Exene Cervenka Gives Advice
DEAR EXENE: My question for you is (of course) about a man. I broke up with my boyfriend about five months ago and am having a really hard time letting go. We broke up because he had some unresolved issues (namely, his divorce wasn't final), and it was wearing on our relationship that he was taking his sweet time to finalize it. At first, I cut off all communication because it was what I needed to do to get over it, but recently, we started talking again and have been talking all the time (mostly via text and email). I'm starting to have feelings again. He has also asked me a few times to get together, and so far, I've refused. It's so hard because he was my friend first and I've known him for a long time. I wish I didn't have to lose that entirely, but I also know I can't be with him because even though his divorce is officially final now, dating him made me realize he is more than a tad bit screwed up emotionally and just not what I need in my life from a significant other. Do you think the friendship is salvageable? Should I make the effort to try to be friends and ignore my romantic feelings, or should I just cut it off completely and let the friendship go for good?
DEAR TORN: Did he initiate the new communication? If so, red flag. After the painful breakup is healed and you've moved on, here he comes again. The nice version, the considerate, apologetic version, the guy who does all the things and says all the things he knows you want to see and hear again. And you start thinking, maybe he wasn't so bad, and we should give it another try. I think it's a game because whenever it works, and the couple gets back together, he messes it up again! (And usually the same way as before: cheating, lying, drinking or whatever the problem used to be.) Then you have to get over him all over again, and now you are really mad at him—and, worse, mad at yourself. Do you have the time to waste on this? Do you desire emotional turmoil and disappointment? In your letter, you said, "I also know I can't be with him." There's your answer. You don't need me to tell you what you already know.
This column appeared in print as 'Should I Cut It Off Completely?'
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