Your ex can be your friend; the one you can always count on, who will help you with anything if you ask them. Unless your relationship’s building stone was friendship in the first place, they can never be just your friend because they used to be your lover – the one who knows you intimately. Who hurt you and you forgave them. Whom you hurt and you can’t forgive yourself. The one you had your second and third chance with. The one who loved you in the most beautiful ways, but also hated you when they didn’t know if they were in love with you.
You had your chance
You may have even tried to fix things and followed all the steps to get them back, but failed. Surely, you two have been through fire and water together and failed, but it would be nice to hold on to it a little bit longer, at least as friends, if nothing more.
Your ex was all that, your stepping stone, quagmire you sank into, oasis you felt safe in, glowing charcoal you walked on, they were the cloud that carried you safely in the heaven until you fell off it and landed badly hurt. However, you can forget all that if you put aside your ego and be adult about it, but how many of us can do that after a breakup?
Intimacy never dies
On the other hand, when you severed the bond between you two, a scar was left and it hurts and reacts to smells, sounds, and colors. If you stay friends, there will always be that familiarity and intimacy between you; awkward and uncomfortable. Maybe you two will be able to overcome it with time, but you’ll probably give up sooner because it’s too hard.
Your love life can suffer
If you have new sweethearts, all four of you will never be able to meet for coffee. Why would you do that? You don’t need to socialize with their new love, neither do they with yours. It can never be natural between your new and your ex-lover.
Your friendly relationship is something that concerns only the two of you when you are alone. And it can only stop you from forming another loving relationship and living your life to the fullest.
You’ll be stuck in the past
The affection you felt for them never really dies. It simply takes a new form. You keep loving the old them, maybe even idealizing and forgetting everything bad that happened.
If you stay friends, you may even try to wake the old feelings up, but realize that those aren’t burning with the same strength and leave you again. What good would that do to you? You would be stuck between your new and your old life, loveless in both directions.
You can make it work
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you can’t be friends; it would just be different from a friendship you have with someone you were never in love with. It’ll take some more effort, but by all means, go for it if it’s worth it.