a casualty either way. I suppose I could try to fight for my role in his life, but ultimately that’s not something I can claim on my own, and I’m not sure that he’ll defend the territory against the pressure of his new relationship. Perhaps it’s cowardice or a lack of faith, but my current inclination is to yield the field; it doesn’t seem like the best use of my emotional resources to try and hold on to someone who doesn’t want to hold on to me. It’s also an attempt at self-protection, I guess: leave before I get left.
I’m going to count this as another benefit of not dating anymore: thankfully, this is the last person with whom I’ll find myself in this particular situation. Not that other friendships don’t have the potential to end badly, too. But in most of those cases, I can trace it back to a bad situation I had a hand in creating, so it feels a little less unjust.