Can you stay friends with your ex?

black exs as friends

Can you really still be friends with you ex? Or it is time to just cut all the 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 on earth and no one should ever do it. What’s my take on it?

I can see and agree with both sides of this dating coin.

Something to realise from the very beginning is that once you cross over from a ‘friend’ status into a relationship status, it can be very hard to go back into that friendship role. The reason is because you both have felt, said and done some things that good ol’ 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 try and reenter the ‘friend’ zone.

Nobody ever really wants to be labelled as ‘complicated’ when it comes to updating the Facebook relationship status.

And nobody ever really wants to be labelled ‘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 in the same circle of influence.

If you share a child or children together, then yes, absolutely, remaining friends will be a very good idea. Rather than to be known as the ‘baby daddy’ or ‘baby mommy’, 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 also 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 into 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 be, 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 close by in the form of a ‘friend’ will give you benefits or a future chance to get back with him, then he is not your friend. You do not see him as a friend.

You still see him as dating potential.

Call it what it is, and 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 receive as friends, or if he is actually keeping you close by as a back-up plan.

Always remember that the break-up 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 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 is some mutual common ground that I share with some of my exes, in which, if we do have to run into each other, then we both have a mutual respect. If we must, we can say hello, make 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 has to be.

‘Just friends’

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 who never made it.

Both you and your friend will begin to realise this 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 you see in both the dating and friendship roles

At the end of the day, do what makes you happy. Do what will give you the most happiness, leading to 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.

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