Is a breakup ever pleasant?

February 20, 2008 6:36 PM

Aftermath of a breakup
signalstation @ flickr

I just read this morning that Pink has separated from her husband. In the announcement by her PR was this little gem:

This decision was made by best friends with a huge amount of love and respect for one another

While the marriage is over, their friendship has never been stronger.

“Pink’s two-year marriage over” – People – Entertainment –

It seems to me that in the celeb world, there are two standard cliches. You either have “irreconcilable differences” or the break up was “mutual and we remain good friends”. So it’s either you had a really bad relationship breakdown, or the best outcome from a breakup ever. There’s no in between.

The nicer outcome seems to indicate that there is a possibility that breakups can be a pleasant experience, as opposed to the depression, anxiety, and anger that can accompany the act of two people no longer wanting to be together. Note that I’m not talking about what happens after the breakup – given time, people can reconcile and most remain civil to one another. I’m specifically talking about the act of breaking up. Even if you are a warm hearted and forgiving person, you have to admit that breaking up is not the nicest thing to go through.

The other thing that I don’t see happening much in the real world is people remaining, or becoming really good friends after a breakup. Civil yes, but “friendship has never been stronger”?

I will allow “friends”, but “good friends” is a bit too much. The situation in Seinfeld with Jerry and Elaine is not the norm. If two people started out as good friends before becoming lovers, then maybe they can remain friendly after. But even then, not as “good friends” – I don’t believe that two people will automatically fall back down to the level they were at before the relationship went from platonic to amorous.

I’ve talked about this previously. Not only can I not be friends with an ex, I also don’t keep anything that might remind me of an ex. But then I am just a cynical bastard. 😉

10 thoughts on “Is a breakup ever pleasant?

  1. girlstar7

    Yeah, I read about Pink and her husband splitting up; what a surprise! Yet another celebrity couple split up….it seems like none of them EVER stay together.
    RE: being friends with an ex. I’ve written about this before. I am friends with my first serious boyfriend as we were friends first. However, I don’t know if you’d say we are GOOD friends. We catch up once every few months or so. Whilst we do get along very well and there is no animosity between us, nor sexual tension, I couldn’t be best friends with him. It would just be too hard. Meeting subsequent boyfriends/girlfriends is just a bit too strange.
    THus, I would have to agree with you. the Jerry/Elaine situatio is definitely NOT the norm, and I don’t think it could work in real life.

  2. mooiness Post author

    girlstra7: yeah, friends but not “good” friends. And no one should expect that to happen anyway. You can’t be true friends once the sexual boundary has been crossed.

    Lupin: you just made me look long winded then. Hahah!

  3. blur ting

    It’s hard even trying to remain civil after a bad breakup. Even in a ‘good’ breakup, trying to remain friends is quite a stretch. The awkwardness is still there.

    That’s why, until now, I still can’t understand how people can remain good friends after a breakup. Unless of course, the reason for the breakup was because they had drifted apart and lost that passion, but they still can get along as friends.

    If I’m dating a guy who’s still good friends with an ex, there is always a fear that they may rekindle their love for each other. We’re all made of flesh and blood afterall.

  4. mooiness Post author

    steph: yeah exactly. Worse still are the exes who insist on remaining in your lives because of mutual friends.

    blur ting: about dating a person who’s good friends with an ex, they are abnormal and therefore you should not be dating them in the first place. Hahah! But yeah, it’s very hard to accept even when one’s usually trusting because you may know how your partner behaves, but you know nothing about the ex.

  5. Katie

    I don’t think I would be able to remain friends with Phill if we broke up – it would be too hard. Which is a pity because I think he’d be a great friend. It’s weird how we could have been friends if we didn’t date, but once we’ve dated we can’t be friends. Strange. Now I’m confused. 😛

  6. mooiness Post author

    Katie: it’s a one-way street unfortunately – there’s no turning back after you’ve crossed that line. Probably why there’s a lot of frustrated ppl out there who’d make a good couple but are afraid to give it a go because they don’t want to ruin the friendship that they have, in case things don’t work out.

  7. alyndabear

    All I know is that with my ex? I was already done by the time we broke up, so hanging around wouldn’t have solved anything. Cutting all ties was the best way to go!

    As for Jason and I.. well, I’d love to say we would be mates after this long together if something went astray, but I really don’t know.


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