You met, you connected, you fell in love, you moved in together, maybe you even got married and then it all fell apart. When a relationship goes to hell, can you stay friends with your ex?
We’ve all heard that phrase “We can still be friends,” but can you really? If it’s your ex-husband in question and there are children involved, it’s crucial to remain at least civil. If there aren’t children involved, keeping the friendship alive will take a lot of hard work and a lot of maturity. Are you up for such a challenge is he or she worth the trouble?
In reality, there is no harm in staying friends with someone you’ve invested so much into already. Some find it easy, but others might find it impossible to stay friends with their exes. One is always the heartbreaker, while the other is the bitter one. It will take a lot to overcome the pain before the jilted one decides to give the friendship a chance.
So how do the people who really “stay friends” after a break-up make it work?
Numerous studies have shown that the more satisfied couples were during a relationship, the more likely they were to remain friends. If the anger and hurt can be overcome, there’s great comfort in keeping an ex in your life. Did you have such a relationship? Is he or she worth the effort?
In actuality, staying friends with our exes means honoring the time we spent getting to know a person we still respect and feel close to.
A truly healthy friendship with an ex-partner is a great sign that you’ve emotionally evolved past the breakup. It means the relationship itself was a supremely mature one, built on mutual respect and closeness. Such relationships are truly worth repeating in the future.
Before even thinking about going back to the friend zone, you should wait at least a month before you even consider meeting up with your ex, especially if you were the one who ended the relationship.
If it was an amicable separation it’s easier to stay friends. However, if it was an ugly break-up that has involved an affair or a betrayal, it is going to be hard to develop or re-establish the friendship.
If you have children together, you should definitely work on the relationship. If you work together or you go to the same club, you should also try to stay friends with your ex. Remaining friends will eliminate tension and awkwardness in your shared environment.
Make sure you are in the clear with your emotions before you consider reviving the friendship with your ex. If you think that being friends will increase your chances of getting back together, you shouldn’t stay friends with your ex, since you don’t see him or her as a friend. This is dangerous territory. The relationship ended for a reason, going back is not a smart idea.
If you still have feelings for your ex, the best thing to do is stay away and get over the break up in a healthy manner. There is no point in maintaining a relationship based on confusion and denial.
Once you decide to give it your best, make sure you don’t have the same expectations you had while you two were together. It will not be the same. Jealousy will lurk around every corner, and who wants that? Ask yourself; are you ready to see your ex in a relationship with someone else? Are you ok with being part of his or her life with someone else? Can you handle that? If not, stay away. You still have some emotions to deal with.
The most important thing of all is for you to know why you are even considering staying friends with your ex. If you want to keep that person in your life because you respect them and enjoy spending time with them, you should find the strength to get over the break up and simply go on with your life.
Don’t hold on to hope or false belief that maybe you’ll end up back together. You don’t know what will happen in the future and you might be wasting your time. If you value the person and don’t want to lose them, be prepared for a rough ride. That is the painful truth. Once your ex starts a new relationship, you can be sure it will trigger some old painful emotions. The smartest thing you can do is keep contact to a minimum, be respectful to their new partner and maybe you can all be friends in the future.
We are talking about the person that has seen you naked, the person with whom you’ve shared the most intimate part of yourself. It’s going to be painful, it’s going to be awkward, but if they are worth keeping in your life, you have to grow up and move on.
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.