Why You Can’t Be Friends With Your Ex

When a relationship ends rather amicably, it makes it harder to really sever the ties. For my situation with Mr. Right, it was a logical decision to end things, not an emotional one. So it took longer for the emotions to align with our minds. It’s confusing trying to be friends with your ex. You read into conversations more, rethink how things could have been, and still crave that intimacy that is just out of reach now.

When you break up, you have to establish new friendship boundaries and that’s not something that easily happens over night. I’m not saying you can never be friends with your ex. I’m just saying that taking a break after a break up is extremely helpful in the healing process. Not taking time apart just delays the hurt and the loneness. You need some closure on that part of the relationship in order to open up the door for friendship again.

You have to remember that you can still do things on your own just fine and that you were never dependent on someone else. You need time to mourn the relationship as it was. If you don’t take this time, it could lead to ending the relationship but still hooking up for physical intimacy. Or perhaps you’re trying to persuade him back into a committed relationship. It’s a sticky situation when you’re just hooking up when feeling so emotionally attached. You’re putting yourself right in the line of fire to get your feelings really hurt.

It also makes it really difficult to move on and become emotionally available again when you’re in constant contact with your ex. If you’re still texting all hours of the day and you go to her when you hear great or terrible news, then you’re probably still kinda dating.

Relationships are complicated and break ups even more so. You don’t have to try to date someone new. But if a break up did happen then it might be a good time to reflect on yourself and the relationship. Figure out what you really need and want from your significant other and think about if your ex can really be that person.

This time of closure and reflection is all about you. So being friends with your ex while trying to sort out your own emotions makes things cloud and confusing. Allow yourself some solitude and clarity before reforming a relationship/friendship with your ex again.

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15 comments

  1. I totally and utterly agree. You can be friendly or on friendly terms, but that ex knows you in ways no one else does, and vice versa…
    …and they are an ex because of that mismatched intimacy.

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  2. I am actually friends with my ex – it took time to heal but now we have a very good relationship – no romantic feelings at all but a good true friendship – wasn’t easy to get there but we did

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  3. I’m friends with my ex, and I’m glad I am. We have so much in common that we don’t have with other people that we have great conversations. We don’t really have the possibility of a backslide, because he lives 300+ miles away. Do I wish we were still together? Sure. But our friendship is something I cherish and don’t ever want to lose.

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  4. I always warn people not to be friends with their ex. I tried to be friends with mine, the man I had my first ever serious relationship with, and it was the worst year of my life. Absolute emotional torture and wreckage.
    No one ever listens though – I think it’s a mistake everyone has to make themselves in order to truly understand it.

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  5. Ex-DH and I are now almost 3 years post divorce and are back to being friends again. We really needed that first couple of years apart though. Well as apart as we could be with having children in common and being determined to give them as little drama and heartache as we possibly could.

    I don’t know when or if MC and I could ever be friends.

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    1. Yeah there’s definitely a ton of emotions you need to process on your own when going through a break up/divorce. I’m glad you were able to do what you could for the kids and still have some time on your own!

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