You must have felt this incredible sense of connection, fell in love, perhaps to live together or get married, but for some reason their relationship failed to reach the final. But when a romantic relationship is over, you can still be friends? According to John Aiken, an expert Sydney-based clinical psychologist and relationship, that is, with a lot of maturity and hard work, but there are different levels of friendship.
Is it an opportunity for closure? Are you looking to get back together? Do you feel you still need their emotional support? If you couldn’t take your relationship further as a couple, why do you want to be friends with this person? If you think being friends with the source of your pain will help you through an emotional crisis, you’re mistaken. Once you’ve had an opportunity to heal, it may be possible to be friends, but not before.
Understanding your motives for wanting the relationship to continue is important. You could be resisting letting go because you don’t want to admit failure, or you’re holding on to a glimmer of hope, according to body+soul sex and relationships expert Dr Gabrielle Morrissey.
If you’re hanging on because of a desire to re-spark the relationship and you’d rather have unrequited love than nothing at all, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Be aware of signs you’re not moving forward, such as having photos of your ex on display, not dating other people and spending too much time with them. You need to be looking forward not backwards to truly heal.
Being friends with an ex is a complicated decision that can go both ways. For one thing, life would be perfect, even after the breakup, [Read: How Men Should Deal with Breakups]. On the other hand, become a friend of her former amour could do more harm than good.
So you can be friends with an ex?
In almost all cases, of course you can. After all, it’s really easy. You two know each other very well and understand each other better than most others.
So how could ever lead to a problem, right?
But at the same time, we must remember the kind of relationship the two have shared with others. It is possible that both are well known, but the relationship they once shared will never return. It’s an entirely new relationship we are building together as a friendship. [Read: Ways to Destroy Your Relationship]
What to Look for Before Making Friendship with Your Ex
Do You Want to Move On?
Treating your ex as a surrogate boyfriend or girlfriend may fill a gap in your life, but it is not beneficial to your emotional well being. If you’re constantly meeting them for coffee, movie dates and calling them when you have a problem, you’re not moving on. [Read: How to Date a Divorced Woman]
It’s almost impossible to meet somebody else if you’re still emotionally tied to your ex. Be aware of the amount of contact you have and consciously look for another support person to share your feelings and problems with.
It’s not jealousy. In fact, you know for certain that you would never want to date your ex ever again, [Read: How to Avoid and Stop Jealousy]. But somewhere deep inside, you can’t stand to see your ex in someone else’s arms. This is a confusing emotion to experience, but don’t worry, you’re not alone. Just stay away and lose all touch with your ex.
Will there be no Passion?
Now you’re not together anymore you cannot expect partner privileges, such as calling you back on the same day, being emotionally supportive because you’ve had a bad day, or dropping everything because you need a hand. The same rules don’t apply anymore, so toss out old expectations. This transition phase can be awkward, but you are creating a new relationship. Calling each other by pet names, signing off with kisses and using each other for emotional support has to stop.
Element of Love Exists or Not?
To get on with each other as friends, your feelings have to calm down, which is usually what ends up happening. Before he or she became your ex, he or she wasn’t completely obnoxious; after all, you did weave at least a small part of your lives together. You couldn’t have done that without some complicity, love or at the very least, desire. The object of all that hasn’t undergone a radical transformation, so once your feelings have calmed down, and preferably, each of you has found yourself someone new, it’s often possible to make allowances. Although your ex might have been dreadful when you were together, he or she can become a wonderful friend. What you couldn’t put up with on a day-to-day basis doesn’t matter now you’re apart and you can even laugh about it and remember only the good points which, after all, you’d always appreciated.