Why do so many songs and movies revolve around breakups? Because they’re a miserable experience and we’ve all been through them.
Unfortunately, many women stay friends with their exes. Staying friends makes it incredibly difficult to grieve and move on appropriately.
Why is that?
Because human beings are made for attachment.
When you stay connected, you avoid the grieving period that you need to move on to a more fulfilling relationship. Staying friends becomes a distraction. While it’s painful to stop all contact after a break-up, it’s vital to go through the grieving process because it keeps you from getting stuck in the past.
If you keep reaching out to your ex after a break-up, it’s so much harder for you to work through the loss and move ahead. You need a minimum of a couple of months of no-contact before you can decide if it’s even possible to be friends.
So how do you feel about the ‘no reach/no fly/no contact’ zone? Rest assured, it’s normal to miss him and want to be in contact. So, it’s understandable that it isn’t easy to not reach out to an ex.
Let’s take a look at Brian and Janet’s relationship.
Janet and Brian had been dating for several years. Although they had a good relationship, they couldn’t agree on their future.
While Janet wanted to travel for a few more years, globetrotting didn’t appeal to Brian. They tried different things to make their relationship work, but Brian finally decided that he didn’t want to be left behind while Janet fulfilled her wanderlust.
The subsequent break up was incredibly hard on both of them, because not only had they been lovers, they’d been best friends, too. Brian suggested they stay in touch to ease the pain of the breakup. Janet didn’t want to lose their friendship, and so she agreed.
Janet continued to date after her relationship with Brian, but she always compared her dates to him. And secretly, she hoped the two of them would get back together. Although Janet was able to keep Brian as a friend, their relationship made it so much harder for her to get on with her life. She could have met the right guy for her after Brian broke up with her, but their friendship and her perpetually kindled feelings for him made it impossible for Janet to find new love.
See what I mean? I wonder if Ashley and Matt fared any better.
Ashley and Matt had been dating for a year when Matt decided he wasn’t sure if he wanted to continue the relationship. So, Ashley agreed to go on a break so he could sort out his feelings. Unfortunately, the break didn’t bring Matt any sort of clarity. Ashley decided that she didn’t want to spend any more time waiting around for Matt to figure out what he wanted, so she broke things off with him for good.
But Matt wanted to stay friends with Ashley. Ashley felt that ‘friends’ would only mean more feelings of waiting around for Matt to sort himself out. She told him she needed time to process their breakup and she couldn’t contact him for some time.
Matt kept trying to contact Ashley, but she held firm to her decision not to stay in touch. She grieved the loss of their relationship and decided she was looking for a man who was clear about what he wanted. 6 months after she said ‘goodbye’ to Matt, Ashley met Tom. And Tom was very into her and their romantic relationship.
Ashley knew she needed adequate time and space to move on from her complicated relationship with Matt. Her priority was moving on with her love life, rather than staying friends with him. Ashley was able to avoid prolonging any feelings of grief and loneliness by going no-contact with Matt.
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So have you ever tried to stay friends with an ex? Did it work out for you? Or do you need support during the critical ‘no reach’ zone? Let us know in the comments so we can support you!