For everyone that’s ever dated anyone and broken up, you’ve probably wondered whether you should stay in touch with them. Should you keep in touch with your ex, or is it better to sever all ties forever?
Is It Possible To Stay Friends?
People tend to take one side or the other on this issue. I have friends who stay in touch with all of their exes; on the other hand, other friends would not go within 100 yards of their exes. Even if the relationship ended on friendly terms, you should ask yourself whether it makes more sense to cut ties or stay friends. Were you friends before you started dating? If yes, this might suggest that you can go back to being friends after you’ve broken up. However, if you weren’t friends and have nothing other than your broken relationship that ties you together, you might be better off severing ties and moving on with your life.
It’s Healthier To Keep In Touch
There’s one school of thought on this issue that firmly believes that it’s healthy to stay on touch with your ex. Particularly for people that have been dating or together a long time, there’s a lot of shared history and memories that are difficult to forget. Rather than purge your memory by trashing all pictures, cards, and other relationship memorabilia, you should keep these mementos of your relationship. After all, everyone enjoys reminiscing and these tangible memories will help you recall the good times.
One of my friends, for example, dated a person for five years. They were each other’s first loves, and grew up together. They shared memories from high school and university, and when things fell apart, they stayed friends. This was mostly because they were each other’s best friends and confidants they couldn’t really imagine never speaking to each other again. If they hadn’t stay friends, the break-up would have been so much worse.
Those who believe that it’s possible to stay friends also point out that it only makes sense to stay friends because you have already invested so much time in this person. It’s strange to know that one day you can call them, rely on them, and love them and a day later, the relationship can be over for good. This can be a difficult adjustment to make. Many people who sever ties end up spending the rest of their lives wondering what happened to their ex and what might have happened if only they had stayed friends.
It’s Best To Let Go
Those people who say that exes should stay apart from each other have good reason for thinking that. First, jealousy always gets in the way of friendships. Sure, things might be good for a while after the break-up, but what happens when one of you starts dating another person? Do you have a responsibility to talk to each other about this before you do it? What will your new girlfriend think of your relationship with your ex? Staying on friendly terms with your ex can create numerous problems for you in any new relationship.
Second, once you break up, you will have to learn how to act in your new relationship as friends. Conversations may become awkward, as you no longer feel like you have a right to ask about her family, for example, or complain about her crazy aunt. Even little things start to become sticking points; for example, when you go out together, how far apart do you sit from each other? What happens if you forget yourself and put your arm around her out of habit? While these details may seem insignificant, they can really inflame an already sore relationship.
Before you decide to stay friends with your ex, you should also ask yourself why you want to keep in touch. Are you doing it simply out of habit? Are you hoping you will get back together? Are you worried that she will start dating someone else? If you are really over her, then you should be able to cut the ties and never look back.
Don’t Wait For Sparks To Fly Again
Hoping that you and she will get back is the wrong reason to stay friends after you’ve broken up. If you are going to stay in touch with each other, you have to be completely honest with each other. Sometimes couples stay friends after they break up only because one of them really wants to get back together. By staying friendly, the one who desires the relationship can continue to hold out hopes for sparks rekindling. This isn’t a healthy way to stay friends. The person who does not want to be in the relationship cannot feel manipulated by the other; no friendship will survive this. Plus, it’s not fair to either person because neither of you will be able to move on to other relationships.
How Will Staying Friends Affect Your New Relationships?
For women, there’s nothing more unattractive in a man than finding out that all of his female friends used to be his girlfriends. It begs the question, “Why would anyone want to surround themselves with exes?” If your partner tells you that she is just friends with her ex, she may be telling the complete truth. Nevertheless, your insecurity may get the better of you, resulting in feelings of jealousy and anger that can ruin any relationship. If you want to get on with your dating life, then why stay stuck in the past?
Every Relationship Is Different
Staying friends with your ex works out for some people; for others, it is simply a recipe for disaster. Whether you can turn an ex-lover into a new friend depends largely on your relationship and each other. Are you able to be completely honest with each other? Do you both agree that all of your previous feelings are gone? Before you decide to sever all ties or stay friends, talk to each other about these concerns.