Relationships and Exes

In the past 8 or so years I have dated 3 people. In thinking about what sentence to write next I realize that most of these relationships were long distance ones. A and I were in an open, long distance relationship for a year. M and I started our relationship online, which ended 3 weeks after he moved to Ghana. The most recent relationship ended last week, that too had been a relationship filled with countless whatsapp messages, emails and voice notes. Ironically, I’ve never believed in long distance relationships. What’s the point of a relationship when you can’t physically be with a person is what I’ve always thought, and yet I’m beginning to wonder if these long distance relationships fill a certain emotional need that my more immediate physical/sexual relationships don’t. Whether that long distance commitment makes me somehow more aware that, this person really cares for me or they’re not just into me because they want to fuck me.

The relationship with A ended because I started spending hours (sometimes up to 6 hours at a time) gchatting with M. Somehow we started imagining a life together. I remember him saying, “If we are together in a year’s time you will definitely be pregnant.” His confidence and sense of possessiveness sent a thrill through my body, never mind that I had never seen what M looked like, or that I had no idea what he sounded like. When I met M for the first time in the lobby of the African Regent Hotel I wasn’t quite sure what to feel. After we hung out that evening I still wasn’t sure what to feel. I did know what to feel when we had sex though. His sex game was pretty much amazing – except that he never came, so after fucking and fucking and fucking I would begin to feel sore. Plus we didn’t have much in common. At the time I was into concerts, parties and events, and he was not interested in going out much, besides he didn’t have money to go out, and lived so far out of Accra that Trotros did not run to his area past a certain time of the night. 3 weeks after we had met in person I had to get ready for a work trip to NYC, which is the same city where A lived. I knew I would want to hook up with A again and because at the time I was determined to never cheat in a relationship I broke up with M. I could see wetness in M’s eyes when I told him my decision, he wanted me to promise that I wasn’t going to sleep with M when I saw her. I think I said something along these lines:

We’re breaking up. It’s not going to be any of your business who I sleep with.

That was a truth and a lie. The trigger for breaking up with him (although I had realized that the relationship was going nowhere) was knowing I was going to see A. And A and I had always had an amazing relationship and great sex.

I remember he said something along these lines:

Next time you start a relationship make sure there is no one waiting on the sidelines.

Those words have stuck with me over the years. For the most part it feels like I always have people on the sidelines. Loverships that fizzled away, buddyships that ended. Yet almost always staying friends with those past lovers. Wanting to maintain the friendship without the sex. Sometimes hollering at past lovers because I want to have sex, and I know exactly what sex with them would be like. A sure banker – safe, pleasurable, satisfaction guaranteed.

What do you tend to do when your relationship ends? Do you try and maintain a friendship or do you cut the person off completely?

Photography by Kwaku David
Photography by Kwaku David

8 comments On Relationships and Exes

  • Humph. It ALWAYS depends on who the ex is. With Douche Bag, I try to have as little conversation as possible. He’s the exception. My other exes and I all have great, enduring friendships. I think maturity has some part to play in it, and how much you’ve invested emotionally.

    Sounds like M was heavily invested.

  • with all my ex i maintained just a small level of friendship. dat is maturity like malaka said. But for me i don’t think I will go back to an ex for sex. its a no no something, because if the relationship ended it was something dat definitely ended it, and am never ready to visit dat moment again.
    And sometimes some men talk about sex and dey don’t know a thing. It’s disappointing. I know dat feeling.

  • It’s always difficult to draw the lines when you’ve been good together in the past. But I think it comes down to maturity and respect for the decisions made. I don’t think M is your man if you can’t define your feelings for him. For me, exes come with undefined baggage. I’m open to heat of the moment adventures but not permanent stay.

  • I haven’t had much experience having been in only one relationship (not counting my current one), when that one ended I cut all ties with the ex. It was mostly for my own wellbeing as it had got to a stage where any encounter with the ex even while in the relationship but towards the end would give me panic attacks. I’ve always wondered if I would be able to maintain friendship after a breakup, and I do think it depends on the person and the relationship.

  • @Malaka – MASI Lol, as for you and Douche Bag that’s a whole different story. In fact an entire book. What I’m also interested in exploring is the amount of sexual tension that continues to exist between you and an ex after the relationship has ended and you are now ‘friends’. What do you think? Are exes dangerous to current relationships? My head says no but…

    @sey – Hahahah, you took the conversation to a whole other level. True, the way some men talk about sex makes you think they are going to be the best thing since bofrot and koko but the reality can be somewhat disappointing indeed. Especially when we have been falsely socialised to expect men to ‘initiate’ us into [great] sex. So you’ve never had sex with an ex before eh? Interesting.

    @Kay – I like that phrase, “heat of the moment adventures but not permanent stay”

    @cosmicyoruba – You know I am interviewing you when I see you next right? Now back to your comment. You are absolutely right of course. With unhealthy relationships one just needs to let go completely. Unfortunately people are not always able to do that even when they absolutely need to so I am glad you did what you needed to for your own well being

  • An ex is an ex for a reason. However, some relationships can remain friends and others need to be completely cut-off. Time will only tell an individual how they should proceed after a break-up. Personally my exes prefer to cut me off!

  • Definitely depends on the ex, for the past 12 years (6 yrs out of that married), I have slept with the same 3/4 people. It is safe, you know what to expect; both the sex and the drama. There is comfort in familiarity lol. Recently single, I just knew i was more likely to end up with an ex than try a new person and that I did!Just for sex though. I am still contemplating venturing into the jungle that Accra’s dating scene is

  • For most of the time it depends on how the relationship ended. If it ended on an acrimonious mode, best believe I won’t be looking for your shadow anywhere!
    However I have gone to some ex’s for that ? sex!
    Most of the time, I’m quite polite with my ex’s. I won’t vigorously search for you, however if you say hi, I won’t hesitate to respond

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