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Can You Be Friends With An Ex after a Breakup?

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There are times when you can be friends and other times when you just can’t. So can you be friends with an ex? See these signs to know if you’re ready.

can you be friends with an ex after a breakup

Being friends with an ex is a complicated decision that can go both ways.

On one hand, life could be perfect even after the breakup.

On the other, becoming a pal of your ex amour could do more damage than good.

[Read: 6 signs your ex is thinking about you]

So can you be friends with an ex?

In almost all cases, of course you can. After all, it’s really easy.

Both of you know each other really well and understand each other better than most others.

So how could that ever lead to a problem, right?

But at the same time, you have to remember the kind of relationship both of you have shared with each other.

You may both know each other well, but the relationship you once shared will never come back. It’s a whole new relationship that you’re building together in the form of a friendship.

Can you be friends with an ex?

There are many things you need to consider before you extend a hand of friendship to an ex.

Get these wrong and one of you may just try slipping a hand somewhere else.

Ask yourself these questions, and if you’re still convinced of a possible friendship, go right ahead. If you aren’t convinced, step away because being friends with an ex can actually make your life a nightmare.

8 scenarios when can you be friends with an ex

#1 You’re single and the sex was awesome

Let’s face it. Sometimes, you may have a terrible emotional connection with your ex. But the sex could have been awesome. No harm’s ever come off two exes turned sex buddies with no emotional connection. But do put an end to it when you think you’re ready for a real relationship. [Read: Things to know before having sex with your ex]

#2 When there’s mutual back scratching

Both of you may have drawn swords out while you were in the relationship. But now that it’s over, do both of you need each other for emotional support or to succeed in life? Do you work together or have a few sticky situations that need both of you to stay friends?

#3 Both of you are like siblings

If you were in a relationship where sex was nonexistent, then you should have no problems being friends. After all, sexual attraction is the biggest distraction for exes trying to be friends. Get that out of the way, and you can be friends or even siblings!

#4 It’s a happy breakup

Well, happy may be an exaggeration here. But did both of you break up mutually because both of you felt like the relationship wasn’t giving the happiness that both of you deserved? Mutual and happy breakups are easy to turn into friendship.

#5 The sexual tension’s dropped

Both of you may have been in a long term relationship, and after a while, the sex may have started to feel more like a weekly or monthly chore than pleasure. If you’ve just broken up from a relationship where you’re more attracted to someone else than your partner, it’s safe to buy each other friendship bands.

#6 A lot of common friends

If both of you share a lot of common friends and don’t really want to separate your friends or create an awkward get-together when you bump into your ex, perhaps it’s better off staying friends. Of course, you can still stay friends and keep your distance, can’t you? [Read: The right way to be friends with an ex]

#7 You go bumping all the time

Do you work in the same office? Do you live next to each other or are both of you neighbors? If you find that you have no option but to meet each other all the time, perhaps it’s better to raise a peace flag and friend each other on facebook. You could just wave or say ‘hi’, or even have a conversation once in a while.

#8 When you’ve got a lot to gain

Have you just broken up with your boss, or someone who can potentially give you a leg up or open a lot of big doors in your life? This is just dirty and you’re being friends for all the wrong reasons, but hey, this is life. If you can work for someone you hate, can’t you stay friends with your ex?

8 scenarios when you can’t be friends with an ex

#1 You’ve had an on off romance

If you find yourself getting confused over your feelings for your ex-turned-lover-turned-ex all the time, perhaps it would be best to avoid becoming friends with them.

#2 You’re madly in love with your ex

You may have put up a brave face and mutually broken up with your ex, but when you look back at the relationship, do you wish you could still be in the relationship? Sometimes, a relationship needs a breakup to really understand its real value. But unless your ex wants to date you again, don’t stay in touch with them. [Read: Things to think about before dating an ex again]

#3 You can’t bear the thought of you ex going out with someone else

It’s not jealousy. In fact, you know for certain that you would never want to date your ex ever again. 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.

#4 You can gain nothing out of the relationship

Really, is there any point in keeping in contact with an ex or staying friends if you really can’t gain anything out of the new relationship?

#5 Your ex is annoying

Is your ex an annoying pest who needs you like a nanny even after breaking up? Do they call you and ask for help or favors all the time? If your ex still needs you like a personal assistant, there’s really no reason in being friends and demeaning yourself for a rotten ex. [Read: 10 signs it's time to end a friendship]

#6 Your ex dumped you

While it’s acceptable to stay friends after a mutual breakup, it’s just not acceptable to stay friends with someone who walked out on you and left you with a broken heart. And don’t even consider it if your ex cheated on you!

#7 Jealous of your ex

You may have broken up with your ex, but are you ready to give them up to someone else? If you’re secretly in love or find yourself getting tormented by annoying visions of your ex dating someone other than you, there’s just no point in being friends with an ex. [Read: How to stop feeling jealous of your ex]

#8 You’re single and looking for love

Are you single and desperately looking for love? If you miss being in love and are having a hard time finding the right person, avoid being friends with your ex. And even if both of you are friends already, stay away from your ex for a while until you can find someone you truly appreciate. Most exes who turn friends always end up falling in love when they can’t find anyone new to love.

[Read: How to find love again after a breakup]

So can you be friends with an ex? Visualize these scenarios well and ask yourself if you’re ready to be friends. A wrong answer could make your life a lot more miserable than you can imagine.


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Have your say!
  • Questions
    June 29, 2012 | Permalink |

    What happens between a couple where everything has been going great, yes, there has been sex and both care about each other tremendously, and things could continue for a while as long as nothing changes, BUT (here’s the stinger) you have to move away in a couple months?

    Obviously I have this situation, and my partner and I discussed this inevitability before even being involved, and we know we will have to separate, because I’m transferring to a different college. And I know that it would be torture for her to not see me for months and months on end, and yes I mean to have sexual interactions as well. And I would feel the same way, and she also has told me she does not want to be holding me down, and she wants me to have fun. So we really care about each other but I am worried that things will be really awkward with each other after we break up because of the what-could-have-been atmosphere. I mean both of us don’t want to lose each other, but how is it is possible for a friendship to form after this..?

  • Brittany
    June 27, 2013 | Permalink |

    Hmmm. Maybe it is a bad idea for my ex boyfriend and I to try the friends thing again. So many of those bad scenarios apply to us. <_<

  • Kat
    September 16, 2013 | Permalink |

    Sorry but that sounds like a load of rubbish “No harm’s ever come off two exes turned sex buddies with no emotional connection.”- er, yes I think you’ll find it HAS for some people. Can’t be friends with an ex who dumped you? Then maybe stop acting like a douche and then not only would your ex not have dumped you in the first place, but you’d actually be worthy of friendship too.

  • sara
    December 4, 2013 | Permalink |

    He asked me to be friends after we brokeup ,, I tried but I cant I simply still love him :(

  • chad
    December 14, 2013 | Permalink |

    Dated for two months, been broken up almost three years, didn’t speak to her for almost a year after the break up. Started to hang out as friends. Turned into my best friend. Didn’t realize that I was in love with her until almost a year of being friends. She joined the Air Force before I had a chance to tell her how I felt.. She’s home on leave next week and it will be the first time I see her in 7 months. What should I do?

  • Robyn
    March 2, 2014 | Permalink |

    After everything we went through, and everything I did to try to hold what we once had together, he couldnt have done anything more hurtful than the way he ended our relationship. I will forever love the man I fell in love with, but now he is someone I dont know anymore and is the total opposite of everything he always believed in. That special bond we had from the beginning has been lost in a bottle of Vodka.

  • Dustin
    March 28, 2014 | Permalink |

    We were only together five months, and it was never passionate. I tried to make it so, but she isn’t a very lovey kind of person, so aside from the occasional kiss or hand holding it was very low-key. I was miserable because I wasn’t getting any affection, she was miserable because she didn’t want to disappoint me. I fell deeply in love with her for God only knows what reason, and she ended up having to break up with me because I simply couldn’t, even though it was the logical choice. We’re good as friends, but in a romantic relationship…neither of us wants the same stuff I guess. Anyway the first three days or so were Hell, but now it has been 8 days and we can talk again without it being really awkward. I’m not crying anymore, or grieving really. Occasionally there are sad memories but mostly it’s all good. And yes there’s still that part of me that wants her back simply because she was my first ever girlfriend, but really most of me knows that I was miserable in the relationship and would be miserable if it ever started up again. So we’re trying the whole “friends” thing. Here’s hoping it works out!

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