Should You Stay Friends With Your Ex?

Breakups happen more often than most of us would like, and they all provoke the same question: should you stay friends with your ex or cut them off? It is the common consensus that it’s always a bad idea to stay friends with your ex. However ill-advised it may be, many of us couldn’t bear to quit our once-beloved so abruptly. Ultimately, it is the decision of you and your ex-partner, but here are five factors that should be considered when deciding if it’s time to drop that ex completely or if your friendship can “handle it.”

Number Five: Were You Friends Before the Breakup? If friendship existed between two people before the now-ending relationship, it is much easier to keep a healthy friendship after the relationship is over. The transition back to friendship is less difficult, as both parties are more familiar with the scenario in which they are just friends. Considering their previous time together, each knows what to expect in their future friendship. This can develop a comfortable relationship as friends, provided it doesn’t turn into “friends with benefits,” which can get complicated quickly.

Number Four: Do Your Loved Ones Support Your Decision? Family and friends are a huge influence on an individual’s daily life and decisions. When these loved ones generally approve of the decision to keep an ex in your life, it becomes much easier to grow a healthy relationship with this person. The desire to spend time with or even contact a past love diminishes when there is negative questioning from your friends and family about why you haven’t ditched them yet. Their support will ease the transition and keep any biased opinions out of your subconscious.

Number Three: How Happy Were You in the Relationship? It has been proven that the happier two people are while in a relationship, the happier they will be with one another out of that relationship. The overall quality and satisfaction in a relationship is a great indicator of whether the friendship will last. On the other end of the spectrum, if the couple was often cold with one another or fought often, chances are that the bickering will only worsen with continued contact after the breakup. Happier relationships set the foundation for a happier friendship and future interaction.

Number Two: Was it a Mutual Breakup? Mutual breakups are highly likely to spawn subsequent friendships. Because it is mutual, it is seen less negatively, and there is far less blame to place. Also, friendships are more plausible if it is the man who breaks up with the woman. When it is reversed, it is more common for the man to take the rejection harder. This makes it more difficult to move past the relationship issues and regrow their friendship.

Number One: Are You Going to Want More Than Friendship? As crazy as it may seem, friendships are more likely to spawn from broken relationships if both parties are still attracted to one another. This may be because it provides that little boost of motivation to contact them more often. However, these friendships are often formed with hopeful intentions of hooking up in the future. This most often leads to broken couples getting back together, dealing with the complications of being an “on/off” couple, or worse: the dreaded “friends with benefits.” While it may seem like a good idea to stay friends with your ex, it can often cause more problems than it solves. Make your decision wisely!