Can Anyone Ever Truly Be Friends With An Ex?

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Edward Cisneros / Unsplash

Who are the exes, these creatures that live in our past but somehow are found also in our present? Can we really be friends with someone with whom we used to share the bed and memories in a platonic manner? Can we make peace with the ones that betrayed or hurt us?

I have quite a lot of exes gathered in my past, but I don’t have them as my friends, they are in my past for a reason and I would like to keep them there. From time to time I stumble upon something that makes me remember them, a song or a perfume usually sends me back to the memory lane with a bit of nostalgia. So today as I played an old song and remembered the fun times I had with an old boyfriend I got to think about this question. Can we really be friends with an ex?

If we strip up the sex part, we are all best friends with our partners. Given that can we think of our exes as friends without the “main” benefit? Or is it like your mother telling you that you can keep your dead dog if you want to?

Being a choleric person, I love and hate with the same intensity so once the love is gone, you can guess what’s the next feeling that I have for that person. Even after all of this years I still like to see my exes face when he sees me with another person or all glorious by myself, but I have heard of people who say they are friends with their exes. So I started to ask questions to know how they define their friendship.

A couple of replies that I got were:

“All was left from our relation was the friendship, we stopped having sex and decided to be just friends.”

“I missed her so much so I preferred having her as my friend rather than not having her in my life at all.”

“When I am lonely and between relationships, I like to know he is there and I can talk to him. We were always very good friends and he is such a good listener.”

“I genuinely care about him and want to know he is happy, so I call him for a drink every time I am in town, he seems pleased to hear from me, though we never talk about our current partners.”

“We are not together anymore because I cheated on her but when I am between partners I call her to grab dinner and casually have sex. It’s like an unwritten contract that we are having.”

“Have never been friends with an ex, went from love to hate. Also, I am 100% sure my current partner wouldn’t agree with me being friends with an ex.”

“My boyfriend is still friends with an ex, they are not very close, but they speak occasionally. Can’t say that I am bothered, also don’t know if it would bother me if they were closer than this.”

All of this I got either from old college stories or from acquiescence, none of my close friends, especially the ones that are now in happy partnerships can say that they are keeping in touch with old boyfriends. So there was still one questions that didn’t receive an answer, are you still feeling sexually attracted to your ex?

Being friend with an ex might be similar to my relationship with sugar, love the taste even if I know it’s bad for me. You get together with someone because you have feelings for him/her, once the relationship is over, those feelings either changed or are still the same. Both cases are incompatible with friendship, IMO so why bother?

Since human beings are so complex, it is hard to say if we are all reacting in the same way when it comes to relationships with exes. I don’t believe in perfect receipts, we should all add something custom in our lives to make it better. If that is an ex, why not have him or her in our lives, just make sure it is indeed a smart thing to do! TC mark

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