‘How to be friends with an ex?’ is one of the most frequently googled relationship questions perhaps after ‘how to make someone fall in love with me…again?’
I mean, how can you be into a healthy platonic friendship with the one you once shared your hoodie? The memories you made with them (in restaurants, in cars, in bed) don’t get erased with the ‘clear history’ feature like in your mobile phone.
So we turned to the Redditors to find out if it is a good idea to be friends with an ex and trust me, responses are helpful and practical.
1. “You can TOTALLY be friends with your ex! But not right away. It’ll stop you from getting over it. I personally need time to be upset, then angry for a long time, then neutral, then awkward hangouts, then friends!”
2. “If we break up due to betrayal, inability to get along, etc. then no, probably not. If we don’t do well as lovers, we probably shouldn’t spend time with one another. I wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who makes me miserable.”
3. “I want to be good friends with my exes. I really hate the idea of loving someone so intensely and then never seeing them again.”
4. “I think it’s perfectly possible. I do not think it’s possible to fall immediately into a great friendship after a breakup. A period of time is needed for both partners to move on (cutting all contact is best). It also depends on the relationship itself. High school boyfriend that you dated for two months and then left for another dude? Sure. Long term boyfriend who cheated on you, left you pregnant, and tries to steal money from you at every turn? Not going to happen.”
5. “I would want to remain friends, or at least on good terms, with an ex so long as the break up wasn’t nasty. However, I feel like instead of ending it with a ‘can we be friends?’ it should be more of a door left open – ‘I’d still like to be friends. I’ll be around if you want to, too.’ It’s less of an obligation/pressure and more of a gentle offer.”
6. “Nope, I don’t really get the obsession people have with being friends. A relationship is different from a friendship because of the intimacy involved. I don’t think it’s conducive to your future relationships (unless of course you plan to remain single after this breakup) to maintain links with a previous intimate relationship – and by intimate I mean both physical and emotional.”
7. “If it’s a mutual breakup and you’re on good terms, I don’t see a problem with being friends. If it was a completely one-sided breakup, I would probably have a problem with being friends. I’m friends with one of my exes, we’re on great terms.”
8. “I can’t. I never fully get over my exes. A bit of me still has a soft spot for them. I’m currently going through a breakup and he hopes we can one day be friends. I don’t know how I feel about that.”
9. “IMO it really depends on how the relationship started. If you guys were friends for a while beforehand? Friends after a brief period of no contact. If you didn’t know each other before the relationship? No contact.”
10. “I think that I (at least) need some time apart in order to really be broken up. If we continue to see each other, it’s far too easy to fall back into the pattern of being in the relationship — and there was a reason we broke up.”
11. “I think when ‘let’s be friends’ means ‘speak kindly of one another and make the transition mutually easy by acting with consideration and generosity’ it works out really well, and can lead to long-term friendship with an ex AFTER a period of distance.”
12. “Whenever I’ve broken up with someone it’s because I don’t want to be with them anymore. Therefore, being friends with them wouldn’t make sense.”
13. “My ex-boyfriend and I were together for seven years before we broke up. We are really good friends and I paired him up with his SO. There no behind the back funny business at all and I adore his girlfriend as much as him.”
14. “You’re not going to stay friends. Let me say that again- you’re not going to stay friends. Accept it. Own it. Man up, and move on.”– Eryan36
15. “It depends on the person. For me personally I would like to remain friends if possible. But for the first month or so, I stick to no contact to give myself (and her) some time to process everything. If she’s interested in remaining friends, I always set clear boundaries and if she (or I) cross them, friendship over. Period.”
16. “Trust me. Walk the hell away. It is not worth the stress, anger, depression…Just go, clean turkey, don’t look back. I promise in a few months you’ll be so happy you did.”– Cubone-
17. “Depends how invested you were. Who loved more? For me we tried to be friends and it quickly was us acting like we were dating again. Had to cut all ties to move on.”
18. “I’m on friendly terms with my exes. We don’t hang out together (one lives on the other side of the planet), but IMO there is no harm in being civil with one another.”– mark49s
19. “No contact. I would never even consider being friends with an ex. The reason I dated them in the first place was because I didn’t want to be friends with them, so why do that now?”
However, the answer lies in the kind of relationship you had with them. No standard rule exists.