Whenever a relationship ends, there’s a big question to be asked—and this question actually has real-life consequences for your wellness and relationships:
Should you remain friends with your exes?
The answer to this question is obviously a ‘no’ if the breakup was a horrible experience, if the two of you parted ways in an angry manner, and if there were no kids involved.
But what if some of these are not the case?
Is there ever a reason to remain good friends with an ex, even though the two of you aren’t dating anymore?
Well, in this post, you’re going to learn some helpful tips for navigating this somewhat difficult question.
Let’s get into it.
What If The Breakup Was Friendly And Amicable?
If you and your ex broke up with mutually positive feelings toward one another, then you may be tempted to remain friends.
After all, this person has been a part of your life for some time now.
And if you’re still capable of having a functional friendship, traditional wisdom may tell you that remaining friends will probably bring more benefits than negatives, right?
Well, this could be true in some situations.
But it’s also true that this thought process could damage your ability to move on and date other people.
For the most part, people who are dating with the intent to have a serious relationship consider it a red flag when a new potential dating partner is really close to one or more of their exes.
The reasons for this are fairly obvious.
People who remain good friends with their exes, and keep in constant contact with them, generally seem far more likely to decide to leave their current relationship to go back to this said ex.
Therefore, staying friends with an ex may make other people less likely to decide to invest in you as a serious dating prospect.
This isn’t necessarily fair, especially if you have no intention of ever going back to that relationship.
However, human emotions are often fickle and complicated.
And this is just how it is.
What If You Have Kids Together?
If your union produced offspring, then there’s a very good chance that the two of you are going to have to at least remain in contact.
But when there are kids in the mix, there’s actually a lot of positive upside that can come from remaining close friends and being involved as co-parents.
This is partly why it can be difficult to date as a single parent if you have a healthy, thriving co-parenting relationship with your ex.
Other people may see that as a sign that you and your ex may get back together one day, and this can cause them to once again label the situation with red flags.
(Of course, having a toxic relationship with your child’s other parent can also raise red flags, so it’s kind of a lose-lose until you find someone who’s ok with it and understands it.)
However, in this case, the welfare of your children is of the utmost importance. And studies show that a friendly, positive co-parenting relationship is actually what’s best for the children.
Therefore, it’s actually recommended that you do stay at least somewhat friendly with your ex if the two of you have children together.
There you have it.
A pretty concise guide for when you should and shouldn’t remain friends with your exes.
Of course, at the end of the day, the choice is yours to make.
Choosing to remain friends with an ex could in fact supply a number of benefits. And in some cases, you may choose to prioritize these benefits over the possibility of dating people who are turned off by it.
But if you’re the type of person who doesn’t mind fielding these concerns while dating new people, you may come to realize that you’re just not willing to give up a friendship with this person you used to be in a relationship with—and that’s perfectly fine.
In life, the most important thing is to live it on your own terms and to do what’s best for you.
Now that you know the information, it’s time to get out there and make it happen.
You’ve got this!