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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UM”b” Mine

UMb Mine
UM”b” Mine

Dear UMBeMine:An ex and I have tried to remain friends for the past couple of years, but we hardly have time to get together and it’s more on her side than mine. Recently, we caught up a bit on Instant Messenger, but my grandmother had died and I was away from Boston. She text messaged me to ask if I was back in Boston but it was on the day of the funeral and I wrote back no, then dropped out of touch. She started to get a little annoyed and wrote back “Why don’t we just end things?” I was pissed, I mean, my grandmother died. It turns out that my friend was annoyed because she had a Christmas gift for me, but I’m pissed that she can’t acknowledge what I’m going through. Same ol’, same ol’. It seems like we’re still having the same arguments as when we were dating, when we even talk at all. I think I’m done. What do you think?– Tired Of Texting in Somerville

Dear Tired,Unfortunately, friendships after relationships can’t always work. Usually they only work if the people were friends before the relationship, and if the breakup is mutual and pleasant. Sometimes that can be the case, but let’s face it: a breakup is usually anything but pleasant, even if it is mutual.

Are you still friends because you feel obligated to be, just because you had a relationship? Often people stay friends because they can’t deal with cutting ties with the person altogether. But breaking up is breaking up, you know? You have to let the person go. If the things that were bothering you during the relationship are bothering you again now, then your friendship should go the way of your relationship. If one didn’t work, the other won’t either. Also, if you are fighting about the same things now that you were while you were together, then it sounds like there are some leftover feelings, and therefore trying to be friends is most likely going to blow up in your face (if it hasn’t already).

You should cut off contact for a while and see how you feel. You might find that you’re doing just fine without being friends with her. You could even find that life is more pleasant and less complicated since you stopped talking.

Then, after at least several months, if you are thinking about her or missing hanging out, maybe text or email her, very casually. See what she says, and go from there. But first I would sever ties for a little bit, and see how you feel. Like I said, you may very well find that you’re happier that way.

And I’m so sorry about your grandmother. Lovechester and I offer our condolences.Love, ‘Cat

Disclaimer:Neither of us has any formal training or licensure as psychotherapists; we don’t claim to be one or substitute as one. (If you need professional help, please go get it.) If, however, you want to hear how two open-minded, plain-speaking students (who’ve been around a few blocks and have ready ears and shoulders) might approach a given sex or relationship circumstance, you’ve come to the right place.