I’ve dated a few guys who would probably kill for me but only one that would actually die for me.
Years after we broke up, my long-term ex-boyfriend and I still have a very special bond. Awhile back, I was seeing someone who was threatened by my friendship with my ex, who now lives across the country. Over dinner, my then boyfriend (who I only saw for three months) demanded I stopped talking to my ex, who is practically family at this point. I remember bursting out in tears in the middle of a fancy restaurant. I’m not normally that emotional of a person, but I couldn’t imagine life if I couldn’t be friends with my ex, whom I’ve known for over a decade and is one of the most amazing people on the planet. (On a side note, I also feel as though this conversation triggered an old wound in me. When I was younger, I had a pattern of dating controlling, possessive men—a pattern that I thought I had since broken. Thankfully, this time I didn’t stick around too long after I saw the red flags.) I explained to my new boyfriend how I had met my ex at a time I was really young and feeling lost and alone, living all by myself in Los Angeles, far away from my family and how I feel an enormous amount of gratitude towards him. In my opinion, no man has a right to ask me to give up this friendship, unless he is able to provide the unconditional love and emotional support I receive from my ex. Even then, I would hope he understands the nature of our friendship.
Someone recently asked me why I felt my relationship with my long term ex had been so successful. Without skipping a beat, I answered, “He never let me down—not even once.” A man of his word, he kept every single promise he made. Not to mention, he made me feel safe and protected and had my back like no other. He always put me above everything else–no one or nothing was more important to him than me and my happiness. Even to this day, he still one of the first people I call when something good happens or if I need a shoulder to cry on.
While it’s definitely not his favorite subject, I will often talk to my ex about the guys I date. Although he’s always quick to remind me that I’m the prize, he will usually take the guy’s side, telling me I’m too hard on men. My response is always, “but you would never have done something like that!” He’ll agree, and I’ll rest my case.
I was recently telling my long-term ex and confidant how I asked the guy I had been seeing not to call or text me anymore. My ex thought I was being a little extreme and felt it was a situation that could be worked out. I explained that my intention wasn’t to be harsh, but that I simply wanted to move on.
My ex asked me what had happened, why the change of heart? In all seriousness, I answered, “Well, I don’t think he would die for me.”
My ex started laughing, “Where do you get these antiquated ideas? You expect all these guys to fight for you and to die for you. No one does that anymore.”
Knowing exactly where I got those ideas from, I responded, “That’s not true. You would die for me,” quickly adding, “Not that I would want you to…but I know that you would.”
Downplaying his chivalrous nature, my ex said, “ I suppose if a bullet was headed in your direction, I would jump in front of it to save you, but could we please avoid any situations like that?”
I giggled, “See, you set the bar high! My next boyfriend has to love me just as much, if not more, than you love me.”
And I wasn’t just flattering the guy, I really meant it. When you’ve had someone who made you his whole world, why would you settle for anything less?