Being Friends With Your Ex Is It Possible?

A broken pink paper heart hanging on a string

Being friends with your ex is something many of us either don't want or feel that's impossible. However, with the right communication, you can make it work. Think about it - you and your partner shared a lot, and it would be a shame to throw it all away, especially if you had a clean and mutual breakup.

In this article, I'll talk about friendships between exes, when, and how you can make them work for both of you. Hopefully, this insight will help you establish a healthy and fair relationship you can both be proud of.

What If You Can't Let?

There were probably times after your past relationships when you were having a hard time letting go. Moving on from a long-term relationship is all but easy, especially if you shared a home with the person. I remember sitting in my apartment, scrolling through my ex's social media, and imagining romcom scenarios that were far from reality. One way or another, we've all been through it.
If you or your ex still have feelings, the fairest thing to do is move on without staying friends.

If you or your ex still have feelings, the fairest thing to do is move on without staying friends.

However, even if you still have feelings for your ex, there are several things you should keep in mind to help you remember it was the best decision for both:

  • Your breakup happened for a good reason - Breakups happen because, at some point, a lack of attunement between you and your partner occurs. Rekindling a long-term relationship could be emotionally dangerous, and you should never forget the reason for your breakup when thoughts about getting back together come to your mind.
  • Establishing boundaries is crucial - The most important thing to do after a breakup is to set boundaries. This is the only way you can maintain a healthy relationship with your ex.
  • Don't let yourself be a side option - As tempting as it might sound, don't let yourself get emotionally involved with your ex-partner. This could be damaging to your confidence and self-worth.

When Is Cutting Ties With an Ex The Best Option?

In some cases, there is no other option but to altogether remove your ex-partner from your life. If you just got out of an abusive, manipulative, or toxic relationship, you shouldn't try to stay friends. The nature of the relationship you had as partners will transfer to your friendship. Don't consider this a failure but believe it to be the best choice for your physical and mental wellbeing.

Sometimes, even if you got out of a healthy relationship, the best option is to cut ties. If you and your ex-partner weren't really friends before dating and you only had strong physical chemistry, it could be difficult to ever change that. Also, sometimes being friends with your ex can prevent you from starting a new relationship. If that's the case, perhaps it's better to completely cut ties with your ex-partner.

When Is Being Friends With Your Ex The Best Choice?

Even though remaining friends with your former partner can feel painful, messy, and complicated, there are still situations where you can make it work for everyone. Although it's rare, some former romantic partners remain in each other's lives and maintain a strong friendship. If there is a will, you can even maintain a long-distance friendship with your ex.

To make your friendship work, it's imperative you and your ex remain in contact for the same reasons. If one of you is still friendly because of unresolved romantic feelings, your attempt at friendship will most likely fail. The best candidates for friendships are people who dated when they were young, dated casually, were together only for a short time, or were friends first.

How do children make a difference in your friendship?
If you and your ex have kids together, you must face the reality that you'll be in each other's lives for a very long time. Therefore, you should try your best to maintain a healthy relationship. Your children already had a hard time accepting and going through your divorce or breakup. You don't want to make it more difficult for them by turning your ex-partner into your worst enemy.

Even if you were the one who got hurt, you need to put your feelings aside and do what's best for your kids. No one expects you to be best friends with your ex. However, you should always tend to build a relationship based on mutual respect. Always have in mind that adults' needs are different from kids. They'll appreciate your efforts when they're old enough to understand.

A family reading a book together

If you have kids, it's important to remain on good terms with your ex. Both you and your former partner should put your kids' interests first.

When splitting up, one of you will have to move. To make this easier, you need to search for quality assistance in the area. The circumstances are already tricky enough. Therefore, you don't want to add more to your plate by having a difficult relocation. Do your research and hire a reliable and experienced moving company. It can really make a difference in making your situation that much easier and less painful.

If your kids will live with your former partner, you should try to find a place nearby. Being near your old neighborhood will surely evoke memories and make you sentimental, but you should try to put that aside as your kids' needs should always be your priority.

How To Stay Friends With an Ex?

If you decide to stay friends with your ex, especially if you don't have kids, the best advice is to take a break first. Time heals! Therefore, it's essential to allow enough of it to pass so both you and your ex can process the situation healthily.

This is not only relevant for in-person interactions. You should also limit your social media interactions. For example, if your ex already started seeing someone else, imagine how difficult it will be to look at their happy pictures every day. Even if the situation is not as drastic, seeing your ex every day can evoke memories and bring up all sorts of feelings.

Another important thing is to set healthy boundaries. Being friends with your ex doesn't mean you should talk or text every day. That can do more harm than good to your relationship.
A woman working on a laptop

After a breakup, you should try not to look at their social media. It can cause more harm than good.

Above all, always be honest with yourself and reassess your feelings. If you realize that you or your partner still have unresolved emotions, it's better to cut the ties and move on with your lives without staying friends. Even if it hurts at first, you will be doing both of you a huge favor.

Will You Remain Friends With Your Ex?

Being friends with your ex is different for everyone and if you feel that you and your former partner can stay on good terms, go for it. There is no harm in trying. However, if anyone is being hurt, it is essential not to be selfish and let the other person go. Sometimes, the best thing to do is move on separately and cherish the times you've spent together.
Sasha Jones, author Being friends with your ex

Author Bio

Sasha Jones is a divorced mother of two. She has been working with Movers Toronto for a couple of years now. In her spare time, she enjoys reading psychology books and writing blogs. She has learned a lot through her divorce, which is why she likes to share her experiences with others.