I wanted to bring together an idea I got from being stuck in a hostel room for 48 hours in San Jose and talk about the grey-area-super-scam of BEING FRIENDS WITH AN EX! Dun dun dun! This is possibly the most confusing point in any relationship (besides the beginning bit, thats pretty weird…the middle can be fairly messy… Wait why do we bother again?) and I wanted to do it properly, so I went deep and talked to many friends of various gender and sexual orientation, to see if there was a miracle formula as to how you can stay friends with an ex.
This is an area where I feel the world is fundamentally split, the people who believe it can be done, and the people who don’t. I’m in the latter group as, although I wish any ex of mine out there well (aren’t I gracious and wonderful) I also get over my relationships by listening to copious amounts of indie rock and its hard to play nice when the words to ‘Gives You Hell’ are still pounding in your eardrums. That being said I think we all have a lot to learn in life, so without further ado I shall leap into my interviews! According to Miguel, one of the stars of a few Costa Rica and America blogs, you can be friends with an ex depending on a few details, let us examine all of these, starting with
HOW THE RELATIONSHIP ENDED:
The general conclusion is if you break up on amicable terms, and when I say amicable I mean genuinely amicable, not smiling at them and agreeing you’re better apart while mentally composing your suicide note, then you can probably salvage and be friends. Many people have trouble with closure at this point though so you have to KNOW that you’re broken up, friends-with-benefits ex’s are not the same as friends, let sleeping dogs lie.
If it ended with one of you doing something you shouldn’t have (‘honey, who is Hannah?’) or ending unevenly (‘staaaaaay with me baby! Ooh, stay with me baby!’) then you need to have am honest chat with yourself as to whether this person a) deserves to be in your life and b) you will benefit from this person in your life. At the end of the day you have to look after yourself so I don’t want to hear any ‘they need me’ or ‘I am nothing without them’ they don’t and you are, you just need time to realise it.
HOW LONG DO YOU LEAVE IT?
Miguel believes that you need no heal time once a breakup has been finalised and you have agreed on staying friends, keep texting, keep talking. However here I reject his thesis when I asked if after he did this with his last ex they kept getting together, they did. This isn’t friends, this is essentially a relationship demotion people, start again.
For this question I went to my friend Alex who says here “do what’s right for you, don’t feel guilty for getting in contact too early or late, it’s your life and your relationship”, (isn’t he earnest and cute ladies?) Bethany helps this by saying that you should just act normally, if you wake up and want to talk to them do, over thinking complicates matters so just do what to you feels most normal. So long as you both have closure on the situation.
SOME EXAMPLES OF STUFF NOT WORKING:
Going into this topic got me talking to a lot of friends about past relationships, leading to some brilliant confessions and some uplifting insights, so I thought I’d let one of my favourite take the platform here to share their experience. Firstly Jane Dough (oh such a secretive girl) has a confession about when her ex defiantly didn’t get in touch again:
“there has never been a boy/girl that it has ended badly. Except one Russian female. After going all the way with them, and a pretty rememberable night that was too if you don’t mind my saying, I may have accidentally later re-introduced myself to her as if I had never met her before… Yes. A shocking blunder by anyone’s standards… It was pretty awkward….she left the group of friends I was with, especially at the party she had so obviously come up to us to say hi. Thank fully I was aware of my mistake when a friend called Cecil the Caterpillar reminded me that I had actually had sex with that person.” Some things just aren’t meant to be people.
A FRIENDLY PIECE OF ADVICE:
Alex had this to say “DON’T BELIEVE WHAT YOU READ IN MAGAZINES! There are no top tips or safe ways to nimbly hop through life. You must act on the basis of your own experience, and what seems right for you. Never march to the beat of any drum but your own. Do what feels right and good in your mind. You never have to excuse yourself for feeling a certain way because it bucks the trend.” (Ok seriously Alex, stop trying to steal my job!)
So I am annoyed, I have failed, to come up with the ultimate formula as to how you can be friends with an ex, I crinkle my brow, I lie on the floor in the foetal position (a go-to if, like me, you muck up a lot) I curse the heavens on the moors in a long black dress. It could be for many reasons, maybe it’s because I am still nineteen and so aren’t really qualified to give anyone real relationship advice (especially as I have had to spell-check every time I’ve written the word relationship, screw you dyslexia) maybe it’s because it’s because I’ve not had enough tea today, maybe it’s because humans are complicated and messy and our emotions are unboxable… Naaaah. So although no valid conclusion has been reached today I hope this has helped, or at least amused, some confused souls out there, and hopefully we can continue the discussion in the comments! See ya there possums!
Images taken from: