So, you and your ex have called it quits for the last time? Good for you, and good for them. The problem that can occur when trying to stay friends with your ex, is that once the fighting and drama are done. People have a tendency to forget exactly how bad the relationship was. The reasons that you chose to break up in the first place. That can be unhealthy for both of you. It can also prevent both of you from successfully moving on to new relationships.
So before you and your ex decide that you’re going to remain close friends. Take a look at the lessons I got from staying friends with an ex, and then decide if it is the right move for the two of you.
1). Breakups Don’t Have To Remain Hostile Forever
Sure, you guys may be fighting and at odds with one another at the moment. However, that doesn’t mean that it will be hostile and nasty between the two of you forever. In most circumstances, both parties just need time to sort out their unresolved issues and feelings, and then the healing can take place.
2). How To Successfully Co-Parent
If you and your ex have children together, you have no choice other than to attempt a friendship for the sake and welfare of your children. Parents that are venomous toward one another often end up pitting the children against each other. This leads to dysfunctional family dynamics. If you aren’t at a good place for co-parenting currently, you should seek counseling to get to that point immediately for the health of your family.
3). Boundaries Need To Be Verbalized
Sometimes, we assume that our ex knows us well enough to know where we stand on personal matters and personal space, but that isn’t always the case. In fact, it usually isn’t the case. The reason that the two of you are exes is probably that you didn’t communicate well with one another. You aren’t going to be any better as friends if you don’t correct that problem immediately. Start with verbalizing your friendship boundaries, and what you consider to be appropriate behavior around one another. If you verbalize the plan of action, it can be much easier to stick within the long run.
4). Sometimes It Takes Time To Get Over Someone
This might be the ex that takes a substantial amount of time to get over. It has often been said that it takes half of the duration of the relationship to grieve the relationship properly, allowing you to move on. For example, if you and your ex were together for ten years, it will realistically take five years before you are completely over the residual feelings and heartbreak. This isn’t a fact in every breakup, but it has been shown to be accurate in a high percentage of break-ups.
5). And Even Then You May Not Be Over Them Completely
Also, once you’re fully over the ex, something may occur that triggers some old feelings, such as your ex starting to date again. Many people have completely relived the heartbreak upon finding out that their ex is on the dating scene again. Backsliding into old emotions happens, you simply need to recognize it when it occurs and put some space between you and your ex.
6). Your Ex Probably Knows You Better Than Your Other Friends
In some cases, your ex knows you better than any of your friends or family. This is especially true in some long term relationships that end in a breakup. It can be hard to give up that kind of connection and intimacy with someone. A lot of people choose to try to remain friends to salvage that part of the relationship. However, it is best to remember that, while your ex does probably know you better than anyone else. They also know the best way to get under your skin or hurt you like nobody else is able to do. Be careful with that double-edged sword.
7). You Can’t Be Intimate With An Ex And Still Move On
The exes who try to continue to be intimate with one another, yet claim that they’re both moving on, can be infuriating to observe. There is no point in attempting to move on from your ex if you’re still being intimate with them, even if it’s rarely, or even just once. Don’t try to become involved with another person until you are no longer engaged in intimacy with your ex. It will quickly become an unmanageable mess with a lot of hurt feelings if you are newly involved and that person finds out that you and your ex are still regularly sleeping together.
Sleeping with an ex is never advisable. There is a reason they are your ex, and actually probably many reasons they are your ex. Don’t continue to be physically involved with a person that you don’t want to be emotionally involved with. The results are never favorable, and they can actually be devastating.
8). The Heartbreak Comes Again When They Move On
As we mentioned prior, there is nothing like your ex dating someone new to show you that you aren’t really fully over your ex at all. In scenarios such as this, it’s better to put some distance between the two of you. At least until you have a better grip on your emotions, and it doesn’t make you feel as though you’re breaking up all over again when you see your ex and his new main squeeze together.
Don’t torture yourself with the spectacle of watching the happy new couple do happy new couple things. Once you feel the first twinge of jealousy, or you feel like you would like to cry or get angry with either of them. You don’t need to be in the same proximity as the happy new couple. Clearly, you and your ex are at different places in moving on, and you simply aren’t doing it yet. It is much easier to deal with news of an ex moving on when you aren’t witnessing them do so firsthand. If it feels uncomfortable or it hurts to see them together, you aren’t doing yourself any favors or helping yourself heal. You need to remove yourself from the scenario and give yourself adequate time to heal from your breakup.
9). Toxic Exes Don’t Make Good Friends
If you wouldn’t want your friends dating your ex, you probably shouldn’t try to keep them as a friend after the breakup. If they were cruel, abusive, nasty, or toxic, don’t attempt friendship after you call it quits. That is a scenario that calls for cutting all ties for your mental wellbeing. If you would advise against your friend dating the person, you see something in the ex that isn’t up to par for your friend. Treat yourself as you would treat your friend, and remove the toxic or abusive person from your life and your memory.
10). Don’t Continue To Pine Away For Them, But Calling It Friendship
If you know factually that you truly are still in love with your ex. The worst thing that you can do for yourself is to try to stay close to them by calling it a friendship. It can feel absolutely terrible to be dumped. When you still have feelings for the person, it can feel like downright agony. Yet, the best thing that you can do for yourself is to put the right amount of distance between yourself and your ex. Then time can begin to heal your broken heart.
When you are dishonest about the situation with yourself and anyone else, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. By pretending to be over your ex, and claiming you’re seeking a friendship in an effort to remain in their life, you are setting yourself up for further heartbreak, and it could be particularly messy. Just do yourself a giant favor and follow the last lesson…
11). If You Can’t Be Friends, Make It A Clean Break
If you know that you and your ex cannot be just friends, without physical intimacy, or a toxic level of discourse between you. It’s better to simply make a clean break from them. Not all exes are destined to remain friends, and that’s something that can’t be forced. If the friendship between you and your ex isn’t occurring naturally, just let the entire relationship fall by the wayside as long as there are no children involved.
By being dishonest or deceitful about the reason for seeking a friendship with your ex. It can lead to many broken hearts, fights, and harsh words. Friendship with your ex should occur naturally. Just as it does with any of your friendships that aren’t with an ex. If you have to force the friendship, you should simply walk away. Leave the relationship, and the ex, in the past.