You Probably Shouldn’t Be Friends With Your Ex Even Though We Know You’re Going To Try Anyway

Being friends with your ex always seems like a good idea at the time. But be honest, are you ever going to be able to have enough distance from an ex to just be their bud? It isn’t really likely.

I’m not saying don’t do it. I’m just saying to proceed with caution…it usually isn’t a good call. Take some time to consider what you’re doing and ask yourself some serious questions.

What Are The Real Upsides, Anyway?

a woman who looks like she is thinking
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Ansley Ventura
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Ansley Ventura

If you’re honest with yourself, what are the real upsides to being friends with your ex? Yes, they might still be in your life, but is that really a good thing? Is this a person you want in your life? Is he going to add something to your life that isn’t something you already have?

It’s Going To Make It Harder To Move On

woman looking to the side
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Brooke Cagle
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Brooke Cagle

Look, breaking up is hard, and when you break up with someone, it’s not like the love goes anywhere, especially if you’re breaking up for reasons like the timing isn’t right or because you just don’t fit even though you love each other. But having that person close to you still is going to make it too hard to move on to be worth it.

You Can’t Just Turn Off Your Feelings

woman sitting looking out over the water
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Artem Kovalev
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Artem Kovalev

You can’t just turn off your feelings, no matter how hard you might want to try. Those feelings you have for them aren’t going to go anywhere, and being friends might make you think that you’ve made the best of what’s left, but it’s just another way to hold onto what isn’t there anymore.

One Of You Might Still Have Feelings For Each Other

woman with a sheet over her face
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Yoann Boyer
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Yoann Boyer

You wouldn’t want to end up in one of those painful situations where they still have feelings for you and you don’t have any for them, or vice versa. You’re going to end up hurting one another more than you need to.

You Might Be Setting Yourself Up For An On-Again Off-Again Situation

a woman wearing a hat
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Daria Litvinova
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Daria Litvinova

Another serious downside to staying friends is ending up in one of those “we hook up sometimes” situations. Those gray areas aren’t good for anyone, and you might think that hooking up is a way to stay close, but it always ends up being a bummer.

It’s Probably Going To Be Painful A Lot Of The Time

woman taking in the breeze
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Diana Simumpande
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Diana Simumpande

If you’re honest, are you ever going to be OK seeing your ex hit on someone or date someone new, or even just generally be OK without you? No, the answer is probably not.

It’s Going To Prevent You From Being Open To New Relationships

woman walking through a field
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Larm Rmah
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Larm Rmah

If you have your ex in your life, then chances are you’re not really going to feel like you’re ready to move on. There is going to be a part of you that feels like you have a good amount of those needs met that we tend to look for in a relationship, and that might then stop you from being open to meeting new people.

It Might Be Because You Feel Bad For Them

a girl with really good eyebrows
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Mike Austin
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Mike Austin

Staying friends with an ex because you feel bad for breaking up with them is a terrible idea. It’s kind of disrespectful and not a good reason to keep anyone in your life.

You’re Going To Want To Keep Tabs On Them

a black and white photo of a woman
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Maria Lysenko
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Maria Lysenko

Staying friends with your ex is literally the in-person version of lurking their social media at all times. It’s not a healthy thing to do, and in order to move on, you need to be able to create some distance for you both.

It Might Make You Feel Lonely

woman sitting by train tracks
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Kyle Broad
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Kyle Broad

Nothing makes you feel lonelier than spending time with someone you used to love who you no longer have a relationship with. It can make you think that something is missing from your life, and you might try to fill that hole in your life in unhealthy ways.

You’ll Get “Grass Is Greener” Syndrome

a woman sitting in the sand
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Ivanna Mykhailiuk
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Ivanna Mykhailiuk

Never forget that the two of you broke up for a reason. But if you stay friends with an ex, then it’s likely that at some point or another, you’re going to end up thinking that you might have made a mistake.

It Will Give You Hope You’ll Get Back Together

woman with smoke swirling around her
Photo Credit: Unsplash / arvin keynes
Photo Credit: Unsplash / arvin keynes

Sometimes, people who break up do get back together and things work out. But that rarely works out the way that people think it is going to. Besides, thinking you’re going to get back together when you’re probably not going to is just setting yourself up for disappointment.

You’ll Never Be Able To Be Objective

woman standing in front of graffiti
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Lethicia Matos
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Lethicia Matos

If you’re too close to your ex, then it’s going to be really difficult to get that objective space you need to know that you made the right decision. You’ll always be way too close.

Lines Get Blurred Very Easily

girl sitting outside in the snow
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Lethicia Matos
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Lethicia Matos

When you stay close with an ex, the lines between what is appropriate and not appropriate anymore can be really difficult to navigate. The things that you can say to each other, the things that are appropriate to do—it all becomes a lot less clear.

A New Partner Might Not Like It

woman driving a pick up truck
Photo Credit: Unsplash / averie woodard
Photo Credit: Unsplash / averie woodard

True, you shouldn’t be dating someone who is going to be controlling, but ask yourself, is it really respectful to have close contact with an ex if you’re dating someone new who might not like it?

It’s Not Going To Make The Breakup Easier

woman wearing a flower crown
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Jordan Sanchez
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Jordan Sanchez

Staying friends with one another is absolutely not going to make losing each other easier. It’s better to just accept that this bad thing is happening, that it is sad, and that you’re going to have to make peace with it.

Someone’s Feelings Are Going To Get Hurt

woman standing around a bunch of lights
Photo Credit: Unsplash / chelsea ferenando
Photo Credit: Unsplash / chelsea ferenando

No matter what your intentions are or how well you think you have a handle on your feelings, one of you is going to end up hurt, if not both of you.

Most Of The Time, You Weren’t Friends To Start With

a woman wearing cool earrings
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Oladimeji Odunsi
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Oladimeji Odunsi

Yes, you were friends while you dated, and you also had to spend time getting to know one another, but if you’re honest, was the extent of your relationship friendship legit outside of the relationship? Or did you meet and get to know each other because you wanted to date?

Do Both Of You Actually Want To Be Friends?

woman has her hands over her face
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Emiliano Vittoriosi
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Emiliano Vittoriosi

Ask yourself, really, do you want to be friends with your ex, or does it just feel like something you should do because of what you went through together? You can stay in touch and not be friends. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

It Just Isn’t Necessary

woman sitting near ocean
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Vince Fleming
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Vince Fleming

Being friends doesn’t need to be something that you do with your ex. It’s OK to part ways and be on good terms and not stay in one another’s life. Saying goodbye to someone is a normal part of life.