Two happy people on the beach

Friends with an ex: do’s and don’ts

By Steph Haase September 20, 01:06 pm
Being friends with someone you know very well can be fun and feel comfortable. But beware – old feelings and jealousy can get in the way.

There are no fool-proof guidelines to becoming and staying friends with an ex – but this week's do's and don'ts does come close!

Give it time

If you have just broken up recently, it's a good idea to give your ex and yourself some time to get over each other before you even consider being friends. Break-ups happen for a reason, and both of you will need time to heal and get over any anger or disappointment you have. There are no real guidelines as too how long you should wait until you get in touch with your ex again, but six months seems like a reasonable period. But rather wait a bit longer than try to jump at an attempt too early.

And remember: you can't force friendship. Sometimes a break up is so painful there’s no realistic chance of ever being friends – that’s something only you can judge.

Try it, it may be worth it

Chances are you spent a good chunk of your life with your ex. You share the same interests, friends and hobbies. You have a lot in common and that's a great starting point for a friendship. So if you parted amicably or you think you can get over the reasons for your break-up, trying to be friends can be very rewarding.

But be picky, too. If you know that the differences between you while dating were too big, the same might happen in a friendship. It's not worth getting hurt twice!

Include your new partner 

That doesn't mean your new partner should be right next to you every time you talk to or see your ex. But a major reason for jealousy is your partner still being cosy with their ex. So if you are still friends with your ex, it's a good idea to be honest about it to your new partner.

Tell them that you are just friends, share your plans of meeting your ex, and maybe introduce them. Doing all this will save you, your ex and your new partner a lot of headaches and maybe even fights.

Treat it like a real relationship

You need to realize that you are no longer in a relationship, so don't treat your friendship the same way as the relationship. That means no flirting, no cuddling, no late-night cute text messages. Because that will make it much more difficult to keep clear boundaries and rules. It's all too easy to fall back into old patterns with your ex. This is especially dangerous if you’re in a new relationship.

Get jealous

Let's face it, when you see your ex with a new partner it always hurts a bit. But you are only truly over an ex when you can be happy for them. That includes being happy when they have a new partner. Nobody wants you to be over the moon of course, but if you are feeling very jealous, it may be a sign that you are not really over your ex and maybe there are some feelings left. And if that's the case, being friends might not be the best idea. 

Have sex with the ex

Well, you can have sex with the ex. But just remember that it can get very awkward! If neither of you is in a relationship, it might seem like a good idea to have sex with your ex – you know each other, you know what the other likes, and so on.

But having sex might complicate your friendship. Even if you’re sure of your feelings, can you be sure that your ex doesn't get his or her hopes up again? And if either of you is in a relationship, sex and cheating will jeopardize it. So before you get too cosy between the sheets, consider the consequences!


Have you got a tip to add to the list? A bad or good experience of being friends with an ex? Leave a comment here or on Facebook.

Did you learn something new?

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 09:27 pm
hi,steve hia,i hv bn in luv for a yr now bt da hell z dat i hv bn suffrin much dat yr coz ma partnr z abit distance,i don know whethr im da one who dont trust coz wen she z gone i fil lyk dat she gonna play me,we alwyz argue wen she z gone,tears evertym due somtyms i tell her dat i hv broke up wit her but feelin rejoins us again mostly wen she comes we hav sex despite i hd broke up wit b4,coz now i know dos n donts wen i decide to break her up wit i ll use ua help,danx alot love mattrs
Hi Steve, Don't expect love to be enough to carry you through a long-distance relationship. Every relationship is hard work, and long-distance relationship even more so. Both of you need to be fully committed to the relationship and to making it work. Don't expect a fairy tale. Set rules to make the relationship work for both of you, if you decide to go through with it. Whether you do, is only up to you to decide. And be honest: it's normal to feel jealous ever once in a while. And your partner will have his or her concerns, too. Don't get angry and clam up when this happens. Once again, good and open communication is the way to go.
Mon, 04/28/2014 - 09:36 pm
my boyfriend had been communicating with his ex of which I hate most I have warned the gal but she brags a lot though she was done many bad things by him
Mwende veronicah
Mon, 04/28/2014 - 09:37 pm
Hi,i brke up wit hm buh hc mom kant let me go,moso tho he hurted me big i stil lov im soo muc,av gvn masef tme buh stil kat 4get im..he klaims he lovs me 2buh he kat stp bin alover gerous type n dnt no wat 2do anymo...
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