Stop Trying to be Friends With Your Ex


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Nice Move


It seems like the common law in a somewhat mutual breakup to say “we’ll stay friends.” It’s like a weird way of reassuring the other that neither of you is going to slash each other’s tires and you can still get all your shit back. It just seems like good manners for breakup-er to suggest the idea and a good breakup-ee to accept it. After all, maybe the breakup wasn’t that bad. Maybe you guys ended because of distance, bad timing, or even the common “I just want to be single” line. Whatever it is, you need to realize that sometimes staying friends with your ex isn’t as healthy as it sounds.

I remember when my ex and I agreed to be friends. We kind of forced it on ourselves to make the “friendship” work. We would Snapchat and text a little, but nothing too serious. However, one day we ended up getting into a slight argument. Then, it hit me. The things that made it hard for us to be a couple, were still things that make it hard for us to be friends. Even the things I hated in him as a boyfriend, were still there, just in a different form. We knew what we were doing when we broke up. We were distancing ourselves and agreeing to be okay with that. So I realized that I shouldn’t force this friendship to prove to him that I’m not the stereotypical crazy ex-girlfriend. Because the truth is, it’s probably more normal to not want talk to your ex after the breakup.

No matter how great of terms you guys ended on, someone will start talking to someone else first. If you’re lucky, that person will be you. However, if not, it’s only inevitable that it’ll sting a little to see your ex with someone else. Truth is, you don’t know until it happens. It might catch you off guard. You might think it’ll be fine but then he’ll posts a picture with her on Instagram, and it gets a little harder to support your new “friend” with a like when you know you’re looking at your new Eskimo sister. It’s only natural to stalk her Instagram and Facebook and then make your friends reassure you that, yes, you are prettier. Sure, you think right now that you’re okay with your ex casually talking to other girls, but you might not be in a couple weeks or even months. It makes it harder to be friends with someone when the two of you feel weird talking about this part of your lives.

To clarify to all the people reading this article and *are* friends with their ex, the keyword in the title is “trying.” Stop actively going out of your way to be friends with your ex. If it happens naturally, then great. But most likely if you two drifted apart while in a relationship, the breakup will only make you guys drift apart more. Breakups come in waves. Some days are better than others. Some days you don’t care and a friendship could work. Some days, however, it’s a little harder. Some days you’ll miss him and want to call his new girlfriend a slut for no reason. Are you crazy for it? Not at all. As much as you want to be able to predict how you’ll feel about your ex in the future, you can’t. The way I like to think about it is that the majority of people who come into your life, whether they be your friends, classmates, or coworkers, won’t be in your life forever. Only a handful will make it with you to the nursing home.

It’s okay to let your ex go. If you two are meant to be friends, then one day you two will be. But stop trying to make it happen — you’re only hurting yourself.

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