Can You Be Friends with Your Ex?
Your ex boyfriend texts you and asks you out for drinks. You're in a relationship. What do you say? Can you actually continue to be friends with an ex?
While I was in a relationship, I was asked out to lunch to catch up with an ex boyfriend. It was completely platonic and so I said yes. There was no jealousy in my relationship but I was a little bit curious as to how he was doing, what he looked like and why he wanted to go to lunch.
It was lame.
Could I be friends with an ex? Nah. Not unless I was trying to make it into something more. Other than that, I need to let that part go. He's my ex for a reason. That's where my head was at.
Therapist and author of Temptations of the Single Girl, Nina Atwood, said it is not necessarily wrong to stay friends with an ex, but she advises that it can be challenging, and can leave you in a tough spot emotionally.
If your relationship ended due to infidelity, abuse, jealousy or trust issues, remaining friends is almost impossible. However, somehow we have the notion that if the breakup is amicable, a lasting friendship should be no problem.
“Wanting to be friends keeps you from feeling the full depth of the loss, softening the blow of the breakup,” Atwood says, noting that even if you are not sexually attracted to your former partner anymore, you may still crave the emotional intimacy that you two shared. Keeping your ex around can make it harder to move on from the relationship and the feelings you had.
When can you actually be friends with your ex? Like, truly. eHarmony gives examples:
When you can be friends: Your separation was mutual OR you were friends first before becoming a couple.
When you can't be friends: Only one of you is moving on while the other isn't, there are mixed messages between the two of you (meaning, one of you thinks there's a chance - could be you) or you still have a romantic connection.