How long do you keep an ex- out of circulation, on the shelf as it were, before you consider him or her released to the general community? How long would you have to have broken up with an ex before you’d want a good friend to date him or her?
Does it depend on how long you dated?
How long ago you dated?
How deep the relationship went?
Back in my dating days, one friend introduced me to a former boyfriend and knew we’d exchanged numbers but then got upset when we began to date. “I didn’t expect you to actually go out,” she lamented. Across from the spectrum, another friend had quite a serious relationship with my husband many years before I knew either of them yet she doesn’t seem to have minded a bit because he was released from her heart years before.
I have a couple of friends who have married or had serious relationships with former beaus of mine. Just because they didn’t work out for me doesn’t mean they might not work out for them or someone else.
I’ve tried to pass along a couple of former boyfriends, who were really good guys but just weren’t right for me, to people I’ve thought they’d be more compatible with. (Reading this, I am struck by how possessive this sounds. I have to get over myself!) One friend rejected the offer to be introduced outright because she couldn’t date someone another friend had been intimate with – no matter that 15 years had passed since the relationship existed.
Hey, especially as concerns U.S. Blacks and women over a certain age, I don’t believe in hoarding the supply of available good guys. Release them, sisters. Let ‘em go forth because there’s a whole lot of good women waiting for the too few good men.
“The marriage rate for African Americans has been dropping since the 1960s, and today, we have the lowest marriage rate of any racial group in the United States. In 2001, according to the U.S. Census, 43.3 percent of black men and 41.9 percent of black women in America had never been married, in contrast to 27.4 percent and 20.7 percent respectively for whites. African American women are the least likely in our society to marry. In the period between 1970 and 2001, the overall marriage rate in the United States declined by 17 percent; but for blacks, it fell by 34 percent. Such statistics have caused Howard University relationship therapist Audrey Chapman to point out that African Americans are the most uncoupled people in the country.” From ‘Marriage Is for White People’ by Joy Jones, published in Washington Post, 3/26/06.
I have many friends who don’t want to be married, but for every one who doesn’t want marriage, there are a number who do even though they’ve given up on it as a remote possibility for their lives.
So, if a relationship has ended…truly ended…release that ex into the realm of possibility for someone else – like one of your friends. The more happiness there is in the world, the more there can be.