Can you be friends with your ex? The answer is no.
It’s a topic that divides a lot of people.
When we enter a relationship, we’re on our best behaviour (generally speaking). We want our partner to like us desperately. We want them to see us as their ideal. To achieve this we do – and don’t do – a number of things.
The biggest thing we do, that is also usually the biggest mistake, is pretending to be someone we’re not. We hide away parts of ourselves or we modify them. We keep secrets about who we really are, who we really want to be, and even how we want to be loved.
If you start a relationship this way, there’s no going back. Yes your partner may love you in the beginning, because you’re giving them everything they seemingly want. But over time, you’ll start to realise how unhappy you are and you’re partner will notice.
You’ll realise that your needs are not only not being met, but that your partner hasn’t actually stopped to ask what they are. You’ve been doing all the giving and they have happily done all the taking. You put aside your own ideas and dreams, to make sure they could try and achieve theirs. You forgot what you wanted for yourself.
You’ll start to realise you’ve been so focused on being the person your partner wants, on giving them what they want, that you didn’t actually stop to think if you even still like them any more.
You’ll start to notice that they don’t treat you the way they treat their friends. You’ll realise that, not only are you not in love with them any more, but you aren’t even friends anymore.
When my past relationships ended I reflected on who I’d become and the ways in which I had changed to suit my relationship and my partner. I realised not only was I not the person I wanted to be, I was actually someone I didn’t even like.
So I changed again. I stopped pretending to be someone I wasn’t. I became a version of myself that I was proud of. A person I liked, because I was finally being myself, not someone I thought I should be.
I know I’m not alone in this process. I know a lot of you reading this have done the same thing. You might even be doing it right now.
The bottom line?
You can’t be friends with your ex because they don’t really know you. They only know a version of you that was created in an attempt to make them happy. That version of you stopped existing when the relationship ended.
There’s no one for them to be friends with any more.