1. People & Relationships
Send to a Friend via Email

Can you become friends after the break-up?

By

Question: Can you become friends after the break-up?

Answer: Yes and no. Sure we all know couples who are tighter after they split up but this is a rare situation and I personally think that these types of friendships still harbor unresolved issues from the relationship that make it so that neither party is ready or able to fully move on. While being openly hostile to an ex also demonstrates unresolved issues/feelings and an inability to move forward, being buddy-buddy with a former flame is not as mature and civilized as it may seem on the surface. That said it is more than possible, and the most desirable thing, if you and an ex can reach a place of peaceful co-existence and mutual respect. Being at the same party and having fun with and without each other = good. Showing up at a party together, hanging out together al night and only having fun because you are together = bad. See the difference? It is normal to be friendly, even friends, but it is not normal to be as together as you were when coupled only no longer officially be a couple. In befriending an ex there are a few things you must accept; it is going to take time, it won’t be easy, there will be conflicts in the friendship that arise because you were once more than friends, you can’t and shouldn’t want to be best friends, at some point you or your ex will feel uncomfortable when there is a new romance in the air for one or both of you, a too close friendship with an ex will likely cause problems in your next relationship, and that you broke up as a couple for good reasons, reasons that may still come up as issues in a friendship. If you can let go entirely of this person as an ex, and think of them only as a friend then you may be able to build something new together, but if you still see them as “your ex” this will always taint the friendship. How will you know if you’ve reached that magical point of really being “just friends?” Simple, when somebody asks you about your ex your answer will NOT being with the words “My ex…” but instead will begin with the words “My friend…”. If your first knee-jerk response to any inquiry about your ex has you thinking the way you would about any of your other friends than you have reached that magical point of truly and honestly befriending an ex. Good for you!

More Teen Advice Q&A
  1. About.com
  2. People & Relationships
  3. Teen Advice
  4. Relationship, Love & Dating
  5. Can You Become Friends After a Break-up?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.