May 22, 2014 - Written by:

Can We Ever Stay Friends With Our Ex?

It is with a little bit of sadness that I write this post, but last week I was dumped, simple as that and although I’m an avid fan of rom-coms and the empowering hails of Cher and Beyonce, I didn’t exactly follow the standard Bridget-esque routine (well, there was wine).

After spending the day bonding over cats in Soho’s cat café and gallivanting through the Brick Lane, I met up with my (ex) boyfriend to have a chat (I’m not sure my jokes about the cat café being an insight into my future foreboded the conversation – but they weren’t so funny later on).

Sipping tea and listening to his reasoning why we had to end, it was upsetting for the both of us. Then we made an odd agreement, to stay in contact as friends (cue: a massive amount of ‘NOOOO’ heckles).

One Does Not SImply Joy

(Image via)

Besides the fact that due to our work schedules in the next year we couldn’t see each other and we live two trains too far away to keep committing to the relationship, as single people we actually really enjoy each other’s company and couldn’t really see any reason not to keep in contact.

However, since deciding this, I’ve had a whole load of these reasons thrown at me through my asking others whether this was the right thing to do, some being:

-He didn’t want you as a girlfriend, why should he deserve you as a friend?

-What if you want to move on?

-You weren’t friends before.

-He’s far away anyway so you won’t see him.

-Staying friends never works.

-What if either of you meet someone new?

Now these reasons all are completely fair, as everyone has their own experiences of break-ups. I definitely think it’s very personal to you how you feel about the other person and of course it depends on how the relationship ended.

But what I don’t understand is, if you are still friends and there’s no ill words to speak of each other, why can’t we just keep people in our lives who at one point you got on incredibly well with when you were more than ‘friends’?

Surely the relationship works on the principle of friendship and you don’t need to have been good friends before to develop a close and enjoyable platonic relationship?

We see it on the telly in Made in Chelsea and it seems as though everyone on that show has given his or her share of extra cuddles and kisses between the sheets with friends and yet have holidays together, go for drinks with new and old dates and even introduce their exs to their new lovers. Yes it might be staged to cause drama, but they definitely have lots of amicable feelings towards each other to have made their friendships work across seven series despite bed hopping, partner swapping and meddling.

When watching any episode where there are scenes with ‘ex’ couples, yes, it’s awkward, yes, we are bracing ourselves for a mini outburst but in the end the Bloody Marys are ordered and everyone goes back to prancing through Chelsea as if they’ve been given a air tank of laughing gas. I’ll be interested to see how the Binky and Cheater-McCheaty-Cheetos end up, no doubt back on the Bloody Marys and Instagramming their newly shimmering relationship.

As everyone is human, obviously there were the moments of anger, grief, and Beyonce (surprisingly no Adele). But, I did not skip happily away from the breakup without going through several stages of

1)   Not again

2)   Why me?

3)   Stalking social media profiles

4)   Get me wine

5)   Come here cat.

6)   Dancing to Single Ladies with the fuel of several beverages

But after having my own acceptance process I decided that whatever will be will be, you’ll never know how things will go or what will happen if you put an end to them before you try. Maybe one of us will meet someone new, maybe we will fall out of contact or maybe we’ll just send funny pictures of cats and Lego and enjoy our friendship.

My own reasons for staying in contact with my ex or friend as I’d prefer to say is that I’d rather have him in my life as a friend than not at all. I find it very difficult to hate anything or anyone and maybe I am doing the wrong thing in some people’s eyes. Personally, I know my own emotions best and I think the worst part of a breakup is the cut-off but if you’re honest with each other and believe you can make it work then why on earth would you put yourself through that?



If you liked this article, check out ‘Man-Tox: The 10 Step Break Up Recovery Plan’ and ‘The Emotional Constipation of British Dating’.



1 Comment

  • Lauren Williams

    One of my exes is my best friend in the whole world – it took a lot of work to get past the messy emotions but it was worth it. Now we lunch on a weekly basis and his girlfriend and I are really close. If you think you can get through it then do 🙂 you worked together for a reason after all! Xxx

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