It’s something girls will often discuss. It’s something guys will ponder over. It’s a matter that everyone has an opinion on. Yet it’s a question that has no obvious answer. So I’m putting it out there – can ex’s be friends?
As much as I hate to admit it, I’m a romantic at heart. I blame this on the surrealism of Bollywood that I’ve grown up watching! The romantic side of me has always thought that the fundamental basis of any romance is friendship. It’s from friendship that all romantic emotions will blossom…right?
Once you have shared unforgettable memories and amazing experiences with that someone special, you probably can’t even consider what life would be like in their absence. Now the practical me doesn’t get this. You lived before they came along, so it’s only logical you’ll live once they’re gone…
Or is this too simplistic a view? Maybe that someone special leaves such an impact on your life that it no longer remains the same as it was. Maybe that someone touches you spiritually so you no longer feel like the person you were before.
Damn I watch too many Hindi films!!!
But love doesn’t always mean you are meant to be together. If you realise that, you inevitably break up and go your separate ways, or do you? Are you so used to them being in your life that you can’t imagine not knowing them? Or are they such a big aspect of your life – socially and personally – that your group dynamics will alter forever.
So at the unfortunate break-up when there is mutual understanding that it just can’t work, you suggest being friends. But what does that actually mean?
Does it mean that if you pass each other on the street you will approach them rather than dodge them like the plague? Or does it mean you will get in touch randomly just to see how the other is? Or are you still on their birthday guest list?
Friendship is such a broad term. We have friends on Facebook yet we don’t ever meet up with most of them. We have work friends who are our day buddies or maybe company on a work do but your interaction ends when you move on to your next job. Then there’s close friends who you meet regularly or best friends who know you better than yourself.
The list is endless. Yet during a break-up, which kind of friendship are you suggesting to maintain?
I know it seems a little deep but hey, my aim is to provoke you to think! If everything in life was as clear as black and white, it would be such a dull world. We need grey areas to offer us variation of shades and depths.
Maybe some people want to maintain friendship because they genuinely only see the other person as a friend and have no deeper feelings for them. I’m guessing most people say it because it’s probably the nicest way to end a relationship when you both know you’ll never be in touch again.
And if you actually do maintain a friendship then on what grounds? When you start seeing someone else, would you introduce them? If you saw your ex with their new partner, how would you feel? You’re only human so surely a pang of jealousy would be understandable…right?
When life is full of complications and relationships (love, friends, family, and colleagues) are the most complicated aspect of life, do you really need the added stress? I’ve always maintained that ex’s can’t be friends because at least one of you will end up hurt. On the other hand, I’m certain it’s just the most amicable way of ending a relationship, especially when you’re forced to see each other in social or work arenas.
Maybe I’m wrong and it’s down to individual circumstances. Maybe there are loads of you out there who have successfully maintained a friendship with an ex. Maybe there is no certain answer to the question.