Everyone will have their own opinion on whether staying friends with an ex is a good idea or not. However, according to several scientific studies you should think twice before making that date with your ex. When you’ve been through a lot with someone and feelings are still there, it can be tempting for you to want to keep them in your life. But, many will find that staying friends with an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend is much easier said than done after a breakup. To help determine exactly why that is, we’ve compiled a list of six different reasons psychologists think you shouldn’t remain friends with someone once the romantic relationship has ended.
Reasons You Should NOT Remain Friends With Your Ex
1. You Can’t Suddenly Turn Off Feelings – According to the famous author Nina Atwood, people usually remain friends with their exes because they don’t want to end things harshly and face a life without a person who has meant so much to them. People assume that remaining friends with an ex will make it easier to soften the blow of the breakup, but that isn’t true. It’s only natural to not want to entirely lose such an important person in your life, but spending time with them after the break up will make it virtually impossible to erase the feelings you have for them. The moment you start feeling comfortable in each other’s company again, you will let your guard down and those romantic feelings may come back, bubbling under the surface once again.
2. It Will Be Harder For You To Move On – Being around your ex all the time will make it harder for you to remove feelings of loss and regret. In other words, you will probably experience mixed feelings that will make the process of moving on much more difficult for you. After the breakup, people need time to heal and just reflect on the relationship, and that will be much more difficult if they’re in the company of their ex all the time. When a couple breaks up, neither person can see things clearly and both will usually need time to recuperate and better understand the things that happened. Having your ex in your life will only make things harder than they already are.
3. Hanging Out As Friends Will Be Painful – No one wants to be watching from the first row as their ex finds a new partner and starts a new romantic relationship. But if you choose to remain friends with the person you were once romantic with, be prepared to deal with these kinds of situations which will always be awkward and painful to see. As much as we don’t want to admit it, it hurts to watch our previous partner move on and find new love. It really sucks to see them be in love with someone else, and whether you like to play it cool or not, it can hurt to see your ex doing better than you.
4. There Isn’t An Upside To Being Friends – Unless you have kids or are otherwise bound to spend time together, there isn’t a good enough reason to be friends with your ex. After all, there really isn’t an upside to being close to someone you chose to end a relationship with. Even if you think it’s the mature thing to do after a breakup, the far better solution would be to cut ties with that person and just go your own separate ways. Remaining close to them would eventually bring unresolved issues back and you’d risk getting hurt over and over again.
5. Your Ex Might Still Be In Love With You – When a couple ends their relationship, it’s not always a mutual decision. Most of the time, someone gets dumped in the relationship, and it’s usually the person that gets dumped who wants to get back together. That’s not always the case, but regardless, one might hope to reignite the fire of romance once again because they still have feelings for the other person. Let’s be honest, the chemistry between the two of you is there, even though it might be burned out at the moment. Going out and having a drink or two together will definitely mix things up, and it may leave the other person with a false sense of hope that you two might end up together again, which will never end well.
6. It Will Prevent You From Finding New Relationships – After one relationship ends, you should let yourself have the necessary space to mend from the breakup and eventually get back out there in the dating world. Hanging out with your ex won’t do you much good, and it will definitely be weird for other potential partners. Imagine having to explain to your new partner, that you are spending a lot of time with your ex. They will probably think you’re still hung-up on them and that you’re not ready for something new. That’s a definite red flag and deal-breaker for many potential partners.
As much as we hate to admit it, we would be fooling ourselves if we thought that being friends with an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend could actually work. If you’re currently going through a breakup then there are some great hacks you can try to get over your heartbreak, such as taking some extra time to relax and avoiding toxic people in your life. It can be hard to let go of someone you’ve spent lots of time with and grown close to. But, many psychologists believe cutting ties and moving on is best thing you can do.