“Friends with an EX” 

Most of us know it all too well. Whether your relationship ended by mutual agreement or feelings on your end that you see your significant other as more of a friend than a lover, the “I’d like us to still be friends” conversation often comes into play. It is hard to fully let go sometimes, especially if the relationship began with a friendship. You do not want to completely ruin what you had just because a romantic relationship didn’t work out. You can still talk all the time, hang out, go see a movie… just without all the feelings, right?

If your relationship ended due to infidelity, abuse, jealousy or trust issues, remaining friends is almost impossible. However, somehow we have the notion that if the breakup is amicable, a lasting friendship should be no problem.

Whether or not the breakup was your call, cutting a person out of your life—someone with whom you’ve shared secrets, dreams for the future, a bed, or even a home—is really, really tough.

But even after the hard part is over, it’s never as cut-and-dry as simply saying good-bye. In today’s smartphone-centric, Facebook-addicted, Instagram-obsessed world, staying in touch with an ex is a lot easier—and messier.

Maybe you want to remain friends with an ex because that’s an easier option than cutting ties abruptly, or because you still feel emotionally attached to them. Those reasons are exactly why staying in contact with an ex isn’t a good idea.

It is NOT necessarily wrong to stay friends with an ex, but it can be very challenging and can leave you in a tough spot emotionally.

Here are three things to consider before opening up the lines of communication.

  1. How Emotionally connected are you?

Think about your ex. How do you feel? If you honestly don’t feel anything at all—like totally, 100 percent neutral, an emotional zero on a scale from one to 10—then it may be possible to stay friendly with them in a healthy and functional way. Most us don’t (and can’t) truly feel that way. “If you feel any emotion when you think of your ex—if you’re angry, pining, frustrated, or unsure—that means you’re still connected which signals you have some emotional baggage you need to unpack before you think about reaching out.

  1. How did the relationship end?

If there are legitimate reasons to remain cordial (for instance, you have mutual friends, children, or you work at the same company), then by all means be civil toward one another. We’re all mature adults here, right?

And if you were friends before it is possible to go back to being friends again—regardless of who broke up with whom. The caveat: If one or both of you were romantically interested in each other during the previous friendship, you may (again) have trouble keeping things platonic. That’s why it’s probably a good idea to wait until you’ve recovered from the breakup to re-establish a friendship, which could take months or even years, depending on the nature of the split.

Remember – When someone breaks up with you that mean they don’t want to be in a relationship with you.” It may sound like tough love, but remember: You want to be with someone who wants to be with you

3. The FEELINGS- Consider how you and your Ex feels about the BREAK UP.

Would you feel comfortable hanging out with your ex and your current partner together? “If the answer is no, then staying friends with your ex may not work,” Breines says. And if you’re sneaking around and not telling your new Significant Other- that you’re in touch with your ex, that’s definitely a bad sign.

However, if your partner would be totally cool knowing or finding out about your communication with your ex, then keeping that connection is probably fine

Finally, staying in touch with an ex when you’re with a new partner could lead you to (falsely) believe the GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER Especially when you’re upset or annoyed with your current significant other- you may think that things would be better with someone else. “But this way of thinking is a trap and could prevent you from ever being happy where you are.

The temptation to stay in touch with an ex is normal—we’ve all been there. If you need to remain civil (and can), by all means go for it. But if you’re hanging onto the hope of getting back together, giving them the wrong impression, or risking your current relationship, that’s another story.

THE TWO very reasonable excuses to stay friends with an ex: You were always better friends than lovers, and both of you agree on that. And, if you feel that the breakup was due to circumstances that could only improve with time (maturity, school, career, etc.), it’s also reasonable to stay friends with your ex. If the love was true but the time was off, you may very well discover that a second chance is just what you need.

Remember WHAT YOU DESERVE IS a loving, lasting relationship that both people want to be a part of.