Being friends after a breakup: good idea or disaster?
One study found that an estimated 60% of people are interested in being friends after being lovers. Does the majority have the right idea?
Staying friends after a breakup can seem really appealing. After all, the two of you know so much about one another and invested a ton of energy into your relationship. Why not make the transition to platonic friendship?
The truth is that there are too many factors in play to make an objective call. Read on for some of the things you should consider before you answer the question, “Should we stay friends?”
What Are Your Motives?
Be honest with yourself. What are the reasons for remaining friends after a breakup?
Assess what your long-term goal is. Are you hoping that maintaining a friendship will lead to a rekindling of romantic passion? If so, you might want to cut ties because the truth is, it may never happen.
However, if you can honestly tell yourself that you care for your ex but just not that way, you may be in the clear.
Why Did You Break Up?
What caused the break up? If there was deep resentment involved, you’re going to carry that resentment into the friendship – which is bad news.
Were either of you unfaithful? Was the breakup one-sided? If either of these things are true, it’s probably not a good idea to remain friends. A successful transition tends to work only when both parties agreed that it was time for the relationship to end and neither party felt wounded.
How Do They Feel?
Deciding to stay friends after a breakup can’t be your decision, alone. If your ex doesn’t want to stay in touch, then continuing contact isn’t the right thing to do.
In some cases, they may just need space. If you want to stay friends but they aren’t ready, don’t push it. Give them time and space to make their own decisions and be prepared for the possibility that a friendship isn’t in the cards.
Will Jealousy Be a Problem?
Whether we like to admit it or not, ending a relationship with someone doesn’t mean that we want to watch them date someone else. At some point, you’ll start dating again. If you know that one or both of you won’t be able to handle that transition, then don’t pursue a friendship after breaking up.
Do You Still Need to See Them?
There are a lot of reasons why two people may still see each other after a breakup. You may work for the same company. Perhaps you, like 16 million other single parents in the US, have kids together.
If you’re going to run into each other frequently, it’s definitely worth considering friendship. At the very least, you’ll need to work together to find a way to remain amicable.
Staying Friends After a Breakup: No Right or Wrong Answer
We can’t decide for you whether or not staying friends after a breakup is the right call. Ask yourself the questions we’ve posed to make an informed decision for you and your ex.