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5 Reasons not to be friends with your Ex

5 reasons not to be friends with your Ex

“We can still be friends, right?”  I cringe when I hear people say this, even if it’s in a movie. When a romantic relationship ends, it needs to end. That’s why it’s called “breaking up”, not “working things out.”

Here are five great reasons to stop talking to your ex.

1.)  It is awkward.   One day, not too long ago, you shared your hopes, dreams and visions of the future with this person. Trying to talk about things like the weather, pop-culture or current events, just seems….ridiculous. Not to mention uncomfortable.

2.)  It causes emotional confusion.  Maintaining attachment to someone that you are no longer with can have you feeling twisted up inside, filled with mixed emotions. If you talk to your ex on a regular basis it may feel like you haven’t actually broken up, you just haven’t seen each other in awhile. Refusing to make a clean break makes it harder to heal.

3.)  Intimacy does not go backward.  Chances are your ex has seen you naked, knows you inside and out, and has been a part of some major life events with you.  Attempting to interact with him or her like an acquaintance is almost impossible. Those memories and bonds don’t disappear overnight.

4.)  It prevents you from meeting someone else. Holding on to the memory of what used to be can rob us of right now. If you’re busy having friendly lunches with your ex (where you fantasize about getting back together), you’re probably missing out on spending time with someone better suited for you.

5.)   It creates false hope. Many, many people have been shocked and surprised when their ex gets engaged to the new boyfriend or girlfriend.  After all, they stayed friends after the break up, so surely that means something….like, we’re staying  in touch for a reason, aka to eventually get back together (wrong).

If you want to have a friendship with your ex, wait a few years. By then you’ll have moved on, he/she will have moved on. You will both have changed a little, lived a little and learned a lot. This gives you the space to really deal with the breakup: feel pain and loss, grieve it, grow as a person, and become even better. Trying to have a friendship with your ex right after a break prevents you both from healing and moving on.

There are many people that come to my office confused about why their current partner doesn’t want them to have a relationship with their ex. Usually at some point later in knowing that person, it is revealed that at some point in the past they have cheated with the ex either sexually or emotionally (telling the ex secrets that the current partner doesn’t know, or being the ex’s should to cry on when his/her current relationships fall apart, etc.). Which makes it no surprise that their current partner does not trust them with the ex.

Do yourself (and your ex a favor): when it is really over, end it.  At least for now.

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