Whether he wouldn’t commit from the beginning or crushed your heart after making promises, getting broken up with can be miserable. Despite how it ended, though, many women remain friends with their exes after the the separation.
Is it really a good idea to be friends with your ex after the breakup?
In my professional experience, I would say that it is simply not smart to be friends with your ex. Although you may be tempted, continuing your relationship with him makes it too easy to still feel attached.
Take Tara’s story for example.
Blurred Boundaries between Exes: The Story of Tara and Brian
Tara and Brian dated for just a few months. They had a lot in common and had a great time together, but Brian made it clear that he wanted a more casual relationship while Tara knew that she wanted commitment. At first, she hoped he’d change his mind since they got along so well. After all, what was the big difference between what they had now and a committed relationship anyway?
Tara tried to stop seeing Brian, but ended up agreeing when Brian asked her to stay friends. In reality, it wasn’t easy for her to let go of their friendship either. They’d often text and talk, occasionally seeing each other. It was tough for her because she wondered about the other women he was seeing and missed the closeness they had had. After one particularly ‘friendly’ night, she even came close to having sex with him again.
That’s when she decided she could no longer be his friend.
Ultimately, Tara was mad at herself for wasting time thinking about Brian when she could have been moving on to a more satisfying relationship. She realized that using all that energy asking herself why Brian wasn’t ready for commitment or wasn’t into her enough just made her feel rejected and undesirable. Finally, she realized that his reasons didn’t even matter to her!
Because, regardless, she was looking for a different kind of relationship than he was. Asking herself a few important questions at the beginning of this relationship could have saved her a great deal of trouble by helping her remember this simple fact.
Why Do We Want to Be Friends with our Exes?
Human beings are built for attachment, so it comes as no surprise that we are often tempted to stay friends with our exes. The problem is, being his friend can put you on a very slippery slope taking you away from your relationship goals. When you focus on holding on to the past, you aren’t doing what you need to do to prepare for the future.
Put simply, it doesn’t help you to get more attached to your ex when you need to be less attached.
Particularly right after the breakup, staying away from your ex is very important to establishing new emotional boundaries. Talking, texting, and especially being in the same room with your ex can just prolong your recovery process. Like we saw with Tara, regular contact also increases the possibility of sex with your ex – dangerous when you need to be getting over him and moving on.
For many of us, letting go of the past is difficult. It requires you to admit that the relationship is over and face the pain of that ending. It’s not easy, but you can do it.
You Can Learn to Say “No”, Too
Don’t forget that you have a choice of whether you want to be friends with him. You can say “no”. Listen to your inner voice when it warns you that being friends with him has serious pitfalls. Remember that even avoiding saying “no” because of your uncertainty or your fears can result in training men to treat you poorly on a regular basis.
If you are wondering whether it will always be a bad idea to be friends with your ex, ask yourself a few serious questions to first think about if that is what you truly want. Will he ever be able to give you what you are looking for? Be honest with yourself. Don’t make excuses for him.
Although staying away from him can be very hard to do, it’s critical to getting you what you want. As they say, “when one door closes, another one opens.”
But you have to close that initial door first.
Learn how to brush off rejection as no big deal and enjoy the flirtation of first dates without being nervous. Embrace your feelings and respect your limitations without apologies. Become your own Brand of Sexy.
It’s easier than you think– by trying to be the best version of yourself possible and learning from your past experiences, you have already taken the first step.