When thinking about your ex, you may experience one of three reactions: hate, longing, or indifference. Whichever stage you are in is largely going to impact your experiences with said ex. As a disclaimer, you can absolutely be friends with an ex. That being said, there are plenty of caveats to that statement and, in the interest of helping you avoid any mistakes, here are a few to consider.
If Your Friendship Interferes with Other Relationships
A major factor to consider when befriending an ex is whether or not your (or your ex’s) current significant other cares. The bottom line is that your current relationship (or your ex’s current relationship) comes first, meaning their concerns are validated and heard.
This can leave you with a difficult, and sometimes unfair, choice in which you have to weigh which relationship matters more to you; in some cases, you may need to cut ties.
Sometimes, a relationship between exes forms, and feelings of some sort arise on one side, but not on the other. This results in an unequal friendship, which will most likely lead you on a path of destruction. Feelings can definitely get in the way, and while you can’t control them, they can dictate your actions. And in this case, they should.
If you notice an unequal relationship with your ex, it’s time to cut ties, whether that’s what you want or not. It’s better to get ahead of the problem civilly than to let it result in a full-blown heartbreak that ruins your newfound friendship anyway.
It’s a cliché because it’s true: your ex is your ex for a reason. While that reason may vary, in many cases, the relationship between you and your ex may still be unhealthy.
If you find yourself in this category, it’s better not to reopen that door. While an unhealthy relationship doesn’t always mean an unhealthy friendship, getting out of an unhealthy relationship isn’t easy, so if you can avoid running back to it, it’s in your best interest.
It’s Being Used as a Crutch
Finally, relationships between exes can sometimes act as a crutch designed to fall back on when one is single. While common, using an ex as a crutch is a surefire way to stunt your personal growth.
As much as we hate to admit it, sometimes, we need to be single and spend time with ourselves. And when you have your ex as a backup plan, you’re not taking that opportunity to be alone and better yourself for future relationships.
Remaining close with an ex is possible, normal, and totally okay. These caveats should help you know the right time to cut ties, if at all. As with any relationship, platonic or not, make sure you consider what’s best for you and your growth. Don’t be afraid to walk away when the relationship is no longer serving you.