being friends with an ex

Breakups are hard. All of them.

Whether you’d convinced yourself you had found a soul mate or simply dated someone exclusively to help fill a void, flipping that mental switch from “in a relationship” to “single” means you have to get used to being alone again.

The waves of loneliness that follow a breakup can feel monumental. While I don’t have heaps of experience in this realm, over the years, there have been a handful of romantic ordeals where the demise was devastating. I experienced not just emotional anguish, but physical pain.

Breakups suck. There’s simply no other way to put it.

Of course, I recovered from each heartbreak — as you do — but the absence of that individual in my life left an infinite number of available hours during which I was now required to entertain myself; and it just takes so much effort.

Your sadness is less about missing a specific person than it is about missing the role they played in your daily routines.

So eventually, even if you’re finished with each other romantically, sometimes it’s hard not to start filling the time with them again companionably.

Because exes still have value.

If you can extract the best parts of your former relationship without stirring up old feelings or preventing each other from forming a bond with someone new, it seems like being friends with an ex is worth a try.

The whole experience doesn’t have to be this fraught, complicated thing. If anything, it can be all the good parts of your former relationship without the tension.

No longer do you have to nag them to wash the dishes, turn off the TV, pick up groceries, pay Comcast. None of that is your problem anymore. Instead, you can simply enjoy good conversation, grab a bite with someone you’re not embarrassed to choke on sushi in front of, and motivate each other on weekend runs from time to time.

It’s not rocket science. You just both agree to act civil and appreciate the parts of each other that you’re entitled to now.

It feels very doable… but maybe I’m just deluding myself.

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