So the typical love story goes: you both met, fell in love or lust, you were together for some time, you had sex, you had a relationship, then you broke up, and decided that you were better off as friends. Sounds familiar? I agree with the whole process of dating and relationships, but I thought that I would clear things up with regards to after breaking up and remaining friends with an ex. Staying friends with an ex is a confusing situation, especially when we all know that love is not black and white, but have certain patches of grey. So the grey question is: can exes really just be friends? I’ve said it before to my friends, that I believe that you can only be friendly with an ex, and not friends.
Firstly, let’s define what a friend is. A friend is a person you trust with your thoughts and feelings, you do things together like hang out, talk about your lives, talk about the person you’re in love with, and when things get tough in life, a friend is there to help you out. But I didn’t say that a friend is someone you used to have sex with. Most of my friends, who are male and female, haven’t slept with me and vice versa, that’s why I call them my friends. But my exes are exes for one reason, we were intimate in the past, and our relationship didn’t work out. Period. If we didn’t work out as a couple, then I think an ex is someone who deserves to remain as a memory of my past and should not actively be part of my present life. But when you have slept with someone in the past and now call them a friend, to me, that’s an ex-lover who you are still interested in and I have to ask why? Sometimes, I think that human beings are just naturally perverse and egotistical, that keeping their ex-lovers around as friends is just a way to remind them that they are wanted.
To me, I don’t want my exes as friends because they are just reminders of failed relationships, and I wouldn’t be able to count on them as real friends if I had relationship problems with my present relationship. Basically, an ex who is a friend, is called a Frex. It is someone you used to date, now you talk to each other sometimes, and occasionally, you meet up and spend time together. I am so against this! With so many ways to communicate with people nowadays, I am completely satisfied to send an email to my ex on his birthday or on Christmas just to be polite.
I’ve heard so many stories from people saying that they are friends with their exes, and that’s just fine. I just have a diferent opinion, as to what a friend really is, and in my book, with so many people who can be your friend, why is it so important to remain friends with an ex? But as I understand, in some cases, it is possible. Here are a few scenarios that explain why exes still try to remain friends, and how it can work or can lead to a disaster.
A Wonderful Friendship, A Horrible Relationship
Many people have told me that they were friends for a long time (some up to a few years) with their exes. They started off as only mutual friends, and then after some time, they decided to give a relationship a chance. They dated, had a sexual relationship, but decided after some time, that they were better off as friends. Think about Jerry Seinfeld and Elaine Benes. Their story in the show Seinfeld was that they dated in the past, but broke up, and remained friends. The reason was a sexual one, and we saw how those two ended. This friendship can work, only that the feeling has to be mutual and both people cannot be sexual attracted to each other anymore.
A Horrible Relationship, A Pretend Friendship
When two people break up, there is usually a problem that one person feels cannot salvage the relationship, and the polite thing to always say is, “We can still be friends.” I’ve heard that before, and I’m sure you have too. But I find that after two people break up, it’s just too difficult to just be friends. There is usually one person, who is still hoping that their ex will come back to them and that’s why the ex agrees to be friends. This is not a friendship, this is an ex still holding on to hope that someday their ex will wake up and give their relationship a second chance. If one person starts to move on, and the ex feels sad, jealous, resentful or angry about it, then this is not a friend. Here is a general rule of thumb: if one person is still sexually attracted to their ex or still has feelings, then this is not a friendship, this is a person staying on call to see if their ex will have a change of heart. I don’t agree with this kind of friendship, because it is a selfish act clinging to the hope that you will be reunited together someday as a couple. It is also intrusive to have this pretend friendship with an ex, while you are beginning to date a new person whom you are compatible with.
A Horrible Relationship, Both Have New Relationships With Other People
When exes have spent signifcant time without any contact (which means no calling, texting, emailing, and meeting in person for over a year or so), a friendship can occur if both people have moved on and are in new relationships with a new partner. This kind of friendship between exes has to have mutual platonic love and that’s it. On both sides, there should not be any sexual attraction or emotional attachment between the exes. I have this kind of friendship with my ex in New York. We didn’t contact each other for almost five years, and now he’s moved on and is quite happy with his new girlfriend. On my side, I’ve moved on and am happy with a wonderful man in Europe. Me and my ex-boyfriend aren’t physically attracted to each other anymore, we’re not emotionally connected, and we talk from time to time just to see how things are going. This kind of friendship amongst exes remain with couples who usually get divorced and may remain friends for the sake of their children and family. I believe that this is the only kind of friendship exists when both parties have grown to be platonic. Otherwise, exes as friends should remain at far distance. I have to ask: If you are happy and in love with your current partner, you have to ask yourself, who can’t I live without in my life? If you think it’s your current partner you can’t live without, then it is possible to live without a friendship with an ex.