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How to Stay Friends With Your Ex

Updated on May 30, 2019
EvieSparkes profile image

Evie Sparkes is a published novelist, content writer and company director from the UK.

When You Want to Remain Friends With Your Ex?

If you are hanging onto the hope that your ex will fall in love with you again if only you can stay friends, you might be heading for a whole lot of hurt. You have split for a reason, whether you agree with their reasoning or not. When we attempt to keep hold of someone we love by pretending that we are quite okay with the friendship thing, we close ourselves off to other opportunities and we lay ourselves wide open to being used.

Being desperate to get back together with your ex means that you might become his or her go-to, when there is nobody else in the picture. You might end up feeling used and in the end, you'll find your self-esteem decreasing. Being anyone's plan B can only lead to heart-ache.

If you are holding onto them by offering a friendship that might end up being very one- sided, it's wise to think again, take the inevitable pain of the break-up and give yourself some breathing space. If you are in a good place a few months later, and friendship is still an option, then this is the time to give it a try, but only if you are reconciled to the fact that it's over and that you might well have to see them with another at some point. Can you handle that?

Is Your Ex Your Friend Already?

Are you and your ex great mates? Did you simply run out of steam as a couple but still have loads in common and enjoy each other's company? If this is the case then why not stay friends?

Good friends are hard to find, so one that you already knows you inside-out and who cares about you shouldn't be disregarded just because you are no longer sleeping together. Ask your ex if he or she would like to remain friends. If you are both in agreement, you might well find yourselves becoming closer (in the non-sexual sense) and find a really deep appreciation of one another as people.

Some ex-couples remain friends and some even close friends. I was speaking to a guy the other say who has been divorced for ten years and still pops round to his ex-wife for breakfast or just to read the paper!

Do You Have Kids With Your Ex?

Kids make a break-up a whole different ball game. The ideal scenario is one where you are friendly towards each other and respectful. You both understand that kids come first and whatever your feelings, they should not be subjected to them. The chances of you being able to stay good friends are probably slim at the moment. That's not to say it won't happen later-on.

I have seen too many couples dragging their children into their personal battles with one-another and I want to shake them. You may not even think you are letting them see what's going on between you, but there's a good chance they know. Children are very perceptive.

A friendly break-up is desirable when kids are involved. Just because you don't love each other anymore, it doesn't mean you have to hate each other. Think of your own well-being if your partner is being difficult. Shouting and screaming at them will only impact negatively on your health.

What Are The Benefits of Maintaining a Friendship?

Friendship can be a wonderful thing for couples that are no longer romantically involved. Where there is respect and love of a platonic kind there can be friendship. If you do have children together, then this really is a fantastic way to help them accept their new situation.

You might like doing the same things, perhaps you like the same movies, TV programs, have mutual friends and generally have fun in each other's company. Why then would you want to throw that away just because you no longer have romantic feelings towards each other?

As with every friendship, this one will take some work. You are transitioning from one sort of relationship to a completely different kind and there will be some adjustment necessary. As long as you both want the friendship to work it can.


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    • EvieSparkes profile imageAUTHOR

      Evie Sparkes 

      2 years ago

      It wouldn't work for me personally but I know someone who is great friends with his ex and it works for them. That's a shame about your friend though. Sex is the best way to stuff up a perfectly good friendship. Thanks for commenting.

    • Stina Caxe profile image

      Cristina Cakes 

      2 years ago from Virginia

      I only have two exes in my life. One is because we have children together and I try to remain civil and even friendly for the sake of my children. I grew up with two parents who hated each other and it was extremely stressful for me. Even though the father of my children tries my patience on a daily basis, I remain calm for my kids.

      The only other one is someone who was a very good friend for many many years before we ever dated. Getting together was a bad idea that only seemed right at the time because we had such a deep love and appreciation for each other already. The relationship only lasted 6 weeks and it was one of the most devastating break ups I have ever faced. It wasn't that I lost my lover, it was that I lost my best friend. It was two years before we could even speak to each other again. And even now, many years later, although we are still friendly and occasionally catch up, our friendship is nothing like what it was.

      I would say in most cases, it is not necessary to remain friends with an ex. Unless you are forced to see each other constantly, then don't torture yourself or your ex with being friend. That's just my opinion though.

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      2 years ago from Chicago

      "If you are hanging onto the hope that your ex will fall in love with you again if only you can stay friends, you might be heading for a whole lot of hurt." - Very true!

      Oftentimes the person ending the relationship offers friendship as a "consolation prize" in order to not feel like the "bad guy". They also hopes it keeps their (ex) from wigging out too much.

      The person who got dumped accepts the olive branch of friendship with the hidden agenda of hoping they will get back together. At this point both people are entering into the "friendship" under false pretenses.

      There's a reason why the "no contact rule" makes sense.

      1. It's unrealistic to expect to from being "red hot lovers" to instant "platonic friends" behaving like siblings.

      2. In order to "move on" you have to "let go".

      Your ex is the last person who can help you get over them! (And vice versa). Breaking up is easier than "breaking free". However it's nearly impossible get over someone if you remain in contact and "hang out" with them immediately afterwards.

      Generally the best friendships between exes occurs after a large gap in time whereby both people have found loving relationships with other people. Even then they simply drop each other an email now and then just to stay in touch. They're not actually attending events together or going out for a meal or cocktails.

      The truth is not many women would want their man hanging out with his ex going to pubs, shopping, watching football, dinning out or having a weekend getaway as some close friends do.

      And yet if he were doing this with a (male friend) his girlfriend or wife wouldn't have a problem with it. The same goes true for men with girlfriends/wives who hang out with their ex lovers.

      Even when (exes) do remain "good friends" at some point one of them if not both will fall in love with someone who doesn't approve.

      Given a choice between walking out on a loving relationship or continuing a close friendship with an (ex); most will choose love!

      Truth be told if you're a "true friend" you would want to avoid coming between your ex and their newfound love to begin with!

      There are very few lifetime friendships between exes.

      The one exception might be co-parents.


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