One day you’re in love, the next you’re ripping each other’s throats out. Relationships call for a lot of time and dedication, and once they are over you’re expected to leave the good behind and move forward onto the next one. But for those who opt to not hold a grudge, can exes really be friends?
Letting go of the pain
Although there are some relationships that end with a mutual parting of ways, most relationships don’t. In the middle of a breakup, the idea of forgiving your ex may make you sick to your stomach. And believe me, it takes time. But what if there were benefits to being friends, down the line. Would you consider it then? Let’s assume so. In order to even consider it a possibility, you must let go of the pain attached to the break up. This includes letting go of all resentment and hatred – all of the regret and the guilt. Once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to make a better decision. This is part of the healthy healing process anyway, and should be done regardless of where you stand with you ex. (Stay tuned for an article on closure)
Why Making Up (Eventually) is Important
Each relationship has important lessons to teach and being able to absorb them and tap into them is a crucial part of life. But, of course, love is complicated and often blindfolds us with our own emotions, blocking us from really seeing things objectively. Being able to amicably approach your ex and ask questions about your past is not only an important step to attaining closure, but it also improves your future relationships. Imagine meeting someone new and realizing you were acting a certain way that may be harming your new relationship, wouldn’t it be nice to call your ex up and ask if you had done it with him/her? You don’t have to be best of chums to be each other’s reflections of the past.
Can Exes Be Friends? The Benefits
Abso-lutely. Taking the above one step further, actually developing a friendship with someone you’ve been with can prove to be a phenomenal addition to your life. Think about it. Something beyond the romance attracted you to one another in the first place. There’s no reason why that has to disappear once the romantic relationship ends. You don’t spend all day making love and cuddling when you’re together, do you? If you do, change it up or prepare for crash landing. The potential for a great friendship is there, you just have to do your part.
Accept the past, apologize to one another and most importantly: make sure you’re over each other. There are things you know about one another that will prove to be useful in the future and you’ll be able to offer a very intimate sense of support for one another.
Ugh. Do we HAVE to Be Friends?
No. There are certain relationships that are meant to be left in the past. Never should you feel forced to be friends with someone if you don’t want to; especially if they’ve hurt you and you don’t particularly see them as friend material. What is important, however, is that you get closure from your relationship. (Like I said, stay tuned for next week). Your goal should be to one day be tolerant of one another. Holding grudges and hatred is only bad for the health. Never does forgiveness justify his/her bad behavior.
Being friends with your ex doesn’t and absolutely shouldn’t happen right away. But the reality is, beyond all romance, it’s likely that the two of you have experienced a lot together and it’s hard to let that go when the romance ends. If your relationship was based on a solid friendship, it may be worth fighting to keep. Remember that not all relationships are meant to develop into friendships. And that forcing a friendship for the wrong reasons – i.e. you still have feelings for you ex – will bite you in the ass. And all you’re signing up for is more pain and disappointment.