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Should You Stay Friends With Your Ex? - The Bad News
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Should You Stay Friends With Your Ex?  -  The Bad News

If your ex has suggested remaining friends after you split up, it seems like a good idea. You can't possibly imagine going through your life without them in it. You've invested a lot of time, energy and effort into a relationship that has crumbled around you - so why not get something out of it anyway? Even if it's not the result you were looking for, at least it's something so you don't simply leave empty-handed. You need to carefully consider the ramifications of this decision before you jump in with both feet, however. It may be even more perilous than you imagine - and it is ultimately better for you to simply accept the split as it stands and decide to move forward.

It's not hard to understand the appeal that maintaining a friendship with your ex has - or why so many people attempt a friendship that ultimately fails. On paper, it looks like the perfect set up. You get to keep your ex around and you don't have to deal with the loss of a relationship and the loss of one of your close friends simultaneously. The reality is far from the ideal image, however. Things are not often always what they seem.

Think back to before the beginning stages of your romance. Your ex probably didn't appear out of the blue like a knight in shining armor or a princess. They were probably already a part of your life - maybe you initially began as friends before things took a more romantic turn. That can make the prospect of friendship even more attractive.

Aside from the inevitable hurt involved with a failed romance-turned friendship, things may seem better than normal at first. You already know each other well. Your ex sometimes acts like they know you better than you know yourself, so they're a natural listening ear when you need some advice or direction. Ultimately you reconnect with your bond and try to simply ignore the fact that your friendship used to mean something much more to both of you.

When you enter into a friendship that is purely platonic with an ex, you willingly engage in some potentially dangerous behavior. Depending on which breakup scenario your fallout contained, you're going to face some issues that will have to be resolved - or else your friendship is going to fall apart at the seams, if it's not doomed to fail entirely. Ultimately, breakups go one of two ways - and depending on the path that your breakup took, the following two options are the ones you're going to have to deal with.

- You ended things with your ex:

If you broke off the romantic relationship and moved swiftly into friendship, you effectively guaranteed that your ex is going to have ulterior motives behind their reasons for being your friend. A breakup doesn't squash romantic feelings. It doesn't turn off love. It doesn't make the longing for deeper connections suddenly disappear. Your ex is after a renewed romantic relationship, plain and simple. They simply see a friendship as a way to stay in your life until you either change your mind or are open to the possibility of being convinced to give the romance another shot.

- Your ex ended things with you:

If you're on the flip side of the breakup coin, however, you know the above paragraph all too well, don't you? You are in that position of wanting your relationship back, and you're willing to do whatever it takes to make that dream into a reality. If that means being your ex's friend for now until you can take things a step further, so be it. You don't want to deal with the loneliness of not having your ex around, so if friendship is what you have to do to have them around; you're willing to put in the time to make it work because eventually they're going to come around again.

No matter how genuine your efforts at making a friendship out of a failed relationship are, they're going to make the loss of your romance even more profound to whichever party was ultimately left behind. Instead of mending wounds, it enhances them and makes them even more painful over time. The person that ended the relationship gets to continue like nothing's happened and it's like rubbing salt in the wound of their new "friend" - all of which will lead to an eventual blowup, often of epic proportions.

What Are the Chances of a Renewed Relationship?

Are you so good at burying your emotions that you weren't even aware of them yourself? If you're starting to wake up to the underlying reality behind your motivations for a friendship, you may need to take some time to evaluate your course of action before acting impulsively.

The plain truth of the matter is that friendship does not lead to romance if you've already given the romance a shot. It seems like it should, especially if you and your ex were friends prior to dating. Unfortunately, that was a one-shot deal, and it's not likely to be repeated once your relationship has come to an end.

You Said Yes Before You Considered the Implications

It's natural to agree to things before you really have the chance to think them through. You're so anxious to hold onto something that you don't realize quite what it's going to cost you overall, and it seems like it's too late by the time you realize you potentially made a fatal mistake. Don't count yourself out just yet - you can work towards rebuilding your romantic relationship without isolating your ex entirely, if you're willing to put in the effort.

Honesty is the best policy in any relationship, and your situation is ultimately no different. Don't phrase things in a way that could be perceived as an ultimatum - simply view it as a method to come clean and lay your feelings out on the table. It's better to take the time to do it now, before things get too far out of hand. You want to put the possibility out there without forcing them into doing something they'll regret. Ultimately if it comes down to a choice between watching you walk out of their life for good or agreeing to the possibility of giving your relationship another chance, you may be surprised at how positively they respond - as long as you play your cards right and avoid trying to force their hand.

What To Do Next

Answering the question "should you stay friends with your ex?" is a hard one. Ultimately though you have to make a wise decision based on your own intuition. You do not want to hurt your ex unduly or ruin a potentially great friendship down the road. If you are not interested in a romantic relationship with your ex then friendship is an option, but you have to be sure that your ex has no residual feelings left for you either.

If you want to win your ex back then friendship at this stage is a big no no. There are more constructive things that you should be doing to make this happen. One of these things is to understand why you were dumped in the first place, only then can you make things right.

Also watch out for signs your ex likes you. There will be subtle clues, so learn to spot them.

Street Talk

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