A day or two ago, someone asked me if I thought that a person could be friends with their ex while in a new relationship. I thought that her question was interesting because it’s one of those cases where it’s hard to really give a straight answer.
My last official ex boyfriend was back in 2004 and we are not what I would call “friends”. Aside from the fact that I was 16 at the time, we ended things on a sour note. The person I’m with would absolutely be against us being friends if I had an interest in doing so. BUT I’ll use my ex as an example though, for the sake of this post LOL.
I’m going to call him X – I don’t want to use his real name LOL, he might get mad at me if he ever sees this.
My first pointer would be to make sure you’re totally healed from the break-up before you even think about being friends with that person.
As I mentioned above, X and I ended our relationship on bad terms. He just broke up with me out of the blue…via text. What pissed me off so much about it though wasn’t that he did it by text message. It was because as and when I first met him, I HATED him.
After he got my number, he worried the hell out of me but I eventually began to “like” him. He was funny and he wasn’t bad looking. (I love funny guys…my current boyfriend is the silliest guy I’ve ever met I do believe.) So for him to just dump me without reason after I gave him a chance really upset me.
The last thing on my mind was being his friend. Over time, I became more open to the idea (he came back begging of course) but the emotionally safe thing to do is wait until you’re really over it. And only you know when that is.
My second pointer would be to make sure it is strictly platonic – on both ends. As I mentioned, I became more open to the idea of being his friend again and we slowly started to communicate.
By this time I was with my current boyfriend, but it was the very early stages of the relationship. It wasn’t platonic…he wanted to be together again and it confused me. Just when I got over the fact that we were not going to be together again and started a new relationship, here he comes (as they always…well most of them…do) trying to rekindle the flame. *rolls eyes*
I made some bad choices and it affected my new relationship. I decided that I did not want to be a rebound girlfriend for X after he did me so wrong. It was a smart move because I’m still with the person I chose :-)
The second pointer can be adjusted. I say make sure it is platonic if you’re in a new relationship and that new person doesn’t mind the friendship with your former flame. You want to always, always respect your significant other so the best thing to do is keep it platonic. But couples break up for various reasons and if you’re both still single and want to give it another try, then I don’t believe anything is wrong with that.
Of course some people have this belief that a person is your “ex for a reason” and all that mess, but people DO change and sometimes you both just need to grow and see the errors of the relationship from the past.
My third pointer would be to ask yourself why you want the friendship.
And be honest with yourself. Is it because you secretly hope that you all will get back together? Is it because you’re lonely? Are you trying to make their new love interest jealous? Most of the time there will not be a good enough answer to pursue the friendship. But again, everyone is different.
If your intentions are pure and you don’t think it would cause any problems, then go for it. Just be careful!!!