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Dear Sybersue
Dear Sybersue Dating/Relationship Coach, Advice Talk Show Host, Author & Advice Columnist
over 2 years Vancouver, BC, Canada Story
Should we still be Friends with our Ex after a Relationship Breakup?

What are the rules on this topic and are we all just really trying to be the nice person by staying friends with our Ex?

Do we really want them in our lives if the relationship was bad enough to end ~ or do we just think we should because it is the “adult” thing to do?

If it is a one sided scenario, then it can be a very difficult transition when the other partner is still pining over the relationship breakup. It is an unreasonable request to expect a friendship at the early stages of a breakup.

This arrangement is usually suggested by the person who initiated the breakup so they can move on feeling guilt free because they are still “friends” with their Ex. (It looks so much better that way than to admit you broke someone’s heart & you are not on speaking terms with them.)

If it is a mutual breakup, moving on to being friends is much easier, as the couple involved are both on the same page emotionally.

The phrase “People are in your life for a reason, season or a lifetime,” is definitely something to think about as you make your way through different relationships in your life.  Many people feel that they have to keep someone around forever because it would be rude or immature to remove them permanently.

This can cause many problems by allowing toxic partnerships to continue rather than learning from them & moving on to a more stable environment.

You can forgive somebody but you don’t have to forget the things that were detrimental in not having a healthy relationship with them.

What are you supposed to do with all the other friendships that came with the relationship?

  1. This can be a problem depending on how your friends deal with the breakup ~ especially if they were your friends first. This really should be respected by the Ex who initiated the breakup and not taken advantage of to heighten the heartbreak even more.
  2. Let them at least have their friends to lean on temporarily and not have to deal with  seeing  Facebook or twitter photos of everyone (except them) happily mingling together as if nothing has changed! Time will help alleviate this situation but be respectful in the meantime. Think about how you would feel if the situation were reversed.
  3. Many of your mutual friends may feel torn with their loyalty; especially when the breakup is still fresh and is not reciprocated. It is inevitable that some things will change and people will get hurt, but there should be clarity with who is sincerely in your life for the right reasons.
  4. Be aware of friends playing both sides of the fence with you and your EX. If you suspect a friend is doing this move on and spend time with others who don’t use your relationship issues to feel powerful or to cause further hurt. Some people just love a little drama at other people’s expense.

Depending on how the breakup was initiated will be a big factor on how amicable the relationship will remain afterward. The friendship expectation should not be immediate.

  • Did they break up with you in person or was it on a text or Email?
  • Did they cheat on you or have a long affair?
  • Were they respectful or cowardly with how they ended it?
  • Was their ongoing deceit or a discovered hidden agenda?
  • Was it a long drawn out “on and off” loveless partnership?
  • Were you completely blindsided & thought your future was secure with them?

Respecting your EX’s feelings will guarantee a better future for both parties involved, especially if you have children together! Introducing a new love interest too soon is not the thing to do to your family. They need to heal and do not need a third party entering the equation. It is really disturbing how often this happens. You’re kids are not emotionally ready to deal with this!

Some people never completely get over a nasty breakup which can cause havoc on future relationships ~ even if they were in total denial that there were irreconcilable differences throughout their partnership.

Don’t feel guilty about not wanting to be friends with your Ex, if that is how you truly feel. Sometimes people come into your life as a lesson to help you realize what you truly deserve and unfortunately not all people are sincere.

Having a strong friendship with an Ex can keep you from moving on to another relationship because you spend too much time with them; which gives you less time to put toward meeting another potential partner. You may also “think” you are over them but your heart deeply hopes there may be a new spark ignited between you both down the road.

It is much easier to be friends after you have both had some time to get over the relationship.

If you do decide to be friends with your Ex, make sure your new/future partner is OK hanging around in this friendship and that it is not on an every day basis. There should be no disloyalty in your new relationship by not divulging this ongoing friendship.

Do not end up being the “secret friend” (or mistress in some cases) with your Ex.

It is your turn to move on to find happiness, don’t make it about them anymore. Find someone who appreciates you & loves you unconditionally.

If you are lucky enough to have a wonderful friendship after your heart has healed, make sure you are in it for the right reasons & not with the hope of rekindling a lost love.

Hanging on to past memories will only hinder your future in finding the love you desire & deserve.

Susan McCord @ The Dear Sybersue Talk Show

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Dear Sybersue
Dating/Relationship Coach, Advice Talk Show Host, Author & Advice Columnist

Susan McCord known as "Dear Sybersue" around the Web, helps millennials and gen-exers find love and inspiration. As a mature woman, she has "been there done that" and has so many T-shirts she can open a store! Susan believes that we are all special and deserving of happiness. People get lost along [...]

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