Should you be friends with your ex?

So you meet a new girl and are going out for the first time. You get to the club on time and are partying away on the dance floor, loved up and acting silly – as you do when you’re trying to impress. You go to the bar to get some drinks, new girl in tow when you get a tap on your shoulder. You spin around, it’s your ex.
‘Hi’ she says and fixes you with a stare.
‘Hello’ you say back.

At that moment, what you do next determines the future of your new relationship and your old relationship. Do you introduce the two of them? If not, why not? If you do, do you introduce her as your ex or as a friend? Do you introduce your new girl as your new girl or not? Do you feel funny doing so? A lot can happen and what you do at that moment determines everything.

Women, as do men like closure. They want to know that when you have split up from your ex, you stay split and act accordingly. No guy likes to think about his woman ‘hittin’ it with an ex dick. We do not want that in our space. We are happy to know that it may have happened but there were no witnesses and it was terrible anyway! We dare not even think about the fact that, if it is indeed the case, we were not the first (and possibly won’t be the last) to go to that fun spot in the shade.

What do you do when your partner states, without a problem, that their ex is a friend and they plan to stay in touch? Would this be a problem for you? The first thing that goes through my head is, if you guys are friends and you have already had sex, then what is there to stop you doing it again? All my insecurities show up and I’m thrown into a cycle of uncertainty and questions every time they speak on the phone or hang out.

Most women, as a rule, don’t like to have a strange woman in their space and some even have issues with their OWN friends being around their man. Naturally territorial and protective of the fledgling relationship and maybe still trying to suss out if the new beau will be faithful, the ex as friend becomes symbolic of an all you can eat buffet in front of his face!

Since by a certain age most of us will have had more than one relationship, we are left with a lot of people in relationships who are worried. Worried about not being enough for their partner and that maybe the ex, now friend, is a little bit more. Worried about not being as important as this person who still seems to have a place setting at your table.

Common sense tells us that the ex is an ex for a reason. The relationship didn’t cut it. Some people are better off as friends but only find out after getting the sex out of the way first. For me the words honesty and trust come to mind. If we can be honest with and trust our respective partners then does it and should it really matter who they keep counsel with? You can choose to make it hard for them to be honest with you or you can trust that when they say friend, they mean just that.

The solution is simple, stop worrying and accept that there was someone before you and your current sees a good enough reason to have that ex remain in their life. You don’t have to like it but you don’t have to hate it either. If they’re honest about it then trust them to handle it with respect for you and your relationship.

What do you think? Should your ex be a friend? Join the conversation and post a comment.

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11 Responses to “Should you be friends with your ex?”

  1. They shouldn’t be enemies, but they shouldn’t be buddies, either. Being civil to an ex is one thing, but inviting them over is just disrespectful to the new relationship. Face it, anyone would be uncomfortable with their partner hanging around with their ex. And in my opinion, it’s a selfish decision to hang out with an ex in spite of however the new partner feels.

  2. Veronika Says:

    I’m in this situation currently… I’ve been dating for 4 mnths and have known my partner for over 7years now and i know that My Partner’s Current ex has Been that for 4 mnths as well… i found out after a text message with a no name but number saved set my partner into a stutter when i asked who texted, (which is a common question since WE share mutual friends), had her confessing to me that her ex has been in communications with her… text! and i discovered it didnt end there but email, myspace, and facebook… which is easy to discover, (i’m no spy!) but on myspace you have mutual friend request on people u may know through people u don know! Anyway, I think this is WAY TOOO SOOON to be buddies! I dont care about ex being friends after time has passed between them and all of their relationship has been washed away.. but to know that my Partner 4mnths ago was sexin up this NEW BUT OLD BUDDIE Is far past comfortable… SO am i crazy for asking My Partner to wait a Year for their relation to die out b4 starting this new Friendship???

    • prekosifa Says:

      Veronika, quite often we make something our partner does mean something about ourselves. We reckon that if our partner enjoys talking or spending time with someone else then they don’t want/enjoy spending time with us. Not true. The two are not linked. In this case it sounds like you don’t like the friendship because YOU feel it is too soon. An opinion. Your partner doesn’t feel this way. Their opinion. Two people in disagreement are not arguing about right or wrong, they are just offering different opinions.

      So why do you feel like that? Where did your opinion stem from? Is there any history involved in how you have been in relationships? has this always been an important thing for you? Have you always had a specified permissable time period when it comes to the end of a relationship? The reason behind why it bothers you is important. I always say for people to look at themselves first because quite often the ‘issue’ lies with us.

      The important point you make is ‘all of their relationship has been washed away’. If you truly believe that it hasn’t, and you sound like you don’t, then it is for you to either give it time to, or perhaps move on to something new. If you try to force the issue by trying to prove him wrong you will have many a rotten day and probably many sleepless nights. You cannot force someone to reach completion in a relationship. It can only happen in its own time and when they are ready to move on. 4 months isn’t impossible, but for peace of mind follow your own instincts and talk about your concerns with your partner. The year thing is only cool if your partner is truly happy to go along with it. Hope this helps

  3. i think that, if children are involved then its a good idea to remain friends. but if there are no others ties, then hell NO!

  4. I think it is good to have good endings i.e. be able to say hello when you meet on the street, be comfortable being in the same party, wedding or funeral. You are bound to know the same people during your time together so such meetings will happen…. Letting go is about looking after yourself emotional and ensuring closure with no leakages. Introduce them to your new partner – if you come across them, but would not make a special trip to do that!
    The idea of being ‘friends’ conjures up all sorts ideas for different people. Sure speak to all exs, but I would not call them friends, but ‘people I know, people I grew up with or grew with’ that kind of category as opposed to my friends – people I share with hang out with etc.
    I also agree with Val’s point on vulnerability because while it might seem like the right things to do in the moment,it can quite easily create a cross up and start a whole other emotional roller coaster.

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