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Can you Ever be 'Friends' with an Ex?

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Now this is a really tricky one. You have loads of memories together, have shared good times, supported each other through bad times and feel comfortable around each other. So, is it possible to still be friends once the relationship has ended?

Firstly, I think it depends on how and why the relationship ended. A break up is rarely a mutual decision. There is usually a heart breaker and a heart broken. If you were the heart breaker, being friends probably seems like a good option to alleviate some of the guilt and also to still maintain some contact, in case you decide you’ve made a mistake. But being friends can be extremely difficult if you are the heart broken one. For starters, it can be very difficult to get over someone and move on with your life, if you are constantly being reminded of what you had by meeting up for a coffee or going out for a meal. It can also give you false hope that there is still a chance of getting back together.

When I spoke to different people about this issue, some of them did go as far as to say that they were on good terms with their ex, as they had children with them or in some cases worked with them. Some people even stated that they’d become friends and met up socially. However, the people who were friends with their ex all said that it came later, once they’d had time to get over them and not initially after the break up.

When I looked online it raised an interesting point. How would you feel if you were friends with your ex and they got a new partner? I think that if your honest answer to this question is anything other than ‘happy for them’, then you’re probably not ready to be friends with them. Another interesting question was: Would you feel comfortable going out with your current partner and your ex? This opens up more questions because even if you were comfortable with it, your partner may not be and is your friendship worth jeopardising a new relationship for?

Overall, I think that after a break up its great if you can still be friendly if you bump into each other, or be at occasions with mutual friends, without making everyone feel awkward. Taking the next step and actually becoming good friends, I feel is an emotional tight rope for both of you and your new partners. My opinion is best to stay clear, unless you can be sure you are both definitely over each other and it won’t put any unnecessary strain on new relationships!

Written by: Liz Harwood