Should you be friends with your ex
“He’s just a friend.”
“She’s like a sister to me.”
“Of course I don’t have feelings for him, we broke up for a reason.”
Chances are you’ve either heard or said one of these phrases in regards to an ex. This is because exes are the bane of most relationships, whether they are still around or not. If you’ve ever been walking down the street, seen your ex and thought: Do I look good? Then sorry to say, you have a problem. If you’re still trying to impress your ex and worry about how they see you, then something needs to be addressed!
While you’re single, having an ex around could actually be a good thing. There’s understanding, you already know you can get along, despite the reason for your break up, and that the initial friendship before you were together doesn’t completely disappear now that you’re apart. Now, the most primitive and lets face it, most fun reason for keeping an ex around is the sex. You’ve been there and done that, there are no pretenses, you know what the deal is; and most importantly it must have been good if you still want them around for it! Having an ex still around is basically the easy option and I’m sure we’re all guilty of it at one time or another. I imagine some of you are reading this thinking, “I don’t like them like that anymore” or even, “The sex wasn’t that good!” The point is, whether you think you still have feelings for this person or not, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that your physical attraction to them, past or present, is going to create problems with a new partner. Having your ex around as back up isn’t only destructive to your new beau but also to yourself.
Imagine walking around with a neon sign on your forehead flashing: I’M NOT OVER YOU AND I’M NOT MOVING ON WITH MY LIFE. This is what you are saying to your ex when you continue to speak to them and have them in your life. You leave yourself vulnerable and open to his or her manipulations (if they are that way inclined) and damage any prospect of finding someone new. More importantly, you risk actually finding someone worthwhile because you’re still holding on to an idealistic view of what might have been with Failure Numero Uno. This needless to say is off putting to potential suitors and doesn’t look very good on your mental health evaluation form.
What people seem to forget when keeping exes around is that although they’re your ex now, they were your lover before. Sure, “you broke up for a reason” but you also got together for a reason and all those reasons were good at the time. It’s easy to fall into the trap of remembering all the good times especially when times are bad i.e. a break up. These trips down memory lane breed a level of familiarity and comfort that clouds your judgment. It allows the ex to have a certain power over you without even trying.
Despite all of the above, before belting out Beyoncé power woman songs or rapping along to any rap song that claim “we don’t love these hoes”. Before deleting his or her number but not the texts they sent (I see you) or deleting their BB pin but writing it down somewhere just in case (you are not slick), take a second to think about why you’re doing this. Why can’t you fully let go? If you know you cant let them go completely then is a new relationship really the right thing for you? It most definitely isn’t for your new love interest. You’ll just be igniting insecurity, paranoia and jealousy into them and that’s never fair. This creates distrust in the relationship and before you know it, you’re back in Singlesville, population: 1 wondering why it didn’t work out. It didn’t work out because you allowed parasite Ex101 to infect your relationship.
Obviously this scenario gives the ex way too much credit but they only have the power you give them. The likelihood is, an ex might not even want you anymore, but if they feel they can take you (for whatever purpose they see fit), they will. Shift the balance of power and severe all ties.
Finally, all of my ranting aside, there are a few exceptions where an ex is a genuine friend. These cases are as rare as England winning the World Cup but it has happened! Being friends with your ex can easily mean you were both mature enough to understand you weren’t meant to be together. I believe this is because you couldn’t have loved them that much in the first place. Before I get my head bitten off, I’m not saying you didn’t care about them or love them to an extent, but if you can walk away so easily from someone, you have to question the solidity of it to begin with. Being around and talking to an ex can result in two very basic conclusions: you get along, catch feelings or you fight. Either one, emotions are involved and that can’t be a good thing if you’re trying to walk away.