4 Signs You're Ready To Be Friends With Your Ex & Move On For Good
Letting go of a romantic relationship with an ex is no easy feat. Fortunately, if you can both manage to leave the past in the past, it's possible to maintain a friendship. If you notice the signs you're ready to be friends with your ex, this could mean a platonic relationship is on the horizon. According to NYC-based relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter, once you've both taken the time and space to heal, you might find that having a friendship with an ex feels surprisingly natural.
"Being friends with your ex may prove more rewarding than when they were your lover," Winter tells Elite Daily. "As friends, all the tension is gone and you can relax. Now that the romantic element has been removed, you may find yourself enjoying their company to a far greater extent." Let's face it, not everyone we date is going to be a good match. That said, you can still enjoy the elements of their personality that you found initially attractive. Just because a relationship didn't work out romantically, doesn't mean you can't still be part of each other's lives. If rekindling a friendship is something you're both interested in, here are some signs that it's time to hang.
1. You no longer feel a romantic connection.
One of the most important aspects of transitioning from partners to friends is ensuring that you've both gotten over your feelings for each other. "You must get passed the point of wanting each other romantically," says Winter. "This means you're truly capable of being friends, and being 'friends' isn't a ploy to be lovers again."
2. You don't feel resentful.
Typically, being friends works out best between people who had a somewhat chill relationship. "Ideally, you have very little baggage with your ex," explains Winter. "The relationship worked until it didn't, so you don't harbor any deep-seated resentments." After a breakup, it's common to feel upset with your ex for any mistakes they might have made. However, if being friends is something you both want, then letting go of any lingering negativity is key.
3. You didn't have a messy breakup.
"If, you had a drama-free partnership that was civil, rather than a roller coaster of excessive highs and lows," cultivating a friendship post-breakup might be easier than you think. "[That's because] your breakup didn't leave you emotionally dismantled," says Winter.
4. You genuinely believe you're better off as friends.
"When we like someone, humans tend to sexualize that attraction," explains Winter. "But that doesn't mean a sexual relationship is the best choice of expression for our attraction. Oftentimes, we discover our 'liking' of another person is based upon enjoying their company and admiring their qualities but we default to the romantic model out of habit, rather than choice." Once you've come to the realization that your ex might have been destined to be a close friend all along, then this is a sure-fire sign that you're ready to start building a new connection.
It's important to remember that not every ex is meant to be a lifelong friend. Some relationships and subsequent breakups are so traumatizing and hostile that going your separate ways really might be your best option. According to Winter, it will likely also take some healing and processing time before you and your ex are ready to be friends, so being patient with each other is also key. Ultimately, working on a friendship with an ex is a mutual decision so make sure you're both ready before venturing down that road.