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Is Being Friends With Your Ex A Really Good Idea, Or A Really Bad One?

Sometimes, being friends with your ex even after you have called it quits on your relationship is a tricky thing to deal with. The thing is, human life is composed of various relationships, all of which have their own dynamics and equations, and some which should not be mingled with others. When you date a person, you share a very intimate kind of equation with them where you make out and have deep conversations and are “exclusive”. However, once you break up, you don’t know how to handle your relationship (or the lack of it thereof) with the person who was literally your #1 a while back.

Suggested read: Is It Really Possible To Be Friends With Your Ex?

Maintaining a friendship with your ex is something like that- it is confusing as hell and it is a tricky trajectory to follow, which is why you need to know the workings of a relationship like this inside out before engaging in it. There are several situations which you might face when you are friends with your ex, all of which will be discussed below. But first, let us examine why people want to be friends with their ex in the first place.

being friends with your ex_new_love_times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License

The urge to maintain civil and cordial relationships stems from the fact that people are essentially very sentimental beings. They are afraid to trust people, and once they do, they are unable to let go easily. And it is undeniably true that breaking off all contact with your ex after talking every day for the longest time is a little weird and you trust yourself to be mature enough to handle being friends with them without any unforeseen complications arriving. People, however, aren’t as mature as they would like to believe they are. They are stupid and attached and emotional, which means that most of the time, a resolution like this where no complication is avowed, complications seem to creep up without prior notice.

People are way too chill when they are friends with their ex. They go out together, they hang out and they keep texting each other, while convinced of the fact that you are one of those rare specimen who have managed to go from being lovers to friends effortlessly. Even though it might seem easy at first, things can get weird later, and here are all the ways how.

SITUATION 1: Lovers – exes – friends – lovers again

This is a sticky situation which arrives in most cases where people decided to remain friends after they have broken up. Human nature is an unchangeable and overwhelming force that very few people have the will power to overcome. There was something about your ex that made you fall in love with them and the moment you start hanging out together, you see all those reasons right before your eyes, but this time as something you don’t have in your life.

having a best friend of the opposite gender _new_love_times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

When you are friends after breaking up, you are not obligated to each other anymore, you don’t talk all the time, you don’t feel the need to hang out with each other all the time, which is when you start seeing your ex in a new light. You see them having fun, and they see you moving on and all the reasons why you had broken up in the first place are forgotten and all the reasons you had started dating in the first place become apparent. There is nothing stopping those pesky feelings from coming to the surface again and either you, or your ex, or both of you start developing feelings for each other.

Here are all the possible outcomes of a situation like this:

1. You get back together and break up again because the problems you had in the first place are unlikely to change

2. One of your, or both of you get your heart broken again, because there is no reciprocation or you know for a fact that this won’t work out

3. Jealousy, anger, longing, envy are the primary things that you are likely to feel, none of which are great options.

4. You ruin any real chance of friendship if feelings start coming to the fore.

5. You get back together and you figure out your problems and live happily ever after, but then you would also have to be Hugh Grant or Drew Barrymore in a fairytale rom-com so not really sure about this outcome.

SITUATION 2: Your partner hates your ex, but you are ACTUALLY friends

Sometimes, some miracle of nature grants you with the actual maturity to handle being friends with your ex. In situations like this, you figure out that you are not meant to be romantically involved and you are really good at being friends, and have taken the friendship game to a whole new level.

being friends with your ex_new_love_times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License

However, there remains the problem of moving on with your lives. Both of you are going to find new partners to actually fall in love with, and irrespective of whether you end up with them or not, exes are going to be a touchy subject, whether you are serious or not. According to human nature, no one on earth is comfortable with their partners being super chummy with their ex, who is like a dark shadow from the past that you never really let go off. If you are determined to tell your partner that you share nothing but a platonic friendship and you couldn’t possibly have anything romantic, try thinking of the situation from their perspective and put yourself in their shoes. It is a highly uncomfortable situation, where you might have to choose either your relationship with your partner, or friendship with your ex to maintain peace in your life.

Suggested read: 10 valid reasons why you shouldn’t be friends with your ex

Here are all the outcomes that could come out of a situation like this:

1. You break up with your partner and lose out on love if you continue being friend with your ex

2. You lose out on a perfectly good friendship with a person who knows you from before your partner’s time, if you choose the latter over your friendship

3. You choose both and everyday of your life is composed of fights, misunderstandings, tiresome explanations and a lot of lying

4. You are constantly fencing off doubt regarding your integrity because people will expect you to make out with your ex any moment (because you have done it before haven’t you)

5. People start taking sides and your life becomes a gladiator game with no end to the drama in the foreseeable future.

SITUATION 3: Actually being friends with your ex

If you are extremely lucky, then things are likely to work out for you. If you are comfortable with your shared history, and don’t feel it interfering with your present or your future where you can be comfortably friends with each other, then there is nothing stopping you from taking the leap. A lot of the reasons relationships like this get screwed up, is because of what we see on mass media and movies.

being friends with your ex_new_love_times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License

Whether it is advertising or Facebook or Hollywood, people are constantly breaking up, getting back together, staying friends, not staying friends, which makes the general idea of relationships a convoluted concept in our minds. They are determined to show that exes cannot be friends, or that the shared history will be brought up time and again, and that either you will have to stop being friends, or get back together. All these notions changes the way you deal with relationships in real life, which is why you should first and foremost, close your eyes and let your heart guide you. There is nothing more rewarding than maintaining a healthy friendship with someone who got to know you from such close quarters, because truly, if such complications did not exist, they would make wonderful friends.

Despite what people say, despite what you think is the right thing to do and despite the ire of a lot of people who cannot look beyond the accepted conventions of relationship, you should listen to your instincts, and if both you and your ex are okay with being friends, then no one else be able to discourage you to be otherwise.

Suggested read: 10 Women Reveal Why It Is Impossible To Be ‘Just Friends’ With Your Ex

Ultimately, there is no right answer if you are trying to figure out whether remaining friends with your ex is a good idea or not. In all honesty, it works out for some people, and it doesn’t for others. Some exes fall back in love with each other, and others forget about each other’s existence completely. It all depends on how much you are willing to risk, how mature you are in handling your emotions and what you truly want from this one particular relationship, the reins of which are completely in your hands, and your hands only.

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License

Article Name
Is Being Friends With Your Ex A Really Good Idea, Or A Really Bad One?
Being friends with your ex is a tricky place. Here are all the possible scenarios that could make this the best decision of your life, or the worst.
Aishani Laha

Aishani Laha

Bibliophile. Feminist. Unreasonable optimist. I am dangerously obsessed with the English language and the stage is my second home. I still believe in fairy tales and happy endings, and more importantly, that there is nothing that good music and a cup of coffee can’t fix.