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Why Can't We Be Friends?

Illustration by Inslee Haynes

There are a few random things in life that I just don't understand, one of them is why does the food packaging marketed towards children have happy faces on it? Why would anyone (children included) want to eat something that has a face on it? Another is why no one has ever questioned the absurdity of the opening lyric to Michael Jackson's "Bad", and finally the eighth wonder of my tiny world is why ex-boyfriends always want to remain friends, especially the ones who have dumped your ass. What gives?

Picking up where we last left off earlier this week, after a lovely week in Montauk, I came back to my mom's house to find this waiting for me in my Facebook inbox:

Salut Cocotte,

Are you capable of finally putting aside your precious pride and accept my offer to have a few drinks with me? Are you ready to be friends with me?

Bise. MF. 

Ça suffit! He has been pushing this damn friendship since the break-up in February 2011! At first, I thought it was a polite formality, something to say to soften the blow of him rejecting me. It wasn't until he was actually showing up at my apartment with to-go cafe noisettes from La Perle, and wanting to gossip about the Marais townies as if we weren't in a monogamous relationship weeks prior, was when I realized that he wasn't just being nice, he really did want to be friends. Hashtag what the eff. This recent e-mail only confirms that he still stands strong in his conviction to be my friend. So to recap: I wasn't good enough to marry but I'm good enough to be friends with. Oh joy, what every woman wants to hear...

What MF apparently isn't getting is that we didn't break-up with the understanding that the relationship had run its course, we both grew, and will now remain the dearest of friends. We don't live in Hollywood where the details of our break-up is a pile of b.s manufactured by our overpaid publicists. Don't you hate when you read about a celebrity couple breaking up and that they are parting as close friends? I'm sorry but when a break-up happens there is always, always, always one person who doesn't want it, and anyone who says different is lying, celebrities included. I'm not saying that you can't be friends with someone who has dumped you, perhaps years later it can happen, but right after? You're only fooling yourself to trick them back into the relationship. I know that because I tried that during the early stages of the break-up with MF, and found myself getting pissed at him for not wanting to cuddle...naked. Friends don't do that.

I thought about ignoring the e-mail, like I have his last three but there is so much that I have kept locked up that I wanted him to know, now that I have completely moved beyond the plausibility of reuniting romantically. And just to be clear about something, it wasn't so much the break-up that I am angry about, I get it, break-ups happen. It's what happened after, him forcing the friendship when all I wanted to do was sort everything out alone.

I constructed a well thought-out e-mail with bullet points targeting each reason why we can't be friends, and wishing him the best (which between you and I, I only half meant). After sending it, I felt good. I didn't once worry what he would think about me, was I too harsh or was I too nice? No. I sent it with no regrets. He should know exactly why a friendship isn't in our foreseeable future. To answer his question, why can't we be friends? Because if your friendship is anything like you in a relationship, I'll take a pass, mais merci.

He wrote back a day later and this is when my heart just crumbled...

25 comments:

  1. Oh, that cliffhanger again! Mary Kay and I were discussing the last one in feverish excitement :) I hope crumbled is a bit of poetic licence though my dear, you're completely right that you don't need him as a friend and you've moved on to better things x

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    1. No, I don't mean to make it all dramz with a cliffhanger! I just want to shorten my posts, and the only way to do that is to break up the story. Sorry! I'll let you know this week!

      Yes, I was sad by his follow up email. I couldn't help it. It doesn't change how I feel or my resistance to his friendship, but he did open up some wounds. It happens...

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  2. Two people who truly loved each other cannot remain friends. (Well, at least ONE of them can't.) It's disrespectful to the subsequent partners and it's a request not founded out of true friendship or love. It's a sign of this man's immature character (and quite cruel to his current partner, if he has one) that he wants to remain interlaced with you in any way, shape of form. You don't need that kind of energy now.

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    1. The thing is that I am capable of being friends with an ex (years later of course) but the nice ones that during the run of the relationship weren't jerks. I have a laundry list of exes that I will never speak to again because of how disgusting they were. The nice guys, I stay in light contact with and even have an acquaintanceship with their new wives! Really...

      I hope MF doesn't have a girlfriend! If so, I feel very sorry for her...

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  3. What a manipulative bastard.

    And yes, I hope "crumbled" does not indicate you feel any sort of pity for this Parisian prick! You've come so far.

    When is the next episode airing?! I need to know what happened!

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    1. He doesn't realize what he is doing. This I do know. His ego doesn't understand why I wouldn't want to be his friend. It's mind boggling to him.

      His follow up email just made me a bit sad, that's all...

      Check in next week for the follow up!

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  4. dude is a serious nutty buddy. Does he want to get together and reminisce about that one time he refused to give you your jacket back? Or that time you caught him with his "friend" you were suspicious about? Yeah, I'm sure you can laugh about it now. It was just so silly. Maybe you can invite the chick that robbed you and Phil too. Sounds like fun times!

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    1. "Maybe you can invite the chick that robbed you and Phil too. Sounds like fun times!"

      Emily in Exile, you crack me up! Well put!:)

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    2. His ego can't handle the fact that I don't want him in my life. I mean, how could I not? After all, he is THAT great that I would forget about everything he did, and have a lifelong friendship with him. Of course all on his terms.


      LOL! That sounds like a party!! I'll also invite those witchy American girls who I thought were my friends too! Party time! Now that's a group of people I trust my life with. You're hysterical Em! :)

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    3. what a nightmare....he's proved over and over again that he is a complete douche bag. It's funny now, but I'm sure it wasn't funny at all a year ago.

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  5. You know...you have the right to choose your friends..he hasn't earned the right to be one of yours and it sounds to me like you have plenty enough without him...

    bon weekend!!

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    1. Way to go, Debs! Well said!:)

      By the way, I've been pretty silent of late. The return has been good, but brutal:) (New old job and Master's combined make the Duchesse something something...;))

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    2. Thanks Debbie! Perfectly put! Who needs that extra drama? I cut out a lot of fat these past few years with toxic unsupportive friends. I'm not about to put my new high standards aside for him.

      Bon week-end à vous aussi!

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  6. Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! C'est pas vrai. C'est pas possible. This bit alone "Are you capable of finally putting aside your precious pride..." would have had me fuming. How arrogant!

    I hope you didn't crumble because you felt bad or felt that he deserved any amount of your time. You're doing too well to allow any toxic energy back into your life.

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    1. Ouais! Ouais! Ouais! C'est vrai!!!

      I know, how annoying was that pride comment?! I put my pride aside for him MANY times. He is delusional if he thinks my resistance is all a little game I'm playing. It's very real, I don't see a point in being friends.

      His follow up e-mail just made me sad, that's all. Nothing will change in my decision to move on. Don't worry!

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  7. Ahhh Cliffhanger! You have me on the edge of my seat!

    xo

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    1. I really didn't mean to! I'm just trying to shorten my posts, I know I have a tendancy to write reallllllly long ones. So I thought if I broke up the story, it would be easier on your eyes.

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  8. That guy is a manipulative asshole starved for attention. He wants to keep you in standby for if or when he needs you. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more selfish or narcissistic person around.

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    1. Maybe, maybe not. I think he sincerely doesn't understand why we can't be friends. He has asked me why I stay in touch with my exes Jeff and Simon, and I guess wants to be put in that category because I hold them both in such high regards.

      But he is no Jeff and certainly no Simon. Those guys didn't do half of the things he did. If anything, it was me who was the troublemaker in those relationships. I'm grateful that they keep ME around!

      Like my Aunt Terry said, he just likes to have a fan club and feels uneasy knowing that someone doesn't think he's that great...my friends and family included. That's whats killing him. Pffff.

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  9. I've always thought the "can't we be friends" line was a way for the dumper to feel less guilty about their actions. Like "I just broke your heart, but hey, let's keep in touch". I find it mostly a selfish action, like the person still cares about you but not enough to be WITH you. It's something I've been trying to explain to K for the past year actually - that it is almost impossible to be friends when the parting isn't on mutual terms, but I think I've finally come to the realization that because the dumper didn't get their heart broken, they literally cannot understand how painful it is for the dumpee to spend time with them. I guess it's one of those things you can't understand until you live it for yourself.

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    1. Yeah, I thought that he was just saying it to assuage his own guilt but when he was actually following through with it, I was confused! And I agree, it is selfish, it's their way of keeping you in their lives for all the fun times. They get the best parts of you without having to invest anymore.

      In K's situation, it's so sad because she really does have good intentions and meant no harm, but I understand why M couldn't continue as friends after 5 years together.

      As for MF, I don't want to be friends because he was a complete jerk. I am capable of moving beyond a break-up. As a matter off fact, I am friends with a guy who dumped me in LA several years ago. I was devastated but he didn't act like a complete ass after the break-up, he let us part and when he reconnected with me a year later, he was apologetic and understood if I didn't respond. Unlike like MF where he was accusing me of being proud and insinuating that I am playing games. Way to get bees with honey MF!

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  10. AnonymousJune 09, 2012

    He is a sociopath. Don' fall for it cause the minute you do his true colors will surface once again. As long as you allow him to toy with your emotions he will. He loves every minute of causing you misery. You and Seb deserve better.

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    1. He's just misguided. I promise that I won't fall for it. Seb and I have such a lovely and quiet life together, and don't need things to be shaken up by the presence of an ex!

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  11. AnonymousJune 09, 2012

    I hope among your bullets the word pathetic arose a number of times. He is pathetic for continuing to try to wiggle his way into your life again. As you said, one time, ok. But when you've made your stance clear he makes his pathetic manipulative ways clearer.

    Am frustrated with the cliff hanger -- I hope your heart crumbled as in "why can't this a$$hole get the message opposed to any broken heart sadness. You deserve better.

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    1. No, I was civil. I really wanted him to see what he has done and to not get sidetracked by insults. His actions are more powerful than any four-letter word I can throw his way.

      The annoying thing is that I really think that he doesn't get it, and that he has done NOTHING wrong. That is the reason I will not be his friend...ever.

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