Can you ever truly stay friends with an ex?
When I say friends, I mean a strictly platonic friendship, with no blurring of the lines, no falling back into bed, no mixed messages.
Well, at least, not until a certain line in the sand has been crossed.
For me, that didn’t happen until an ex told me he was in love with a stripper. After that, I knew there was no going back.
Looking at it now, I probably should have drawn the line earlier – for example, when he had a threesome with my best friend and a random stranger they picked up at a nightclub.
But I was young, and at the time it hadn’t seemed like a huge deal. After all, we weren’t together anymore. We were being wonderfully mature and had turned our relationship into a “friendship”.
The problem with being friends with an ex is that the relationship barriers are so easily blurred. There’s not a lot stopping you from falling back into old habits, even just for a night. Or at least you tell yourself it’s just for the night. But your emotions aren’t so easily controlled.
So, is it possible to actually stay friends with your ex?
But if you’re like me and constantly question your decisions then it’s almost impossible to do so without blurring the lines.
There are some people out in the big wide world that don’t have this problem. They are confident decision makers who never seem to doubt themselves. My husband is one of these freaks. Of course, my too-ing and fro-ing on decisions drives him insane 😉
For the rest of us “normal people” it’s not that simple. And when you stay friends with your ex, you can find yourself in constant turmoil. That’s when you need to cross that mystical line in the sand. Or, more specifically, your ex needs to cross that line.
The point of no return is different for everyone. Often, you don’t even know what that line is until it’s been crossed. And sometimes, once it’s been crossed, you don’t even want to be friends anymore.
Relationships are huge emotional investments, and ending them can cost us a lot. Trying to stay friends is a way of minimising the emotional expense, but if it leads to months or years of confusion and heartache, is there any point in trying to stay friends?
I’d love to know what you think in the comments below.
Till next time.
I don’t think I could ever remain friends with an ex … My last ex, I loved too much and to ever see her with another woman would kill me. My ex before that one, I just know if we tried a friendship, it wouldn’t be just strictly friendship. We’d always fall back into old habits. I think being friends with an ex on down the line is possible for some but, for me personally … No.
Thanks for sharing. I’m like you, I don’t think I could ever strictly be friends with an ex.
My last ex and I have tried to remain friends but we only split up because we live too far apart. So being friends is impossibly painful and as led to one to many emotional emails from me. Sorting it out for us has meant we’re just not communicating anymore despite saying we’ll be friends. But I frankly didn’t want to break up at all so I’m still too raw to be in touch with him even though it was 4 months ago.
My ex before him was a long term relationship and so too much happened between us for us to ever be just friends. I know he couldn’t have coped with it. So I haven’t spoken to him since.
I think being friends only ever works when there’s just not enough emotions between two people for a stronger relationship to really last.
Do you think that is a different type of line in the sand? A certain point in the relationship – whether this be time, emotional commitment, or physical intimacy – where you can back out and still be friends, but once that point is crossed, you can’t ever be friends?
Yes i think you’re right. But I feel it can be viewed different by each person. My last ex seems to be fine with the idea of being friends now, perhaps having decided the long distance was going to make it impossible for a long relationship he managed to cut his emotions off, whilst I’m still struggling with the idea we’re not together anymore because for me that was never an issue and I’d completely fallen for him.
And each person having a different view of where that line is makes it difficult to communicate.
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