Re: How much contact is maintained with one's exes?

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Ogged, we know it's you.


Posted by: sam k | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 11:14 PM
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And unfogged is the ex.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 11:26 PM
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I assure you it's not ogged.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 11:35 PM
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So much for the fun part of the thread.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 11:38 PM
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I assure you I'm lying.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 11:43 PM
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I can assure all night long.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 11:43 PM
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But then you'd be revealing that it is ogged, and thus violating the sanctity of off-blog communications, thereby leading reclusive lurkers never to contact you again.

In other words, I have a paper to write that I don't want to write and nothing to add to the original topic.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 11:50 PM
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Sugar, write your paper. The night isn't getting any younger.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 11:52 PM
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7: Not true. I didn't indicate what I lied about.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 11:54 PM
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Given the agentless formula, one can only assume the lurker is interested in a generic or prescriptive answer.

The answer is "it depends".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 11:54 PM
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I'm really tired of searching through the California government and civil code for [redacted]. I should have just picked another state. In fact, I still can.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:03 AM
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Also, boo on Sacramento for not making all their city's laws publicly available online. Or whatever counts as law beyond the ordinances that are published.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:14 AM
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Code is law!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:23 AM
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Whatever the law is called, it isn't all up online as far as I can tell. Sacramento county has the same problem. In both cases, they've selective posted sections from the kind of law I want to see. If I knew the technical names for these different codes, I'd use them. All I know is that institution X was designated by law to be the official something-or-other but I can't find the law that so designates.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:35 AM
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What's missing from this?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 1:28 AM
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||

Prolly old news for y'all, but This was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time.
The work of Paolo Freire was an important theme. Metonymy? There was a lot for me in that movie.

I directly connected it to This Old Leftist trying to learn from his California students.

Then there was This at Thoma's place. Tired abstraction? I think they can be reconciled, but I don't know if "Identity, Purpose, Method" will actually work. Thing is, it worked for those two students.

A lot better than Kos and Yggles kicking Kucinich. That made me the saddest I have been since 9/11.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 1:35 AM
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Re the ex-wife, 22 email threads in the past year, one drinks upon her leaving town, one introducing her to the wife over green chile.

God, I love green chile.

That's kind of a lot of email threads, huh? They include happy birthday (she remembered mine, I forgot hers), her sister got married, my grandfather died, she bragged about getting a Rockwell Kent edition Moby Dick, something reminded me of her mom, and the Facebook page of a mutual friend who died keeps issuing Farmville updates.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 1:46 AM
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15: The legal authorization I described, in vague terms, in 14, for one thing. I spent quite a while on their website, and I got the impression that there are resolutions that don't make it into that code, but which I want to find. It seems to be an issue common to other cities and I assume it's the result of some organizational division between types of municipal legislation that I don't know about.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 2:10 AM
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What I'm looking for is probably more like the resolution posted here, which does not seem to be a part of the code you linked.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 2:20 AM
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I want to know if the question is being asked out of self-analysis, sociological curiosity, or concern about a current partner. If it's the last: you have the principles you have with your partner about what s/he does sexually outside your relationship. There's no special ex rule, which you must realize.

Exes, IME, are people who (a) would not acknowledge me in public if their lives depended on it, (b) [vice versa], (c) awkwardly nod hello, (d) are longterm good friends, (e) are occasionally up for having sex. And all the nuances in between. These outcomes have little relationship to the quality or duration of the original liaison.

If this is a question about what you can expect from an ex you want to see, the answer is absolutely nothing. If s/he chooses to talk to you again, that's great. But s/he owes you nothing, and the fact is that people get really upset about relationships for reasons that may have nothing to do with you, and there's jack shit you can do about it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 3:54 AM
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Cosigigning with AWB. I've gone the whole spectrum from protective orders (not against me, mind you!) to visits every six weeks or so with the autistic ex who wasn't really a realationship [sic, but I actually like it] in standard terms but we were married for benefits-type reasons and because why not since we were friends? I'm still the only person he talks to about himself, so it seems useful for him to be able to rant to me about Nietzsche for three hours and me to see my old cat. and then I drive back to my normal life.

My partner has an ex who was quite friendly with her (even after a nasty breakup) until I came into the picture, at which point she became passive-aggressive and eventually openly mean to me, so she's now out of the picture. I didn't want to be mean about it (especially given the lesbian cliche/expectation about friendship between exes being the only way community can be maintained because there just aren't enough of us to go around if we get all factional) and felt bad for a while, but it was my partner's decision and I think it was the right one. It was really hurting my feelings that she'd be friendly with someone who was deliberately cruel to me and she eventually came to the same conclusion.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 4:55 AM
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Wow, I really can't spell this morning. Back to bed, hurrah!!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 4:56 AM
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Yeah, no single answer. I live in the same neighborhood with my ex-wife and we all take vacations together every so often and have dinners together, but there are kids from each marriage that we want to have sibling relationships, and all three of us were friends in college. The relationship in between the marriages? No contact whatsoever.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 5:04 AM
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Alternative interpretations of the OP:

1. Do I have to keep sending birthday cards to somebody I dated 15 years ago when our paths haven't come within a thousand miles of each other since?

2. Do I have to drop everything when I hear that ex has been made homeless, in spite of the fact that they have many friends?

3. Do I have to drop everything when I hear that ex has been made homeless, given the fact that they have no friends?

Etc. What is the lurker asking about here?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 5:04 AM
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Yeah, I've lost a lot of exes due to new girlfriends who didn't want me around. I promise I wasn't being bad!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 5:09 AM
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I side with the "no hard and fast rule" faction. It depends on the person, how things ended, etc. I have an at-least-willing-to-stop-and-catch-up acquaintanceship with the vast majority of mine, but there are a couple I would gladly stay away from. Rah is still close friends with some of his, which I think is fantastic. If the question really is "should I be worried that my SO still talks to their ex all the time", I think it's important to realize that they have clearly chosen to be with you and doesn't it say something very good about the SO that they can still treat exes as human beings?


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:34 AM
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I communicate with the most important ex-girlfriend every day, or almost every day. One or two others, occasionally. Others, never -- I think I could find a few on Facebook via old friends, but it doesn't seem worth the effort.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:35 AM
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My exes are from a lifetime ago. I'm game for pretty much anything (having always been a pretty good judge of character) and they run the range.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:45 AM
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One ex, the first, serious one: in contact with roughly every month or so. Brief phone call or text message once in a great while, maybe a chat when we're both on facebook at the same time or a comment on each other's really interesting statuses. Maybe we'll get together for lunch when I go back up to Vermont for a vacation or long weekend, but then again maybe I won't have time. Other exes I don't talk to. When it ended well, I've tried to maintain contact but when they didn't hold up their end of the conversations, I took it as a hint. When it didn't end well and that was my fault, I've avoided her. (Although there were some bizarre times where my phone texted her on its own. I guess I had a habit of sitting down funny or I was wearing pants that were too tight or something. My phone log shows several text messages with no text or just one letter to someone named "j" or 1" or "555-555555555555", but the only call or text message like that to an actual person went to her. How awkward.)

FWIW, I now live in another state from all of them. I could definitely see myself seeing a lot more of and spending a lot more time with the ones I'm still friends with if there was any chance of talking to them routinely, but I'm not so great about keeping in touch with people at a distance in general.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:26 AM
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I'm facebook friends with one, and we very occasionally email [she's married to another school friend of mine]. Most of my other serious exes I've been in contact with for a while after, in some cases for years after, but it's drifted over time. I've not lived in Scotland for 10 years, so I don't bump into them naturally. If I was still living in Glasgow I expect we'd be in touch more regularly.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:30 AM
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So whose ex (or pre-ex) is the lurker, and what are they trying to find out?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:33 AM
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Mine range from none at all to daily contact. Two exes are now my best friends, and one I'd run away from screaming if I ever saw her.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:33 AM
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My exes are also from ages ago at this point. I wish most of them well, but I've no interest in any contact (though I'm happy to be pleasant if it occurs.) There was the old college girlfriend who tried to connect to me via LinkedIn last year, which was weird. I didn't respond. Just because we had sex on the floor of my office once upon a time didn't make it a professional relationship.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:34 AM
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I'm game for pretty much anything

IT'S SNORKEL TIME!


Posted by: Eric Massa | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:34 AM
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The important exes I've stayed in some contact with, even after initial periods of self-protective isolation. They live far away, but I'd send them an email invitation for drinks or whatever if I were coming to their towns. And then, I'm sharing an apartment with my most recent ex, although that categorization has rather suddenly been put into question.

There's only one ex with whom I'm on bad, don't-even-think-about-contacting-me terms.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:40 AM
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Just because we had sex on the floor of my office once upon a time didn't make it a professional relationship.

Awesome.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:41 AM
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that categorization has rather suddenly been put into question

Sharing an apartment will do that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:42 AM
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I'm like everyone else here - varying amounts of contact with different exes, depends on the ex. One I still harbor ill will towards. Two I'd be pleased to be friends with if we lived nearby. Several I'm indifferent towards. Almost all are my facebook friends.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:43 AM
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37.--Nookie, that happens. This is something else.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:46 AM
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JM's ex is preggers!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:47 AM
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All my exes live in Texas. That's why I hang my hat in Tennessee.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:48 AM
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Two nights per week and every other weekend. Were there no child involved, obviously it would have just been "no contact."

On FB I'm "friends" with two guys, each of whom I went on one-and-a-half dates with. (One of whom is the Passive Aggressive Wanker mentioned in a previous thread.) They don't even count as exes, and yet I am a little squeamish about staying in contact.

Mostly, I vigorously prefer no contact with exes if at all possible. But this is probably mostly a function of my terrible selection of whom I get involved with.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:48 AM
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My most-significant ex was my closest friend for a few years after we broke up, although the roughly-daily phone calls about how miserable her boyfriend made her got kind of old. But these days I only hear from her if she thinks I can be useful to her. (It's actually sort of entertaining, the game of "this is an unusually friendly phone call... I wonder how long before she gets around to asking me to help with something?")

Very little contact at all with any of the less-significant others.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:54 AM
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You're all my less-significant others!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:58 AM
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The ex-wife - regularly bc we have kids and share custody.

I am friends with almost all of the rest of my significant exs. We tend to have some kind of communication once or twice a month. (Not like JM's "contact" with her ex.)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 8:12 AM
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I'm significant at the α=0.05 level.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 8:12 AM
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I was wearing pants that were too tight

Is that a snorkel in your pants, or are you just texting me?


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 8:13 AM
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I don't even own a snorkel less significant other.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 8:24 AM
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It sounds like "friendly with all of my exes, one of whom I would run screaming from" is the mode of the distribution around here. I'm the same way.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 8:40 AM
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I'm not in touch with any of my exes. Not for any particular reason, with most of them: lost track, nothing to say. One of them I pretty explicitly would not want to speak to, I suppose, but that doesn't seem likely to come up.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 8:42 AM
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Co-sign everything. There's one ex I regularly chat with on IM. Another I email with every few months and we have hung out maybe 5 times in the 3+ years since we broke up. Another I'm facebook "friends" with but have only talked to maybe 3-4 times in 5 years. And finally, my most serious ex, who was a giant dickface, I haven't talked to at all in years. Although we were in regular contact for a while after we broke up.

My mode seems to be...stay in contact for a while, then slowly drift apart. Pretty standard.

On the other hand, my fiance is in regular contact with his most significant ex, long phone calls every month or two. It doesn't bug me, but it did at the beginning, not because of jealousy but because I thought he was patronizingly trying to protect her feelings in a way that irritated me. He's more normal now.


Posted by: M. LeBlanc | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:33 AM
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M!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:44 AM
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50: Carly Fiorina probably doesn't want to speak to you either, Tweety.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:47 AM
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Hmmh.


Posted by: Nicolas Sarkozy | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:51 AM
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I have no contact with any of the three significant exes. This is, respectively, just fine, still way too much, and a real pity.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:51 AM
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I've basically moved in with my new & improved-but-wait-there's-more boyfriend of almost four months, and it's a complete 180 from my ex-boyfriend (the ill-fated Mr. Adams/Mr. Ginsburg). But I recently got back into touch with him. We're both sorry it didn't work out, but now that I understand that we were never really compatible in our approaches to relationships or our differing degrees and expressions of love and affection (not to mention our levels of commitment), I can imagine trying to be friends since I'm no longer attached to that relationship outcome.

But I told my ex-boyfriend that it was up to him in terms of how frequent the contact will be or how deep the friendship will go, since I don't want it to be a repeat of our romantic relationship in terms of my greater investment and effort. He's being a good egg about it, and trying to stay connected by email and asks me how I am and says that he wants me to be able to share my life's news from the sorrows to the joys, so I told him without too much detail how things are going with Captain Awesome and that I'm living here. He's happy I'm happy, and I believe him when he says that he's glad someone can give me what he couldn't give me. So we email a couple times a week, just articles/links of interest we find, and once in a while, give each other an update. I'm no longer interested in being a part of his emotional development, but I do hope that he will figure out what he wants and how to be in a relationship with someone.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:20 AM
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Still best friends with ex-wife; maintaining email contact almost daily. I don't know how possible future relationships I might have will impact that, but her boyfriend seems comfortable with it, and stays friendly with a number of his own exes (one's a roommate). So it's all a great big heap of comity.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:17 PM
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It would be interesting to know what the reclusive lurker in the OP really wants to know. Certainly the degree of contact maintained with exes varies completely with circumstance, and there's no rule of thumb.

That said, there are those who stick by a 'no contact whatsoever post-breakup' rule, and those who prefer a 'really, I like you whether or not we're together, so let's continue to be friends' rule. Both of those seem to try to shoehorn every relationship into something it might not be or never was.

I have steady contact with only two exes at this point; for the others, either enough time has passed that we don't have much to say, or other factors are in play (the wife of my ex-before-last can't abide me, not even the mention of my name, which is a real shame, as I'd like to be in touch with him and he feels the same, and I see him around online increasingly often, so, chagrin), or the breakup was not at all amicable.

I hypothesize that there's a general presumption that people would rather be left alone, as they move on. We might be doing ourselves and each other a disservice in making that assumption. The key would be not to assume, but to feel the situation out, if not outright ask.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:33 PM
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The reclusive lurker probably really wanted to know about oral-genital contact.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:42 PM
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I did mention feeling the situation out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 1:00 PM
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59: Back flexibility exercises are often the best bet.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 1:07 PM
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59: That old chestnut?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 1:13 PM
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The lurkers fellate me in email.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 1:15 PM
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The answer is, infinite oral-genital contact.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 1:17 PM
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They don't even count as exes, and yet I am a little squeamish about staying in contact.

Fortunately, Facebook wasn't omnipresent when I last was in that kind of coupla-dates, no-drama-just-didn't-work-out situation, and I'm glad. I'd be squeamish, too.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 1:34 PM
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The answer is none. None more fellatios.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 1:39 PM
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Now that the Offspring is 25, I don't have regular contact w/his father, but we do talk, now and then, about art and whatnot. The Biophysicist is friendly w/his ex, and so am I, which makes things a helluva lot easier on family occasions.

My previous ex boyfriend had the good sense to drop dead, thereby proving that the Universe believes in just deserts.

I found my first husband's page on Facebook. I haven't made contact w/him, as we got divorced 39 years ago, after a short, but brief marriage. From his profile pix, he's either got a daughter or a trophy wife. I ponder emailing him, as I still have some of his record albums.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 1:44 PM
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67.last: That kind of pondering can go on for a while, god knows. I tend to try to give it six months of pondering, by which point I either decide that I wasn't really that interested in trying the tentative email contact, or I am still considering it, in which case I ponder for another few months. Good luck -- if you do it, I hope it goes well!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 1:52 PM
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They don't even count as exes, and yet I am a little squeamish about staying in contact.

"Thus Facebook treads upon the heels of pleasure: friended in haste, we may de-friend at leisure."

(After writing #41, I remembered that the ex voted "least likely to piss on me if I caught fire" really does live in Texas.)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 2:12 PM
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69: I'm proud to say that all my exes would piss on me, fire or no.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 2:19 PM
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64: Infinite oral-genital contacts.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 2:23 PM
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"Thus Facebook treads upon the heels of pleasure: friended in haste, we may de-friend at leisure."

This must sound so much more natural to British people.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 2:29 PM
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70 pretty much sums it up for me. I have no contact, God be praised, with the ones I know as The Antichrist and Sylvia Plath, am still very fond of my first love, and have lost contact with most of the rest.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 2:41 PM
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My ex lives with my mom. It's... odd.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 2:43 PM
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ok, what?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 2:46 PM
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Yeah, huh. I have an ex- who lived with my brother after we split (they had been friends before the whole shebang in the first place), but with my mom? I can't imagine that.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 3:06 PM
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74: yes, but do you talk to her?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 3:08 PM
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My brother's college ex lived with my parents for a few years. She was part of the family at that point.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 3:09 PM
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I lived with an ex's parents for a year afterwards. It was easy and nice. I still adore them and go there for holidays if I'm in town.

It helped (them) that he broke up with me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 3:11 PM
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74: My ex *is* your mom.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 3:20 PM
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78 - Jaime, is that you?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 3:27 PM
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56 is an excellent example of why friendships with exes tend not to work out.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 3:34 PM
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This thread is missing a certain something. Where are you, Ogged? Where are you, posts that express strong and/or ridiculous opinions?

The OP should have read as follows:

A reclusive lurker wonders: "How do people maintain friendly contact with their exes? Is there not a cognitive dissonance, followed by an indescribable elemental sadness when one is having a mundane, low-key conversation with an ex, bereft of flirtation; and suddenly thinks 'Didn't this person once have my cock in her mouth? Did that really happen? It seems so impossible now. But yes, it did!'?"

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 3:40 PM
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I probably communicate more with my ex than with any other adult, but we're trying to raise a young kid in two households and so that kind of communication seems to be required. And may I just say that it sucks and is incredibly exhausting.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 3:42 PM
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84: You may.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 3:52 PM
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So ned is going to be the next front page poster, right? Correcting for grammar.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 3:55 PM
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Sorry parsimon. I don't have the rhetorical skill or confidence to back up my ridiculous opinions once I state them.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 3:59 PM
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You don't really want Ned to go live on a farm like all the other frontpage posters, do you?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 4:00 PM
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Actually, I owe ned an apology: grammar okay. Good post.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 4:01 PM
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True, there may be difficulties. But there can be no doubt that 83 is an audition-winning revision.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 4:01 PM
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She (my ex) doesn't get along very well with her own parents, and she needed a place to stay, so my mom took her in. The odd part (to me) was that this happened at a time when we weren't really keeping in touch, but she and my mom get along well and continued to see each other after the breakup, so I didn't really matter to the situation, especially since I was thousands of miles away at the time and still am. These days we do talk from time to time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 4:17 PM
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I don't have the rhetorical skill or confidence to back up my ridiculous opinions once I state them.

I doubt you need them. People can easily take things up from there. For example:

"It seems so impossible": well, I suggest that there are at least two kinds of exes. Those about whom you feel that such a consensual event does seem impossible, and those about whom you don't. Things get kind of mixed up from there, whether you find the cognitive dissonance lessened with the former or with the latter.

The post is brilliant, I say, for its probing of the question how much of an interest in someone is predicated on sexuality: if you can't move an ex from the sexual to the nonsexual category, for example, you might should leave off future contact. Or not. Or, it may be just the reverse: it's precisely those about whom you now find the thought of a sexual relationship confounding that you might as well never hear from again.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 4:23 PM
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I'D BE THERE FOR *YOU*, NED!


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 4:26 PM
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There are 2 exes I wouldn't mind running into so that I could snub them. Yes, I am quite petty. In both situations, they imagined we'd be friends post-relationship despite having been jackasses to me.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 4:30 PM
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94: Yes, this, exactly this. There is a relatively recent ex (who was so overwhelmingly unmitigatedly horrible that I have not discussed his horribleness on the internet -- yes, quite possibly worse-than-UNG horribleness) who, despite having been unmitigatedly horrible apparently thought we'd go on being the closest of friends -- indeed, that we would go on with a playfully flirtatious friendship. Friends?! Dear God, man, you should be grateful I have not stabbed you in the eye.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 4:49 PM
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I hate to ask this, but exes who were complete jackasses but still think there's room for a friendship: do they know that from at least one perspective they were complete jackasses? That is, I'd guess that they don't know that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 4:59 PM
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A family member reported that her ex--whom we had all pretty much detested from day one--was hurt that the family had ceased all contact with him after his exification. We were stupefied (although it reinforced our belief that he was dialed up to 11 on the cluelessness scale). Unfortunately with a child involved she has had to deal with him regularly for years, and from time to time circumstances have forced the rest of us into some interaction with him as well.


Posted by: JP Filmore | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 5:09 PM
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96 -- I think, parse, the more accurate formulation would be something along the lines of 'I am exactly the same person I was when s/he was interested in me, and even if the romantic/sexual interest has passed, s/he liked me for who I was, didn't s/he, and I am still that person.'

I would guess that that's a whole lot more common than 's/he thought I might be interesting and sympathetic until s/he got a close enough look to see what a complete jerk I am.'


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 5:10 PM
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98: Yes, I think most people's self-image maintenance function kicks in and drives them towards that stance with regard to the former partner. In the case in 97 I think we were just too fucking polite to the rancid motherfucker--in our Midwestern wholesomeness.


Posted by: JP Filmore | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 5:19 PM
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96: The particular ex I'm thinking of has, in a fleeting moment, acknowledged his utter assholishness. But then he reverts to this mental image in which it is all some grandiose romantic tragedy, a love too powerful for either of us to bear but upon which we both shall ever gaze with bittersweet longing. When he invited me for drinks "as friends" days after everything blew up, I retorted rather snidely (I thought...), "What, you thought after all that that you and I could just sit across from one another in a bar and bask in the bittersweet glow of 'what might have been'?" "Well, yeah. I guess that pretty much exactly how I pictured it."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 5:21 PM
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The ex with whom no contact is way too much contact thought for a year or two that a friendship would survive, even as I was trying to explain to him what an utter jackass he had been. He rejected the characterization, on grounds that he'd never heard anything like that from anyone else. Given that this was a man who once invited himself into a mutual acquaintance's home, propositioned her, was rejected, and proceeded to drop trou and masturbate in front of her, I find it highly unlikely that no one else ever told him he was behaving like a jackass. Criticism just beaded up and rolled right off the man.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 5:24 PM
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"What, you thought after all that that you and I could just sit across from one another in a bar and bask in the bittersweet glow of 'what might have been'?"

Beautiful. There's surely a song in there somewhere.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 5:25 PM
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102: I herewith license the line to any songwriter, scriptwriter, novelist, or poet who will promise to send me a copy.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 5:30 PM
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101: Please tell me you were involved with this jerk *before* (learning of) the trou-dropping incident.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 5:35 PM
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98: Ah. I was focusing on the actions which are/were presumably the source of the "jackass" judgment. My question in 96 had to do with whether the ex in question realized that those actions have been judged jackass ones, and why. We've all been there, I would think, from both sides.

One of the most difficult things is an ex you kind of can't stand to be around, who has no idea what they did wrong. Also being on the receiving end of the same thing: where it's clear that you've done something, or a series of things, wrong, but are unsure what they are (you may have a clue, but you're guessing wildly). I think I'm just making a plea for communication.

I have a complete roadblock with an ex who doesn't think he did anything wrong, or at least thinks what he did is defensible, and I understand that from his perspective that's the case, but from my perspective it isn't. He's not a jackass, then, unless you consider people who do things like that jackasses, and you may. A difference in perspective. I'm glad we got that much out on the table before the awkward conversations ground to a halt.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 5:40 PM
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How do you think they met?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 5:41 PM
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104: Never fear. My judgment in dating him was bad, but it wasn't that bad.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 5:42 PM
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I think what's hard for me about exes is that many of them have been so massively shitty at some point (or at many points) that it's easy to demonize them, retrospectively, because, my God, anyone who would do [terrible thing] must be a terrible person! But then I am bound to run into them, or have to deal with them, or be reminded of them, and it seems just fucking dishonest and wrong not to remember how glad I was to be with them.

The thing that got me so sad last weekend was happening across a picture of the last guy I seriously dated, and thinking, oh fuck, I want to kiss him. I always did, from the second we met. He was so kind to me, and was the only person I've ever dated who really adored me, just flat-out unabashedly adored me. He wasn't awful or withholding or mean. He just left me in a way that made me cry myself to sleep for months.

We've seen each other a few times since, and it was horrible. He kept trying to hug me and it was like a snake--I jumped back and cringed.

But no one else ever liked him. In fact, I only met him because someone he was trying to talk to was so freaked out by him that she passed him off on me and later apologized. I couldn't understand it; I was mad about him. I'm sure he is a really bad person; it would take a bad person to do what he did to me. But it also seems wrong (and generally unhealthy?) to forget how kind he was to me for a little while, and how much I enjoyed that. That above, about how some people you can't see without remembering on some level you had your cock in their mouth? I can't see him without wanting to kiss him, and remembering that I used to do so.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 5:52 PM
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105: I have a huge issue, actually, with people who do hurtful things and then want the person they hurt to say that the hurt was defensible. You want a relationship with someone, and they tell you you have caused them pain, your focus should be on tending to that person's pain and figuring out how to avoid future pain. It's not about whether you are a bad person until you decide to make that the subject.

(Yes, I know, sometimes people really are hurt by "defensible" and even necessary actions. Mr. 95 has been vocal about how wounded he was that I have rejected his drink invitations, and I obviously think my rejection was justified. I will have to work on articulating the distinction -- but mostly I think it is about not expecting him to accept my "defense.")


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:00 PM
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fake accent: I talked to [redacted] library staff today, and found that while it's very possible that what you're looking for is in uncodified ordinances, those ordinances are probably not stored anywhere but the City Clerk's office on paper, and conceivably a Sacramento public library as well.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:02 PM
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AWB, I'm sorry, that's awful. I think you're generally right about not demonizing people. But can I ask: why is it any more likely that he really is a bad person who was briefly kind than that he really is a kind person who was briefly horrible? Seems to me that there aren't that many people who have never behaved awfully, or never well.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:04 PM
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Yeah, the college BF who tried to murder several times? Has no idea why I don't want to "be friends." Sent me gifts on my birthday for years. Wrote me a concerto and named it after me, with no idea why I didn't attend the debut performance.

Others were messier problems of miscommunication, but one does, in certain cases, want to say, "Our entire relationship is why we don't talk anymore." But it sort of makes one ask why it went on so long.

I ran into one ex, the one who took my virginity with whom I was best friends for seven years, a while ago. He asked me why I hadn't called in a few years. I said I'd been thinking about things. He said it must be because my boyfriend wouldn't let me; he was too jealous. We had broken up long ago. But I wanted to say, "No, it's your insane narcissism that makes me not call you." Euch.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:07 PM
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111: Public opinion of his character has it that I must have had him during the most extraordinary high point in his character of all time. But I do think a lot of people dislike him for reasons that have nothing to do with his character, so it's hard to tell.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:09 PM
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108 is well said. Despite the fact that AWB is apparently talking about some very weird people.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:12 PM
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109.last: (Yes, I know, sometimes people really are hurt by "defensible" and even necessary actions. Mr. 95 has been vocal about how wounded he was that I have rejected his drink invitations, and I obviously think my rejection was justified. I will have to work on articulating the distinction -- but mostly I think it is about not expecting him to accept my "defense.")

This is strange: in his opinion you're doing him wrong, and you think your actions are defensible, and your only recourse is not to expect him to accept your defense. In other words, accept that he'll continue (defensibly in turn) to think you're hurtful.

Well, yeah, that's about how these things go. There's no clear jackass in that situation. Otherwise, the distinction needs work, as you say.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:24 PM
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110: Thanks for going to the extra effort. I figured it would be something like that, where the only copies were in paper. I managed to write around it with a different example, which was probably good enough, but Sacramento's version sounded the most interesting.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:26 PM
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The thing that got me so sad last weekend was happening across a picture of the last guy I seriously dated, and thinking, oh fuck, I want to kiss him.

Ohhh, this really conjured up just the feeling. My sympathies.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:27 PM
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Further to 115: That seems aggressively phrased, and isn't meant to be. So, apologies. The important point is the distinction between a person's essential character and his or her actions. We all do hurtful things from time to time, from somebody or another's perspective.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:34 PM
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91: My mom's ex moved in with her parents after they had broken up and she had gone off to college. He still had a year of high school to finish, but his parents were moving to Florida, and he wanted to stay. My grandparents became a second family for him. When I and my brother was born, he was like an uncle to us, and his children our like our cousins. He was tragically killed in Bosnia in the early 90s, but his widow and my mom are still close.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:46 PM
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118 -- Sure, but once you're on notice that the other person is hurt, you can either step up and try to mitigate, or fall back into defensive self-delusion.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:50 PM
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Huh. During the past year, the girl I lost my virginity with found me on Facebook. She lives at some beach town in Mexico now, but about ten minutes ago posted a gallery of photos of her at a party at the Playboy Mansion. One of the pictures is her and George Clooney.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:58 PM
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120: Word is that those aren't the only two options. There's the mixture of the two, certainly. I think that can be done in good faith, and really good faith is what we're talking about.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:01 PM
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122: I'm not sure I understand how "defensive self-delusion" can be in good faith.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:03 PM
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But Apo! Does George Clooney have relationship problems?

I seem to recall some snippet that said that he told what's-his-face, Punk'd guy, that if he if ever tried to Punk him, well, seriously, no, don't do that, dumbass, no kidding. I kind of liked that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:09 PM
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|| Speaking of hurt, I'm now thoroughly depressed because UNG and the Stupid Girlfriend are planning a big party for Rory's birthday which totally kills the plans I wanted to make for her birthday party -- can't really ask kids to two parties -- and even though, when this first came up, Rory suggested she would invite some friends to theirs and some to mine, I now understand she's invited everyone to theirs. So yay! No celebrating the birthday with dumb old mom. |>


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:11 PM
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121: Shazam. Although I first read that you had lost your virginity this past year, which seemed complicated.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:11 PM
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Seems like a good reason for the two of you to go to something very nice indeed. A tea, or a fancy restaurant maybe. Back to see your boyfriend at whatever that place was when y'all were talking about chefs and nice places.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:20 PM
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125: That sucks. I'm sure you and Rory will have a celebration, if not the particular one you wanted to have.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:25 PM
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A play or something, maybe?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:27 PM
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78 - Jaime, is that you?

No, sorry. Apologies for being boring, but my story of my brother's ex and the family is not unlike 91. She didn't get along with her mom (her dad had died), was going through a rough patch, she and my brother had a friendly breakup (as things go) that coincided closely with him moving away. We all were at her wedding several years later, with my dad walking her down the aisle.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:28 PM
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130: I like that kind of ex's-family continuity, and am sad that it hasn't been able to happen in my own life. Sometimes you become pretty damn close with someone's family. Wonderful if it continues.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:32 PM
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I've mentioned, I think, the ex whose mom, immediately following the breakup, assured me I could do so much better?

As for celebrations, I'm mad at Rory, too. I'm feeling rather as though I've been rejected in favor of the intact-two-parent-family image she gets from them. Single moms are so darned embarrassing.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:36 PM
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I really miss one of my exes' moms. She tried to keep up by email after the breakup, but, at 83, she kept slipping helplessly into painful details of Ex's new life. I think she didn't have anyone else to talk to about it, but I felt it really shouldn't have to be me. (Jean! Call me!)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:38 PM
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I like that kind of ex's-family continuity, and am sad that it hasn't been able to happen in my own life.

I've always avoided girlfriends' families otherwise, but I tend to send Ex-Girlfriend #1's parents a cake or something for Christmas. In other news of our relationship that might seem unhealthy strange to reasonable people third parties, we scrupulously avoid mentioning ever seeing or having been seeing anybody else.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:39 PM
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Di -- I don't think it's that at all. It's just that the couple can make things sound like a lot bigger deal. It has nothing to do with the hypervalidity of the new nuclear family. Believe me; I've seen this. The competition part is one you, as a single person, cannot win and has no effect on how much she loves you and considers you a valid parent.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:40 PM
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The thread has rightfully moved on, but out of courtesy:

123: I'm not sure I understand how "defensive self-delusion" can be in good faith.

A mixture of the two (cf. 122) might go, in short form, like this: I'm really sad that you're sad and upset. I like you. But really, I don't think I've done anything wrong here, and we can talk about this -- we should, talking is good. The long and the short of it, though, is that we both knew that this wasn't long-term, so I really don't think I've done anything wrong.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:40 PM
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Single moms are so darned embarrassinghott.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:41 PM
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I miss my ex-in-laws. I should really send them a Christmas card.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:45 PM
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Here's something I think I've learned: Nobody you're in a relationship with cares if you're a "good" or a "bad" person. They care about how you are treating them. So the second half of "I know I did this bad thing, but I'm not a bad person" isn't something that anyone actually cares about. Try saying this and it comes across as lame excuse-making. "I'm sad that you're sad and upset" is similar -- the other person doesn't really, in their heart of hearts, give a shit whether you're sad or not, it's whether you'll change the behavior.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:49 PM
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138: Yeah. My last ex's parents don't quite realize that we're split up, and are being really kind with Christmas gifts, which is awkward, since I like them both independently, and so continue to have dinner with them from time to time.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:51 PM
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139: I'm completely befuddled with respect to the person who told me more or less what I transcribed in 136. He's a good man. I know that. And yet. Wow, there's just a serious gap in understanding about what counts as respectful behavior, and perhaps neither of us is objectively right.

In other cases it's a lot clearer: this guy is a jackass; or this guy is great but not for me. Other times, though, not so clear.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 8:18 PM
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139: Yes, this is what I was trying to say. When someone you care about says,"I'm really hurt," the issue isn't whether you did anything wrong. It's about someone you care about being hurt. It's really hard for people, I guess, to put aside that urge to prove themselves "not bad".


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 8:20 PM
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141: I think "objectively right" is the problem. Relationships are about subjective things, not objective ones. "I've been with other women who have no problem with [x]" is meaningless; I am not "other women." Respectful necessaily is tailored to the individual.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 8:26 PM
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kids to two parties

Probably this is no consolation, but kids' birthday/holiday fun can be a source of strife and conflict even when parents cohabit. I think kids are pretty well indifferent to parents' feelings not directed at them, barring obvious pain or rage. Consider whether your daughter sees hosting venue as a significant choice-- mom's, dad's, the bowling alley, who cares? Mine just turned 9, cares about fun with his friends, not at all about which parent makes that happen.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 8:39 PM
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"What, you thought after all that that you and I could just sit across from one another in a bar and bask in the bittersweet glow of 'what might have been'?"

Beautiful. There's surely a song in there somewhere.

You thought that we'd be baskin' in
The glow of things that might have been
Perhaps it is beyond your ken
To realize

That you're an asshole, and a jackass, a tragic waste of life
I may not have been lucky much, but at least I'm not your wife



Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:05 PM
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Have I mentioned how glad I am that you are commenting, Mr. B.? Awesome.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:08 PM
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145: I just tried to make that verse fit the music to "Do You Realize?" by The Flaming Lips. I couldn't make it work. But it sort of almost did. Sort of.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:10 PM
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This is a side issue, but I feel like a lot of the things that get ex-boyfriends labeled as "assholes" are the same things that get ex-girlfriends labeled as "crazy". The masturbating incident in 101 (not the one from 1984) definitely could be an example of this. This has to do with the physical intimidation factor.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:18 PM
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If I noticed the gender or appearance of people to whom I am not married, I might perhaps agree with 137. But I'm a randy old fart. The kiddo is probably more like

Single mMoms are so darned embarrassing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:38 PM
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"Do You Realize" is way too slow to convey the mood. I do turn out to have unnecessarily generated a melody while putting these lyrics together. Does Unfogged need a chord/tab section?

Anyway, to bring it home at the end of the chorus:

Perhaps you know the word "dichotomy"?
That clearly is the term for you and me


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:57 PM
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Struggling with this issue right now! The man who dumped me recently really is a decent fellow, so I'm trying to forget that we were ever lovers and focus instead on the strong connection we had as friends. It's not easy (hott monkey sex and all that), but long-term prospects for solid friendship look good. Geography didn't help... 1,000 miles, visits at most every six weeks. Email contact has been friendly but not very personal. Sigh.

But most of my exes are now friends, or dead (seven that I know of). There's one ex (a 12-year relationship, damn glad we never married) I never want to see or hear from again, but I'm still in occasional contact w/ his family, each side never mentioning him.


Posted by: Mamie Eisenhower | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:00 PM
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Does Unfogged need a chord/tab section?

The local custom is to make us all promise to share the song and then record it as a group, one by one. Except, then don't actually do it very much beyond the super-fucking baller* drumbeat.

*Actually it was kind of lame and simple.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:01 PM
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The local custom is to make us all promise to share the song and then record it as a group, one by one. Except, then don't actually do it very much beyond the super-fucking baller* drumbeat.

I can definitely sign up for not quite getting around to actually making music. I mean, I'm already not doing it, but now I would be not doing it in a more social manner.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:24 PM
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Fleur enforces a "no contact with exes, ever" policy with me. In the last 10 years, I've run into one in an airport and sat down to a beer together, had a single email exchange with another (I congratulated her on the birth of her child), and received a mass emailing from another asking me to vote for her family member's entry in the New Yorker cartoon caption contest.

There are two, at most three that I could even envisage being friends with today (that is, still enough in common to be be interesting, and no bad blood), but I don't feel I'm missing much by not having any ongoing friendship with them.

I'm not on facebook, and to my knowledge none of my exes is on LinkedIn, so I've never dealt with that issue. Which is just as well, because one of our neighbors left her husband for an ex BF she reconnected with via facebook, so fleur would be highly wary of any facebook connections.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:27 PM
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152: Who has that damn thing, anyway? I'm now determined to add a recorder part, just for nosflow and oudemia.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:31 PM
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155: k-sky? I think.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:37 PM
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145:
I'm pretty sure there's a Stephin Merritt song happening there.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:52 PM
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to my knowledge none of my exes is on LinkedIn

Come to think of it, if one construes "ex" broadly enough to include any prior incidence of oral-genital contact, then a couple of my LinkedIn connections would qualify. But I'm not in regular contact with them.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:59 PM
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I just returned from the third dinner with an ex, broadly defined, in as many nights. They're all good people and I'm glad I can visit them when I travel.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:01 PM
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159: "Broadly defined" in the sense of 158?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:07 PM
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That's one relevant axis, yes.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:08 PM
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any prior incidence of oral-genital contact, then a couple of my LinkedIn connections would qualify

"Knecht recommends [Knecht's ex] for oral-genital contact!"


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:09 PM
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162: I think I may have mentioned one of them in this forum before: the one who asked if I would mind if she tried to seduce Fleur. (Fleur was emphatically uninterested in oral-genital contact with her, and I imagine my recommendation would not have influenced her decision in the slightest.)


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:30 PM
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...And suddenly there is a spike in viewership of my LinkedIn profile by commenters who know my RL identity...


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:36 PM
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BR and I are probably closer to my ex-fiancee's sister than the ex-fiancee is.

We also hosted a baby shower for the ex-fiancee so we are relatively close with her too.

I'm going to check to make sure that BR is not Linkdin friends with KR.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 7:27 AM
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125: Sorry Di. If it helps, parties are overrated unless it's the kind of gathering where you can get wasted, and since it's Rory we're talking about that seems unlikely*. But seriously, movies or bowling or biking or some similar activity suitable for two people in an afternoon, followed by dinner at the nicest place she likes, should probably be every bit as much fun as hosting a party.

That being said, being annoyed that Rory's changing plans behind your back, or letting UNG change them, is understandable. How old is Rory again? 144 sounds smart. Try not to take it personally.

* Disclaimer: half of what I know about single parenthood comes from a cousin I see about three times a year who has a seven-year-old son. The other half comes from Castle. Basically, I don't know what I'm talking about.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 7:38 AM
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The one ex of mine that my parents know (and know is an ex; they met another SO once, but it was while we were just friends and I'm pretty sure they think we were never more than that) cheated on me, and my family has been even less forgiving about it than I have, so all this talk about remaining close to the family of an ex or vice versa sounds simply bizarre. Although so many people are mentioning something or other like it that maybe I'm the bizarre one.

But the one who cheated on me is the one I remained friends with. My parents might be right that that was unwise of me and/or worryingly codependent, and it probably would not have happened if I had been more outgoing during or soon after our relationship, but, meh, coulda-shoulda-woulda.

Also, I'm curious how broadly people are defining "ex". It changes the numbers drastically. I assume some kind of reciprocation is necessary - just having had a crush on people don't make them exes. What more, though? If only being in a relatively long-term, committed relationship counts, then I only have three exes. If going on any dates is enough, then more than twice that.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 7:56 AM
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139: Nobody you're in a relationship with cares if you're a "good" or a "bad" person.

So, so wrong. For some people this is true, but there are a whole bunch of us out there for whom "horrible to others but nice to me" is an absolute dealbreaker. I see the point of the comment, and I think there really is something there that applies to a fair number of people, but to a whole lot of others "bad person" is up there with "has advanced untreated syphilis."

I go even further in my personal relationships in that I try to avoid anyone who shows signs of dishonesty or cruelty to others. I lack sympathy for people who involve themselves with such people on the basis that "s/he treates *me* well" - Sure, and when your lover suffers retribution from those they've wronged you get to comfort them for the pain they richly deserve. And, of course, how someone treats others is a pretty damn good indication of how they will sooner or later treat you. Most people realize this on some level.

I submit that "but I'm not a bad person" is part of an attempt to maintain a relationship, realizing that if the other party decides you are a bad person there is no hope of a relationship of any kind, romantic or friendly. It's also an implicit acknowledgment that the particular issue at hand is something that, if part of a pattern, makes you a bad person. The real problem is a black and white view of people, so that a single bad act taints the entire person.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 8:36 AM
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It's also an implicit acknowledgment that the particular issue at hand is something that, if part of a pattern, makes you a bad person. The real problem is a black and white view of people, so that a single bad act taints the entire person.

This really is the real problem. For real. To me, the problem is the a great many people hear "you really hurt me" as an accusation that "you are a horrible person and your eternal soul will surely be condemned to damnation." If I tell someone he has hurt me, I really, really, REALLY do not want to have a four hour discussion about whether he is a good or bad person deep down in his heart. I would like to have a conversation that tends to my hurt.

Or, shorter: "You hurt me" is not an invitation to a conversation about *you*.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 8:48 AM
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Also, and perhaps this is unique to me, but 9 out of 10 times if you insist on engaging me in a debate about whether you are a good or bad person, I will conclude that you are a bad person. For subjecting me to that debate.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 8:50 AM
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I would agree that it is unacceptable to date someone who is generally an actually bad person--personally, I can't get it up for homophobes and racists--but there are other categories that are more slippery. I have often dated people whose morals or character come off as unappealing to others. It is easy to think, oh this person may have had a hard time getting along with someone who cares about [whatever behavior], but maybe we would be compatible because that's not a priority for me. I'm sure a lot of people think I'm horrible, too.

I guess the distinction is between someone who is actually horrible to others, and someone who others deem horrible. It's sometimes difficult to find what part of the Venn diagram someone fits into, especially if you don't know anything about them when you start going out.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 8:58 AM
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I agree with 170 and 169. Making someone else's pain all about you is a dickish thing to do. In the moment, right when the conversation is hot, the only good thing to do is to acknowledge the other person's hurt. As a larger issue, however, it's important to get the feedback from your partner that tells you not just what you can do to be a better partner, but also what you can do to be a better person.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:01 AM
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"You hurt me" is not an invitation to a conversation about *you*.

Yes oh god yes. Most often, this ends with the person maligning his own character to the rafters. It's much easier than negotiating what to do next.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:01 AM
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171.last: My view on this is informed in part by a friend who really goes for big burly guys who like to push other people around. She finds that sort of aggressive alpha male behavior incredibly hot, so ends up in relationships with guys who, after a honeymoon period of a few weeks or months, end up treating her like shit. Over and over again.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:06 AM
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174: Ah yes. Narcissistic Exceptionalism. He cheated on his previous GF with me, but he won't cheat on me. He beats up other people, but he won't beat me up. He insults all his previous GFs' looks, but he finds me perfectly attractive. I am so special.

I have especially never understood the taste for men who are shitty about their exes' personal qualities. Does it really make you feel good to date someone who claims all his exes are ugly and dumb? Doesn't that just put you in the company of a bunch of people he dated despite thinking they're ugly and dumb?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:13 AM
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Narcissistic Exceptionalism.

I love this phrase. So precise.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:15 AM
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I have especially never understood the taste for men who are shitty about their exes' personal qualities.

Now I'm feeling a little guilty...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:18 AM
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Presumably there was a time, Di, when you did not think of UNG as UNG. But I know guys who talk about exes as if they never were attracted to them; they were just convenient. It was a source of contention with Max, who refused to admit there was anything that had ever been attractive to him about his ex-wife; she was just there and he was lonely. It's hard not to hear that as "You, AWB, are just here because I was lonely."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:23 AM
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177: But you're not a bad person!!!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:39 AM
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True, though it makes me feel all dirty to think of it. Partly that's the "demonizing" thing folks discussed above; partly that's reinterpreting early events in the light of later knowledge.

My "theme" has been to be swept up by these flamboyantly grandiose narcissists (seduced undeniably by that rush of adoration that rains down during the idealization phase) and then feel incredibly stupid once the devaluation phase kicks in that I missed all the really glaring signs. Which, were I to say all this to a new guy, must surely sound a bit like, "I really like you, but, you know, I historically have terrible judgment, so really you may be a complete dick, too."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:39 AM
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180.1 to 178...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:40 AM
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Sometimes people change, or things change, though. I have one ex where I can understand why I found her attractive -- she was both fun, and hot -- but where her other personal quantities have long since swamped those things in memory, and where now it's mystifying that we were together for a year. It's an intellectual understanding of why I found her attractive, not something that has much emotional reality for me now, iyswim. I expect if I was telling people about her now, I'd come over the same way -- like I'd never liked her at all. Especially since the 'me' that's telling the story is quite different from the 'me' that went out with her.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:40 AM
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It is rough though. What people find attractive is a whole complex of things that they react to as a gestalt the first couple of times they meet someone. And if what appeals to you is a complex of behaviors that go with being a bad person in some regard, then the people you notice as appealing are probably going to share similar flaws -- you won't notice the people who don't have those flaws.

I've got a good friend with terrible dating problems, and it's mostly that she just doesn't see guys who aren't controlling lunatics. She's got good enough self-protective skills that she gets into relationships with awful men and then gets out fast without much damage done, but she never notices anyone who isn't awful to start dating them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:41 AM
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183 to 174. I missed all the intervening comments, which largely pwn it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:42 AM
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there are a whole bunch of us out there for whom "horrible to others [even if] nice to me" is an absolute dealbreaker.

Amen.

9 out of 10 times if you insist on engaging me in a debate about whether you are a good or bad person, I will conclude that you are really immature.

Seriously. That cognitive leap from "You did something bad" to a global judgment of "You are a bad person" is IME a near-perfect indicator that the person is reacting from a very childlike or even reptile-brain part of themselves.

And "narcissistic exceptionalism" is indeed a great phrase.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:43 AM
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My "theme" has been to be swept up by these flamboyantly grandiose narcissists (seduced undeniably by that rush of adoration that rains down during the idealization phase)

I also did this for a long time. Now I have this equal and opposite intense revulsion to people who sweep in and temporarily make you the center of their world. Fucking phonies.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:45 AM
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My "theme" has been to be swept up by these flamboyantly grandiose narcissists

All libertarians, or just the most recent one?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 9:49 AM
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I've been as guilty of NE as anyone in the past, of course. It can be very flattering to think "He hates everyone but me because I am amazing!" but experience tends to show that he actually hates me too.

One of the things I really liked about the guy in 108 is that, on our two dates, he took me to parties with his friends from HS and college, and talked happily about previous relationships and what he enjoyed about them. It was pretty rhetorically effective. Here's someone who has a lot of nice, interesting, intelligent people in his life who value him!

I suppose I can see how one might use that same behavior as a warning, like "you will never be meaningful to me because I already have a billion people who love me," but I found it comforting. It's way too much pressure to feel like you're someone's only interest in life when you first meet them.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 10:01 AM
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The most recent is more a self-described Machiavellian (yeah, I know -- warning sign, right?). The Libertarian was quite awhile ago, but yes, also fits the narcisstic profile.

There was actually another flamboyantly grandiose fellow (the Passive Aggressive Wanker, who lists Atlas Shrugged as his favorite book on FB), but I turned him down after a lunch and a dinner because I had not interest at all -- so maybe I'm growing!

I *have* dated non-narcissists, too, of course. But that never lasts more than a couple of dates.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 10:01 AM
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Uh, first two dates. We saw each other longer than that.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 10:01 AM
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156: I have a couple tracks, but I think they are scattered around the internet.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 10:07 AM
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188
It was pretty rhetorically effective. Here's someone who has a lot of nice, interesting, intelligent people in his life who value him!

Heh, I know what you mean. Early on when I was dating T., the woman I'm now dating, we ran into two people I knew on two separate occasions. The first was a co-worker of mine who apparently just happens to live in T.'s neighborhood. No big deal or surprise there; I've remarked myself that I'd like to live in that neighborhood. The second, though, was bizarre coincidence. T. and I were going to the movies and as we were going down the stairs someone called my name and it was a friend I hadn't seen since college. Apparently she just moved to DC about nine months ago or so. We caught up for a few minutes there while waiting for the movie, and two weeks later I got together with her at a party she was hosting. It was all pretty cool.

After the second time running into someone I knew, I said something to T. like "this is great, it's making me look so normal!"


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 10:11 AM
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Early on when I was dating T., the woman I'm now dating

That looks redundant. I blame the editing process.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 10:12 AM
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That cognitive leap from "You did something bad" to a global judgment of "You are a bad person" is IME a near-perfect indicator that the person is reacting from a very childlike or even reptile-brain part of themselves

I feel the need to interject some caveats to this growing consensus. All behavior, of course, lies on a continuum, and it's worth noting that a certain level of defensiveness is perfectly normal.

There have certainly been times when I have reacted with, "I know that I hurt you and I'm sorry but it's also important to me to hear that you know that I did so unintentionally (for whatever reason) and that I wouldn't have done that on purpose."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 10:31 AM
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And of course, unreasonableness is a possibility in all directions. I'm not thinking about romantic relationships here, but I've had some difficulty in relationships with other family members, where behavior that's (IM, obviously biased,O) perfectly reasonable and that I'm not going to give up (not going to get specific, but imagine something along the lines of choosing your own boyfriends) is framed by a family member as hurtful to them. And in that situation, there's not much to say but "Sucks to be you, don't it. I love you anyway, but this isn't changing whether or not it hurts you."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 10:37 AM
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Or, if you're not as unpleasant a person as I am, "Sucks to be you" could be replaced by "I'm sorry you're hurt by this, but I'm not going to stop doing it."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 10:37 AM
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re: 194

I'd second this. I'd be surprised if there's anyone [and if there are, they've reached a higher plane of maturity than I'm ever likely to reach] who doesn't respond to some criticism with defensiveness.

It's crap when you hurt someone's feelings, but the fact their feelings are hurt doesn't automatically them the person whose needs have to be satisfied, and who immediately takes precedence. How often are arguments or disagreements between people who are close really so one-sided? And who is to say when or when it is not reasonable that one or other party should feel hurt, anyway? The person who reacts by getting defensive in response to a felt personal slight [whether reasonable or not] is always childish and wrong? But the person who reacts to a felt personal slight [whether reasonable or not] by expressing 'hurt' is always deserving of perfect consideration, and attention to their needs? Fuck that.

on preview, pwned by LB in 195.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 10:41 AM
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197 sounds really defensive.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 10:48 AM
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195/97: I have a brother who is -- was? he's getting better! -- prone to feeling slighted. Anything could set this off. Find yourself somewhat coincidentally at other brother's house while mother is there and decide to plan impromtu dinner? Call Slighted Brother and invite him over. He refuses to come because he feels he ought to have been invited earlier. Meet brother who works in city for drinks, because you live there? What a hateful bitch you are for not inviting Slighted Brother who lives 1.5 hours away! Etc. All that was tolerable, more or less. But when your mother, knowing that one child is a delicate flower, lobbies constantly for Slighted Brother to be apologized to (be the better person! you know how he is!) and to be issued invitations to any manner of things to which no other relatives are invited? Not even a little tolerable. The "hurt" person isn't always right.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 10:50 AM
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191: Don't a bunch of people have the basic tracks, and we're all supposedly working on our own contributions? A parallel music-making process, so no one person is the holdup? I've been working on a pedal-steel part; the holdup is my own suckiness.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 10:52 AM
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197 is true, but often a sign that a relationship shouldn't continue. My first-date dealbreaker is someone who tries to make me feel bad about things I find perfectly acceptable. I only wish people would reveal how hurt they are by these things earlier in a relationship.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 11:03 AM
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201: Yeah, that's why I think of it as a family more than a romantic issue. If you're running into that sort of situation more than very occasionally and very mildly with someone who isn't family, the solution is to stop worrying about who's right and who's wrong, and go your separate ways. Family, OTOH, you're stuck with.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 11:06 AM
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Lunch is almost over and I don't have time stay in this thread, but I just want to clarify one thing: My comment above was not at all about what Nick mentions in 194. It was very specifically about people who make a huge leap after you tell them "That thing you do was bad." They suddenly want to have a giant conversation about whether they are A Bad Person.

Holy smokes! I said what you did was bad! You can argue that it wasn't, or there were mitigating circumstances, or you can AGREE with me that it was bad. But I didn't make a global judgment about your entire character!

My global judgment about your character is based on dozens of incidents. And incidentally, this - right now - wasting time and energy reassuring you about a claim I did not make in the first place -- is another incident.

If you're worried that I think badly of you, don't regress into some kind of authoritarian child who can't distinguish between an act and the actor. Just change your behavior (or don't -- have the guts to stand up for what you did).

I am eternally grateful that zero of my closest friends and family fall into this category. It's bad enough dealing with it when I get paid to deal with it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 11:16 AM
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I really think that the whole concept of there being an objective standard of reasonableness in relationships is just a huge category error -- i.e., it's reasonable that I'm being defensive, your feeling hurt is unreasonable, etc. There is no relationship judge who can sort these things out, and no book of rules. I don't mean this anti-reasonableness rule as a normative proposition -- it would be nice if people subscribed to reasonable standards of behavior, and we could figure out what those are -- but it's just how it is. If you're in a relationship with someone, you're dealing with their personal standards for what's reasonable, like it or not. You have the option of dealing with that, or of leaving the relationship (which you can always do!).

If someone is feeling hurt, the question isn't really "is this reasonable"; rather, it's "do I feel like doing anything about this or not" (and sometimes, of course, the answer is "no," and the other person needs to understand that). Likewise, the response to someone being defensive is "can I handle this defensiveness, or not?"

Of course, we all have our internal understandings of what is and isn't reasonable. Highly educated folks like the ones on this blog tend to put particular stock in that sense of reasonableness. But it's not particularly helpful for dealing with interpersonal conflict in relationships.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 11:27 AM
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The question of how to react to "you hurt me" when you feel you did nothing wrong and the other person is being emotionally indulgent has been dealt with here before, hasn't it?

Also, internet dating: surprisingly angst free.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 11:29 AM
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I like to say stuff like "Friending my ex-best friend reveals your shriveled black heart and poisoned soul." I guess that makes sure I have friends who can take that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 11:38 AM
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204: I think what I'd argue is that sharing, to a certain extent, standards of reasonableness is one of the most important things about any relationship, dating or friends. To a certain extent, in a good relationship, you can negotiate what you need by finding intersections between reasonable desires and reasonable limitations.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 11:46 AM
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Family, OTOH, you're stuck with.

Not nearly as true as my mother would like to believe.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 11:56 AM
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I agree with 207. I just think that for most people -- especially over the long term -- it takes them less far than one might think. Shared standards of reasonableness are shockingly hard to find, even among people who seem pretty compatible. That's my take anyway.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 11:56 AM
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205.last: Internet sex: unsurprisingly oral-genital contact free.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 11:59 AM
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Communist era Polish joke referring to the officialspeak tendency to refer to the various People's Democracies as 'brothers':

"What's the difference between friends and brothers? You choose your friends, you don't choose your brothers"


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 12:03 PM
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210 Needs to do more yoga


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 12:04 PM
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212->61


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 12:07 PM
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211: Nietzsche in Human, All Too Human:

The Greeks, who knew so well what a friend is (they alone of all peoples have a deep, many-sided, philosophical discussion of friendship; so that they are the first, and thus far are the last, to consider the friend as a problem worthy of solution), these same Greeks called relatives by a term that is the superlative of the word "friend." I find this inexplicable.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 12:10 PM
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Internet sex: unsurprisingly oral-genital contact free.

Not for long: Haptic Augmented Reality.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 12:16 PM
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who doesn't respond to some criticism with defensiveness.

Well, there are also those on the opposite end of the spectrum who respond with internal self-flagellation. Which isn't at all preferable, I don't think.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 12:30 PM
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You want a relationship with someone, and they tell you you have caused them pain, your focus should be on tending to that person's pain and figuring out how to avoid future pain. It's not about whether you are a bad person until you decide to make that the subject.

I don't see really how party A's pained reaction to what party B did or said is always and necessarily any more valid than party B's defensive reaction to party A's statement of hurt. It all depends on the circumstances. For example wasn't Passive Aggressive Wanker more or less telling you that you had caused him pain by causing him to feel that he was on your shit list?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 12:49 PM
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217 brings us back to what constitutes "reasonable." I submit that PAW is not being reasonable in expecting Di to mollycoddle is feelings.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 1:09 PM
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217: Sure. And I could have gotten all defensive and told him that I was perfectly justified in shit-listing him and then laid out all the reasons he was worthy of shit-listing, and why shit-listing him didn't make me a bad person. But instead I just asked him what led him to feel that he had been shit-listed*. (And then bitched about him behind his back pseudonymously on the internet.) What would the point in getting defensive be? In this case, I don't particularly care if he thinks I'm a good person, so I don't need to prove that to him. In relationships with people who matter, I take it as a given that they consider me a good person (else why are they continuing in relationships with me?), so that can't be the point of the discussion.

Honestly, if someone tells me I've caused them pain, even if I didn't intend to, even if I can't imagine why what I did was read as hurtful, I want to try to understand where they are coming from. If it turns out to be a middle-child syndrome thing like oud's brother, then I can say, "Hey, I'm really sorry you feel that way. But here are my boundaries." And we can negotiate whether or not it's possible to go forward with a relationship from there. But getting defensive, launching into a lengthy justification for why I didn't call him three hours sooner to invite him seems unlikely to make either of us feel better.

*Turns out, I had made a FB comment in which I indicated that a discussion with a colleague had degenerated into a "men are dicks" gripe-fest. He, being a man, naturally assumed I meant him.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 1:11 PM
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Apo posted a great link regarding the concept Witt mentions in 203.

Your statement was racist is different from you are a racist.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 2:01 PM
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This?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 2:04 PM
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219.last: What a fool! Clearly you were talking about me.

219.prior: I guess where I'm getting stuck is "I want to try to understand where they are coming from" seems a bit different to me than "tending to that person's pain and figuring out how to avoid future pain".

Sometimes where someone is coming from is that they're accusing you of hurting them for manipulative purposes, and you'll never figure out how to avoid future pain because they find being pained by you useful in some way.

What would the point in getting defensive be?

You could also ask "what would the point in getting hurt be?" Emotions and feelings don't necessarily have a point. Also, if what' being said, either explicitly or implicitly, is "you hurt me on purpose", and the hurt was unintentional, I don't see how at least some defensiveness can be avoided.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 2:05 PM
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Also, in arguments or disagreements with people, it is important for them to remember that my feelings are more important than their feelings. I also try to make sure that I mention my feelings first so that in responding with their feelings, they are being jerks by not addressing my feelings.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 2:07 PM
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yes, apo! Thanks!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 2:08 PM
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Sometimes where someone is coming from is that they're accusing you of hurting them for manipulative purposes, and you'll never figure out how to avoid future pain because they find being pained by you useful in some way.

Oh, believe me. I know this. What I have found, however, is that the instinctive defensive reaction is more often than not precisely the reaction I am manipulatively being baited into giving. If the other person's concerns are valid, the defensive thing can be insensitive and self-absorbed. If they are full of crap, the defensive reaction is just plays right into those manipulative bastards' hands.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 2:19 PM
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Nobody's mentioned impulse controil and inconsistency-- weak good intentions are pretty common. They're often overriden by something stronger. How to view the mixed bag and negotiate imperfect trust is the hard part.

It's easy to imagine someone else's motivations and react to that imagined agent rather than to an actual confusing person.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 2:23 PM
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can't really ask kids to two parties

You should let the kids at your party drink and smoke.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 2:34 PM
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226.last is good, though I would add "and confused" before "person."

Realizing that other people are often just as confused as I am not only about the situation but also about their own desires and feelings was a huge insight for me. Shouldn't have taken as long in coming as it did, but...


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 2:57 PM
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226, 228: True. But we mustn't lost sight of the fact that some people really are just bad people.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 2:59 PM
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229: No I'm not!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 3:17 PM
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Is there a useful distinction between weak and bad?

I think there is. I feel that compassion is extremely important, something to cultivate. I have no problem treating bad people badly, cutting them off from both good intentions and good deeds, but it's not a decision to take lightly. Most bad acts are a product of weakness in my experience, best course there is to withdraw without rancor. The corner cases are mental ilness and addiction, no platitudes help much there.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-12-10 3:32 PM
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