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Does anyone believe you can really stay friends with your ex?


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Here's the deal:

 

My boyfriend of 2 1/2 years (we lived together for 2 of those) broke up with me 2 days ago. At the moment I am hurt and upset and need time and space to grieve and move on.

 

But at some point in the future I would really like to resume a real friendship if that is at all possible. Apart from the romantic involvement I have so much in common with this guy, we share a love of theatre and music (we met in a play together), we really do enjoy each other company, we share a similar wacky sense of humour and can just talk rubbish for hours. He's a singer/songwriter and I have been quite involved in his music providing feedback and helping him work through improving new songs, whilst he has been incredibly supportive of me with my acting. Plus we have many mutual friends.

 

When I have had time to regain my sense of self and recover from the major blow of being dumped (I am quite realistic about the problems our relationship had, but I had thought there was still something worth fighting for) I would really love it if we could still share the above things, but in a platonic way that is not awkward for each other.

 

I would like to know what people think and what your experiences have been with resuming a true friendship with an ex.

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I think that it is possible to stay friends with an ex, heaps of people on this forum have managed it.

 

I have to say though, that as far as I can tell, the only way to really have that relationship in a sense that is truly platonic is when enough time has passed that neither of you actually care very much about the need to be in touch.

 

So perversely enough, it's only when you don't care so much that a friction-free relationship is possible.

 

The problem is that when people stay friends immediately after a breakup, in many cases one person is not really "over" the intimacy shared etc, and is hankering for a return to old times.

 

There are that many different styles of relationship out there though katypie; there is no reason why you and your ex-boyfriend can't find a way to renegotiate your relationship as a new deal. The issue then is when each of you pairs up with someone else you will also have the potential for jealousy from the new partner - but that's another thread .

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Hang in there Katypie. You pretty much have it down in terms of what you need to do regarding space and allowing yourself to go through the "process." It sounds as if you really care for this guy and enjoy his company. I believe if you do your best to let go with love and respect his decision the possibility for a wonderful friendship is solid. Hopefully, your ex shares this desire. You are right that it will take some time before you are ready for a relationship on that level. Plus, relationships take some twists post breakup. Allowing him to process the breakup at his own speed and taking steps to ensure you heal and grow are paramount toward salvaging what sounds like what you already built. Sending you strength and the knowledge that we are all out here.

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I'm one of the people here that has managed it - I'm good friends with my ex, we were together 2 1/2 years as well. It wasn't easy though...

 

We had a lot of plans together when we broke up, and decided we were still going to try and do all of them. I don't know whether or not this was a good idea! It meant that about 2/3 weeks after we broke up, we had to go to London together 3 times within a week, to see shows and a concert we'd had planned. Once while we were there I got really angry at him, and it was quite awkward. We went to Paris together 3 months after the relationship ended as well - and came back better friends for it.

 

There are 2 reasons I think that we have been able to be friends. One is that our break up was completely mutual. We knew things weren't the same anymore - talked for a long time about what we should do, and decided that breaking up was our option. Didn't mean it didn't hurt a lot. He just didn't break my heart, so I never saw him as someone I wanted to hate...you know what I mean?

 

The other reason is something I only found out about 4 months ago, but since knowing that it's made things a bit easier. He told me he's gay. So now...when I talk to him I don't have that slight worry in my ehad that he'll think I'm trying to rekindle something. We both know it's just never going to happen again, so I can turn to him whenever I need to, and I have done with this break up.

 

It can happen, but I think it needs to be very natural, and slow, over time. You can't force the issue.

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I believe it can happen. Like most people said already, the attraction has to be gone though.

 

I actually am very close friends with one of my exes. I think it's a great relationship, but to be honest it can be a little much. Right now he's got a girlfriend and I'm single. So hanging out with him is a little depressing. I know that I don't want to date him, since I was the one who ended things. But since things haven't been going that well for me, there's times where I get jealous of what he has with his girlfriend.

 

I think friends with one ex is enough. I couldn't handle anymore.

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I'm actually going through the same thing at the moment, and the way I look at it, to gain a friendship in a more than superficial way, three factors are necessary:

 

1 - Time. It may take years. Even if you both want to be friends, straight after the break up it is next to impossible. If it is forced or rushed a true friendship is impossible. It has to be a clean start.

 

2 - Absolutely zero inclination on either persons part to get back together. This takes time, as above. There must be no unequal feelings, no emotional or physical entanglement.

 

3 - I reckon it helps if you already have friends of the opposite sex, simply because some people don't know how to be friends with the opposite sex unless they are in a relationship with them.

 

Now I just have to swallow my own medicine! Good luck.

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I would like very much to be friends with my ex someday also. But I know that I cannot right now. I would not be able to hang out with her without wishing for more. So for me right now, I'm doing No Contact. I really wish I could start being friends with her again after about 6 months, but somehow I think it will take much longer

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I think it is possible, however I believe that the friendship will likely end when one or the other meets someone new and they don't like their new boyfriend/girlfriend hanging out with their ex. To my line of thinking it is only delaying the inevitable.

 

Then there are those that are friends with their ex's simply because they want to get back together with them.

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I think it is possible to be friends with your ex, but only after TIME. Just like people have already said, you can't want to get back together with them, and would have to be comfortable seeing them with someone else. Personally, I have never remained friends with an ex after a breakup, and I'm not sure I'm going to my most recent time either. I'd really love to, because she and I were best friends for over a year, and know each other like no one else, but I know that right now, if I had to see her with her new guy, it would kill me still, no matter how well I am healing on my own.

 

So yes, I think it is possible, but I think there needs to be sufficient time after the breakup for it to be possible.

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If you didn't part on bad terms (i.e. one was cheating on the other, f'rinstance), it's possible to be friends with the ex. But, you both have to be completely over each other, have no romantic feelings toward one another, and neither of you can habor even a remote hope of getting back together as a couple.

 

I am still friends with my college ex. We dated for 2 years, lived together for 5, broke up some 15 years ago. However, it took about a year of having absolutely no contact with each other whatsoever before a friendship was possible. Also, we didn't set out to have a friendship...there was a set of naturally occurring events that put us back in contact with each other.

 

My college ex met every one of my bf's after we became friends. In fact, one of the ways I knew my husband was a "keeper" was that my ex-bf chose to establish a friendship with him. When we all lived in the same city, my ex and my hubby used to go to the movies and hang out with each other WITHOUT me.

 

When my ex-bf got married (and we were all living in the same city) we would go out to dinner with them on a regular basis. Now that we're living about 200 miles apart, we visit each other a couple times a year.

 

My college ex is the only ex I keep in touch with, however, it's also the only relationship I've had that ended on fairly good terms. We broke up because we had grown in different directions. Not surprising as we were 19 and 21 when we got together. People change an awful lot through their 20's. Who you are and what you want at the beginning of that decade is quite frequently very different from who you are and what you want at the end of that decade. So, I do believe that a huge part of the reason I can be friends with him even now has a lot to do with the way we parted some 15 years ago.

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most defn

 

with no problems at all.

 

but i think in my case with my ex ex, even though he dissolved the relationship b/c he met someone new... he never blamed me - took full responsibility for it and i dunno we just moved beyond it all. this was awhile ago 5 years now, we meet up with each other once every six months or so when he's in the states.

 

we dropped into the friendship zone immediately after our breakup, give or take a few weeks. wasn't talking to each other every day but... i'm glad we remained friends.

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I disagree. I don't think it's truly possible. You always run into the possibility of rehashing old feelings. You don't want that! They are an ex for a reason. I see it happen when children are involved, and I think it's a great and good thing for the kids. Other than that, if you were never married, and kids weren't involved, why not stick to new friendships? Focus your energy on developing a new relationship with someone much more special!

 

My two cents!

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Possible; but certainly difficult.

 

And you have to be prepared for the risk that your relationship will never be what you WANT it to be - meaning he may be talking and laughing with someone else for hours instead. And that someone else will be a priority in his life at some point. If you really are comfortable with that, it is possible.

 

And, it really needs to be something you both want as true friendship; not a hope to get back together by any one of you. Ultimately I think it just needs to be something that happens because you end up moving in that direction after a lot of time apart and run into each other again, etc.

 

 

I tried to be friends with my last ex, as of today we talk infrequently though as too many things changed, I saw him more objectively and realized he had not always treated me so well...and well other people and things in life became a priority over the ex whom dumped me

 

 

Honestly sweetie, it has only been two days and I think before you think of being friends, you need to concern yourself with your own healing. Often we use friendship with an ex at this stage to keep the hope or lessen the pain; but it only exaberates it. If after you have healed and moved on - in many more months - you still want to be friends, then consider it. But now, instead of focusing on being FRIENDS, focus on your HEALING.

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I am one of the few who has managed to stay friends with my ex after a year of dating. But it also took us both about a year and getting into new relationships for us to go back to the way we were before we started dating since we were really close friends before we attempted the dating. Take it slow and dont rush anytype of relationship friendship included and dont be bummed if a friendship can't work between the two of you. It isn't always possible it takes alot of effort and work to remain friends minus all the feelings and such.

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