Can Exes Remain Friends?

Can you be friends with a guy after you’ve had a romantic relationship? I’ll admit that I haven’t been able to master this trick. When a man and I decide we’re not going to continue dating, it usually ends there. There are no more calls on birthdays or holidays. We’re not Facebook friends. It’s done.

For me, the only exception has been my college boyfriend who I dated for more than five years. Do I care whether he lives or dies? Yes, that’s why I keep in touch. However, even that friendship is a somewhat weak one. We pretty much keep our communications electronic, and we’ve stopped taking time to visit when we travel to each other’s cities.

So, why is it difficult for people who were once close as Siamese twins to remain friends once the relationship goes platonic?

My guess is that it’s easier for both parties to open up to new romantic prospects if they’re not keeping old fires flickering by staying close to former flames. Reminiscing about first kisses and midnight trips to “the spot” don’t do much for closure.

So, keeping an ex at a distance makes sense.

However, if you spent years building a friendship with someone, learning them and loving them, then it stands to reason that you find some good in that person that’s worth holding onto. Unless, the breakup was as horribly overdramatic as something out of a Tyler Perry movie, you probably have some happy memories and still care.

So, how do you manage your concern for a former romantic interest, make sure that you’re disconnected enough to emotionally move on and still maintain a strong friendship?

I’m hopeful there are successful examples of that out there. I believe that two mature adults can remain friends after a romantic relationship ends. Your ex might not be your BFF, but great friends aren’t easy to come by, so if you can maintain a healthy relationship with someone you care about and who cares about you, it’s probably worth it.


4 Responses to “Can Exes Remain Friends?”

  1. 1 Monique
    July 17, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    I have managed to remain really good friends with a couple of exes. At first it was somewhat awkward but we talked about it and then took some time apart(a couple of years actually) and finally we are back to being friends. I think you have to learn to respect the boundaries and make sure everyone is cool with it before you can go there.

  2. July 18, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    I think it depends on how the relationship ended. Some people make better friends that boyfriends. If the breakup was a mutual agreement then it’s a possiblity. But if it was a big time blow up, probably not. It would not be in your best interest to be friends.

  3. 3 blackbarbiekj
    July 19, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Next! I say move on and keep it moving. I have down the “friend” thing and in the end, I was being used. Make a clean break, get over it and keep it moving.

    I agree with another post that said it also depends on how it ended.

    If it was some shady dealings… lying, cheating or what have you, then he/she wasn’t your friend in the first place. Why would you want to remain friends?

    I’m also not sure how I would feel about an ex calling up my new love interest or them visiting each other? Haven’t had to deal with that one yet….

    Love the blog! Keep it coming!

  4. 4 SistahEsq
    July 19, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    You should be able to remain friends if the relationship ended because you two weren’t compatible. If it ended because you discover the other person is truly a bad person, keep it moving and don’t look back.

    I have remained friends with all of my exes execept one.
    That “one” was an exception because he was not holding himself out to be person he truly was. So I apparently didn’t know him and he was apparently deceitful. You can’t have a friendship with someone you don’t know. And you shouldn’t feel oligated to have a friendship with a deceitful person.

    On the other hand, the exes that I am still friends with are truly good people. We have a high level of respect for one another and that does not stop once the relationship ends. How can it? Determining that you are not compatible with someone is different from a “bad act,” like cheating for example. You do not have to be friends with your cheating ex boyfriend.

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