One of the biggest problem after a break up is deciding– ‘Should you be friends with your ex?’
This is so common, I needed to warn you of the pitfalls before you fall in!
In fact, this is one of the most common questions asked by my clients, who are not able to make up their minds about being friends with an ex and understand the consequences of their choice. Trust me, this isn’t an easy decision if you’ve been with your partner for a long time and grown so used to each other’s presence. So much that even if you’ve decided to part ways for good, both you and your partner might still consider the idea of lingering on each other’s life to make the transition easier. But the problem is that this could complicate things!
So, I thought of dedicating this post to help you figure out the IFs, BUTs & WHYs of being friends with an ex – what you need to know, why you should care and most importantly what you should do moving forward?
- Should you be friends with your ex?
- Why are a lot of people downright ANGRY over this issue?
- How to make sure this does not cause MASSIVE issues for you in your relationship?
Whether you want to be friends with an ex because you secretly still love them or because you genuinely feel that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, here’s the raw naked truth about “being friends with your ex”!
Firstly, there are 3 groups of people who care about this.
1. The Silent Sufferers
These are the people who want their ex back desperately and can’t handle not talking to them. So, they would even settle with being friends with their ex just so that they can still have some part of them in their lives. They’re okay being demoted to just being friends because that’s the next best thing. Surprisingly, there are a lot of people who fall in this category.
They’re so hung up over their ex that they tend to get stuck in a limbo for the longest period of time. Even though they may date other people and pretend like everything is fine, their heart is still with their ex and they’ll find it hard to invest in other relationships.
These are the guys and gals who know in the deepest of their hearts, that their heart is already taken. And this could mean a lot of silent suffering about their true feelings.
2. Together But Not Committed
Now, the second group of people are all about the ‘convenience’. These are the ones, who at least on the surface look like they’re getting the most benefit out of the situation.
They just like to enjoy the partial ‘benefits’ of a relationship minus the ‘commitment’ part. They’ll happily call their ex up at the wee hours of the night, or just to rant about their day or to complain about work. And yes, occasionally they’ll want to spoon, watch Netflix and fall into bed together (isn’t that a part of being “friends” with someone?)
Basically they want to act like they’re still in a relationship just without the actual “label” of a relationship.
Putting a label on things signals more responsibility, and that’s something this group of folks simply don’t want to have!
These people like the idea of open relationships, where they have the freedom to move in and out of relationships without being tied down to the person. So, they can seek other relationships rather freely as they’re not emotionally attached to anyone, especially, when they’re having the best of both the worlds in this situation. For the lack of a better way to put this, they’re getting the maximum “bang for their buck”.
3. The Really Pissed Off Ones
Now, the third group of people are the ROMANTIC PARTNERS of those who are friends with their exes.
Unfortunately, these are the really pissed off and angry group of people in the entire equation.
But there’s a justification for their anger and paranoia.
This is because they’re the ONLY group of people who truly knows the real motivation of the first two groups.
The first two groups are kind of delusional as they pretend that they’re only friends but when you look underneath and pull off the layers of pretence, something different is at play. They are using “friendship” as a coverup.
Now, this group understands this and know that they’re headed for a danger zone. They can see how short changed the entire situation is for EVERYONE. No one really wins in this scenario. You may “win” temporarily – but in the long term, no one wins!
So, Should You Be Friends With Your Ex?
It’s a pretty tricky situation so I would go into it with CAUTION.
Know that it is a temporary situation at best.
There are however 2 exceptions.
You Can Consider Being Friends with an Ex If –
- You Both Are Single
If you both are single and have a mutual understanding that being friends could lead to unexpected twists and turns in the road ahead, take it as a green signal to proceed with friendship. But be prepared to face scenarios where you may actually trip over a rock and land up on each other’s beds! Also, if you’re emotionally and mentally prepared for things to dramatically change around once a romantic partner comes into the mix, then, it is fine.
- Live VERY far apart
The second possibility is if you live apart from each other. Like miles and miles away! Long distance will help you keep the communication to a bare minimum and ensure that there’s little chance of a relationship forming! This would require you to live as far away from each other as humanly possible, which reduces your communication down to essentially long distance pen pals.
Apart from these two exceptions, I wouldn’t recommend being friends with an ex. Any reason other than these two can cause serious troubles in your relationship.
If your ex wants to be friends but you secretly want them back – I suggest checking out my program The Ex Recovery System, to make sure you stay clear of the friend zone, as it’s easy to get stuck there and you have a much higher chance of getting hurt… AGAIN.