Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Book Club Graduation & a Question about Friendship

If our book club was a child, we'd be headed to Kindergarten this year.

Hard to believe, but the Feisty Nuns and I have logged five years and approximately 25 books! Collectively, we've had 4 (going on 6) new babies. We've bought new houses, changed jobs, gone through a divorce. We've had first days of school, more kids parties than we can count and somehow managed to make "girl" time a priority.

Last Saturday kind of brought us full circle. We went out for Mexican food and (briefly) discussed our latest book. Then we saw The Time Traveler's Wife, which was the first book we read together. The movie was great, the girls are good hang, and I highly recommend that everyone out there find a circle of women like this!

In another five years, we'll all be hitting 40 and we're taking book club to Vegas! (I'm starting that rumor now so we can start saving our SW Airlines points and whatnot.)

Book club is becoming less about the books and all about the relationships, (and I'm OK with that) but I feel some unfinished business in discussing this last book, A Line Between Friends. It was, by no means, great literature. Still, I found the subject matter compelling.

A Line Between Friends discusses whether or not a man and a woman can remain friends after they cross the line. In this case, "the line" is sex and the story follows a man and a woman who meet in high school, attend college together and for years flirt with the possibility of a relationship that never materializes. They hook up once, and then try to maintain a friendship after each has moved on and married other people. Can it really be done?

I say no, absolutely not. I couldn't maintain a friendship if there was any romantic history out of respect for my husband, modesty, precaution and a whole host of other reasons I could probably come up with. I say its a bad idea, and if you read me, this is no great revelation. (That includes Facebook chatting; call me the jealous-type.)

To my surprise at least a couple of the ladies in book club said, "Yes it can be done," and see this kind of friendship as no big deal. Who knew?

What do you say to remaining friends after crossing the line?


Dorkys Ramos said...

That's a tough one I've been wrestling for the past year and a half since my (only) bf and I broke up. I keep flopping back and forth on that. It's definitely hard that's for sure, especially if you haven't managed to distance yourself from what the relationship used to be.

Thanks for the visit and for entering my kid's kitchen set giveaway :)

Megan said...

I say a friendly hello when the opportunity presents itself would be ok. In some cases, you may run into that person from time to time, but a full blown friendship, I would have to say is not really appropriate (possible, but not appropriate)! Especially out of respect for your current partner.

RootsAndWingsCo said...

How fun to have a book club! I've always wanted to get one going. I've actually tried a few times, but we seem to always move on at some point. How great that you've kept yours going for 5 years!


chacha said...

Hmmm... I think most of the time it can't be done. That's not to say you pretend you don't know the guy when you see him at the grocery store, but true friendship? I doubt it. Nevermind how it makes your spouse feel - they would have to be so secure in themselves it would border on narcissism.

Sounds like an interesting read though.

How much longer before the 3rd man of the house arrives?

Aggie2percenter said...

Whaaa????? Vegas!?

AND you forgot. The first rule of book club is, you DO NOT talk about book club!

Picky said...

First of all, when I read "Graduation" I was worried that you'd given up book club like you've given up children's birthday parties. But then I read you're thinking Vegas in five and I feel a bit relieved.

Ok the topic: I think it can be done. Red and one of her ex's are casual friends and it poses absolutely NO threat to her happy marriage. I think it depends on the maturity level and trust of all involved. Crush's two sets of parents hang out as friends with no problems. It can be done. Not sure I'd want to do it...but since my ex is a total dirtbag--not an issue.

Girly Stuff said...

I'm ready for Vegas! We can read on the plane together, in the hotel together, at the pool together! Oh wait...did you guys have other things you wanted to do in Vegas?

I know it can be done but I could not do it.

And Red's husband is tough enough that Red's ex knows he would be a bloody pulp if he tried anything.

Kellie said...

THe Feisty Nuns sound like such a fun group!

I'm with you. I couldn't have a casual relationship with someone I had had been with, and I certainly wouldn't want my husband to have a friendship with any one he had been intimate with in the past!

Interesting question!

Live.Love.Eat said...

First, I think it's so awesome you have that kind of circle of friends. Second, I think there is a better chance of a platonic relationship after the line has been crossed than there is if there was never sex involved. Because then, it's as if the friendship exists as an excuse because there is an attraction there. The 1st scenario seems doable because they got it out of their system and realized they make better friends. I have seen it with my sister so I can understand.

The American Homemaker said...

I'm so jealous of your book club!

I'm not a big fan of being friends with past relationships. I know I get super bugged if I see my spouse's exes in his facebook friends. I think it's a respect thing. If it bothers your spouse or if it would bother you if it was reversed, then don't do it.

I think it's not appropriate. I've had guys I knew in high school start chatting/flirting with me on facebook and I know that they're married and it really bothers me.

Tooj said...

I'm late on this one - what's new?

I think it takes special people to be able to handle this type of "relationship", and it would take special partners to endure your significant other maintaining such relationships. I think those people are OUT there...however...

I feel a majority of the time, relationships end without everything being EXACTLY mutual in decision. Someone is left with unanswered questions, thoughts, feelings, etc. Rarely do two people fall out of love with one anther at the exact same moment and then decide to say it to one another at the exact same moment. Even if both have been feeling it, one says it first and thus leaves the partner feeling somehow jipped...or wondering if their feelings hung on longer than the other person. What did they do, they might question, to make that person stop loving them? A lot of things go unresolved even if a couple breaks up amiably. In my opinion, of course.

As you stated, out of respect for the husband/spouse....and any awkwardness that might result if someone were to think old feelings might relight.....it's best to avoid it. People come and go for a reason, and romantic encounters are generally best left in the past.