The symptoms of a serious breakup from a serious relationship are pretty obvious. For starters- you suddenly realize how important those cute goodnight texts were to you, you find yourself crying alone more often than not, you develop an inexplicable affinity towards a sinful ice cream flavor and TV channels seem to have run out of all movies without a love story. The signs are actually endless. I mean, it’s true that you broke up and your ex is now someone you want to avoid at all costs, but in your heart of hearts, you miss your relationship, which is why is it super dangerous being friends with your ex after you have broken up.
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We asked 10 women and they told us why being friends with your ex after you have called it quits on your relationship is the worst idea ever.
“My ex and I broke up after dating for over 3 years, and it was difficult for the both of us because ours was the longest relationship we had both been in. things didn’t work out eventually but we still stayed friends afterwards which, I now realize, was the worst decision ever. Every time I saw him it felt like torture and although we were just friends, I tried to reason with myself constantly and tell myself to behave like friends do and not get too close for comfort. Eventually it became quite impossible to carry on.” -Natasha, 24
Suggested read: 13 effective tips on how to forget someone you once loved
“Even though we had one super ugly breakup, we found ourselves hanging out together again within 2 weeks after the ‘thing’ had gone down and we had called it quits. Initially everything seemed all hunky dory and we felt like we were the coolest, most chill couple-turned-friends ever. But we realized that we were on the verge of getting back together again with things getting too hot and heavy. Another 2 meetings and we would have gone back into our eternally doomed relationship. I realized that all couples need time to heal from the grief, and absolute separation is required during this time. The moment you start seeing each other before you actually get over each other, you start seeing each other in the role of lovers again, which kinda defeats the whole point of being exes. It was definitely a life lesson.” -Remy, 22
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“Being on the older side of the 30’s and being in several relationships comes with a lot of knowledge and wisdom regarding relationship etiquette and one of the foremost rules that I have learnt through experience is that it is quite impossible to be just friends with your ex after you gone your separate ways. You might think you have an immense amount of self-control, but the funny thing is, the moment you start seeing each other after you have broken up, you start noticing their idiosyncrasies and making those subtle references and inside jokes which were exclusive to your relationship and the “remember when…” conversation is one road you definitely don’t want to go down with your ex after you have broken up.” -Paula, 32
“Meeting your ex after you have broken up and said goodbye FOREVER is the worst idea ever. Period. When I broke up with my ex we were still in our honeymoon phase and I guess things got too sappy and sweet. Whatever. The deal is- we started seeing each other pretty damn frequently afterwards because all our friends were mutual and they are nice people so they refused to pick sides. However, I realized I was still extremely possessive about him and he, about me, and I got mad as hell when he flirted with another girl and he didn’t really change the way he spoke to me either after we broke up so basically, instead of being civil friends, we ended up being suffocated by each other all over again and prevented the other from moving on with our lives.” -Lina, 19
“We tried. We honestly tried. We hung out in groups. We made sure that we were not alone. We NEVER got caught in the rain. We did everything we could to make sure that we remained friends even though we mutually agreed that we were officially the worst lovers on earth. Could that prevent us from making things weird and awkward between us? Nope. Definitely not. I mean, a year was not much but even in that short a time we got used to each other and even after we broke up, I couldn’t help instinctively calling him names I made up when we were together and he instinctively picked up the capsicum off my plate when we ate (and I really loathe capsicum). It was super debilitating for both our mental health and I realized with even more pain than what the breakup had caused that it really is quite impossible to remain “just friends” with your ex.” -Kayla, 26
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“The thing with being friends with your ex after you break up is that you treat them differently than all your other friends, and you hold their hand (which friends don’t do) and you garner unfriendly feelings for them (which friends do not do) and you have sensitive topics and out of bounds areas of discussions (which is also, unsurprisingly, absent among friends). Being friends with them is impossible because after you break up, you are stuck in this terrible middle ground where you aren’t really friends and definitely not lovers. Just acquaintances with a LOT of history.” -Irina, 23
“My boyfriend and I broke up and it was surprisingly civil, but our friends couldn’t take it which is why we were semi-forced into staying in touch with each other after we broke up. Even though we didn’t think it was a big deal and even after we thought we could handle it, I found myself going back to him in my time of need, or even when I was happy and had good news to share. He was still my go-to person, except the way we reacted to each other changed and I got angry whenever he wasn’t there for me and he got angry when I refused to get personally involved with his problems. Things went from bad to worse and we realized that we were deliberately stopping ourselves from getting out of the relationship. Eventually, I had to physically move away, even at the cost of quite a few other friendships.” -Roma, 21
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“Even though I was surprisingly okay with my breakup, my ex insisted that we remained friends. I thought he was pretty cool about it too so I said what the hell, why not give it a try- we did know each other pretty closely and starting the introduction process all over again with someone new felt cumbersome. Well, apparently his intentions weren’t all that innocent because a week into our supposed “friendship,” a common friend’s dinner party turned into a shouting match and turns out he still had feelings for me and “demanded” I get back with him. Needless to say, I made sure I disappeared from his life.” -Ianthe, 24
“Breaking up wasn’t easy and seeing each other constantly afterwards wasn’t either, so we decided to keep things civil and friendly between us. However, there was just too much history and too many memories together which we had accumulated over the course of two and a half years, and every time we saw each other, I could feel him hurting and the screwed up part is, I cared too much about him to watch him go through that pain without doing anything. It was evident that both the pain he felt and the care I felt had to go. Being friends or even acquaintances was pretty much out of the question.” -Gina, 33
“By this time I am not even sure why we were together or why we broke up, but after we did we made sure we got over each other before trying our hand at friendship. Lesson learnt: worst idea ever. Even though we thought we both had gotten over each other, the moment I started to date someone else, he went batshit crazy. He started comparing notes on whether he was better than my current boyfriend or not and even tried to break us up and get all our friends to turn on me. There is no way you can have an ex as your friend unless you want a psycho possessive stalker on your hands because no matter how long it is, they never change.” -Rhea, 24
Suggested read: How to get over the one that got away in 5 steps
Whether it is jealousy, or too much history or just too much awkwardness between a couple of people who used to be in love at one point of time in their lives, it has been amply established that if there is one thing that is completely, absolutely and irrevocably true in this world- it is that people who claim to remain “just friends” with their ex after they have broken up are lying through their teeth because that is one relationship that is bound to complicate your life and everyone else’s, which is why it is best if it is non-existent.
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