Can You Really Be Friends With An Ex?
Or is the relationship doomed to always be weird?
Who broke up with who? Why did the breakup happen? What was the reason for your relationship in the first place? The answers to these questions can actually determine whether you can be friends with your ex or not. Maybe the guy broke up with the girl for cheating. I don’t know anyone that still maintained a friendship after that, but it is highly unlikely for that to happen. Also what if you were both friends before you got into the relationship and then due to lack of understanding and communication, you decide to break up? There is still a possibility of a friendship happening. Or your relationship ended the same way Ted Mosby and Robin Scherbatsky’s (From How I Met Your Mother) did — different life goals. From their experience, they could still maintain a friendship (I know it’s fiction, but still). While several reasons could determine whether or not to still be friends with your EX, let’s dive a bit from my own experience with an Ex.
I sent in a dm on Facebook to this girl I had known from my area. We haven’t talked before but we knew each other. We had it cool from the very beginning and I asked for her number to which she never gave with no hesitation. We took our conversation to WhatsApp, and the vibe kept growing stronger (notice I keep saying vibe right? I’ll explain shortly). From my perspective, it seemed we shared similar interests in things, plus she easily understood most of the things I would have to explain to other girls. She was cool and lovely. My intention with her when we started talking was to become friends. The reason was that she was quite young and I had no interest in going into a relationship at the time, plus she was set to relocate.
All of these reasons made me take our engaging conversations as just casual. But yes, while I caught feelings for her, it still didn’t mean I wanted to go into a relationship with her. She had a super crush on me and she wanted us to go into a relationship. Being aware of all the reasons I thought it couldn’t work, I told her we should just be friends, but after later thought, we both decide to go into one. It was my first relationship and it felt like everything was right. I wanted to be sure I was doing everything right, so the more I kept being myself (which was what won her in the first place), the more she found something to criticize me on. It felt like gas-lighting. All of a sudden, she says “I always say the wrong thing.” A relationship I communicated to her that I was willing to learn and to be patient with me on, as it was my first.
I had later come to realize that while those were the right words to say, they are only right during the time things were all merry and bubbly. This speaks to vibes — a temporal feeling. I realized that what she had for me was merely a crush, and that is the disguise of crushes. It makes you think that you could do anything and everything for that person. It makes you misinterpret what you feel, like love. Well, yes, a crush is a feeling of love. But love isn’t just a feeling but also a commitment and a choice. Two months later, she felt we should break up. The reasons weren’t clear to me at the time as I felt that whatever reason she had to justify the breakup, we could talk about it and solve it. But it was as simple as her no longer having feelings for me. So how did we become friends (or at least try to)?
When we broke up, I had to take a break on my path to decide for myself if pursuing a friendship is worth it in the first place. The truth of the matter is, it is not always ideal to be friends with an Ex. For most relationships, the feeling never goes, and if both parties end up being friends and enter new relationships, they could end up cheating on their new partners with themselves (stuff happens and it ain’t no fiction). Two reasons stood out as I decided if I wanted to be friends with her:
- It was my intention in the first place.
- She didn’t lead me on and broke up with me when she knew her heart wasn’t there anymore.
For the second point, it made me respect and admire her (of course I didn’t realize this right after our breakup, as all I felt was pain). It showed how honest and true to herself she was. It is better we broke up for that reason, than me begging her to stay and cheating on me with someone else because she couldn't deny the truth that she wanted out. So are we friends now? Well, we’re getting there. I would say that we’re cool as there’s no bad blood or anything. But friendship takes time and being intentional. It is the most important of all relationships because as long as you are friends with your partner, you can always find a better way to co-exist, even during an argument.
So reader, how about you? Are you friends with an Ex? What made you decide to become friends and what’s the friendship like now? Let me know by replying to this piece. Thank you so much for reading