Yes, It Is Possible To Stay Friends With Your Ex

Photo: Leticia Pelissari via Unsplash
Yes, It Is Possible To Stay Friends With Your Ex
Self, Heartbreak

By Tylia Flores

Breaking off a relationship with someone is often hard. And almost everyone afterwards asks themselves, "Is staying friends really an option?"

The answer is yes — if you do it correctly. 

RELATED: If You Want To Stay Friends With An Ex, Do These 5 Things Before You Break Up (And 8 Things Right After)

As long as you set boundaries and come to the understanding that the relationship is over, it can work. And it can actually be pretty great. Here's why.

1. Being incompatible as partners doesn’t mean you aren’t compatible as friends.

It’s likely that you and that person were friends before dating. And if you weren’t, you had common interests that connected you.

After a breakup, it’s possible to reconnect — as friends — over those shared interests.

2. The romantic relationship may have just complicated a great friendship.

This is more common than you think. When I was a teenager, I dated a young man for a year who I still talk to now every once in a while.

We didn’t last as boyfriend and girlfriend, but we realized that we’re better off just staying as friends. I don’t regret dating him, but I realized after that we were just meant to be friends.

RELATED: How To Know When Your Ex Is Flirting With You — And 4 Ways To Keep Things Platonic

3. You might still share mutual friends.

For most couples, each of their friend groups start to overlap once they start dating. Or, it may be that you started dating someone in your existing friend group.

Obviously, sometimes the romantic relationship doesn’t work out, but that doesn’t mean you have to restrict how much you see your friends forever. It may take time, but if you and your ex can reach a positive place as friends, then there’s no reason to avoid them.

4. Being an “ex” doesn’t make them a bad person.

Friendships with your exes aren’t a bad thing like people make it seem. Oftentimes, you’ll see exes depicted as enemies, but the truth is, many breakups are amicable (even if they’re heartbreaking).

You shouldn’t hate the person, just because it didn’t work out. You felt a bond in the past, so let that remind you that you shouldn’t hold a grudge, just because it didn’t work out. (If they were a jerk, however, then, of course, the grudge is deserved.)

5. It’s a humbling experience during which you’ll grow as a person.

Of course, being friends with an ex is not going to happen overnight. It takes time.

However, the experience of forgiving them for any past hurts, supporting them as a friend, and seeing them as a “person,” not an “ex,” is invaluable for personal development. Just be patient and you’ll be proud of yourself in the end.

You and your ex had many things in common before dating and it took time to build the bond between you two. So, you shouldn’t write them off just because you aren’t romantically involved anymore.

It’s totally possible to be friends with your exes, so long as you're both mature and communicative about the situation. Set boundaries, be patient, and you won’t be disappointed.

RELATED: 4 Things To Know Before Dating A Guy Who's Still Friends With His Ex

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Tylia Flores is a writer who focuses on breakups, relationships, and dating. For more of her dating content, visit her author profile on Unwritten.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.