Monday, December 1, 2008
The "No Fly Zone"
Recently a close friend of mine has been going through a pretty rough break up. In midst of the tears and late night chats, we decided to formulate a plan of no contact with her now ex boyfriend. (Which is much easier said than done since they work in the same office, but that's a post for a different time.)
In the spirit of trying to make things as uncomplicated as possible, she and I sat down and mapped out what I like to call the "no fly zones." These are those places the two of you used to frequent together, but might be too painful for a newly broken hearted person to traverse in his/her recently acquired single state. These are also places that you are quite likely to run into the ex with his/her new love interest. These areas make no contact with your former beloved quite difficult and should be avoided at all costs.
Establishing the no fly zone(s) can be as intricate as any military strategy thought up by brilliant generals in battle. Because if you think about it, a nasty break up can be very much like a battle. A battle for your very sanity and soul. You may have to change your driving route into work so you don't drive by his house or you might have to frequent a new coffee shop so you don't see him at the one the two of you used to patronize every morning.
But why should I have to give up the coffee shop? One might protest. Shouldn't he have to find a new place to get his java fix? I would agree that it is best when both parties can agree to the no fly zones and split them up accordingly, but when break ups are hasty and nasty, this doesn't always happen. Besides, as I asked my friend, do you really have to get your non fat, no foam, half caff, vanilla latte from that particular coffee shop? Can't you, for sanity's sake, go to a different place?
Inevidably, when establishing your no fly zones, the question of time limits always comes up. How long should one refrain from their favorite hangouts just to avaid the ex? I usually refrain from old haunts for at least six months. Truth be told, I still have one no fly zone that I avoid, even after being apart from my ex (Frat Boy) for over four years.
Frat Boy and I live in different subdivisions about two miles apart. In between our respective residences, are several new restaurants, a couple of nice coffee shops, and one large grocery store, where I used to shop before we broke up. I gave up the entire area, when we ended things. I knew if I continued to shop and dine there, I would eventually run into him with his new wife. I didn't exactly need that, so I stayed away. I still drive about a mile further in the opposite direction to a different grocery store and I don't patronize any of the restaurants etc. in that area, even though it is within walking distance of my house. Call me crazy, but it's made my life a lot easier. Especially since my ex has/had a terrible habit of getting hammered and showing up on my doorstep at three in the morning. I didn't want to be running into him trying to be friendly (but distant) so he wouldn't get the idea that it was okay to show up at my house unannounced because we were "friends." Since I still have no interest in inviting him back into my life, I continue to stay away so that I'm not running into him everytime I need toilet paper.
Some of my friends think it's a bit odd that I still don't go into that area to shop or hang out, but I consider it a small price to pay for my peace of mind. It's not like I'm missing out on a whole lot by not shopping at one grocery store. So, my question for you all is, what are your no fly zones? Do you have any? Do you still observe them long after a break up?