How many times have you broken up with someone and told them, “We can still be friends?” Or maybe you've had someone say this to you. Either way, you've had to wonder: Is it really possible to stay friends with an ex? This person has been a part of your life, so it's understandable you would want them to stay in it to some extent. But does it really work to be friends with someone you once had a romantic relationship with? We're discussing the ways that staying friends with an ex could work…and the ways that it won't.
You Can Stay Friends With An Ex If…
- The breakup wasn't that bad.
- You no longer have feelings for them.
The two ways that you can stay friends with an ex is if the breakup wasn't bad and if you no longer have romantic feelings for them. If the breakup was clean and mutual, it is easier to stay friends because there is no bad blood. Both of you were ready to move on and neither of you holds any resentment towards the other. It is also easier to stay friends if the romantic feelings are gone, because this means there will be no temptation to make the relationship a romantic one again. You can just focus on building a healthy, long-lasting friendship.
You Can't Stay Friends With An Ex If…
- The breakup was really bad.
- There are still romantic feelings on either side.
Did your ex cheat on? Or maybe you cheated on them? Were they abusive or toxic? In these cases, you cannot stay friends. Why would you want to? You didn't want to be in a relationship with someone like that and you wouldn't want to be friends with them either. Also, when a relationship ends in a bad way, like in those scenarios, one or both partners hold on to resentment. This makes it nearly impossible to stay friends. Another thing that makes it impossible to stay friends with an ex is if one or both of you still has romantic feelings. This will mean that one of you will always hope that the friendship turns into a relationship again. In this case, the best thing to do is go your separate ways so that you can both move on.
After a breakup, most people will tell you to cut off all contact with your ex and erase them from your memory. This, however, is not always the best idea. If you've seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, you know that Jim Carrey ultimately regretted erasing Kate Winslet from his memory after their breakup. The better option is to be on good terms with your ex, as it can actually lead to a fulfilling friendship. We've all seen how happy Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber look hanging out after their tumultuous breakup! There's no reason you can't do the same with your own ex. The following are four great reasons to stay friends with an ex:
1. It's better for future relationships.
We know what you're wondering: how could staying friends with an ex be good for any future relationships? Being on good terms with an ex is a sign of maturity. It shows that you know how to handle your relationships and walk away from them peacefully. If you still have resentment and drama with all of your exes, what does that say about you? It doesn't make you look very good to potential new partners. On the other hand, staying friendly with your ex shows your new partner that you are a stable and mature individual.
2. It makes it easier on mutual friends.
Staying friends with an ex is highly beneficial for any mutual friends you may have. After a rough breakup, mutual friends usually feel like they have to choose which partner to stay friends with. Or they feel that they need to split their time between the two of you and go out of their way to make sure your paths don't cross. If you and your ex remain on good terms, your friends can feel comfortable maintaining friendships with the both of you.
3. It eliminates any bad blood.
Holding onto hatred, resentment and anger can do terrible things to a person. You've heard the saying, “Hate is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Feeling hatred and anger towards an ex does nothing to them. It only makes you feel upset and miserable. If you remain friends with an ex, it can help to resolve these feelings. You may begin to see them as a good friend and not as the person who broke your heart. This will only enrich your life, rather than fill you with negativity.
4. You invested a lot of time in them.
The final good reason you should stay friends with an ex is the fact that you invested your time in them. Obviously you saw something in this person; that's why you dated them. At one point you loved them and made memories with them that cannot be erased. There's nothing wrong with keeping someone in your life who you have a rich history with. The two of you can establish a friendly relationship where you can reflect on your time together and see how you have grown from it.