Imagine that you start a new relationship … Do you think it would be great to be able to tell your new partner that you are friends with your ex? How would you feel if your partner’s best friend turned out to be “his ex.”

It would be ideal to maintain harmony and balance after a breakup, but… why is being friends with your ex-partner a bad idea? Maybe it’s time to let go of the past and accept the present for what it is: a gift.

The couple’s relationship is a construction that begins with the petals of courtship, the colors of love, the outbursts of passion until the doors of commitment open. It works or not… When a couple begins to pick up the broken dishes and separate, the attachments to what was wonderful begin to wrap us in the arms of nostalgia.

We remain tied to the memory of what it was and we prefer to mitigate failure with “at least we could be friends.” Friendship ends up being a consolation prize and a kind of boycott at the beginning of another stage.

The hidden desires behind your friendship with your ex

Post-breakup friendship is built over time, especially if there are children with whom we must necessarily maintain contact.

There are cases in which the friendship occurs for practical reasons and because neither of you has a hidden desire to get back with your ex. Those who do not have emotional coupons saved after a breakup can remain friends.

What is a bad idea is to seek the friendship of your ex hoping for a miraculous reconciliation, or with the hidden intention of maintaining contact, even if it is to find out what he is doing with his life. Be careful, that will not give you peace of mind and, on the contrary, it will hinder the development of the mourning for the separation.

Pretending to remain “as friends” so as not to face the suffering of the definitive separation becomes an arrow that points to ourselves.

If either of you stays “in love,” after the separation, being friends with your ex is not a mitigating factor, it does not prevent the pain, in the best of cases it only postpones it.

The big question: When can you make friends with your ex?

The first thing you should do is go through the four stages of breaking up: Acceptance, Separation, Grief, and Forgetting. Once you walk through that door, you could be friends with your ex . You should take some time for your emotions to settle and see clearly what you feel or what you do not feel for that person.

The second thing, answer this simple question: what do you want your ex-partner’s friendship for?

Being friends with your ex can be a bad idea because you run the risk of locking yourself in a vicious circle in which neither of you ends up separating. They could end up trapped in a limbo that emotionally would not allow you to mourn the breakup, much less open your heart to new emotions and experiences.

Dr. Eric Jackson

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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