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Last updateWed, 22 Mar 2017 3pm

Opinion

The Million Dollar Question: Can Ex’s be Friends?

exAsking whether ex’s can be friends is like asking whether the chicken or the egg came first: a never-ending argument. It is not a simple yes or no answer.

Personally, I have met individuals that can attest to both sides: some will argue that ex’s can be friends, while others will insist that it is impossible.  I believe both are absolutely correct. Ex’s becoming friends is one of those scenarios in which more than a single factor must be taken into consideration.  

For instance, how long were the parties involved in a relationship for, what caused the breakup, was there dishonesty?  Did one of the parties involved end with a complete broken heart, or was it a mutual agreement? 

 Every couple has its own history, and the history developed post breakup is absolutely unique to each case.

I believe that the chance to be friends with an ex-partner depends on whether the couple was ever friends with one another. If the couple met and immediately fell into a “love” scenario, skipping the whole friendship stage, they will probably not be able to hold a friendship after the break up. 

I am not saying it is impossible- again, I cannot generalize this topic but how would one go “back” to what one never had?  When make-outs, dates, pet names, and “love” are all you know to relate to a person, it is very difficult to try to have “hang-outs,” talks, and goodbye hugs.  What do you replace “I love you” at the end of a phone conversation with?  What do you replace “baby” and “sweetheart” with at the beginning of a text message?  What do you do on a movie night that you are used to holding hands throughout?  

Attempting to be friends with an ex-partner without any type of a friendship foundation can lead to very gray areas: areas that lead either ex-partner to believe he or she feels lonely and would rather work things out.  

During the phase of “working it out,” hormones are always crazy, and what might feel like falling in love again may simply be a filling for loneliness.  When the “working out” turns into “getting back together,” then the whole cycle begins once again.

Before the couple knows it, the honeymoon stage is back. Both wonder why they ever broke up in the first place and they promise this time is forever until the first argument strikes and once again, they remember why the break up occurred to begin with.  

Getting out of denial and just letting go of a broken alliance when the break-up happened would have avoided all the gray areas, the tears, the confusion, and the excess drama.

On the other hand, if a couple knows what it is like to have been friends prior to being a couple, I strongly believe they can in fact go back if they very much desire such.  It is not an easy task; this person means way much more to you than someone who you never befriended prior to being involved with, but it probably is worth the hard work. 

When your partner once was your friend, you know what it is like to have them as a support group, as a shoulder to lean on, as a pillow to talk to, as someone nice to be around without all the lovey-dovey stuff: you know what to expect from a friendship rather than a relationship with them.  

The only scenario that I can think of where the ex-partners would not be able to be friends again is if one of them was unfaithful or completely careless with the other’s heart, but again, there are exceptions to everything. 

The way I see it is if someone is meaningful to you in terms of friendship, then why  not fight to get that back if a different kind of relationship with that person doesn’t work out?

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