Whether you should stay friends with your ex or not depends on your previous relationship with them and your future plans.
Sometimes, staying friends with an ex even if he wasn’t toxic will hinder your healing process and moving forward.
Take into consideration the fact that you might still have some romantic feelings for them.
In this case, your feelings will interfere with your thoughts and it will be hard to create healthy boundaries.
On the other hand, if you ended the relationship mutually then you can replace your romantic relationship with friendship.
During this process, if you’re in a current relationship or dating, you should consider the third person’s feelings too.
So, this article will provide you with 12 main reasons why you should and shouldn’t stay friends with your ex:
1. You shouldn’t be friends with your ex if you want them back
If you still fantasize about getting your ex together and if still there’s a chance, don’t choose to stay friends.
Being in touch with them, won’t create scarcity. More precisely, you won’t give your ex some space to miss you.
Thus, they miss the chance to reflect properly on the breakup and maybe even ponder their decision.
On the other hand, you won’t have the chance to work on your feelings too.
You won’t have the chance to detach for a moment and reflect differently.
2. You agreed that you can’t function romantically
No one has said that remaining with your ex is easy.
You should only have the right reason to do it and know how to navigate it.
Therefore, to maintain post-breakup jealousy or any type of misunderstanding, you need to create a healthy way of communication.
This means that you have agreed that you cannot function romantically but you might have a positive impact on each other’s life.
Usually, it will be easier for those who were once in a platonic relationship with the same person.
In this case, you gave yourself a chance to develop your romantic feelings, but it didn’t work.
Still, you know each other to that extent so you can restart your friendship.
When you were not friends at first but immediately became lovers, it’s harder for you to admit that you were dysfunctional.
When an ex has still feelings for you, they wouldn’t face the fact that your relationship didn’t work out.
3. It would be better to be friends if you have kids together
Can I be friends with an ex? In this situation, you can stay friends with your ex for pragmatic reasons.
You can be friends with your ex-wife or ex-husband by setting healthy boundaries.
When you have kids and mutual responsibilities, it’s important to create a positive environment.
It’s all about creating a support system for your kids and yourself too.
I know that if you still have feelings for them, it is hard to turn a romantic long-term relationship into a friendship.
Hence, if you focus on only communicating what you need to solve and create a mutual plan then it will be a bit easier.
- If you were part of an unhealthy relationship, you can try a simpler form of the No Contact Rule.
- Be open to identifying the problem and don’t argue in front of your children.
- Focus on your child’s needs.
- Also, if you’re dealing with a narcissistic ex try to work with a therapist.
In general, it is not about creating the perfect post-breakup friendship. It is about navigating a healthy form of communication.
4. You can stay friends if you are over your ex
It’s not easy to stop loving or forgetting a lover, yet, you can sort out your feelings.
This depends on you and your feelings toward your ex.
If you process your feelings and the pain, you’ll be able to slowly detach from your ex.
If you want to stay friends without romanticizing the relationship, then you can do it.
Being friends with your ex in this case shows maturity. If both of you can handle your own boundaries then you can make it work.
You can still show affection and check up on them as a friend.
5. You shouldn’t be friends if your ex impacted you negatively
I would not recommend you to be friends with your ex if you ended up on pretty bad terms.
You should be honest with yourself and reflect on reality.
In this case, you might be looking for comfort or to feel something familiar, but that will leave you in pain.
Being hurt by your ex and wanting to stay friends will make you ignore the red flags of staying in contact.
Now, you can’t pretend like you aren’t hurt. Try to stay away and look forward.
You cannot turn a bad relationship into a fruitful friendship.
You can turn it into a polite distance when you can focus on yourself and heal from the breakup.
6. Don’t stay friends if you’re afraid to be alone
One of the things that you think might erase the loneliness and anxiety after the breakup is getting back together with your ex.
You might think that being in their presence or being just friends will bring you peace and joy.
Yet, staying friends with your ex based on your attachment style isn’t a healthy choice.
- You might get disappointed, angry, and jealous because your ex might create a new relationship.
This way, you might face rejection and the intensity of loneliness and anxiety will be increased.
It will become a problem for you or even for your ex to balance your feelings.
So, before deciding whether you should stay friends with your ex, you should work on yourself, and try to get in touch with yourself.
You can achieve it just by allowing yourself to grieve.
Otherwise, if you suppress or replace your feelings then you won’t be able to move on and form a healthy friendship with your ex.
7. Don’t stay friends if you only want to keep tabs on them
Can exes be friends? Yes, they can but not if you aim to peek into their life.
Let’s define what a friend is.
A friend would check up on you but they would do it because they care about you and not due to selfish reasons.
You shouldn’t be friends with your ex if you just want to control their life.
Sometimes you might do it unconsciously and sometimes consciously.
At times you might be curious just because you want to know how they’re living without you.
Yet, this type of friendship is unhealthy and it might bring you lots of problems.
8. Don’t stay friends with an ex if it makes you or your ex uncomfortable
After the breakup, is important for both sides to agree if you want to stay friends or if you want to move on.
It’s unnecessary to stay friends with your ex hoping they’ll come back if they don’t agree on that.
Yes, things might indeed change and your ex might ponder their decision later on.
Yet, if your relationship has ended for good and your ex stated this, then trying to stay friends with them will only make the situation worse.
You will hinder your process of healing and this will penalize your ex too.
9. You moved on but still enjoy each other’s company
It’s nothing wrong if you’re best friends with your ex if you don’t have romantic feelings for them anymore.
It’s important to make the difference between wanting to get your ex back this way and forming a healthy friendship with them.
I know that if you loved an ex hard, it’s tough to remove those feelings.
If both of you know how to draw your boundaries, you can create a healthy friendship.
It’s more than ok to stay friends with your ex in this case. At this person, you can find love and the support of a best friend.
You can be friends with your ex if:
- 1. There are no romantic feelings included;
- 2. This doesn’t affect negatively your current partner;
- 3. Your ex has no other aim than to keep a healthy friendship;
10. When your ex is not over you yet…
There are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t be friends with your ex if they still have feelings for you.
If you two ended the relationship and your ex wants to be friends, they are searching for the best of both worlds.
They want to be around you yet they aren’t committed to you or even the relationship.
On the other hand, those romantic feelings won’t let them think clearly.
Let’s suppose that you stay friends. If you start to seek another relationship, they would get jealous.
Therefore, you would be confused and stuck in the realm of not hurting your ex’s feelings and seeking a new partner.
11. Avoid staying friends when ending a toxic relationship
No relationship that’s toxic, manipulative, and impacts you negatively can turn into a blossoming friendship.
If you stay friends with a narcissistic ex, they would become a great pal at the beginning.
As time goes on, your ex will start to be controlling again. They would act the same as if they’re still in a relationship with you.
A controlling partner doesn’t accept being defeated. They want to gain control over you and your life by being friends.
That’s why being in touch with a toxic ex will always bring back unpleasant memories.
Here, I suggest you use the No Contact Rule. While being distant, you’ll be able to concentrate on yourself and avoid being manipulated by your ex.
They would have fewer chances to contact you and keep pushing your buttons.
12. Both of you have problems with maintaining your boundaries
If you keep slipping into the old habits of your relationship then it’s better to keep your distance.
In this situation, being friends will mix your thoughts and feelings even more.
You will be stuck forever in a situationship because you won’t leave space for both of you to reflect.
If both of you don’t take any action to either stay friends or be lovers again, hoping for that to happen is wrong.
This will only lead you to an on-and-off relationship that will prevent you from healing and moving on.
- To avoid these issues you should detach yourself from the past by accepting reality.
- Allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling at this moment. You shouldn’t camouflage or sugar-coat your feelings.
How to get over an ex when you’re still friends?
It’s quite hard to get over an ex if you love them and you’re still friends.
In this situation, it’s better to let your ex know that you need some time on your own to process your feelings.
You can communicate it politely, so you can have a chance to reconnect with them later on.
1. Take the time to only work on yourself. Focus your energy and your time on understanding your feelings.
Go and taste grief from every stage of the breakup. Without doing it, you’ll only end up pressing your feelings and being stuck.
It’s hard to maintain friendships while suppressing those feelings.
2. Cut all contact with them for some time. Try to not communicate for a while.
This way you’ll find if you were compatible with one another. You can resolve your feelings easier and better.
Being exposed to your friends, there is no chance that you’ll move on from them being in their presence.
3. Surround yourself with your other friends. This will help you make the difference between what a real friend is.
Remember, that by not taking a step back and reflecting you can’t move on.
If your ex says that he or she wants to be friends and you haven’t moved on yet, you’ll be confused.
Whatever they do or how they act toward you, you won’t be able to make a difference.
You won’t know if those feelings or that behavior are out of love or out of friendship.
4. Talk with your ex. If you’re not over yet, tell them how you feel.
Even after you try to be distant and work on your feelings, you should make a decision.
If you don’t feel like continuing this friendship or you have been forcing it is better to communicate it to your ex.
Show him or her how you feel. This way, you’ll be able to know where this friendship will lead you.
There should not be any other expectations from a friendship with an ex.
5. Don’t settle to just “enjoy” the friendship if you don’t feel like it.
If your ex asks you to be friends, you still have feelings, and they keep pushing and pulling you, move on.
No friendship with an ex is worth it if you are just wasting your time, feeding empty feelings.
How to be friends with an ex you still love?
Deciding to be friends with an ex because you’re not over them romantically, is not a good choice.
I don’t advise this because being in your ex’s presence doesn’t mean that you can get them back this way.
Before you decide to be friends with your ex and want to keep them in your life, you need to sort out your feelings.
Then tell your ex straightforwardly that you want to be friends and the reasons behind it. Why do you want to keep them in your life?
First, you need to know the reason why you need to be friends with your ex.
- Is it because you want to enjoy their friendship?
- Is it because you want to bring your ex back?
- Is it because you want to always keep a tab on their life?
Second, build a connection with yourself first, and then try to create a relationship with your ex.
Third, you can ask your ex to be friends if you set a proper closure first. Give them the proper reason why you broke up with them.
Or, if you’re the one who got dumped, then you should get a closure first and then ponder your decision.
Fourth, ask for forgiveness and forgive too.
This part is quite important because you cannot replace feelings of love with friends while being in bad blood.
Even if you still love your ex, you might have some feelings of anger and hate after the breakup.
You don’t want these feelings to lead you and form a “friendship” because of it.
Fifth, communicate your feelings with your ex.
It takes time, energy, and focus to maintain the feelings of moving on from a lover to a friend.
It isn’t easy to do it, especially if you’ve been in a long-term relationship.
You’ll get mixed feelings and you know that now you’re a friend but feelings of love come to the surface.
The proper solution to this situation is to go through it, feel it, communicate those feelings and be a good friend.
Know that if you’re romantically connected with your ex, being friends will be hard to maintain those feelings.
It’s not guaranteed that you can’t stay friends with someone you love and if that relationship would rekindle.
Check these psychological facts if you should stay friends with your ex:
Is it ok to be friends with your ex?
It’s ok to be friends with your ex when you ended up on good terms and can draw boundaries.
This way, you’ll be able to create a healthy friendship that will not impact negatively you or your current partner.
If you choose to be best friends with your ex, make sure to include your current partner in your activities too.
This way, you’ll omit any unimportant issue that might end either your friendship or your current relationship.
Keep in mind that being friends with an ex is not odd. You just need to reflect if that friendship will affect you positively or negatively.
Don’t forget to respect your ex’s decision too!