5 Reasons Being Friends With Your Ex & Letting Go Of Love Is (Mostly) Impossible

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man and woman being friends with an ex
Heartbreak

It’s funny how the idea of letting go of love and being friends with an ex is one that gives us hope. You know what I mean — the "maybe we can just be friends" concept.

It's a promise that the connection will continue, even if the romance and intimacy end. The idea of it makes letting go of someone not so harsh.

Yes, the idea of letting go of love and being friends is a lovely one. But in my experience, it's (mostly) impossible to do.

RELATED: 5 Rules For Staying Friends With Your Ex

Here are 5 reasons why being friends with your ex and letting go can be impossible.

1. Sex changes everything.

Have you ever found yourself in bed with someone you considered a good friend? Did the friendship somehow evolve into something more, either intentionally or by happenstance?

What happened to that friendship after sex was introduced into the mix? Things probably changed.

Why? It’s actually chemistry.

The hormones that run rampant during the act of sex connect people in a way that nothing else does. Furthermore, hormones can cloud our judgment and make us attached to someone in a way that might not be authentic.

Women, especially, after having sex with someone become attached in a way they weren’t before.

Taking this idea into account, imagine it in the reverse — going from being in a hormonally-charged sexual relationship with someone, and then stepping back and eliminating that part of your relationship completely.

Imagine being in the same room with that person and not touching them. Imagine watching them seduce someone else and knowing exactly what that looks like.

How could you somehow not feel bad, to some degree, after having shared intimacy with that person?

I have a male friend who I dated for about two minutes. He's one of my best friends and we share everything.

But we agree that if we had sex, if we had connected so intimately, we wouldn’t have been able to be so honest with each other. The sex would have altered our relationship, whether we wanted it to or not.

2. The "thousand little cuts."

Relationships don’t fall apart because everything is hunky-dory. Relationships fall apart for many reasons, but one of the most common ones is a slow and steady death.

This involves a thousand little cuts and daily hurts — big and small — that gradually tear the fabric of the relationship, leaving it tattered and useless.

Maybe he doesn’t call when he says he will. Or she spends more time with her sister than with you. Or you disagree on how much to spend on a TV. Or he chooses his work over you.

Those thousand little cuts — things that hurt a little bit — when accumulated, lead to the death of a relationship.

Now, think about being friends with someone who had hurt you over and over again. Would you keep a friend who had done so?

Friendship is about love, trust, and mutual support. How can you have that with someone who treated you badly, and who you might have treated badly in return?

Think about how much pain is between you and if that's something that you want to carry with you going forward.

3. Attachment disparity.

In my work as a life coach, couples who want to be "friends" are couples who struggle with an attachment disparity, an unevenness of feelings that exists after the breakup.

Often, the person doing the breaking up wants to be "friends" only because they think it softens the blow of the breakup. They really have no intention of being "friends," but they throw it out there, trying to ease the pain for their soon-to-be ex.

For the person being broken up with, the desire to be "friends" is often a desperate attempt to not lose this person and to maybe even win them back.

Is there an attachment disparity in your relationship? Are you reading this article because your heart is broken and you want to hold onto your ex in whatever way you can?

Are you dangling the idea of friendship out in front of your ex because you think it will hurt them less, not because you actually want to be friends?

Being friends after a relationship — unless the breakup is mutual and there's no attachment remaining — can be (mostly) impossible.

RELATED: Why Being 'Just Friends' With An Ex Is Impossible

4. There will be no moving on.

When relationships end, the first thing you should do is go "no contact" with your ex.

This means no social media, no texting, no going out to places you know they will be, and no talking to their friends to find out what your ex is up to. Nothing.

Why? Because it can be impossible to move on if you're still in touch with your ex.

You're seeing how they're getting on with their lives without you, hanging out with old and new friends, and being successful in life, especially if you, yourself, are struggling.

How can you move on if you are trying to maintain a friendship with your ex? How can you stop looking to the past and missing what was, instead of looking to the future and what could be?

How does watching your ex flirt with another person at the end of the bar make you feel anything more than less-than? How can you truly be available to another person if you're still hanging on to your ex?

Moving on after a breakup is key to future happiness, but staying friends is a surefire way to prevent that from happening.

5. Your new relationship could be dead on arrival.

Let’s say you get involved with a new someone who you see a real future with. And let’s say that your new person introduces you to someone they used to date, an ex who is now a "friend."

How would that make you feel? Honestly?

I'm lucky enough to have found a man who's secure enough with himself that he's not threatened by my male friendships. But for many people, old lovers being friends is not acceptable.

Both men and women can be uncomfortable with the intimacy that this friend and you shared.

They picture you holding hands and talking about the future. They see the connection that you have from being more than friends once. They wonder if there are still feelings between you that threaten the viability of the new relationship.

Is being your ex’s friend important enough to threaten a relationship that you could have with someone who could actually make you happy and give you the future you want? Think about that before you decide to stay friends with an ex.

When we're connected to someone, the idea of losing them can be so painful that we hold on to whatever we can so that pain is eased. But really, being friends with an ex — a true friendship — is next to impossible.

I'm friends with many of my exes. We weren’t friends at the time of the breakup but, as time passed and life went on, we reconnected.

And I do care about these guys, but they aren’t truly my friends — not in the way my girlfriends are. They've hurt me and I've hurt them, and there's a degree of separation that exists between us because of that.

Yes, I am Facebook friends with them and we occasionally text, but truly, our time has passed and I'm very lucky to have the life I have now — one that I found all by myself without their friendship in my life.

So, think long and hard before taking this "friendship" step. You will be glad you did!

RELATED: What To Do Before & After A Breakup If Your Goal Is Being Friends With An Ex

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Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based, certified life and love coach. Let her help you find, and keep, love in this crazy world in which we live. Email her at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and get started!

This article was originally published at Let Your Dreams Begin. Reprinted with permission from the author.