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Can You Be Friends With an Ex?

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Can you be friends with an ex?

Your ex was your lover, homie, and friend at some point. You two shared A LOT and probably have some great memories together. But can you ever really go back to being ‘just friends?’

A romantic relationship ending is emotionally tiring for both parties. You have to sometimes separate physically and emotionally. You’ll need to do new things, with new people, in new ways to unblend the lives you’ve started together.

But what about when some time passes? The romantic feelings begin to fade and maybe you both move on. It’s perfectly normal to be friends with an ex? Right?

In my opinion, that is a case-by-case basis. Some people can go right back to being friends and act like it never happened. Others will always have a deep brooding romantic fire that is just waiting for new life.

One thing that is universal is allowing time to heal. If you are considering being friends with an ex, first take into account how much time has passed and what life changes have taken place. Did you both find someone new? Is he or she going through a rough patch? If you befriend your ex during a rough patch it’s likely that he/she will start to look at you romantically again because you are helping them through this rough time.

The kryptonite for most ex-to-friendships is ‘nostalgia.’ You begin to play the highlights reel of your life together and only remember what brought you so close in the first place. Rebuilding your friendship has the potential to remind you of that time. Next thing you know, a trip down memory lane is a trip down romantic lane again too. This can be SUPER dangerous if you are both involved or if the relationship was unhealthy before.

– Dee Rene

Can you be friends with an ex? I say no!

You have to ask yourself, why are you both holding on to each other and why? Can a break-up be amicable? Yes. But when you’ve moved on from your romantic relationship, the idea is that you’ll eventually find someone new right? How will this friendship hinder your new relationship?

Speaking from experience, it’s pretty rare that former lovers can be friends without harboring old feelings for each other. I mean, what are you going to do as “just friends”? Talk about your current beau? Wrong move! Kick the breeze sometime and go out for a drink? Sounds like a date to me. Or even call each other from time to time and see how your lives are going? Sounds like you’ll be reminiscing.

Don’t get me wrong, some breakups are, in fact, amicable and there’s no ill will between the two parties. But let’s be clear about something, being cordial with an ex when you just so happen to run into them is different than holding on to their friendship. In most cases, you’re holding on for a reason. Perhaps, you didn’t have proper closure. The timing may have been all wrong when you dated so you’re waiting around for when it’s right. Again, wrong move. You’re potentially putting your heart on hold for something that may be. And for those who’ve moved on to a better partner you risk hurting your present relationship for something in the pass.

Again ask yourself, how will it make your partner feel? And, is the friendship so important you’re willing to risk losing that special someone in your life? If you’ve answered yes, then why’d you both break up in the first place?

Let’s just conclude, it’s probably not the best idea.

– Ms. Toni

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  • Famous question! I was just watching “Couples Therapy” at its “special time” and decided to learn a bit more about Tashera Simmons (you know, some background regarding the hows and whys behind her choices with X) when I learned of your site and saw this as a recent post.

    There honestly shouldn’t be bad vibes between mature, otherwise fulfilled people, so I do believe exes can be friends and that’s kinda my bottom line. However, the case-by-case basis suggested by Dee Rene has great merit. Some relations do need to be left alone — and that may have nothing to do with the actual exes who actually have moved on!

    For instance, an ex’s new girlfriends over time each decided to approach me for friendship once they somehow learned of me. The last time this happened, I was engaged to a dear friend of many more years, lived in a new state and had too much major Life (medical/educational/etc.) stuff going on to see it as a problem or even think I was seen as one.

    I honored the young ladies’ social media and/or direct contact requests, even supporting the creative/business endeavors on occasion and offering the comfort that the gent had become like family when I felt a slightly insecure or overly curious vibe directed my way. For some people, however, no amount of truth or goodness is enough to help them.

    Somewhere in there, without any but God, elder confidantes and then fiance knowing a thing about my relationship’s status or the nature of my heart, etc., I was cyber-stalked by someone or another posing as even old school friends, male and female. I noticed sloppy mistakes in the details that helped prove to me exactly what was taking place in someone’s Oz early on (crazy attempts to look better in the eyes of self and a love at the time by trying to taint me) but I made no mention of it; even keeping my answers short and neutral when asked about the next one based upon others’ own odd vibes.

    Eventually, my phone, e-mails and more were tampered with to the point where bread (contracted work hours) was removed from my mouth and my fiance no longer felt like yet another lying text at an ungodly hour of morning supposedly meeting some dude across the country on some crazy chat line. Even other female family members were harassed by phone at the time until they were ready to involve the police.

    As a suddenly single woman going through alot, I eventually responded to what appeared to be another ex offering compliments and the like. Even that became a false aha for the poser(s) at work since they were only riding on the wrong information and waiting to spread some.

    Needless to say, what really was just a friendship with an ex at that stage in life became strained by cowardly, external drama. This is all old news from just past my late 20s, so of course I’ve continued living forward and leave others to play whatever game they choose to be played by. Still, my conclusion is that friendships with exes are healthy so long as respect, enough distance and lives of your own are maintained. Friendships with the criminally insane or anyone whose accomplishments or sense of self require someone’s harm is the dimmest idea.

    P(e)ace!