Should You Be Friends With Your Ex?


       There has been a lot of arguments about staying friends with your ex which has been hashed over time and time again. And just when you thought the unanimous vote was to kick your ex to the curb and never look back, somebody like me comes up with a few reasons why you might actually want to stay friends with your ex.

And no, I haven’t lost my marbles. I’ve read the studies. According to McAfee, as you sit here reading this, you could have as many as 44 percent of your tired old exes burning up the broadband trying to find out what you’ve been up to on Facebook. Perhaps you spend a good amount of time looking them up too. And according to the experts at Brunel University in England, the only “good” that is going to come from that are feelings of jealousy, bitterness, and possibly even a little infatuation. But you wouldn’t have to snoop if you remained friends after the breakup.

Platonic Friendships

According to Christie Hartman, Ph.D. and author of Back in the Game, maintaining a platonic friendship with your ex can be a satisfying feeling that you have moved on. The key is maintaining certain ground rules, such as allowing enough time to pass before you get together again, keeping the meeting places in a public location (to discourage intimate feelings) and avoiding hashing out old arguments. Take good friends wherever you can find them!

Loss of Passion

It also helps if your breakup was the result of lost passion, rather than a byproduct of jealousy or cheating. There are some breakups that are just more easy to get over than others, and these are more likely to result in a post-breakup friendship. If you discover you’re better friends than lovers, why not work at maintaining a friendship?

Post-Breakup Sex

And some researchers even suggest that the post-breakup sex that occurs with 20 percent of broken couples may help to ease that aching heart and help the breakup go that much smoother. This is because the sex fulfills the need for attachment as the couple works through the pain. I don’t know about all that, but there is one more very important reason that you may want to consider… true love.

True Love

According to one study published in the Journal of Personal and Social Relationships, as many as 44 percent of young lovers reconcile their relationship with a former lover within a two year period. We can only assume that on some occasions those were good decisions. Sometimes relationships don’t work out for reasons that can be cured with time and maturity. It will be up to you to read the red flags when and if the opportunity arises to rekindle such a romance. But remember, some relationships are more worthwhile to return to, while others remain toxic, and you’re just better off not going there.

This leaves us with 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.