After a terrible breakup, the last thing you want to think about is being friends with your ex. Your head might just be overly busy thinking of where you and your ex got it wrong, what you two could have done differently, at the same time, you are also dealing with all the hurt, regret, anger, frustration and sometimes freedom that comes with a breakup. One thing you may not be feeling is the excitement to keep being friends with your ex at the moment.
Although no breakup is easy, yet there are some relationships that end with a mutual understanding, most relationships don’t. When a relationship comes to an end, one of the most difficult things that you may have to readjust to is that someone who was once a huge part of your life isn't all that anymore. As a way of coping with this strange emptiness, you may begin to wonder if you can have your ex in your life as just a friend; no string attached. Should you try to stay friends with an ex? The answer is subjective. Forgiving your ex right now might be very difficult but staying friends with your ex sometimes have its benefit.
If you think there is anything you will gain by staying friends with your ex, would you consider it? But before you decide to take that leap into friendship, you need some time between the breakup and the friendship; the time to learn to let go of the pain of the breakup, letting go of all the resentment, betrayal, anger, regret and possible guilt. You need the time to gain clarity, have some closure on some pestering unanswered questions and start to feel differently about an ex-partner, and the time to learn the important lesson that the relationship has taught you. You need to accept them and tap into these lessons as part of the important lessons that life has taught you.
Doing all of these things will not only give your clarity and closure, but it will also help you become better and improve your approach in your future relationships. These are part of the healthy healing process and should be done regardless of where you stand with your ex.
Can Exes Be Friends?
Absolutely! There is nothing wrong with staying friends with an ex under clear circumstances. Considering that many breakups are filled with a lot of drama, choosing to stay friends with your ex can be a sign of maturity.
Though that doesn’t conclude that all friendship with every ex is healthy, it doesn’t mean that all exes are friends for good reasons. If feelings remain unresolved, then it could just be an easy excuse back to the old relationship. Many people remain friends with exes because they hope there will be another chance at the relationship. So, if something doesn't feel right, be sure to speak up.
If you are going to be friends with your ex, you will have to go through some healthy healing process. You need to clear the air of discord between you two when you both have been healed. Go ahead to accept the reality of the past, apologize to one another and make sure you are over each other. There are things you know about one another that will prove to be useful in the future and you will be able to offer a very intimate sense of support for one another.
Do You Have To Be Friends With Your Ex?
On the other hand, NO! There are some relationships that are meant to be left in the past. When you have to be in a relationship with an abuser of any kind and finally have your freedom, the best thing to do here is to stay totally away from this abuser. Your focus should be to heal and heal in a healthy way, to forgive and someday be tolerant but not being friends.
Another time that staying friends is not an option is when the friendship itself starts to actually cause unwanted pain. It could be too much too soon and the friendship is actually doing you more harm than good.
Being friends with your ex shouldn’t happen right away in every sense. You two have developed a friendship beyond the romance, you two have studied each other while dating, you have experienced a lot together and it’s hard to let that go when the romance ends.
Again, not all relationships are meant to develop into friendships. Below are 9 glaring signs you are not ready to be friends with your ex.
1. You Are Still Dealing With Unresolved Feelings.
Getting over a breakup doesn’t happen in a day. You need to give yourself a chunk of time and space to grieve for the end of the relationship and recover from the shock of it. This simply means letting yourself feel your emotions instead of bottling them up.
If your feelings are still raw from the breakup or from things that happened in the relationship, it means you are still working through your feelings; you are not ready to be friends with your ex just yet. Instead, focus your efforts on processing any unresolved feelings you may still have. Focus on self-care. Maintain your distance and commit fully to healing and protecting your peace. Make feeling good your top priority. Simply focus on your own healing and well-being.
If your ex is suggesting for a friendship before you are fully prepared for one, it's best, to be honest about how you are feeling. Just until you are ready, it won't really be a beneficial friendship for either of you.
2.You Can’t Talk About Your Ex Without Getting Worked Up.
If you find it difficult to speak about your ex without bursting into tears or shutting down completely, take that as a sign that you’re not ready to be friends. If you still shut down or get mad at each other over something that happened in the relationship, you are probably not ready to be friends yet.
When you have given yourself time and space to grieve and heal, you should be able to talk about that relationship in a normal way, without being upset. You should be able to count your blessings, lessons, and losses.
3. You Still Fantasize About Getting Back Together.
Honestly ask yourself why you want to be friends with your ex. Is there still any tiny part of you that hopes being friends could be a gateway back into something more? If so, friendship probably isn’t the right move yet. Staying friends with your ex with an agenda that, over time, it might blossom into something romantic again isn’t a healthy approach for you or your ex. And if you are already making any progress at healing, this could derail the progress you have achieved.
It is better to hold off until you are fully recovered; otherwise, you expose yourself to the risk of further emotional pain. Take some time instead to think about what you are missing from the relationship and find ways to give them to yourself. Stop looking to them as your source of happiness.
If you still feel this way, it is a sign that you are not ready to be friends with your ex and you need more time to focus on YOU.
4. You Are Stalking Their Social Media
If you constantly following up on your ex’s Instagram feed to see where they are and who they are with is a strong indication that you are not ready to be friends. If you are checking their Facebook timeline in the morning before you even check your own, in the night before you sleep and you read way too far into every little detail. You start feeling cheated on if they change their profile picture. That may be an indication that you are saving some unresolved feelings, and you are not ready to accept the past and let your ex move on with their life.
Checking on your ex’s Facebook and Instagram to see any and every update shows that you still care a little too much to be just friends. You have probably got some things you still need to work out.
5. You Get Jealous When They Move On.
Watching an ex move on can be really hard, even when you really think you want them to be happy with someone else. Let alone when you still have feelings for them. So, if you still feel mad or jealous when you hear they are dating again if you get bitter when you see them with someone else, you may need to pause and give yourself more time before giving a friendship a try.
It is a reality that you two are no longer together, and in no distant time, you two will have to be with different people. Your ex is going to start moving on and you will too. If this is still hard for you to accept or witness, you find yourself unable to be around their new partner because of the jealousy you feel, you are not ready to be their friend.
6. You Still Think Of Your Ex Romantically.
The attraction you shared in an intimate relationship is not something that you can easily flip like a coin. You can deliberately decide with your ex-partner that parting ways are the best for you two, even when you still feel in love with this person. If you want to know how ready you are to be just friends with your ex you need to be honest about how you really feel about them. To gauge, your feelings about them, ask yourself these question: How do you feel when they walk into a room? Do you still feel attracted to them when you see them? Do you still think of them in a romantic way? If you still want to have a physical connection with them and cross boundaries that you wouldn't cross with just anyone, this could be a sign that you should get back together or not. I mean, relationship breakup for some reason, go back to why you ended things in the first place.
7. You Are Holding Each Other Back
Neither of you is willing to let things go. You still feel the urge to trade blames. Forgiveness may not be forgetting but forgiveness means that once you decide to forgive the things that happened, you have no business bringing them back up in an argument.
If you are going to be friends with your ex, you just have to sit back and decide whether or not it is healthy for either of you to remain friends, or if it is just creating too much emotional baggage.
If you still feel this way, then you still need more self-healing to do. You are not ready to be friends just yet.
8. You Are Doing It For The Wrong Reasons
Stay true to your reason why you want to be friends with your ex. Do you want to stay friends with them because you want to just spend time with them? You are not ready to move on? Or, you want to make sure they are on the same level as you? Using friendship with your ex to delay your healing process is at your detriment. The only time you are fully ready to be friends with an ex is if you have both fully moved on from the past relationship, anything else is a setup for more pain and disappointment.
It is understandable that you will feel lonely after a relationship ends, especially if you and your ex-partner were roommates and if your social life revolves around each other. But when you are missing that companionship, it may be tempting to pursue a friendship with your ex just fill that void.
If you are feeling lonely and decide to reach out to your ex under the guise of friendship, you are giving room to more hurts and pains.