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Dead or Alive

Let’s cut to the chase, shall we?  There seems to be 2 schools of thought. In one, people break up and never, ever, EVER, speak to their ex again.  Jane Wonder wrote a fabulous post on this and labeled the method, Dead to Me (I’ve since mentioned it repeatedly on this site).

Other people try to stay friends with their .  Or stay in their lives in some meaningful way (which is a necessity if there are kids involved, but otherwise would seem to be a choice).

I’ve wavered between the two, rather unsuccessfully.  I gotta say, I plan on going back to Dead to Me if there is ever another ex for me to deal with. It was much, much easier.  Not that it was easy.  It wasn’t.

Anyway, this seems to be a topic that bubbles up pretty much constantly.  How do you deal with your ex(es)?  Do you keep them around as friends (or something) or make them Dead to You?  I wanna know.

How do you deal with break-ups?

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12 to “Dead or Alive”


  1. Terry says:

    Certainly depends on how it ends – doesn’t it?

    My ex-wife– a lovely person, and fellow physician. We talk on the phone a couple of times a month. She is smart, interesting, and a great friend. There is no agenda- and we both wish each other happiness.

    On the other hand- there are those who you break up with that still hold any grudge and might magnify any action. Those who if you are slightly friendly to might interpret that as “you still want me.” Those who are so scorned their life is consumed by revenge and hatred. OK- I have one of those – and it is a horrid situation. Someday – someday soon- I will have to tell that story.

    I don’t see you, Simone, as someone who holds a grudge – but could make a transition, if needed. In fact- one rule to live by when thinking about getting serious in a relationship — is my exit strategy friendship or burn the fields.

  2. Jane Wonder says:

    First of all, thanks for the shout out.

    Second, you know how I voted. I think it’s cleaner and it avoids a lot of pitfalls you don’t always necessarily see coming. I’m not saying you can’t be friends with an ex. And I truly believe Terry and people like him when they say they can. I personally cannot, and I know this makes me the smaller person, but I’m okay with it.

    For instance, I’m over my ex-husband. I’m over what happened, I accept everything, and I’ve moved on. And aside from episodes of physical violence with me (as his wife) he is a nice guy. But we are not friends and that is by my doing. Because he’s re-married now and I would always wonder why he treated me that way and not her. And frankly, neither he nor I need to deal with that anymore. So I simply don’t.

  3. I wish I could do the “dead to me”, but unfortunately we work together and see each other every day. It is painful and awkward. A small, bitter part of me wishes it was so painful and awkward that he would get a new job, but then he would really be out of my life and do I want that?

  4. Oldguy says:

    I must keep in some contact with my first wife as we have a “special needs” daughter. We are polite but I would not say friendly.
    I also have on occasion had contact with a few ex GF’s long after the “Break-up”. Nothing heavy, just maybe coffee say 10 years after.

  5. Sam says:

    I tried the “friend” thing with my most recent ex for a whole 10 months. But let’s face it, we weren’t friends, we were lovers. Old habits die hard.

    When I finally woke up and realized I wasn’t moving on, I made him dead to me. And you know what? As hard as it was for the first few days, very quickly after that I felt a HELL of a lot better!

    I’m lucky because he lives in another country. If we worked together I’d be screwed. A good reason not to get involved with people at work!!

  6. Sweet Dee says:

    I think it really depends on how the relationship ended and for what reasons. If he cheated on you, then for sure he is dead to me. But if it ended peacefully and for legitimate reasons, then why let the love you had go to waste? Why not try to salvage it and turn it into a new friendship and maybe even a better relationship than you’ve had before? This is ideal for me and I’ve actually never been able to actually accomplish it- definitely not due to lack of trying, though!

    • Jonsi says:

      Aside from being dishonest with me, the quickest way to become dead to me is if you don’t leave me alone after dumping me. I make it clear, “the only way we can be friends is if we take time and space apart. I have to be 100% over you. Right now, I am far too emotionally attached to you, and attempting a friendship will just keep me attached, confuse me, and prevent me from moving on. When I am ready, I will let you know, and I will have no ulterior motives. Please, give me the space I need to heal.” The only ones who I’ve managed to keep in my life are the ones who have listened. It takes several months space, not days or weeks. The only way I can be friends is if I could see her with another guy, shake his hand, wish them both well and genuinely mean it without feeling jealous or inadequate. Anything less is not a friendship.

  7. Debi says:

    Well I started teh friendship pocition @ breakup. However changed due to the actions of the ex. Lucky he did walk in front of my car…lol

  8. Amy says:

    Aside from being dishonest with me, the quickest way to become dead to me is if you don’t leave me alone after dumping me. I make it clear, “the only way we can be friends is if we take time and space apart. I have to be 100% over you. Right now, I am far too emotionally attached to you, and attempting a friendship will just keep me attached, confuse me, and prevent me from moving on. When I am ready, I will let you know, and I will have no ulterior motives. Please, give me the space I need to heal.” The only ones who I’ve managed to keep in my life are the ones who have listened. It takes several months space, not days or weeks. The only way I can be friends is if I could see her with another guy, shake his hand, wish them both well and genuinely mean it without feeling jealous or inadequate. Anything less is not a friendship.

  9. Dazediva says:

    I voted that it depends on the details of the break-up. Over the years, I’ve found myself being friends with some of my exes. If the relationship wasn’t particularly serious and the break up was mutual, we’ve remained friends .. actually I’ll rephrase and say ‘acquaintances’ i.e. we will communicate randomly via FB or Email on birthdays.

    There are a few exes where we are actually friends, have regular conversations, and are just happy for each other. One of them is married, and I was even invited for his wedding. Now I just need to make sure his wife likes me haha

    The most recent ex from 2 years ago, who I was head over heels in love with and wanted to marry .. well we broke up, actually he broke up with me because his ‘bro & sis didn’t like me’ … yeah he’s DEAD to ME ..

    So it really just depends on how the relationship ended and if both people are mature enough to pursue a friendship after that.

  10. when I brake up with someone they dont even exist anymore I dont speak to them in public nothing, i’ve closed that chapter. If i couldnt date you why should i be friends with you? If we could have been friends we would have been friends from before.
    The good thing is I have no kids so i cant delete the person from my phone book and my life!!!! thank God

  11. CJ says:

    Eh, it depends. I’m incredibly close with one ex, but our situation was unique: we’d been together for two years, loved each other, but had both been drifting apart romantically for awhile. We broke up by mutual agreement, and remained friends ever since. I’m going to be in his wedding next year and couldn’t be more pleased.

    I’m friendly with other exes, but we don’t really communicate or hang out.

    I live a relatively drama-free life.