Why You Should Be Friends With Your Ex

Why You Should Be Friends With Your Ex

Can You Be Friends With Your Ex?

The argument about staying friends with your ex has been hashed over time and time again. And just when you thought the unanimous vote was to kick your ex to the curb and never look back, somebody like me comes up with a few reasons why you might actually want to stay friends with your ex.

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And no, I haven’t lost my marbles. I’ve read the studies. According to McAfee, as you sit here reading this, you could have as many as 44 percent of your tired old exes burning up the broadband trying to find out what you’ve been up to on Facebook. Perhaps you spend a good amount of time looking them up too. And according to the experts at Brunel University in England, the only “good” that is going to come from that are feelings of jealousy, bitterness, and possibly even a little infatuation. But you wouldn’t have to snoop if you remained friends after the breakup.

Platonic Friendships

According to Christie Hartman, Ph.D. and author of Back in the Game, maintaining a platonic friendship with your ex can be a satisfying feeling that you have moved on. The key is maintaining certain ground rules, such as allowing enough time to pass before you get together again, keeping the meeting places in a public location (to discourage intimate feelings) and avoiding hashing out old arguments. Take good friends wherever you can find them!

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Loss of Passion

It also helps if your breakup was the result of lost passion, rather than a byproduct of jealousy or cheating. There are some breakups that are just more easy to get over than others, and these are more likely to result in a post-breakup friendship. If you discover you’re better friends than lovers, why not work at maintaining a friendship?

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Post-Breakup Sex

And some researchers even suggest that the post-breakup sex that occurs with 20 percent of broken couples may help to ease that aching heart and help the breakup go that much smoother. This is because the sex fulfills the need for attachment as the couple works through the pain. I don’t know about all that, but there is one more very important reason that you may want to consider… true love.

True Love

According to one study published in the Journal of Personal and Social Relationships, as many as 44 percent of young lovers reconcile their relationship with a former lover within a two year period. We can only assume that on some occasions those were good decisions. Sometimes relationships don’t work out for reasons that can be cured with time and maturity. It will be up to you to read the red flags when and if the opportunity arises to rekindle such a romance. But remember, some relationships are more worthwhile to return to, while others remain toxic, and you’re just better off not going there.

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This leaves us with two very reasonable excuses to stay friends with an ex: You were always better friends than lovers, and both of you agree on that. And, if you feel that the breakup was due to circumstances that could only improve with time (maturity, school, career, etc.), it’s also reasonable to stay friends with your ex. If the love was true but the time was off, you may very well discover that a second chance is just what you need.

8 thoughts on “Why You Should Be Friends With Your Ex

  1. Debbie

    My ex-husband and I have remained friends after our divorce 6 months ago. We were together 32 years (married 30) and after a long over due divorce, I took action. He wasn’t wired to be faithful and I finally gave up. He wouldn’t come to the conclusion he needed help and so for us both to be happy, it was time to be apart and live as we each desired. We both still care about one another, but I believe I was able to forgive and finally move on. There are many more reasons why I stayed so long, but it doesn’t matter any more, because I now live a happy life.

  2. Marc from the UK

    YES you can be friends with an EX if the relationship is passed passionate, but also depends on who is the hurt party. My experience is it takes time to get over hurt, so in time you can be friends, if you need too, let alone have too_ Are you strong enough to see your ex with someone else and be happy for them? I was years ago when my ex wife introduced me to her lover I was genuinely happy for them. We split four years ago. I believe until people have dealt with issues, hurt, guilt, then it may be difficult to meet again, let alone be friends. Spiritual growth is important. 🙂 Be prepared to grow, mature and develop, or you will be your own victim of hurt, anger, upset.

  3. tracy

    There is a part of me that thinks that if you can be friends with your ex, it is an indication that the relationship must not have been very passionate, or perhaps that the parties involved tend to be on the rational, rather than the deep feeling side of the emotional spectrum. Or perhaps just very emotionally intelligent and mature (which I probably am not). In my experience, true friendship was not really possible with an ex, because even after a significant amount of time has passed, it always seems as though one person has more feelings than the other, and holds onto hope that one day you will get back together. So it never really seemed fair to me, to remain friends with someone that you know still has feelings for you, and holds onto hope that one day you’ll ‘come around’ and return the love. To be the person hoping you’ll eventually get back together is torturous, and I think, a misappropriation of energy, that is ultimately detrimental to moving on with someone who actually wants to be with you. Moreover, remaining friends with exes can be a big turn off to someone new entering your life. So by all means, if you bump into an ex, have a friendly exchange, but unless all parties (including new partners) are incredibly mature, I think it’s better to leave exes in the past. Just my two cents anyways!

  4. rene

    My ex left me for another woman. I didnt get time to fall out of love with him.
    Ive been told that his girlfriend went to a mexican witch doctor and had a negative hex on me and one on himso that would keep us apart. I love him as much as i did when we fell in love and I just know he loves me. Married 22 years

  5. GM

    If you share children together then yes, it’s absolutely best for everyone involved that you maintain some sort of a friendship to help keep the stress off the kids. Otherwise I’m not so sure. While there are people in my past I’ll always love, the relationships ended for a reason, and maintaining a “friendship” with them after the break up could block someone else, who’s a much better match for me, from coming into my life.

  6. Chrissi

    I’ve always been lucky that way and remained friends with my exes even my ex first hubby and his family are still friends with me I’ve never thought it could be any other way – though I must admit sometimes with time they have felt they could tell me why we broke up- and most of it has been because of immaturity on the part of one or the other of us- which was uncomfortable to find out but good for me to know as it helps me grow as a person


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