I need some straight male perspective here: Do straight men try to stay friends with the women they break up with? My guess is that they don't.
This afternoon I saw a guy across a busy street who looked just like someone I dated a while back. It wasn't him, but the sighting reminded me that I'd not seen or talked to said ex-boyfriend in a long time. Which got me thinking that I tend not to stay in touch with my exes; I think that this puts me in the minority over here in gay world.
Generally, I'd say that gay men go for civil breakups with the intent to "stay friends." As in, "We were a couple yesterday. Today we're not. But we're still friends."
I'm not very good at being friends with a BF after the break up, but a lot of gay men put a lot of effort into it. Is it what we're supposed to do? Why? Is this somehow more evolved? Some higher standard of perfection and maturity? Are gay guys just supposed to be more nurturing or just try harder?
I'm not talking about couples with children; that's an entirely different story and I appreciate those painful efforts to get along. Nor am I talking about having a few dates and discovering that the romantic chemistry just isn't there, but he's a perfectly nice guy. I've made a few friends that way.
I don't wish ill upon any of the men I've seriously dated or been in relationships with. I just don't need to hang out with them. Or exchange Christmas cards. I don't cross the street when I see them, but I don't need a lot of conversation/contact either.
About a year ago, I attended a charity event and who is the first person I see but a guy I'd been in a serious relationship with. Four years serious. We had a surprisingly nice time talking; it didn't hurt that neither of us knew anyone else in the room. Also attending the event was an acquaintance who I met post-break up. Knowing nothing about the past, he said, "You two really got on. Why don't you ask him on a date?" Well. . . because while it was a nice time and he did look sexy, something about our conversation had begun taking the frustrating turn of reminding me why we broke up. I didn't feel sad -- I felt reassured.
What is it?: That there's a difference between being friendly and being friends? That there's enough gay men in my world that ex-boyfriends don't need to be in my cell phone contacts? That I don't need to prove that my relationships were serious by saying, "Look, here's proof. . . we're still friends."
Straight Folks: Do you take post-breakup friendships as the higher ground? Gay Folks: Am I just imagining this?