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Can You Stay Friends With an Ex?

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Can You Stay Friends With an Ex?

Breakups are hard. I’ve been saying this like a mantra for the past two years, not just to myself but to all of my friends going through breakups of their own. You can’t just turn off your heart, caring feelings tend to linger even after the relationship has run its course.

Then there’s the desire to be seen as mature, adult, likeable, and most importantly, “not the bad guy”. Is it any wonder then that people try (and most often fail) to remain friends after a breakup?

Depending on the maturity level that exists between you and your ex, I like to remain optimistic and say that it’s entirely possible to salvage a working relationship that can be adequately described as friendly.

So You Wanna Stay Friends With the Ex, Try These Tips

Can You Stay Friends With Ex

Photo Credit: David Castillo Dominici

In short, stop sleeping together immediately. Sex really blurs the boundaries between friendly friends, and intimate friends. Sure, it might seem casual and comfy to fall into bed with someone you once dated. After all, you know each others’ sweet spots, and break-up sex can be really satisfying, but once your ex-sweetie goes home you get to remember why you’re not together anymore. Old wounds can’t close if you keep ripping off the scab.

If you’re bent on staying friends with your ex, be aware that a time will come when you’ll meet the new love interest. As tempting as it might be to jokingly drag your ex over the coals about his sloppy dating habits, it’s not really going to endear you to anyone and will only serve to make you look like a brat.

Going from a serious relationship to the friend zone is a tough transition that takes some time and decompression. Give yourself some much-needed space to heal from the hurts of the breakup, get some breathing room and perspective. Then, when you’re feeling up to it, start with casual conversations and make sure to leave the past in the past where it belongs.

Can You Stay Friends With Ex

Photo Credit: David Castillo Dominici

Taking a relationship into the friend zone is not the time or place to rehash the past. Chances are there will always be unanswered questions that exist between you and your ex, let it go and move on. Don’t stick around in the friend zone just because you’re desperate to be seen as “nice” and “accommodating” especially if it’s leaving you more miserable and mixed up than before. Just as you should move out of the way so your ex can move on to new relationships, you should do the same thing for yourself. Get out of your break-up rut and embrace your emancipation.

Staying Friends With an Ex Requires Effort

Personally, I’ve only ever broken up with one person and failed to remain friends with them. This guy in particular had a firm stance on breakups being the end, forever and always, so it’s really not a surprise (or a great loss) that he’s no longer in my life.

Maybe it’s because I’m a commitment-phobe, I’d rather back-track to friendlier ground than go barreling towards certain tragedy with someone I genuinely care about. I know I’m probably a rare case, and that’s why I want to hear from you.

What is your experience with trying to stay friends with an ex? Is it possible? Why is it a good/bad idea?

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