Sorry, in matters of love and relationships, it is better to have no bread at all than get half a loaf. Call it the counter-intuitive logic of love.
Psychological Reasons Why You Should Not Be Friends With Your Ex
There are psychological reasons why it is a bad idea to be friends with your Ex. First is the logic of breaking up. Simply, the purpose of a breakup is to create an emotional space and time to find new love. What this means is that, even if you and your Ex will get back together, it will be a new relationship. Being friends with your Ex will therefore only stand in the way of you moving on or starting a new relationship with your Ex.
Secondly, breaking up, is a process. It begins with the pain of rejection and progresses through feelings of loneliness – sometimes tinged with regret and disappointment – and ends with a acceptance and closure. Only then does a person get the self confidence and ability to attract and woo a new lover. Again, this process applies even if you want, and in fact end up, getting back together with your Ex. You still have to go through the pain, disappointment and acceptance, then woo your Ex afresh. For details about that see our article, making your ex realize their mistake.
Being friends with your Ex therefore only interferes with the breaking up healing process. It reduces the pain of a breakup and delays acceptance. It’s like a halfway house between prison and freedom. So avoid it at all costs. Remember, you want your Ex to miss you as much as possible, especially if you hope to win him or her back and you need time out to think clearly. For details on that see our article on why you must ignore your ex to get them back. Plus, even if it’s difficult for you to accept, you also need to feel the pain too so that you can become a better lover to your Ex, if you get them back, or to whoever comes after.
In short, there is no half a loaf in matters of love: either you have the full loaf or you have nothing. You are either in prison or totally free.
Practical Reasons Why You Should Not Be Friends With Your Ex
There are also practical reasons why being friends with your Ex is bad policy. First, it creates awkward moments. You are used to touching them freely, even in public or among friends, so now how are you supposed to behave? That awkwardness is also a signal that you remain captive to your Ex when you should be learning to be free.
A second problem is the unnecessary heartache of watching your Ex flirting with someone else or maybe even witnessing them being cuddly and all lovey-dovey with a new lover. It is not only unnecessary pain but also a possible trigger that may push you into jumping into new and potentially disastrous relationships just to keep up appearances.
Third, being friends with your Ex stands in the way of you moving on. It makes it harder to meet, attract and charm a new lover because your Ex remains stuck in your mind. You end up comparing anyone you meet with your Ex, which is really unfair to your prospective new lover. You are simply not open to a new relationship as long as your old flame is still part of your life. Think: how is anyone supposed to take you as their lover when you still spend time with your Ex or have long phone conversations with them?
Finally, the last thing you want is to be the spare wheel of your Ex. You don’t want them to keep you around just in case they don’t find someone new. It makes you look weak and makes your ex feel superior.
So how do you deal with the suggestion by your Ex that you should remain friends? As always, be friendly and calm. Be nice. But refuse. Say you don’t think it’s a good idea or you don’t think you can handle it.
And also remember: If you plan to win back your Ex, the suggestion that you remain friends is in fact a very good opportunity. Don’t accept the suggestion, of course. But this time, say it’s a good idea but you need time to think about it. Then take the advice of our article on avoiding contact with your Ex for at least 30 days. After that, use the advice of our article on rebuilding your Ex’s attraction to win back your Ex as a lover not a friend.