This question has been haunting mankind for centuries – and for a good reason, as staying friends with your ex spouse or partner is anything but easy. For some people, this is not only possible but perfectly normal, and they even manage to build a strong and long-lasting friendship. On the other hand, some people do not even want to hear about such a thing, especially if the break-up was particularly hurtful.
There are three options: you can stay friends with your ex, you can forget the two of you ever had anything in common, or you can just look at the facts and decide what to do next, depending on the circumstances.
When You Should Not Stay Friends With Your Ex
Different people experience relationships and marriages differently, this is why there is no generally applicable rule or advice when it comes to this matter. However, more than half of the people would prefer not to stay friends with their ex, especially if they were devastated by the break-up.
We have all heard the saying “Staying friends with your ex is like saying that your dog has died, but you can still keep it”, and this is actually true for most of us. If you just got out of an abusive relationship that has damaged you physically, emotionally and mentally, then you must steer clear from your ex at all costs.
On the other hand, if the break-up happened due to something you have done and you still have feelings for your ex, then the chances are that you will never be able to settle for a friendship only, and you will always try to “push your luck”, hoping to win him/her back. Once again, friendship is not the answer in these situations!
When Should You Consider Staying Friends?
Staying friends with your ex is not impossible – this does not mean that you will be besties, but you can be distant friends and hang out occasionally. You can stay friends with your ex if you have been with somebody for a very long period of time, because it is then when cutting down all the connections is the most difficult thing to do.
On the other hand, it is also perfectly fine to stay in touch with your ex partner or spouse if the two of you have a child together – in that case, it is actually advised to stay friends and to respect each other, as the child always comes first.
In some cases, there is simply no “yes or no” answer to this question, as it depends on the circumstances. For instance, if you and your ex boyfriend or girlfriend have been best friends before you even elevated your “connection”, then you can stay in touch through social media and such.
Nonetheless, if you moved on and you got yourself a new partner, then staying friends with your ex may be awkward and slightly uncomfortable for your new partner, especially if the two of you meet in private places or you are just a bit too close for two people who once used to share the same bed.