Can Your Ex And You Stay Friends?
We all have a “crazy ex”, the one ex that we’d rather never see again, the one we block on Facebook and make a plea to never say their name out loud again, lest they be summoned like some sort of not-funny-but-equally-crazy Beetlejuice. However, people don’t automatically become awful the second you break up with them and sometimes, it is even possible to stay friends with your ex.
Were you friends before?
If your ex and you got together in the first place, you must have had something in common, right? If your relationship was more than pure sex (nothing wrong with that, go get it!), then there was a friendship component to it. You don’t automatically stop sharing interests with someone after you broke up, and it’s possible to continue a friendship even after all romantic feelings are gone. Of course, if you struggled to find things in common and avoided spending time with them, you will struggle to be friends too.
Why did you break up?
The reason of the breakup is extremely important when determining if you and your ex can be friends, or even if you should attempt it. If you broke up because you were constantly arguing, because somebody cheated or because one of you felt betrayed somehow, it probably won’t be the best idea to stay friends. Resentment builds up and explodes during a breakup and it will never be possible to be true friends with someone you resent. If, on the other hand, you broke up because you felt like you slowly became non-romantic roommates, you grew apart or you lost your passion, it is likely you are friends already and an amicable breakup is a way to acknowledge that you may not function as a couple, but you still enjoy each other’s company.
Was the breakup mutual?
Or, alternatively: do any of you still harbor romantic feelings for the other? If you are both truly ready to move on and let go of the relationship, there is no reason you can’t be friends. However, if one or both of you still have romantic or sexual feelings your friendship and your future relationships will suffer. If you are still hung up on them, your new partner will probably notice the kind of attention you give your ex, and they will feel like a third wheel.
Can you have your own space?
When the breakup is recent, it can be extremely hard to adapt to a new life without your ex as a constant feature. You need to make peace with that and go through the grieving process before trying to maintain a close relationship with your ex. Otherwise, it will be all too easy to use your ex as a crutch and never really move on from the failed relationship.
Can you establish boundaries?
After the relationship is over, it’s important you both agree on boundaries and guidelines to keep it appropriate and truly move on with your lives without harming any future relationships or independence. Establish some ground rules, like “no hooking up post-break up” and “no asking for relationship advice”.