Once you fall in love and enter a romantic relationship, expect a heartbreak. However mean it may sound, it is the reality.
Many people break up, dump or get dumped, and wonder what to do with their once charming partners who assume the ex title.
Can you continue to be friends with your ex after ending the romance? Yes, even relationship experts agree.
Is it advisable to be friends with your ex? Those who support being friends with your ex usually say it is a sign of maturity but others see it as masochism.
Here are some of the reasons why you should not be friends with your ex.
1. Being friendly does not mean friendship
Alexia LaFata, Elite Daily‘s associate features editor, points out that there is an important difference between having a friendship and being friendly.
“A friendship might involve somewhat frequent communication, watching Netflix or going out together but being friendly might involve waving ‘hello’ across a crowded room or engaging in a two-minute surface level conversation and then going your separate ways,” she says.
For the sake of those in your social circle, being friendly with your ex at a party or at a mutual gathering is probably a good idea, she advises.
2. Reasons for the friendship
You may want to be friends with your ex for good reason but does he or she have similar intentions? One may want to be friends with the ex with the hopes of getting back together while another may be out of pity or guilt.
Worst of all, an ex can be your friend to use you as a backup plan, in case he or she does not get a better partner.
3. Low quality friendship
A research by University of Connecticut tried to find out whether is was possible for ex-romantic partners to have a great platonic friendship.
It found out that on average, exes tend to have lower-quality friendships than opposite-sex friends who were never romantically involved. Exes were found to be less emotionally supportive, less helpful, less trusting and less concerned about the other person’s happiness.
4. Old habits die hard
The reasons that made you break up with your ex will still be there and the differences creep back to your friendship. If he/she disrespected you while you were dating, what will stop them from doing the same when you are friends?
“With my most recent ex, our breakup involved so many nasty fights that it would be ridiculous to try to rebuild after all the horrible things we said to one another. Despite this, we stupidly made a brief attempt at friendship last year. Not surprisingly, literally every hangout resulted in a fight, me crying, or us having sex,” Karley Sciortino wrote in the Vogue Magazine.
5. It will be difficult to moving on
Having your ex close before you get into another stable relationship may prevent you from moving on. It is very easy to find your self between the sheets once again with you ex all in the name of friendship.
“Don’t have ex sex, as you’ll never move on…. This boundary has to be set in stone if you want a friendship,” relationships expert Dr Gabrielle Morrissey told body+soul.
You might not realize it, but keeping your ex around “as a friend” after a breakup can keep you from moving on; it can suck up so much of your emotional bandwidth, Sciortino said.
6. Reliving the heartbreak
Finally, do you wish to be heartbroken over and over again? Even if you think you have moved on, it will never be easy to see your ex-lover date again.
“Be prepared as this can trigger some old painful emotions,” John Aiken, a clinical psychologist and relationship expert, told body+soul.
All in all, being friends with your ex is not bad but the terms and conditions must be clearly spelt out and agreeable by both.