So here’s my response to the question: ‘Should I stay friends with and Ex-Lover?’
First things first, let’s define what ‘friendship with your ex’ really looks like. Are we talking about a deep meaningful friendship where you talk regularly, hang out together, and mutually share your feelings, hopes, and dreams? Or are we talking about a friendship that is more like an acquaintance, where you share mutual circles of friends, see each other at events/functions from time to time, and engage in otherwise meaningless chatter about ‘surface stuff’?
If we are referring to the second type of ‘friendship/acquaintance’ then I would say that this is; although awkward for some, quite doable with an ex. A deeper more meaningful friendship however is not advisable with an ex for several reasons.
- There were reasons you broke up that kept you from still being with this person today, and if per chance you are able to resolve the ‘issues’ that caused you to break up in the first place, what’s to say you or they won’t begin fantasizing about ‘what could have been’ ? Do yourself a favour… Leave the past in the past…. DON’T LOOK BACK.
- If you had an intimate relationship with someone you were able to find comfort, encouragement, and reassurance in, it is possible that at some point you will reach back out to them, when in fact you should be finding this type of comfort from your spouse/current partner.
- You’ve shared intimate moments together and these memories are powerful experiences that actually draw people closer together. Maintaining a close friendship with an ex will create scenarios where these intimate memories might be discussed, reminisced upon, and ultimately ‘kept alive.
- It is possible that you begin to compare your past relationship with your marriage/current relationship, which is NEVER good!! Comparing your current relationship with one from the past is a set up because our imaginations and memories are so incredibly FALSE at times, and will recall things differently than how they really went down. Just try to keep this in mind you broke up with this person for a REASON, so try to focus on what those reasons were… OR force yourself to remember how painful it was that THEY broke up with you. Either way what you shared was in the past, and you can’t live in the past AND in the present at the same time.
- Being friends with your ex may upset your spouse/current partner and it is important that you consider their feelings on the matter and act in a way that is respectful towards them. Personally I would not feel comfortable knowing my husband was ‘chumming it up’ with a woman he was once enamoured with or who was once enamoured with him. And for the record, feeling this way doesn’t make me or anyone uncomfortable by this insecure, that’s just what people not willing to respect their partner’s feelings typically say 😉
Sustaining a healthy marriage or relationship takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice, which includes GUARDING your marriage/relationship from potential pitfalls or dangers. Although a friendship with an ex doesn’t ALWAYS lead to negative outcomes, the possibility is there, so think carefully about the benefits of this friendship and see if it’s worth whatever risk there might be.