You’ve experienced both what felt like an endless love and the undeniable pain of a heartbreak with just one person. With you feeling both the extremes of happiness and sadness with your now-past love, do you think you can still act casual after everything? Can you really be friends with your ex?
After spending almost every day with this person you’ve put in this special place in your heart all this time—sharing your dreams, creating memories you wouldn’t want to forget—then the relationship stops working, you break up. Then, you’ll think: Can we still remain in each other’s lives as friends? Can you transition from dinner dates to Friday hangouts, from holding each other to just waving goodbye?
The answer to this question isn’t the same for everyone. It’s not a simple yes or no answer—there’s more to it. There are lots of things that need to be considered. Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself!
Have you mourned the break up? Have you eaten pints of ice cream, wept a river worth of tears, or drunk liquor by buckets? Have you moved on? How can you be friends with someone you still have romantic feelings for? To be really friends with someone you’ve shared a history with, you need to move past the relationship and move on from the love you both shared.
What is the reason for the breakup? This is one of the most important factors if can really be friends with your ex. If it was an amicable breakup, if you parted ways and let go without baggage, it is possible after sometime. If the relationship ended because of infidelity, extreme jealousy, or any kind of abuse, however, the question becomes WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU STILL WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH YOUR EX? You dodged that bullet once, #NeverAgain!
Have you had proper closure? This matters because if you two didn't clear everything up before parting ways, it will never be easy for the both of you to see each other casually as friends. Because if you don't have any closure, either one or both of you would still be hung up from the relationship with a lot of “what ifs.” If there's no closure, it may just make your breakup look like a series of ellipses open for a follow up to the story.
Are you ready to see him with someone else? When you feel like you are, then test it. It’ss easier to say it than do it. It’s one thing to see that the person you were once in love with is happy with other people and another that you’re okay with it—happy for them, even. That’s when you'll know that, "Yes, I have moved on."
Be honest with your intentions! Remember that taking the friends route shouldn’t be the shortcut to getting back together. If you want to genuinely be friends with your ex, you should let go of the ulterior motives because it’s unfair. If you want to be friends, tell him. If you wanna get back together, tell him. Simple!
Being friends with your ex gives you the best parts of your ex, the sweet and the caring; and removes the stressful parts, the arguments and the jealousy.
Most times, you can’t be friends with someone you've let into the darkest parts of your life with the fear of them lighting it up again, and you falling for it—again. Sometimes, though, your exes could be your best friends ever. They know you inside out they love you. They will always love you, just a different kind of love.
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Banner photograph by Rémi Walle via Unsplash. GIFs from GIPHY.