We've all been there. You meet this amazing person. Establish a solid foundation as friends. Decide to take things to the next level by becoming exclusive. Only to, sadly realize that it is no longer working, causing you to go your separate ways. And while we would all love to hold onto those feelings for a little longer, it's best to just cut the cord and move on. But what do you do with those leftover feelings? How do you move on, knowing that a central piece of your world is now gone? Or what do you do when you crave their presence?
Navigating post-relationship dynamics can be difficult. Especially if you and your person ended things on good terms. In an ideal world, you would love it if you and your now-ex could remain friends, if for nothing more than to ensure that the two of you will continue to be in each other's lives.
But the fact of the matter is that while admirable, attempting to maintain a friendship with an ex isn't always a good idea. It's OK to be friendly, but trying to stay friends with someone you once dated, mated, and/or related with can be a recipe for disaster. Causing you to not only regret staying friends but meeting them all together.
So here are five reasons why you probably shouldn't be friends with your ex.
Boundaries are number one on this list because some exes don't know them, don't respect them, and don't understand them. When ending things with an ex, someone will always have lingering feelings. They will always be waiting for you to let your guard down. They will always look for that window of opportunity to get that old thing back. Which does nothing but blur the lines. Further reminding you of why you ended things in the first place.
And sis, it's not always them who needs those boundaries enforced. Sometimes you are the one who is using "friendship" as a way to rekindle that spark. So check yourself and that person, and let that relationship go once it has run its course.
2.You're in a new relationship.
Ask yourself these questions, and be honest. Would you appreciate it your current lover was still kiki'ing with their ex? Would it be OK if they got off the phone with you to talk to someone from their lover's past? Or if you found out that they met up for coffee, tea, brunch, or an after-work happy hour? Sometimes, while remaining friends with an ex may seem innocent, it can be a sign of disrespect to the new person in your life. And it has nothing to do with jealousy or insecurities.
While cultivating something new with someone else, holding onto those feelings or bonds with your former lover can cause cracks in your foundation, making your new person question themselves and their presence in your life. Eventually, this could lead to distrust and them feeling like they have this impossible standard to reach, which isn't fair to them. So focus on what's in front of you, and leave the past right where it's at.
3.The relationship was toxic.basketball wives GIF by VH1 Giphy
It doesn't matter how many people think it is, but toxicity isn't cute. There is nothing cute, intriguing, or exciting about being in a toxic relationship, let alone maintaining a friendship with the person who may have been the source of said toxicity. And no matter how much either of you has changed, when combined, it can cause your toxic powers to activate, bringing that same toxicity that was once the cause of your breakup right back to your doorstep. Creating more problems than before. And that's not what we want for ourselves. Continue to grow, thrive, and evolve, and let that toxic bullshit go.
While it's never a good idea to entertain anyone out of loneliness, it damn sure isn't best to maintain a friendship with your ex because you're lonely. Yes, you may not have anyone to hang out with or watch those special TV shows with. You may now find yourself going on solo dates. Or searching for someone to share those memes and inside jokes with. But it is much better to do those things alone than to call up your ex out of loneliness, which can only lead to a backpedaling disaster. Resulting in an off-and-on rollercoaster that's hard to get off.
It's OK to be lonely or to crave intimacy from someone you once had romantic dealings with, but pick up a hobby instead of picking up the phone. And if you do happen to pick up the phone, let it be to call one of your real friends, and not someone you used to sleep with.
5.Some things are better left in the past.Meagan Good Long Time GIF by Harlem Giphy
At the end of the day, it is important to remember that the two of you broke up for a reason. Whether you both realized that you weren't good for one another, grew apart, or came to the conclusion that the relationship was just not what you had in mind, you both agreed to sever ties. But for as long as you continue to pursue a friendship with that person, you're never going to move past them and level up to your next.
At the end of the day, breakups are hard. But what's even harder is trying to hold onto something that you know you need to let go of. So, sis, do yourself and your ex a favor and bypass trying to be friends once the relationship has ended.
Just let go.
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