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Should you be friends with your ex?

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My boyfriend just broke up with me but says he still wants to be friends. I'm not sure if that's a smart idea, or if it's even possible. What do you think? Is it worth trying to stay friends with an ex?
asked Feb 2, 2016 in Relationships by Emily
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2 Answers

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It depends entirely on the way you broke up, but for the most part it may be difficult for one or both parties involved.

 

If the breakup was mutual then a friendship may actually be a possibility, but this is rare. As time passes and new relationships are formed it is possible that a friendship may be rekindled if past feelings are laid to rest. If the new persons involved however will want that is an entirely different story.

 

How To Tell

 

Friendship-possibilities can be calculated by how deep and long your relationship was. The longer and more invested one was (emotionally as well as sexually) the harder it will be to remain friends afterwards. If the romance was fleeting and not overly physical or emotional and both parties mutually agreed that romance was not working, then it is a good chance they may remain close friends.

 

But What About Those Odd Couples That Are Still Friends?

 

While there are exceptions to the rule, it isn't always the case or the norm. In all relationship breakups someone was hurt in one way or another, and this pain does not easily heal. Staying close friends may be lemon to that wound.

 

Let's Just Be Friends...

 

One party may be willing to return a relationship to a platonic state and would be able to keep it that way, but the other may not.  However, the hurt party may keep up appearances and agree to a 'friends only' relationship in the hopes of a future rekindle. These 'friendships' may become awkward eventually.

 

What About Staying Friendly?

 

Since it is nigh impossible to completely avoid past relationships, a certain social friendliness can be maintained. How each individual party deals with these is up to them and many would say it is the 'mature' thing to do. Be it 'mature' or 'malicious,' one should tread carefully around exes. After all, they may be friends or acquaintances of your next big romance...

 

How To Avoid The Situation All Together

 

When beginning relationships it would be wise to think things through beforehand -- at the very least try to keep a hold on the depth of the relationship: don't jump too quickly to conclusions, don't be overly eager to give away your heart and take it easy on the physical aspects.

answered Feb 2, 2016 by AlecCorday (5,810 points)
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There are many reasons to stay friends with your ex, that said, there are also many reasons to not be friends with your ex. It may depend upon the circumstances of your breakup. If he (or she) was cheating on you, you may want to take some time to build yourself back up. If you remain friends this may take longer than if you aren't friends.

 

However, some areas are smaller than others and you may find that you cross paths periodically. In this case, you should at least smile and acknowledge the person (and perhaps be grateful that you found out about their other relationship before you married as opposed to after). 

 

It's all very dependent upon the two of you and how close you really were. Here are some tips to help you.

 

If you're in the same social circles it's important to at least be civil (friends)

 

If you still love them (or they still love you) and there is still hope for a relationship then be civil (friends)

 

If however you're sure the relationship is over then cut all ties. It's too tempting to hang on to something that really never was.

 

If you're trying to keep tabs on them then by all means, cut off all friendship, this isn't something you should do either.

 

Take time to really evaluate why you wish to remain friends and go from there. There is no right or wrong answer here so take your time and make a wise decision. 

 

Special Note: If you have children together, it's important to remain friends as much as possible for the children's sake. 

 

Sources:

 

http://www.vogue.com/13256119/being-friends-with-your-ex/

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-love-and-war/201405/the-10-worst-reasons-stay-friends-your-ex

answered Feb 4, 2016 by Countrymom (8,550 points)

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