Sometimes two people are just not meant to be together. A large number of intimate relationships meet dead ends. But, every end means a new beginning. You think that after the break-up, all your problems will vanish into thin air. Sadly, your dear ex will not magically disappear. You have to decide rationally and logically how you treat each other after the relationship is dead. Yes, there are questions to be answered and lives to be made easier. And you thought the relationship was difficult!
Can exes ever be friends?
Yes and no.
It depends on a million factors. Starting from square one, if you two shared a long friendship that turned into something more, then you have a high chance of being emotionally capable of being post-break-up friends. It won’t be difficult for you as you have already had the other in the friend-zone.
Another contributing factor is the degree of compatibility between you two during the course of your relationship. Well, obviously not high enough to end in marriage. If your relationship was better than semi-tragic and if you have the required respect for your ex-partner, you might have a chance at being post-break-up friends.
Humayra, a high school student, said, “If the break-up is mutual, then they will have no problem being nice to each other after becoming exes.” This is a rare case where it was either you're both blameless, or both equally at fault for the fact that the love affair didn’t go as planned. When you both agree that the separation is for the best, you both set each other free. Break-ups are not always tears, anger and frustration; it can be a good thing. This is when you know you two are going to be friends for life.
The last factor to consider is the kind of person you are and the kind your ex is. Some people are better than others when it comes to moving on. It all comes down to what you want; but the problem arises when your ex disagree with how you want to deal with the situation.
A quote seen on social sites says “‘We can still be friends’ is like saying ‘the dog died, but we can still keep it’“. And here’s why.
What makes exes really bad friends is the attachments you have formed with them over the course of your relationship. Emotions do not have a switch to turn them on or off. Nobody forgets months (or days or even hours) of special time and bonding so easily; whatever one does reminds them of the other. If you feel like you will break into a million pieces if you ever sit next to your ex again, then it’s better to ignore each other and let the time do the trick. Anika, another high school student, rejects the idea of befriending an ex, saying “It’s like trying to reincarnate a failed project.”
There are little things that casual friends do or say that new exes find hard to process. Imagine you are at a party and you are not in the mood to dance with everyone. Your ex-come-friend calls you to join the dance floor and you suddenly start getting mixed messages. “Does he want to get back with me again? No, let’s run.” Maybe, you are sick and haven’t attended classes so your concerned ex/friend comes over to see you. And you think to yourself, she is probably trying to win you back.
Why is it a good idea to be friends with the ex?
Most break-ups end in the all too common line: “I hope we can still be friends”. Don’t roll your eyes too soon. If you think the aforementioned conditions are in your favour, then this is the best option for you both. It even hurts to think how awkward it would be to be in the same classroom or lift after the breakup. You won’t last seconds without making scornful comments and breaking into a fight. It’s better you clear the air and establish some rules; that will save the people around some drama.
No matter how badly you messed up the relationship, mostly the ex is still a great companion to be around. You should want to have that amazing person as a friend than not have him or her in your life at all. This way you can have the best of both worlds.
How can I befriend my ex?
There are a few simple stages and you are good to go.
Take some time off of each other and time will heal all wounds. A Sex and the City quote says “It takes half the amount of time you dated someone to get over them.” During this time, delete all your couple pictures from your phone and laptop. Change your Facebook Relationship Status. Focus on anything other than your dead relationship.
Once you are stable and have shed all the tears your eyes could contain, it’s time to be the bigger person, forgive and forget.
Most importantly, move on to the next person and try as hard as you can to make yourself emotionally available to people (but, do not repeat your mistakes). Sooner than you can think, you will have someone making you complete again. Also, make sure your current significant other is okay with you and your ex being friends.
Isn’t there a third option?
There is certainly a grey area between being friends and enemies. It’s called “being strangers”. Being friends and being friendly are two very different things. If you think that you can both pretend like all the romance, intimacy and private moments never happened, go for it. Find out if this works for you. Mind you, this will mean occasional ‘hi’s and ‘bye’s and that’s it. Doesn’t sound too bad a deal! And make sure to look your best when you run into your ex; no harm in showing them what they are missing.