0044 – Can You Stay Friends With Your Ex Partner?

SEO Show Description

Should you continue to speak to your ex after you’ve broken up? Or will the continued contact cause more problems than good?

Teaser Bullets

by the end of this episode you’ll learn:

  • Reasons why people break up
  • Should you stay friends with your ex
  • Tips for keeping your ex as a friend
  • Mistakes people make when staying friends with their ex

Describe the problem

from listener Elizabeth

Everything that has a beginning, supposedly has an end; and relationships are no different…right? More and more people are choosing to evolve romantic relationships, into friendships after the romance has left the building. Are they on to something we’re missing? Are they a more enlightened form of humanity that we should all aspire to be? Or are they just trying to keep their ex close to plot another run at some of that good, good loving?

Segment #1

  • Reasons why people break up
    • Dr. Mark Goulston | Why relationships end
      • Relationships end not because you stop loving each other, but because you stop liking and/or stop feeling liked by each other.
      • A frequent cause of this is that one partner is constantly trying to make the other partner into what he or she needs that other partner to be and dislikes and resents that other partner for not going along with it, and for not appreciating it.  Over time the other partner comes to feel hurt, then resentment, then anger and finally emotionally shuts down and withdraws to protect himself or herself from feeling so disliked by the first partner.  At that point the relationship has turned into an arrangement, because all the relating to each other has been replaced by resentment.  Game over (sadly, some couples remain together for years after reaching this point).
      • Wouldn’t you (sadly) agree?
  • Should you stay friends with your ex
    • Thought Catalog |  Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be Friends With Your Ex
      • It’ll be tortuous, especially if you still want to sleep with them. You’re no longer allowed to do so. You own no more stocks on their body. You’ve been bought out. As you sit there actively trying to be friends, you’re going to grow resentful about the fact that you can longer kiss them. Just a little while ago, you could do whatever you wanted to their body and their face, and now it’s the one thing you’re not allowed to touch. You might just scream at them, “Why can’t I just touch your penis/vagina anymore?! It used to be mine to touch. Give it back!” I wouldn’t actually recommend saying that though because you might be called crazy.
    • Lipstiq.com | Should You Stay Friends with an Ex?
      • If you’ve stopped getting attracted to the little things he does – Imagine the time when the both of you are out with a group of friends having a drink at a bar. You then notice his gorgeous smile and have the urge to kiss him but let’s face it; you can’t. Not only is this mentally and emotionally torturing, having these urges would only leave you digging back into the past and that’s definitely a no-no. (You Should)
      • If you won’t be able to accept that he has someone new – If you’re not ready to see him with someone else, then that’s a clear sign signifying that you shouldn’t think of being friends just yet. Whether he is seeing someone else as a rebound or he has really taken an interest in her, you have to acknowledge the fact that he is no longer yours and that you shouldn’t be poking your nose into his business. Don’t go around spreading nasty things about the other person just because you’re upset. (You Shouldn’t)


Tell us about a time that an ex wanted to be friends, but you said no. Why? You can also post your comments on our Facebook page at  www.facebook.com/haverelations.

Get the show notes, links to all of the articles discussed in the show, and cool stuff we don’t talk about on the show sent right to your email. www.relationspodcast.com/subscribe

Segment #2

  • Tips for keeping your ex as a friend
    • SheKnows.com | 15 Keys to remaining friends with your ex
      • Don’t rehash the problems the two of you had

      • While it might be tempting to use every meeting as a chance to pick at old wounds, don’t do it, says Steinorth. “Leave your past issues in the past and begin focusing on your friendship,” she advises. “Most of us don’t argue and bicker with our friends so now that your relationship status has changed from romantic relationship to friendship, leave the arguing and bickering out of it.”
      • Be nice to the new beau

      • It’ll be tough, but if your ex has a new girlfriend, be pleasant. “This sends a very reassuring message to your ex and the new partner that you are not going to be a threat,” Orbuch explains. “You may even find that your ex welcomes a new friendship between you and his new partner.”
      • If you have children, respect your ex as your child’s other parent

      • “Whether or not you have children, respect your ex as a person you once loved enough to marry no matter how mistaken you might have been,” advises Tessina. “You once had hopes and dreams with this person. Though the dreams have died, and been replaced by new ideas, the person you once dreamed with deserves your respect.”
      • Don’t let the friendship hold you back

      • Being friends with your ex can sometimes backfire if you let it and keep you from moving forward. “Don’t allow your friendship to impede you from dating and forming new romantic relationships,” says Sussman.
  • Mistakes people make when staying friends with their ex
    • HerCampus.com | The Do’s and Don’ts of Staying Friends with an Ex
      • Don’t meet for dinner, unless you have a (good!) reason for it.
      • Meeting for dinner is as close as you can get to an actual date, and it often feels like one if you haven’t made the date or non-date aspect clear. It can be done, though, Dr. Major says, as long as you have ground rules set first. “It’s best if you’re meeting for a specific purpose – like discussing something [other than each other!],” Dr. Major says. It’s also important to keep dinner short, he says. Don’t stay for dessert, extra wine, or coffee afterwards. Dr. Major says, usually when ex couples choose to meet up for dinner it’s their way of seeing if they want to get back together. “There’s nothing wrong with that,” Dr. Major says. “But just be honest with yourself, and about why you’re there.” Definitely don’t send mixed messages! To help keep conversations and meet-ups brief, suggest grabbing a cup of coffee or lunch instead of the more formal dinner.
    • SparkLife | Ask Jono: Being Friends With An Ex
      • DON’T flirt accidentally.
      • This is pretty self-explanatory; just don’t start telling lurid stories about showering or bras or whatever in front of this guy. Don’t text him a :3 face at two in the morning. Don’t pluck at his shirt, even if there is a giant caterpillar on there. Don’t put your arm around him unless you are reaching across him to fondle a hotter boy. You get the idea.

Tell us about an ex that you successfully transitioned into a friend. You can also post your comments on our Twitter page at  www.twitter.com/haverelations.

Get the show notes, links to all of the articles discussed in the show, and cool stuff we don’t talk about on the show sent right to your email. www.relationspodcast.com/subscribe


Final Thoughts:

  • Elijah’s Thoughts
  • Sarah’s Thoughts


In Closing

In closing, on behalf of my fantastic co-host, Sarah J. Storer, author of “How to be Dumped: The Definitive Breakup Guide” I want to thank you for spending time with us today, now let’s continue the conversation at relationspodcast.com/44 and:


Final Question:

Tell us about a time that being friends with your ex did/didn’t work.

Tell us about it in the comment section and let’s see if we can’t continue to relate to one another. We’ll talk soon.

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