As a new reader, I would be curious to know if you've covered the notion of one's significant other going on a separate vacation with an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend turned "just friend"?Wary
Short answer: No, I haven't covered it. Mostly because it seems kind of nuts and, more important, nobody's ever asked about it before.
Long answer: I'm not one of those women who stays friends with ex-boyfriends. I mean, guys I just dated (cough) a few times and then we split on good terms—fine. I'm still friendly with several men I slept with, but we never had a particularly close bond to start with. But those with whom I've been seriously involved? No fucking way. I have enough friends—I don't need any more. Especially someone who has most likely pissed me off, made me cry, and—hopefully—at some point witnessed my "O" face. (Think Linda Blair in The Exorcist, minus projectile pea soup.)
It's been my experience that when a guy suggests we remain friends after a breakup, it's either because he still wants the option of sleeping with me or he's one of those men (and really, this condition seems to be male-specific) who can't stand the idea of someone out there thinking he's a jerk. Even if he is one.
I went out with one youngster whose entire MySpace friends list is made up of women he's fucked (over) and then wooed back into his life playing the friend card. In the brief time we were together, I saw how well this was working out for him—hysterical midnight phone calls, mixed signals, a lot of annoying drama. But I guess he gets a thrill out of feeling like da man or something. Yawn.
I get the point of remaining civil—especially if you have kids. I realize that not everybody feels the way I do, and it's not always for shady reasons. In fact, much to my annoyance, my live-in boyfriend has remained friends with pretty much every woman he's slipped it in and can't fathom why this irritates me. (Because I'm a petty, jealous bitch, OK?) He even dragged me along to one charming ex-girlfriend's baby shower. I don't even like to go to baby showers for people I like, so this was a supreme sacrifice on my part and one he has yet to stop hearing about.
So, no, I wouldn't react well if he suddenly announced he was taking a little trip with some bimbo he used to bang. That would be the end of us, and it would be loud. Which brings me to my question: This is your boyfriend. Why doesn't he want to go on vacation with you? Does he not see this as a potentially hurtful proposition? Because I can think of very few people who'd be OK with their partner leaving them home while they jet off with someone they used to bump uglies with. So if he's trying to tell you you're uptight for not going along with the plan, ignore him. He's asking a lot of you. Most women (not me, of course) would've already changed the locks and had a bonfire with his clothing.
Normally, when I get a question I feel too disconnected from personally to answer, I send out a mass e-mail, looking for insights from my extremely wise and enlightened group of friends. Except I know my pals too well, and I can't see any of them being on board with such a cockamamie idea either.
So I hit up the lazy writer's answer machine, Google. Sure enough, there's all sorts of craziness out there on the interweb. Turns out Tommy Lee and Pam Anderson vacationed together long after they'd divorced. So did Jude Law and Sadie Frost. Ditto Britney and Kevin. Elizabeth Hurley brought Hugh Grant along on vaykay with her new husband, and Bruce Willis seems to go just about everywhere with Demi and Ashton.
Are you perchance dating Bruce Willis?
Dating dilemmas? Write Dategirl at firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.