Mon, 06 May 2013 Relationship

I Hate Being Friends With My Ex: Hear What The Experts Say

By ICACA AfricaSankofa
I Hate Being Friends With My Ex: Hear What The Experts Say

If you read the heading and shook your head by saying: “I am friends with my ex, dummy PREKESE !” Then this article is clearly not for you.

According to a US 2004 poll, 48 percent of people surveyed said they stayed friends with their ex post split, while 18 percent said they tried to, but it did not work out.

This article is for the 18 percent of us (myself included) who have tried, but failed to stay friends with a former flame.

First a disclaimer: I am not saying you can't be friends with any exes. Some people are perfect capable of being “buddies” with their past loves, particularly if their break-ups were mutual, the relationship was more platonic than passionate, or if they jointly outgrew each other. Infact I am friends with few exes. “Hehehehehe” You are laughing at my confessions while you are happily keeping yours intact. Reflect today:

Those exes that I cannot be friends with are the ones who broke my heart. And too often, they are the only exes that I actually want to be friends with.

In most Ghanaian or that matter African relationship break-ups, if the cause is not a mutual one and a quarrel ensued, all sorts of not too-complimentary words are exchanged including deadly curses. In some relationships, when a once-good relationship is ending, it's not uncommon for one of the two people involved to suggest the “let's be friends” line. Though it sounds good at the time, being friends immediately after breaking up usually isn't a wise idea according to relationship experts. PREKESE GHANAMEDIA writes, with inputs from PsychologyToday, Huffingtonpost and YourTango. .

It doesn't allow you to move on
According to a recent poll, 71 percent of people surveyed admitted that they thought about their ex “too much” – and more than 57 percent of singles said that “thinking about their ex prevents them finding new love.”

When you stay friends with your ex, there will always be a part of you that yearns and aches for him/her. By remaining friends, you will never fully allow yourself to move on and find someone new. This will hold you back from dating, and it will definitely hinder your ability to find love again.

You need some time to work through the feelings of a break up:

A big, looming question after the breakup seems to be, “Can we still be friends?” Unfortunately the answer is probably no. There are several reasons for this, but first and foremost is that even after the most amicable breakup, the people involved need some time so they can work through their feelings and sift through the ruins of the relationship. Even if it was not an emotional high-wire act, as many breakups are, there needs to be time apart to break the bond of “the couple.”

Most people cannot remain friends after a breakup, but if it ever is to be, it will be later… much later. The atmosphere immediately following a breakup is too emotionally charged for it to happen right away, if at all.

A US ex couple tried to be friends post split and were going to dinner almost every day then one day the dinner turned into a shouting incident: If you're going to be friends — ever — the first eight months is probably not the time, no matter how amicable it seems on the surface.

The person who pushes to be friends is usually the one who has unfinished business but doesn't want to own that or doesn't want the responsibility of the relationship, but is unwilling to completely relinquish the ex. That is a selfish motive and not fair to the other person. Do your work and let the other person do their work and heal. It is not fair to string someone along as a “friend” because you can't deal with the pain of having them out of your life completely.

If you're the one who is asking to be friends, examine your motives. Are you trying to avoid your grief? Are you playing a game? Are you unwilling to really break all ties but don't want the relationship either? Do you want benefits without responsibility? Do you want to hurt someone else because you don't want to be in a relationship but you don't want to let go completely either? If so, that's dysfunctional and wrong.

Just a few weeks ago, you two were telling each other everything under the sun. Your personal problems, your emotions, and your thoughts. However, being just friends may make you feel as though you have to limit what information you now share with each other. This makes for a tough friendship.

Its emotional torture
So, you two decide to hang-out and go to dinner together just as friends. You're having a good time, laughing and smiling, and suddenly your feelings for him come rushing back. You want to hug him, kiss him, touch him, but you can't, because you're just friends. That is just pure emotional torture.

It creates false hope
Even if you don't want to admit it, there is always going to be a sense of false hope, if you stay friends with your ex. That false hope is either going to impact you, him, or both of you. It's likely that one of you secretly hopes that by staying friends, you can eventually start to date again and things will get back to how they were.

You're taking a step back
When you're dating someone, you're bound to see and do things that you wouldn't do if you were just friends. You've seen each other unclothed, done some crazy things in bed, and you've learned things that you otherwise wouldn't know if you were strictly friends from the get-go. These past experiences can make being just friends extremely complicated.

It's awkward for your families
You met his mom, she loved you. Your dad became really good friends with your ex. By becoming just friends, your families are also put into an odd position. How are they supposed to treat your ex, and vice versa? Do you still hang out with them, or have dinner together? It creates way too many questions.

You can't really start fresh
Going from a couple to just friends doesn't allow for a fresh start. Instead, there's sure to be plenty of mixed signals. You're used to calling each other pet names and all of your inside jokes are still alive and well. You two are bound to act like you did when you were a couple, even though you're no longer dating. The situation becomes outright confusing.

It's unhealthy
You've both been hurt by the relationship ending, and even as friends, you're probably still going to be hurting. The longer you two are hanging out and seeing each other, the longer the hurt is going to be there. This is why it's best to break things off completely, and instead invest yourself in people and activities that make you happy and allow you to heal and move on.

You're the perfect hook-up target
Ex sex is easy, it's convenient, it's comfortable, and it's something you know. However, it is not healthy or ideal. If you two start hooking up here and there, not only are you crossing the boundaries for being just friends, but you complicate the entire situation, and before you know it, you may be back into the circle of dating, breaking up, and becoming friends.

You may ruin the chances of future friendship
Nothing says that you two can't be friends in the long run, once you two have moved on and gotten over each other as well as the hurt from breaking up. By becoming friends right after breaking up, you may ruin your chances of having a solid friendship in the future. It's best to wait and let the dust settle before jumping into a friendship.

If your ex is asking you to be friends, don't let him or her manipulate or guilt you into it. Your healing is what matters, not impressing your ex with your ability to be okay with the friends thing. It's okay if you don't want to be friends. It's more than okay, it's healthy. So, if you're the person who is being asked, say no. Short and sweet. Pure and simple.

Don't try to explain or rationalize — just say no or maybe no, not now. The problem with saying “not now” is that it will usually be followed by “When?” and you just don't know. No is a one-word sentence. Say it and then go. No further explanation necessary. Again, being friends with your ex can be a minefield. Don't try to cross it in the early stages of the breakup.

The early stage is about you taking care of you. You need time and space to heal. Be good to you and the healing will happen.

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