7 Women Who Are Friends With An Ex Explain Why, & Their Reasons Aren't Too Surprising

There will probably always be a difference of opinion between those who say being friends with an ex is possible, and those for whom that concept seems impossible. Some people talk about befriending exes like it's the most natural way to transition from a romantic to a platonic relationship, while others insist that friendship can never work out in the long run. As someone who hasn't been able to stay friends with an ex without ample drama ensuing, I struggle to understand how some people are able to pull this off. I'm sorry, but the one and only time I attempted to keep in contact with an ex, it took what felt like forever to get over the fact that our relationship wasn't meant to be. In hindsight, I really regretted not having the strength to cut the cord and move on.

I'm always fascinated when my friends talk about how great it is to have an ex in their life as a platonic friend. From their perspective, just because a romantic relationship didn't work out, doesn't mean you have to lose that person as a friend. In theory, it does sound kind of nice if you can make it work. But in practice, is it even possible? From the female perspective, here are some people's reasons for staying friends with an ex, thanks to the lovely folks on Reddit.

Some felt like the friendship was too valuable to walk away from.

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I'm friends with my exes from longer relationships, basically because we like each other so much but have no love left/didn't work out as a couple.

u/Staaldrigstill

Two of my three best friends are former lovers. I am always very upfront about this to new partners - my current boyfriend is fine with it. He understands that I have a strong bond with them, including a certain type of love, but he is my mate. He's not threatened or jealous when I hang out with them solo. I'd be fine if he was that close with one of his exes (he isn't).

u/Melorix

Breaking up with someone doesn't make someone a bad person/friend. When I was young, I blamed the dumper and carried grief toward them. One day I realized some people just do not work as a couple. Just because we don't click romantically doesn't mean they aren't a great person that I get along with. My best friend is actually someone I dated that didn't work out. We are here for each other and love each other dearly, but we simply were not sexually compatible.

u/Pete_the_rawdog

We get along great platonically and have a lot in common. I am dating someone else now so I try my best to create my own boundaries even though he has no issues with it. My ex and I attended a lot of music festivals/events previously so that's something I don't feel is appropriate any longer. I think a lunch every now and then to catch up is a good balance.

u/elg3

I've remained on friendly terms with all my ex partners, serious or casual, unless they gave me a reason not to be friendly. Only two have ever crossed me enough to cut them out, and that was after we had ended things.
My most serious ex (dated almost 6 years, lived together, he moved halfway across the country for me) is still my best friend. He gets me like nobody else does, and I really value our friendship.

u/silentxem

Sometimes letting go of someone familiar is too tough.

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I prefer to remain friends with exes. Not being friends feels like such a void in my life. I view breakups as transitions from romantic relationships to friendships, rather than as terminations of relationships.

u/searedscallops

Sometimes the connection was purely platonic from the start.

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I had one of my ex's become one of my best friends and I actually ended up having him as a roommate for a year after we broke up. It was one of those very short lived relationships where we clicked very closely as friends and confused the friendship attraction for romantic attraction. Friendship wise things worked out great but in terms of sexual compatibility it was a complete mess (his libido was way lower than mine and it just didn't work, sex was awkward as hell). The relationship didn't last very long, maybe 4-5 months and it really wasn't a bad break up at all. It was mutual.

u/ahatmadeofshoes12

While remaining friends with an ex is totally possible, it's worth noting that it might not be for everyone, and that's OK. Especially if things didn't end on the best of terms. But if you're interested in pursuing a platonic friendship with an ex, immediately after a breakup might not be the best time.

“I’m quite suspect of those couples that break up and then tell me right away that they’re best friends,” Rachel Sussman, a New York City-based psychotherapist told Time magazine. “Time heals. A lot of insight can come with time and space apart.”

So, if staying friends is important to you, it could be a good idea to spend some time apart first, and then work your way toward a platonic, friendly relationship. This way, your friendship can start off on a fresh, clean slate.

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