Maintaining a friendship with an ex is not everyone’s cup of tea.
There are several opinions on whether you should remain friends with your ex or not and they are often contradictory. Because of any residual feelings, it would be a good idea to maintain distance. But at the same time, if you formed a good connection with that person, then it is understandable why one would want to be friends even after breaking up.
In a survey conducted in the US, 70 per cent of people said it is better to go your separate ways after a break up. Only about 15 per cent of the people are able to remain friends with their exes, which proves that it is possible to remain friends with the ex.
But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should remain friends with them. "Becoming friends with your ex requires emotional maturity, clear communication, and excellent boundaries," Christine Scott-Hudson, a licensed psychotherapist told Bustle. "Changing the form of the relationship (partners to friends) does not mean we change the content (love, value, and respect)."
Here is a list of the biggest reasons why it’s almost impossible to remain friends with the ex:
Your attachment style can make it harder to let go
Attachments are formed very early on in each relationships. The romantic attachments that we form with our partners become as strong as the attachments we have with our parents. "This is why our connection to romantic partners feel so life-and-death," said Nicholaides.
When a romantic relationship comes crashing down, it also leads to loss of stability. You don’t feel like you are loved and desired. This is why some decide to try and stay friends after breaking up. The reason why this form of friendship would work is because you've transferred your romantic attachment to another person.
Your wounds are still fresh
Sometimes, it is too soon to form any kind of a bond. Studies have proved that it takes at least three months to get over an ex partner, but this can take longer depending upon how long the relationship was.
If you are still hurting from the break up, then it would not be advisable to maintain a friendship, at least right away. Give yourself time to heal. "Even if a relationship ends mutually and on good terms, the turmoil that resulted in the break up can be fresh months and even years after," said Dr Sanam Hafeez, neuropsychologist.
You're secretly hoping to get back together
Staying friends with your ex is a way for some people to keep that person in your life. Ending relationships is always difficult and is even harder when you are not ready to let go. "It's going to be hard to be friends with them without it being torture to you and possibly uncomfortable for them," said Dr Hafeez.
Don’t be friends with the intention of getting back together one day. IF this is the case, then it is better to part ways for good, rather than cling on to any residual feelings if it can’t go anywhere.
A study conducted in 2011 showed that there are four major reasons why people choose to remain friends: security, practical reasons, civility, and unresolved attraction. This research also said that those who stayed friends in order to be civil were likely to have successful friendships.
This kind of friendship isn’t for everyone. IF you feel the need to force yourself to maintain the friendship, and then pull away, it shouldn’t be more trouble than it’s worth.