Is Staying Friends with an Ex a Good Idea?

Staying Friends with an Ex

When a couple breaks up, one of the other of them asks if they can remain friends.   Each partner may have a range of motives, not all of them negative.   Regardless of the motive, staying in close contact is not a good idea. This is because each partner needs to get some distance from the relationship so they can heal.

There are no good reasons to stay close immediately after the breakup. Staying close can keep you from moving on.

   1) No Hope

If you stay in close contact, one or both of you may feel that there is hope to getting back the happiness you once had. That is not necessarily bad, but it is too easy to fall back into the patterns that pulled you apart in the first place.  Also, it is hard for your emotions to just shift from romantic to platonic.   You need the time apart to create some distance.

2) Avoiding the middle ground

Shortly after the breakup, one of you will be more attached than the other. You will suffer either pain or guilt, no matter which one you are.  If you are not in a truly equal state, this will only end in disaster.

3) Slowing yourself down.

If you decide to stay friends, you are emotionally roadblocking yourself. Whether you know it or not, you are parking yourself in the same place. When this happens, you can’t find room in your life for new things. This includes new experiences and new people.   It can also keep you from loving yourself a little more.

4) You will still be lonely

One of the reasons people find it so hard to let go of an ex is that they are afraid of being alone.  If you are in a situation where you are so numbed by grief that you would take whatever you can from your ex.  Not only will you still be lonely, but you will also definitely feel a drop in your self-worth. You would be deprived of your own friendship

5) Your mind needs to be at ease 

When you survive a breakup, everything about your relationship with your ex has changed. You can not be openly loving and affectionate. If you have had harsh words with your ex, chances are good that there will be bitterness underneath everything you do. No friendship is worth losing your peace of mind and mental health.

In conclusion

Ultimately it is up to you if you want to move on with your lie.  It is hard to let things go. It does take strength of character to let go.  It is understandable that you would rather fight to stay in a place where you are familiar.   It is daunting to think you will have to start over.  But to grow as a person, you need to move on, even if it means going through pain temporarily.  Once you move on, you will find that you are happier than you thought you could be.

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