Can you be Friends with an Ex?

So… you are thinking about remaining friends with the ex. This week’s touchy episode explores how and why we want to remain friends with an ex – what really comes of it? Is it worth the effort, is it even a good idea?! We’re joined by Rumbi’s good friend Narshly who’s back with a list of hilariously controversial opinions. If you haven't listened to the episode you can listen here .

If we’re 100% honest, staying friends is the easy way out. When you already care for someone and your relationship ends, you quickly realise that moving on is going to be ten times more painful that you’d thought. You’ll be going from speaking to someone almost everyday to ‘never again’ – the thought of it can be heart breaking, and so it’s easier to end wat may have been a toxic situation without having to deal with the complete loss of someone you love.

You then end up with a semi-breakup, even though you’re both now single, there remains a sense of belonging to one another. If one of you was to meet someone else then you both know it would cause an unspoken tension. Ultimately, the new friendship will always be entangled with the old romantic relationship – there’s a false sense of moving on and probably a lot more cycles of ‘trying to make it work again’.

Your heart is still technically ‘occupied’ by the ex but you convince yourself you’re doing so well at moving on and you can leave forever anytime you want to! The truth of the matter is that you’re stuck, and it all started the very first time you both agreed to be friends after breaking up. Sadly, it may take you a long time to realise that you’ve blocked yourself from all other romantic opportunities that could have blossomed – and you’ve also blocked your ex from moving on too.

If you have children with an ex then that’s a different ball park! You’d need to remain in a healthy post-romantic relationship. For any of our listeners who have a family with an ex, would you say it’s appropriate to ever spend time together outside of when it’s concerning the kids? Would you invite them to your birthday party, or is this totally inappropriate? We’d imagine this is a thin line to balance on when you then enter a new relationship – if there’s any chance of it thriving, then the ex has to remain the right distance away at all times.

However some people can actually make it work, once they break up, a period of healing is in order. Typically, this time requires zero contact with the ex, but once that’s done with, then they can begin to foster a healthy friendship with one another.

This sounds like the ideal scenario, but it can be tricky when a new partner is introduced to the ‘best friend who is also an ex’. Leo doesn’t believe that people who were once in love can truly be friends afterwards, there is typically at least one of them who will never stop wanting a little (or a lot) more. Getting entangled with a new partner who has an undying relationship with their ex could just mean a small part of their heart will never be available to you because it’s already taken.

It’s a really complex topic because there will come a time when one of you will truly start to move on, and the other has to see this play out because you’ve remained friends. This can even act as a second heart break, but it would have been one that you saw coming. Not only may your ex move on, but what about having to watch them begin a family with someone else when you thought that would be you standing next to them? In which case it’s probably better to accept that the relationship had served it’s purpose in your life and a break up means exactly that… break it up. Some people are meant to be in your life as friends and others are for romantic connections, we have to be careful about moving them into positions they weren’t supposed to be in.

As always, let us know your thoughts on this, have you or do you know anyone who’s managed to foster a genuinely healthy and platonic friendship with an ex? If so, how do you think they managed it? And if not, tell us about your lessons learned from being friends with an ex and why it didn’t turn out to be such a good idea.

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