There's a famous saying that goes, "If two past lovers can remain friends, they are either still in love, or never were." And I've never agreed with something more in my life.
I've had my fair share of relationships over the years: silly, meaningless ones, and pretty intense, serious ones in which I thought I'd found the person to spend the rest of my life with.
Any guesses for which ones I'd be friends with now? Yeah, it's a no brainer.
When you're young, you don't really understand the concept of a relationship. I know from my own experiences that I viewed it as more of an accessory than an actual, real life commitment. Here's my new handbag, and here's my new boyfriend! He's tall, blonde and funny, an upgrade from the last.
It's safe to say I viewed relationships the way many view iPhones: fun for a while and everyone seems to have one, and when you get a little bored, you just upgrade to a new model.
But we don't realize the seriousness of the situation, the responsibly we have towards another human being, their well-being and their happiness. We are trusted with their inner thoughts, secrets and emotions, trusted not to hurt them, to please them in any way we can. To support them, care for them. Protect them.
If this isn't scary enough, we're also expected to be an ongoing source of entertainment and spend most of our free time with this carefully selected human.
When we really sit down to think about relationships, they are a pretty massive deal. Well, to me they are, and because of this, I'll never be "just friends" with anyone I've shared this intimate experience with. Here's why.
1. It's hard to differentiate between the relationship and the friendship.
There's no switch to flip from intimate relationship to platonic friendship. It's hard to draw the line between being a partner to this person like you are so used to being, to nothing more than a basic friend.
The automatic hand holding, the "love you, bye" on the phone, the fixing of each others hair -- these simple little things that seem so natural and normal to do with this person are now "inappropriate" for friends to do. It's a lot to get your head around, and it's a sign that you probably shouldn't be friends with this person.
2. There will always be chemistry.
If you were ever truly attracted to your partner, then this will never go away. Yes, the attraction can fade, but it will always still be there in the back of your mind.
Maybe your partner changes up his or her hairstyle, tries out a new look or just looks nice one day. It's hard to be friends with someone whom you find attractive, never mind someone you find attractive whom you also used to be in a relationship with.
You used to be able to touch and kiss this person whenever you wanted. Now you can't even touch their arm without feeling awkward. It's just easier to save yourself the headache.
3. Jealously will naturally happen.
You both claim you've moved on. You just want each other to be happy. The usual scripted nonsense.
But no one in their right mind is ever truly OK with seeing an ex partner happily moved on with someone else. It just hurts our pride, OK? Jealousy is bound to happen.
Through obsessive social media stalking, you'll be asking yourself questions like, Is she really prettier than me? Funnier? Smarter? Whether you have to see your partner with someone else in person or online, it's never nice. Anyone who says they are OK with it is lying, or they never liked their partner to start with.
4. Someone will always have a little feeling left over from the relationship.
No hearts break even. Two people just don't equally stop caring about each other at conveniently the exact same time. Someone had his or her heart broken, and remaining friends was the only way to keep the other person in his or her life. This means someone will always still have a little more feeling, which makes things awkward.
Only time will heal this, but how are you expected to move on from someone who's now your best bud?
5. Friendship belittles what you had.
Like I've said before, relationships mean a great deal to me; they are special, and I don't enter them lightly. So I'm not willing to belittle the intimacy we had for a few rounds down at the local bar and a night out with all the lads for your birthday.
I don't want awkward conversations or wondering whether it's appropriate to hug you good bye. I don't want to see someone I was once in love with fall in love with someone else and act like it isn't weird.
Past couples just shouldn't be friends. If we had a relationship, I entered it for a reason. If it's now over, then it's over for a reason. Something happened to stop the feelings, or else someone decided they no longer wanted this relationship.
Either way, whatever the reason, there's no need for a friendship to come from it. If you broke my heart, then I don't want to be friends. And if I broke yours, well, then you shouldn't want to be friends with me, either. [video id="1623853"][/video]