5 Signs That Becoming Friends With Your Ex Is A Bad Idea
I like to stay friends with my exes. There, I said it!
Although not all breakups lead to this type of relationship (if the partnership was toxic for example), I tend to think that you can still love this person, differently.
This may make me a psychopath but too bad, I assume!
Why not after all ?
After a breakup, you might be tempted like me to try to become or become friends with your ex.
You still care about this person, and a friendship can feel like a mature, civilized thing.
But trying to force a friendship before it’s ready can do more harm than good.
Even if you think being friends is possible, it won’t happen overnight. It MUST NOT happen overnight.
You need time away from each other and you need to be able to navigate the world without him before moving on.
Just because you’re aiming for a friendship doesn’t mean you should dodge the grieving period. Even after an amicable breakup, everyone needs time to work through their emotions.
Some people can stay friends with all their previous relationships and good for them. But if you’re not interested in having that kind of relationship with your ex, now or never, that’s fine too.
(I emphasize that in some cases, especially if the relationship was abusive or otherwise toxic, trying to be friends could be a very bad or even dangerous idea ).
So, you’ve decided you want to stay friends, but are you sure you’re ready?
What if you’re not sure how you feel? After all, going from lovers to great buddies can be quite complicated.
You want him to always be in your life but you don’t know if your heart and head are in the same place.
Well, according to the experts, there are clear signs that you’re not quite ready yet… Here they are.
1. You’re still feeling hurt or angry – You’re still dealing with other unresolved feelings
Getting over a breakup doesn’t happen overnight.
You need to give yourself enough time and space to mourn the end of your story.
It means letting yourself feel your emotions: sadness, frustration, rejection, resentment, or a combination of these. Feel rather than bottle them up.
Because if you’re still working through those feelings, you’re clearly not ready to be friends with your ex yet.
It’s perfectly natural after a breakup to experience lingering feelings of hurt, anger, or other complicated emotions.
However, these lingering feelings are not appropriate for moving on with your ex, as this version of the relationship is over.
Instead, focus your efforts on processing any lingering feelings you may have.
Clear your mind, be honest with yourself! If you still have romantic feelings for your ex, your friendship will come crashing down. It’s 100% guaranteed!
2. You dream of getting back together
Honestly ask yourself why you want to be friends with your ex.
Deep in your heart, do you hope you could reconcile? If so, friendship is probably not the way to go, at least not now.
It could derail the progress you’ve made moving forward.
It’s almost impossible to develop a healthy friendship with ulterior motives. In addition, you expose yourself to a risk of additional and perfectly avoidable emotional suffering.
Instead, take the time to think about what you were missing in the relationship and find ways to provide them to yourself without going through another person, let alone your ex.
Becoming friends with the hope that over time it might turn back into something romantic isn’t a healthy approach for you or your ex.
You may think that if you start hanging out again that he’ll regret ending things, or you may think it’s possible to rekindle the flame.
But the problem with expectations is that they end up being a painful setup for both parties.
Subconsciously, we set the stage to be disappointed again and get angry, hurt if our expectations do not come true. Do not do that !
3. You go nuts when he makes you understand that he is looking (already??!!) for someone else
It’s normal for friends to talk to each other about what’s going on in their lives and that includes their love life.
If thinking about your ex with someone else makes your stomach hurt, that’s a real problem that could hurt a real friendship.
With friends, you’re supposed to be able to talk about anything and everything, so that could mean the person your ex is seeing right now.
If it still hurts you, it’s too soon to be really friends.
A good test is to imagine sitting with your ex in a coffee shop and seeing a notification pop up on their phone that they have a new match on a dating app.
Think about how you would feel: would you be indifferent? Annoyed? Maybe angry? Curious?
Friendship means supporting each other through life’s trials and adventures so if you’re not ready to acknowledge that some of those “updates” in your ex’s life might involve other people, you might want to re-evaluate your desire to befriend him.
4. You still suffer from your breakup with him.
Yes, it’s obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of girls who ignore this reason and still think they can be friends with their ex.
If you’re still feeling hurt from the breakup, being with your ex and pretending to be ok in this friendly setup will only keep that hurt from healing.
It’s a bit like continuing to scratch at a scab, preventing the wound from healing properly.
So if you find it hard to talk about your ex without bursting into tears, take that as a sign that you’re not ready to be friends.
If you’re still shutting down or getting mad at each other because of something that happened in the relationship, same thing, you’re probably not ready to be friends yet.
When you give yourself time and space to grieve and heal, you should normally be able to talk about this relationship in a normal way, without being upset.
Don’t be too worried, maybe it will pass in a few months. But for now, you absolutely have to give yourself time.
5. You feel stagnant
If you broke up, you are single.
And if you’re single, you shouldn’t feel restricted from meeting new people, forming relationships, or dating other guys. Or worse, to try but keep thinking about him.
Being friends with an ex you still have feelings for can unfortunately lead to a feeling of being stuck. And by constantly comparing your suitors to your ex, you reduce your chances of finding someone unfortunately.
Breakups can leave you feeling lost in your current life.
The present without your ex seems depressing.
Imagining your future without him hurts you so much that staying friends is the major reason you want to keep him. Even if he was a jerk, even if he was the one who broke up, even if he hurt you so much.
It’s important that you don’t let reality slip through these fantasies.
A friendship with an ex is possible, but you have to take the time to accept the present, to face your emotions and to rebuild your future.
Without him to begin with!
Establishing boundaries is vital
You’ve mourned the end of your relationship and you’re sure you want to keep your ex in your life. OK.
Now think about the limits.
This vital step will help you maintain your sanity and ensure that you don’t find yourself crushed by a future meeting between your ex and his next partner.
These limits are not difficult to remember but they are difficult to respect.
First, never sleep with him again . love will mean you still have feelings. If you work hard to manage these cravings and you crack, it will cost you dearly.
Second, don’t spend alone time together at first . Make sure to stick to outings where you are with him but surrounded by other people. A group of mutual friends heading to a party is a good example of the right kind of setting.
The last step is communication . Wait until you’ve been out (friendly) a few times before attempting a discussion about your future, just to be sure of how you feel around him.
Only then can you really decide if being friends with your ex is an option.
If you can talk and reflect without anger on your past and agree that spending time together as friends is something you both want, go for it!