Why You Should Never Refer To Your Ex As A 'Friend' Once You Break Up

by Erica Mariera

In a recent interview on the radio show "Angie Martinez," rapper TI talked about his long-term relationship with his wife Tameka "Tiny" Cottle, following cheating rumors and a divorce attempt.

He also claimed everything is still amicable, despite the drama that's been simmering on social media.

He said, “I can be a better best friend than a husband.”

But this statement led Angie Martinez to shoot back, “Women hate to hear that shit.”


Yes, Angie, they do indeed.

To be fair, it seems evident TI was trying to imply he isn't cut out for marriage. He wanted to explain it would be better they remained friends, instead of him continuing to damage their relationship in a spousal arrangement that isn't for him.

But the use of the word “friend” when referring to someone you had an intimate relationship with can come off as insulting... no matter what your intentions are.

Although it may seem like a term of endearment, reducing someone to a friend after having a long, involved relationship – in this case, marriage – looks like an attempt to expunge a history you no longer want to be a part of.

It's like putting someone in the friend zone after you have a full-blown, passionate affair. And it's a way of detaching yourself from the "intimate" component of the relationship.

In comparison, using the term "ex" or "past lover" carries a whole other significance. If I were to tell you I went on vacation with a friend, you would probably imagine bar-hopping, beach-cruising and/or all-night shenanigans.

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But if I say I went on vacation with an ex, lover or person I'm dating, it easily conjures images of a vastly different type of vacation: one filled with dips in the Jacuzzi and sex at the hotel. The title you give someone will tell a story without you ever having to go into detail. That's what people who place ex-lovers in the "friend" box are trying to avoid.

You can also blame the fuckboys of the world for this distinction.

There's no hesitation in the fuckboy realm to refer to someone as a friend, in order to remove any responsibility of commitment. They're also capable of referring to someone they were once sleeping with as a friend in order to diminish the person's importance in front of someone they're currently trying to date.

Think, “She's just a friend, but YOU'RE the one I want.”


But with that being said, no woman wants to be called a "friend" by someone who obviously used to be more.

TI later made things worse by referring to his marriage as a "distraction."

He claimed that as the patriarch of the family, he should be focused on elevating his clan. But how his marriage stopped him from achieving further success is still a mystery to me.

This is especially unfair when his marriage has clearly provided him with a lot of support. It seems this realization came to him six years too late. And that's what's really infuriating about using the word "friend" in this manner.

Because, if you didn't already know, Tiny has a reputation for being a "ride or die" spouse. It's unfortunate he thought it was cute to refer to her as a "best friend" when she put her career on hold for him, held the house down while he was locked up, is the mother of three of his children AND went to jail with him.

I'm pretty sure no one who has been THAT devoted to a serious relationship is going to feel appreciated when things come to an end, and the person is then labeled a "friend" and a "distraction."

There's nothing wrong with being honest. But there's a distinct difference between saying you're going to pursue a friendship going forward and insinuating someone was only ever capable of being a friend.

So choose your words wisely.