Can you really still be friends with your ex? Or it is time to just cut all ties and move on for good?
Some people think it’s a good choice and there is no harm in staying friends with someone you’ve invested so much into already.
Others think it’s the worst idea ever on earth and no one should ever do it.
What’s my take on it?
I can see and agree to both sides of this dating coin.
Something to realize from the very beginning is that once you cross over from a “friend” status and into a relationship status, it can be very hard to go back into that friendship role. The reason why is because you both have felt said and done some things that good old’ pals just wouldn’t do.
Because of the relational past you now share with this individual, things can become quite complicated if you choose to go back into the “friend” zone.
And nobody ever really wants to be labeled as “complicated” when it comes to updating the Facebook relationship status.
You know this.
I know this.
So try not to put yourself in that situation.
I can understand why people would say that it is OK to remain friends with your ex. Especially if you both share some common ground or continue to mingle among the same circle of influence.
If you share a child(ren) together, then yes, absolutely, remaining friends will be a very good idea. Rather than to be known as the “baby daddy” or “baby momma”, you want what’s best for your children. Showing your kids as they grow up that you both can get along will have a positive impact on their lives.
Other situations that encourage you to stay friends would be if you work together, or if you attend the same church, club, etc. Doing your best to be friends and get along will make you, him, and the environment less tense and awkward.
However, I can understand completely why you should NOT be friends with your ex.
For starters, you broke up. Something happened that made you make this decision. Case closed.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you determine if you should remain friends with your ex:
What exactly are you gaining from this particular friendship that you aren’t gaining in other friendships?
If you expect to receive the same treatment that you once had at a “relationship” level in your new “friend” then are you really trying to be his friend??
Are you putting as much time, energy, and care in your other friendships as you are with this new friendship?
If this person is getting extra special attention because of what the friendship used to then ask yourself, “Is he really a friend”? The answer is probably no.
Do not confuse yourself. Do not live in denial of this situation.
If you think that keeping your ex closeby in the form of a “friend” will give you benefits or a future chance to get back with them, then he is not your friend. You do not see him as a friend.
You still see him as a dating potential.
Call it what it is.
Vice versa. If your ex is choosing to keep you as a “friend”, then determine if it is because of the qualities that you both give as for receive as friends, or if he is actually keeping you closeby as a backup plan.
Always remember that the breakup happened for a reason. If you broke up with your ex, then there was probably a good reason why.
Think of what you want in a friend and think of what you want in a partner. Is your ex-worthy enough to fall into the friendship zone or does he still have the potential of coming back into your life as someone you can see yourself dating again?
For me, there are some exes that I would never talk to again a day in my entire life.
That’s just what it is. We have nothing in common anymore and there is no reason to develop a friendship at this point.
For others, there are some mutual common grounds that I share among some of my exes where if we do have to run into each other, then we both have a mutual respect for one another. If we must, we can say hello, carry a light conversation, and keep the party moving without creating a scene or awkward tension.
In this case, I know that at the end of the day, I won’t carry the friendship longer than what it has to be.
Then you have those friends who were “just friends”, only you knew there was some kind of romantic tension floating around. But once you found “the one”, those friends began to grow distant (and even non-existent).
You found the guy who’s giving you everything you need and makes you feel everything you wanted to feel so there’s no need to maintain the friendship with the guy who was almost “the one” but never made it.
Both you and your friend will begin to realize that as your relationship grows. There’s no point in stressing this friendship or fighting for it. It is what it is. What will be will be?
Ultimately, know yourself and what if you see in both dating and friendship roles. At the end of the day, do what makes you happy. Do what will give you the most happiness towards a life that you will absolutely love.
If you see drama, red flags, or friends becoming less (or more) than friends, then you know what to do.
After a lifestyle of breakups and insecurity in my 20’s, I became a Relationship Expert and created Well Said Living, to teach and coach women how to discover themselves and their values. Trust yourself to love one more time—join my Exclusive List to find out how!
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