Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be Friends With Your Ex

You shared everything together. They saw you cry for no reason at all at two o’clock in the morning. They know about the issues you have with your parents, they picked out the olives in your salad because they knew you hated them. They may have sucked on your balls, for God’s sake. They went down on your vagina! So why settle for a watered down version of what you used to have? Every time you see them you’re just going to think, “I sucked on your balls and now we’re drinking iced tea and talking about the weather.” No thanks.

It’ll be tortuous, especially if you still want to sleep with them. You’re no longer allowed to do so. You own no more stocks on their body. You’ve been bought out. As you sit there actively trying to be friends, you’re going to grow resentful about the fact that you can longer kiss them. Just a little while ago, you could do whatever you wanted to their body and their face, and now it’s the one thing you’re not allowed to touch. You might just scream at them, “Why can’t I just touch your penis/vagina anymore?! It used to be mine to touch. Give it back!” I wouldn’t actually recommend saying that though because you might be called crazy.

It will hurt too much. Listen, there’s no shame in not being an evolved grown up. No one said that we had to be friends with our exes. We can give into our insane feelings and say, “Screw you! You hurt me badly and I have no interest in shooting the breeze with you. We only do it so we can pat ourselves on the back afterwards and I don’t want to give you that satisfaction.”

If they were the one who broke your heart, hanging out with them is going to make you feel so undesirable. You’ll try to look really cute when you go on your friendship date, in hopes that it will make them want you again. They’ll say, “Oh my god. That tank top you’re wearing has reminded me why I fell in love with you. Let’s get back together!” No, it’s not going to happen. You could go to these things looking like absolute garbage or royalty and it wouldn’t make a lick of difference. They’ve already fallen out of love with you and that won’t change if you’re having a good hair day.

Some exes we can be friends with. Some we can get lunch with and not think about the fact that we once licked their genitalia. But some exes are a “NEVER” in the friendship category. These are the people we hurt the most or who hurt us the most. And it’s okay to say “See you later!” It doesn’t make us immature, it makes us smart. If being an adult means subjecting ourselves to pure torture with someone who used to love us, then call me Peter Goddamn Pan. TC mark

image – (c)iStockphoto.com, Milos Jokic

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

Read Here

More From Thought Catalog

  • http://summerslowrunner.wordpress.com/ Summer

    This is 100% truth.

    I do constantly think about having had sex with that person, seeing them naked, being intimate together. It’s such feigned bullshit to “meet for a drink and catch up” when you know damn good and well you still want to be S’ing that D.

    Ugh. Exes.

    • Aisla Uuttu

      Then you ought to learn to let go of them. Of course you can’t be friends with someone you are fixated over sexually. But why be stupid like that? That is the one part of this I can not comprehend at all.

  • Anonymous

    Again, not impossible to remain friends with the exes, unless you’re not over them and still want to jump their balls. THEN WHY PRETEND TO BE THEIR FRIEND?! Get over it and move on. Move on, be fair to yourself, then maybeee salvage a friendship. 

  • Anonymous

    Again, not impossible to remain friends with the exes, unless you’re not over them and still want to jump their balls. THEN WHY PRETEND TO BE THEIR FRIEND?! Get over it and move on. Move on, be fair to yourself, then maybeee salvage a friendship. 

  • Anonymous

    Again, not impossible to remain friends with the exes, unless you’re not over them and still want to jump their balls. THEN WHY PRETEND TO BE THEIR FRIEND?! Get over it and move on. Move on, be fair to yourself, then maybeee salvage a friendship. 

  • saritapatrice

    “If being an adult means subjecting ourselves to pure torture with someone who used to love us, then call me Peter Goddamn Pan.” Love it.

  • http://www.wilfordlauren.tumblr.com Lauren Wilford

    Unless, of course, you’re “being friends for a while” to “see if we can develop better communication habits.”

    Wait, people don’t do that? Oh. 

  • Toodle68

    It all depends on why you broke up.  My relationship ended last week and I just could not bring myself to remain friends. It is too painful.  Sometimes, keeping in contact might help reconcile, sometimes no contact can help bring them back.  There is no one answer to the best approach.

    • Anonymous

      good luck to you, friend :[

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10036647 Aimee Vondrak

      I’m going to go out on a limb and say it is probably too soon for you to know whether you can be friends EVER. Maybe you can later and maybe it will be good for you and you’ll be happy you did :)

  • chris

    “Oh my god. That tank top you’re wearing has reminded me why I fell in love with you. Let’s get back together!”

    I always try this.

  • chris

    “Oh my god. That tank top you’re wearing has reminded me why I fell in love with you. Let’s get back together!”

    I always try this.

  • http://profiles.google.com/steven.timberman Steven Timberman

    The Peter Pan line is fairly fucking awesome.

    And “meet for a drink” really just means ‘Let’s both try and secretly judge to see who of us is ‘winning’. See also, old friends and colleagues. 

    but since you’ve… er, S’ed their D or L’ed their V everything is much more heightened. And competitive. Good fucking christ is it ever.

  • http://profiles.google.com/steven.timberman Steven Timberman

    The Peter Pan line is fairly fucking awesome.

    And “meet for a drink” really just means ‘Let’s both try and secretly judge to see who of us is ‘winning’. See also, old friends and colleagues. 

    but since you’ve… er, S’ed their D or L’ed their V everything is much more heightened. And competitive. Good fucking christ is it ever.

  • coffeeandinternets

    So true. But Ryan — you live in New York.  It’s the Never Never Land of actual places — no one ever has to grow up. And the sewer alligators. Also.

    Anyway — it’s easier to give friends this advice, oftentimes, than listen to it yourself.

    I wish “GIRL ARE YOU SERIOUS” resonated so strongly in my head as it does through my mouth.

    • Aisla Uuttu

      Point, and a good one at that. But Ryan, try to keep in mind that not everywhere is like New York. Probably this advice of yours works there, but trust me – in most places and situations, it won’t. This is a well-written article, but a bit (okay, a lot) narrow-minded/one-eyed, don’t you think?

    • Aisla Uuttu

      Point, and a good one at that. But Ryan, try to keep in mind that not everywhere is like New York. Probably this advice of yours works there, but trust me – in most places and situations, it won’t. This is a well-written article, but a bit (okay, a lot) narrow-minded/one-eyed, don’t you think?

  • Ryan_lover

    how do you know everything?

  • a.

    If they were the one who broke your heart, hanging out with them is
    going to make you feel so undesirable. You’ll try to look really cute
    when you go on your friendship date, in hopes that it will make them
    want you again. They’ll say, “Oh my god. That tank top you’re wearing
    has reminded me why I fell in love with you. Let’s get back together!”

    You mean that doesn’t work?

    • Robert.

      if you are hot enough, it works.

  • Punky Triumph

    Ha!  This is amazing. Just like the rest of your essays. Thanks. I agree. Once the tie is severed I think having an emotional/physical “restraining order” is the best way to go. I’ve had ex’s midst break-ups say the “let’s be friends” BS and my retort is, “that’s ok I already have enough friends.” Apples are apples and oranges are oranges. You can’t turn an apple into an orange…nope.

  • Anonymous Guest

    Ryan. All you ever write about are a) relationships and b) homosexuality. Why is this? Have you nothing else to base your life upon and translate into well-constructed sentences? Have you no hobbies but getting laid, being gay, and falling in love? Your one-dimensional nature pisses me off to no end.

    Go read a book.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jordan-Fields/100000625951408 Jordan Fields

      Also tortuous is not the same as torturous.  Torturous is reading one of your piece

      • An admirer

        get over yourself its just a fucking typo; obviously Ryan and all of us know the difference between tortuous and torturous

    • Leah

      I’m taking a leap of faith and deciding that there’s more to Ryan than relationships and homosexuality. Just throwing that out there.
      Assuming that might be true, what is so bad about writing about those things, especially of you do it well?
      Ryan, I find your writing relatable, accessible and your literary voice really speaks to me. Thank you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10036647 Aimee Vondrak

      I think Ryan is good at writing articulately about these things and not just random stream of thought nonsense like some of the other regular writers on this site. So maybe he’s like two dimensional. But whatever, he’s a good writer so byeee~

    • Guest

      Agreed. TC seems to have two kinds of articles: intriguing, well-written ones that inspire and educate and evoke a little more love for the human race… and Ryan O’Connell’s vapid, self-absorbed judgmental bullshit. I mean it in the most insulting way when I say that I can tell which articles are his on TC’s homepage simply based on reading the titles.

      What’s sad is the “bad teenage poetry” he egotistically decided to post and then analyze (https://thoughtcatalog.com/2011/translating-my-bad-teenage-poetry/) is infinitely more eloquent and genuine than any of the utter trash that he writes now with the pathetic belief that he is witty and original and “like, so over it!”

  • Amy

    I know of some people I should send this to.

  • kim

    you make some good points, but i don’t think it’s a valid enough reason to cut someone out of your life. i try to stay friends with every guy i’ve been involved with because they all made me happy at one point in my life. even if you can’t forget what you had, as long as you can get along as friends and there are no hard feelings, then make the most of what you CAN have. life is too short for that kind of pettiness. 

  • AC

    THANK YOU!  Why is it so hard for some people to understand such a simple concept?!

  • Guest

    another good reason is that being friends with them might alienate your present gf/bf. JUST SAYIN

    • Aisla Uuttu

      Yeah, it just might. If s/he is a JERK, that is. And by that I mean someone who hasn’t realized that this is NOT O.C. or Glee, this is real life, and everyone (at least the ACTUALLY socially smart people, who are good to hang out with) are not trying to stab you in the back. Be honest and open and eventually you’ll get honesty and openness in return.

  • aa

    BUT what if the exes are sleeping together :/

  • http://twitter.com/bybeautydamned Maria Carreon

    I love my ex because he has already seen the worst person I can possibly be and he still likes me.  We SO do not have sex or even think about it.  But I can still nag him and bitch at him until the sun no longer shines and he just says, “okay, sorry, see you later” and LEAVES!  I love it.  And he still comes over and takes care of me when my back is out and helps me take out the trash and recycling (which he never wanted to do when we were together) and clips the cat’s claws because I’m too afraid to do it. I highly recommend being friends with your ex if it’s someone you value a friendship with. It can be the best kind of relationship you’ll ever have if you just put aside the drama and realize that there’s nothing like someone who you’ve already destroyed your relationship with until there’s not much left to lose.

    • Aisla Uuttu

      That’s the kind of attitude I like. I never dated douchebags anyway, why should I, when I can date a sweet and caring person instead? Someone who I’ll never lose from my life, even if and when the romantic relationship is gone. If the thing in dating someone consists mainly of touching their privates, it’s no wonder it can prove hard to be friends with them when they become exes. Sweet life, you had NOTHING else in common? You weren’t best friends with your partner at the same time you were lovers? What was the point of the whole relationship then? Stupid people…

  • Aisla Uuttu

    Just adding, since I realized some people can take my reply to this post quite wrong. I’m not saying you can be friends with everyone. Especially if your ex is emotionally fucked up and a social vampire who drains everyone around them of their joy and strength. THOSE you should leave alone for everyone’s good, and also learn to leave alone in the future too when you’re searching for a partner.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nattusmith Natt Smith

    I love licking balls. 

  • http://twitter.com/rainbowcouch Rainbow Couch

    Ryan, wise words, as usual. I’m off to post it on my practice FB page and tweet it!
    Ronete, the shrink who loves what you write.

blog comments powered by Disqus