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Can You Be Friends With An Ex AND Be In A Relationship? 4 ‘Insecure’ Fans Sound-Off

Lawrence and Nathan are both back in Issa's life.

Culture & Entertainment

With the Black Lives Matter movement rightfully capturing the attention of the country, it's been a tough couple of weeks but leave it to Issa and friends to offer a nice little reprieve of Black joy with another Insecure episode. Last week left off with Issa getting that old thing back with Lawrence. This week, Nathan re-entered the equation.

Long story short…

Issa and Molly FINALLY had the talk. But it did not go at all how fans of the dynamic duo hoped. In the meantime, Issa was juggling her new situationship status with Lawrence and a friendship with her ex-bae-turned-homie Nathan. She was honest with both men but still stressed at even the potential of drama.

Stressed Issa Rae GIF by Insecure on HBO Giphy

I personally feel like "ex" and "friends" shouldn't be in the same sentence. Friendly, OK. But friends, no. If I'm super into you, then knowing you're hanging out and chatting with your ex, without me, will only make me think the worst. I'm aware that some folks remain really good friends with exes even in new thriving relationships, but I'm also aware that I don't have that level of maturity. Rather than have my mind constantly wandering, I'd avoid putting myself in this situation altogether. I understand they were around first, but my partner would have to understand that I'm bae now. Asking them to cut ties with old bae shouldn't be an issue.

I'm sure Insecure fans everywhere were chatting about the sticky situation like my friends were, so I reached out to a few more super fans of the show to see what they think about this:

Can you be friends with an ex and be in a relationship?

It’s On You To Create A Respect Level

"You can but you can't. It'll always be a topic of conversation. There will also be tension there on all sides. But it's all about understanding that the person you're with had a whole life before meeting you. I'm friends with most of my exes.

"I've experienced them still feeling entitled to my attention when I have a new relationship."

"I've seen signals get crossed when the person I'm with feels like they have something to prove. But it's really on you to create a respect level and not make it awkward. It's also up to you to reassure your partner that the past is the past." –Hala Maroc, Personality/Wellness Advocate TheBadassBootcamp.com

A Facebook Friend, But Not A Real-Life Friend

"I think we should all know the answer to this one... NO! (laughs) I just don't think it's necessary to be friends with your ex. I think you should just leave your ex in the past. Being friends with your ex can interfere with your next relationship so why even run the risk. Your partner might not trust you around your ex, so many issues can arise from being friends with an ex. You had friends before your ex and you'll have friends after them so your friendship with them is unnecessary.

"A lot of times one party still has feelings, and if that's the case is that a true friendship? You're probably just low key waiting for the person to be single again so you can try to get back together with them. At best, your ex can maybe be an acquaintance or your Facebook friend but not a real-life friend." –Ayana Gotay

The Real Question Is, SHOULD You?

"You CAN be friends with an ex and be in a relationship, but the real question is SHOULD you? I have exes who I'm cordial with. We don't hang out (unless it's a group setting if we share friends), we don't talk daily and I'm pretty sure they're not going to ask me (a woman) to help them move or pack boxes.

"Should you choose to have an active friendship with your ex, there needs to be strong boundaries in place."

"They need to know if they cross any lines that you deem disrespectful or malicious, the friendship is done. If the relationship with your ex makes your new bae uncomfortable, then you have to decide which relationship is more important to you." –Amiyah Deziire, Author, Midnight Confessions

It’s Situational

"Before forming a new bond with an ex and labeling him/her as a friend; communicate with your significant other and get his/her opinion on the situation. If they are against it or question it, then take that into consideration. It depends on the situation, how you would conduct that friendship, and where that other person is in his/her life. For example, my boyfriend's ex is married with a kid, he is in a relationship with me therefore, there isn't a reason why they would be friends, right? Both are in different stages, states, and situations in their life." –Kateri Fischer, On-Air Scheduling Coordinator, BET Networks

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