You know the drill.
You break up amicably with an ex. Possibly the spark’s just gone, or you realise that the two of you just don’t work as a couple. Your personalities clash, one of you is too possessive, the other doesn’t have their life on track. One sponges off the other. One takes too many selfies. Whatever. You split up but you don’t hate each other. It’s all relatively fine. You don’t resent them for the relationship not working out. You both accept that it’s for the best.
You both have mutual friends. You can make them laugh like no one else. They know everything about you. There’s only one logical solution – ‘let’s stay friends!’
It happens all the time. At first it’s amazing. You wander round in a haze of smugness, proud that you’re both adult enough to remain ‘best friends.’ You’ll tell anyone who’ll listen about how the two of you are still bosom buddies, and you are – for a time. Everything’s great until one of you flirts with somebody, or kisses someone in a club, or – heaven forbid – gets into a new relationship.
Then comes jealousy, bitterness, and blazing rows, much to the discomfort of your other friends.
Everyone’s night is ruined, there’s tension within the group, and the situation as ended in tears – yours.
Or what if the situation pans out differently. Perhaps someone has taken the breakup worse than the other and can’t actually handle seeing their ex so frequently and not being able to kiss them and say ‘I love you.’ All that this hanging out as friends is bound to do is to drag out the breakup process, making sure that the person more emotionally invested takes ten times longer to get over everything.
Staying friends with your ex is not a good idea.
Sure, it’s great to be on good terms. It’s always good to be civil with one another rather than wanting to rip each other’s heads off. It’s great not having to carry around the baggage of resenting somebody. But do you really need to be ‘best friends’ with somebody you once shared a bed with? All it’s going to do is pose problems for both of you, and what about the poor sod that ends up in a relationship with you? It can’t be easy being in a relationship with somebody that still has cosy nights in with their ex partner. Just look at Simon Cowell and his creepy boat parties, during which he lounges on his yacht surrounded by ex girlfriends.
I’m sorry but it’s odd.
It’s a shame to have to cut ties with someone whom you have shared so many memories with, and perhaps in the future the two of you can be just friends, but trying to make the transition from bed buddies to best friends overnight? Sorry, not happening.
The best thing that the two of you can do if you do truly want to remain friends with your ex, is by giving yourselves both some space. Take a break from each other, get drunk, get your rebounds out of your system and learn how to be alone once more. See how you feel when you hear that they’ve moved on. If there is even a tiny bit of jealousy there, then step away from the phone. You are not ready to be friends yet. However, if you genuinely feel happy for them and there isn’t even a little part of you that feels slighted, then congratulations!
Then (and only then) is it possible to be friends with your ex.