Should You Be Friends With Your Ex?

Written by on July 31, 2012 in Relationships - No comments | Print this page


It is hard letting go of someone who made such a significant contribution to your life.  You were once very close to your ex and it just seems like there is a part of you that is missing if you are no longer friends with him/her.

Being friends with you ex is not for everybody.  It has to be on a case-to-case basis.  Here are some guidelines to think about:

  • Make sure you really are over your ex.  It may seem like a no brainer, but this point is crucial.  The longer and deeper the relationship was, the longer you have to wait before you can truly be platonic friends.
  • Consider if your new significant other will be comfortable with the idea.  That is assuming you have given your relationship its appropriate mourning period before moving on.  It is your job to make your new bf/gf comfortable and if he/she isn’t, then you have to consider who is more important to you….your future or your past.
  • The sexual tension has to be nonexistent.  This is a hard one because the physical attraction was what made you pursue your ex in the first place.  Just don’t think about it.  What is in the past is in the past and keep it that way.  If you find that impossible, then becoming friends might not be a good idea.
  • Keep a healthy amount of distance.  You have to come to terms with the fact that the relationship is over.  If there is any wishful thinking of reconciliation, then it is not the right time for you to pursue a friendship.  Being friends right after the breakup is not a good idea at all.  It is a dangerous period where you can get lured back into the cycle of making up and breaking up.
  • You are still in love with the ex.  This one seems obvious,  it can be quite painful to just sever your ties with someone you are addicted to.  Your emotions will cloud your better judgment and will not allow you to have a platonic friendship with him.  It will also hold you back from moving on.

In the end, it is your prerogative to be friends with your ex or not.  If your relationship left a bitter taste in your mouth, you may have no desire to pursue a friendship at all.  It is not necessary to be friends with everyone.  Quality matters more than quantity.  If you don’t think that you can get much from the friendship or if this friendship is interfering with your potential new relationship, then some extra consideration might be needed.




About the Author

M. Yu

M. Yu is a single, working professional who lives in New York City. She has eclectic interests, ranging from cancer research (her day job) to traveling to writing for the Relationship Category on QLR. She has an active dating life and views every life experience as a learning lesson. View all posts about healthy relationships.