Can You Stay Friends With an Ex?

Unless you’re planning on getting married, there will always be a point where you and your girlfriend have to break up. For some, it gets to the stage where you’re sick of the sight of each other and can’t bear to be in the same room, but more often it remains amicable. This is the person who you’ve shared months or years of your life with, through good times and hard times. It can be difficult to let go when you’re so used to talking to each other every day, but is it a good idea to stay friends with your ex?

Break ups are not usually a mutual agreement. Even if it’s best for both of you, there is normally one of you who instigates the break up so the other one is left slightly heart broken, and finds it more difficult to come to terms with. The instigator can then feel guilty for the pain they have caused, so offering to stay friends is like a consolation or a comfort. Friendship based on this is dangerous; you shouldn’t stay friends because you feel indebted to someone or because you’re worried about how they’ll react. The person who got dumped will find it even harder to let go and move on, with a constant reminder of what they’ve lost if you’re still in contact. If this situation sounds familiar to you, be weary; if there is an uneven balance, things may end badly.

Consider whether you’re able to see your ex in a different light; all those memories of how they looked naked, how their skin felt, how they smelled… can you let this go and forget it all when you meet them for coffee? You can’t undo what you felt in the past, and because of this your ex will always be different to your other friends, and you will always treat them differently.

At some point, you will both meet someone else. Think about how this would make you feel; could you stand to see her with another man? Would she cope seeing you with another woman? If not, you will just have to go through another ‘break up’ all over again when you decide you can no longer be friends, resurfacing all of the pain you’ve already been through.

There are certain things you’ll never be able to talk about with your ex. If you’ve just had a hot date with a sexy London escort, you’d usually tell your mates all about it, but your ex wouldn’t want to hear about this. Every time you’re excited about meeting a beautiful new girl, or if you’re upset about being stood up by someone, you can’t bring it into conversation. This may cause you to question how real your friendship with your ex is.

The only time ex’s become true friends is when no romantic feelings exist between you, or if the break up was completely mutual. Otherwise, you could be on dangerous ground!