Staying friends with an ex can feel like the right decision at the time, but it can have a lot of consequences for both of you. That being said, lots of people do choose to keep in contact with their ex, and some are still close friends.
And even though there are lots of reasons why it may not work, that’s not the golden rule. The golden rule is to do what works for you. Regardless, here are different reasons why staying friends with an ex isn’t always the best idea.
Staying Friends With An Ex
When you end a relationship, it’s pretty natural to want to stay friends with your ex, especially if you ended amicably.
According to The Boar, “It is certainly possible to be friends with your ex but there is a catch, and that is that both parties must recognize that a romantic future together is no longer an option on the table.”
One: You Could End Up Taking Things Too Far
It’s hard to keep a healthy, friendly relationship with someone you’ve been attracted to in the past.
If you just recently broke up and continue to try to stay close friends, there’s a high chance that those feelings are still there, because feelings don’t disappear when you want them to.
Two: You Could Be Less Open To Meeting New People
If you’re still in extremely close contact with an ex, part of you may be holding onto the relationship.
Maybe you don’t even know it, or maybe you do, but staying friends with your ex could make you less open to moving on.
Three: One Of You Will Get Your Hopes Up
Some people may ask their ex to remain friends because they have a not-so-innocent agenda.
When it comes to staying friends after a breakup and continuing to spend time with one another, maybe one of you is secretly hoping you’ll get back together again.
Four: Staying Friends Will Not Make The Breakup “Easier”
Staying friends with an ex will not make the feelings that come with ending a relationship easier to deal with.
No matter what, a breakup is very tough, so seeing and conversing with your ex often isn’t the best way to “fix everything.”
Five: It May Make New Partners Uncomfortable
If you’ve ever dated someone who is VERY buddy-buddy with an ex, you know that it can be a source of tension in a relationship.
If your new boyfriend is constantly talking about his ex or wanting to hang out with them, it can feel like he hasn’t fully let go of his past (even a little bit).
Six: It’s Unnecessary
Some people may make the argument that staying friends with someone you used to be with is just unnecessary.
Unless you have something tying you together (such as kids, or work), it’s best to fully move on from the past. You can always come back to it when you’re ready after some time has passed.
Seven: Someone Will Get Hurt
At the end of the day, there is a big possibility that somebody in the situation is going to get hurt.
It sucks to see someone you used to love fall in love with someone.
Eight: It May Lead To An On-Again-Off-Again Relationship
If you and your ex decide to get back together after spending some time being just friends, the dynamic can lead to an on-again-off-again relationship.
You could get back together, then break up again. These types of relationships just aren’t healthy.
Nine: You’ll Never Be Real Friends
It could be said that no matter how hard you try, once you have gone through a breakup together, you can’t be true friends.
And although I’m sure there are some people out there whose best friend is an ex of theirs, it seems like those negative feelings can be too much for many people to get past.
Ten: In Order To Heal Properly, You Need To Distance Yourself
After a breakup, sometimes it’s best to remove yourself from the situation and focus on yourself for a little while.
Instead of jumping to a non-romantic relationship with an ex right away, maybe just give it some time and see how you would feel about that later on in the future. Moral of the story: give yourself time to heal!
Eleven: You’ve Been Intimate Before
Because you have been intimate before, it can be tough to fully let go of those feelings and enter a platonic relationship with an ex.
You can’t go back and change the fact that you two probably had some very intimate and close moments with one another—whether it be in bed or just generally in your relationship.
Maybe You Started Out As Friends In The First Place
If you started out as close friends (or even best friends) in the first place, things may get a little tricky after a breakup.
If you’re in the same friend group and don’t want things to get awkward, it could be possible for the both of you to stay friends, but you do run the risk of losing those friends.
Give It Time
Although this has been mentioned multiple times, it’s very important to note that it’s a good idea to give things some time before rushing into a friendship with your ex.
Why not give it a few months before deciding if you should stay in contact or not? This could lead to a healthier friendship.
If you decide to start a friendship with your ex, make sure that you establish boundaries with one another, and also with yourself.
Instead of having a free-for-all relationship, acknowledge the fact that you two need to make sure things don’t get out of hand.
Stay In Contact With One Another, But And Leave It At That
If you’re not close friends with an ex, and instead reach out to talk with them every once in a while, there isn’t really anything wrong with that.
But if you become extremely close again, things can go awry fast, especially if one of you has a new boyfriend or girlfriend.
If You Have Children Together
If you and your ex have children with one another, it’s best to still be a united front, at least when the two of you are in front of your kids.
The more that the two of you get along the better because it makes things easier for the kiddos.
Do What Works For You
Even though there are lots of reasons it may not work, that’s not the golden rule. The golden rule is to do what works for you.
And even though I can respect that (as long as the friendship is based on healthy interactions), once I stop dating someone, I find that it’s best for me to cut them out of my life. What do you think?