Friends with an ex?

13:50 Lissa Reed 0 Comments


  Let me just say, from the very beginning, that when it come to this question I’m an absolute NO NO NO! However, there seems to be a great debate whether a couple can break up and still remain friends. Many people would tell me ‘Yes, it’s perfectly possible’, so after I broke up with Garrick, a guy I used to be in a (rather short) relationship with, I decided that I could try to remain friends with him, even if I never really thought it would be possible… Well, I was right, it was a complete disaster!

  I met Garrick through a group of common friends about a year after I came to London. He was a nice guy and we immediately hit it off. We had a nice relationship for as long as it lasted, it was easy going and laid back, we had fun, not very serious. It all lasted about five months. Garrick was a nice, easy going guy, a great laugh and the kind of person you would love to have with you on a night out in town.  We would go out for drinks, dinner, dancing or stay in with good food and a movie and we would still have a great time! Even though I very much liked Garrick we broke up about 5 months later due to too much fighting. We decided to break it off before it was too late and all the good memories were replaced from our fights. I was quite sad after it ended, but I knew it was for the best. And then I made the oh so unforgivable mistake of suggesting we stay friends! Seriously, what was I thinking? I knew it would be a disaster the minute I heard the words come out of my mouth!

I always knew why two people are not meant to be friends after they break up. For some unknown reason though I decided that maybe it could work out. Well, every single theory I had about why two people should never be friends after they break up, came out to be true (surprise surprise!!). Firstly, being friends with someone should be easy, effortless and not awkward and complicated. Every time Garrick and I decided to meet up as friends, even with other friends around, it was just plain awkward. We would exchange a couple of words and then look the other way or start fidgeting nervously. The most extensive conversation we would have would be about the weather or my studies or his work, but that was about it. And of course we would never look each other straight in the eyes.  Besides the whole awkwardness, for me being friends with an ex is basically like being together, but without sex. If the relationship was never very serious and it was more like an easy going fun relationship where you just like to spend time with each other, but not live together (like my relationship with Garrick), then nothing changes besides the fact that you are not having sex anymore.

 Another reason for opposing the ‘friends with an ex’ situation is the fact that you might ‘slip’ once and sleep with them again! Now, just to be sure that this is definitely a reason for NOT being friends with an ex, I had to test my luck there as well; so when one night we went out with a group of friends and Garrick happened to be there, after one too many drinks we ended up back at my place… just the two of us. We both realized what a big mistake that was the next morning, but by then it was too late. Now, there are two reasons of why you should never have sex with an ex: if it’s good then you are reminded of what you lost and you just start missing him and possibly wanting to get back together. And if it’s bad, well you just had sex with an ex, which makes you seem the sad girlfriend that can’t get over him. When guys do it though, it’s never considered to be much of a deal. If anything, it gives them credit for ‘winning the girl’ all over again.  

 And of course, there is always the matter of jealousy! What happens when one of the two meets someone else? Will you get jealous? Will you be fine with it? And let’s say that maybe, just maybe, you have absolutely no problem with him dating someone else; how much more complicated would that make the friendship between you two? And worse of the worst, will you be able to talk about their new relationship like friends are supposed to? I really don’t have an answer for that, because Garrick and I decided that being friends wasn't a good idea after we slept together that night. I wish him the best and hope he is happy, but not keeping contact with him was the best decision for both of us!  

  It is my personal belief that a break up between two people comes about because they need their distance from each other, they need time for themselves. If two people remain friends after they break up then nothing changes. Even though it is clear to me how two former lovers can never remain friends, when it comes to relationships, I couldn't help but wonder: why is it that it’s possible to turn a friendship into a relationship, but not do the reverse? Maybe it’s nature’s twisted way of making us push some people out of our lives in order to let new ones in; or maybe it’s the fact that if you broke up with someone to begin with then you know he’s no good for you, so you choose not to have him in your life! Whatever the reason is however, you should know that being friends with an ex might be good in theory, it might also seem easy when it first starts, but it’s always an excuse to keep someone next to you that you are not ready to let go off – someone that you know you can’t work it out with so you choose the next best thing in order to keep them next to you. Unfortunately, it never turns out to be good news!!

 Did you manage to stay friends with an ex? Did you make an attempt and failed? Comment and let me know! Also don’t forget to contact me with your own stories that I can use for future posts at
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