More often than not, romantic relationships come to an end. It’s like relationships are products with a fixed shelf-life. There’s not much you can do to change things. As you get closer to the expiry date, the cracks in the relationship start to show. 

But, here’s an interesting question; a question that many of us ask at some point in our lives – is it possible to stay friends with the ex? More importantly, should one stay friends with an ex? Well, there is no clear-cut answer here to guide us. 

However, let’s explore the question by looking at it from various angles.  

The Time Factor

A break up can be devastating. Of course, the dumped one always hurts more, but that doesn’t mean the “dumpee” isn’t regretting his/her decisions either. Anyway, the point here is that there is obviously some emotional stress and pain involved and that, unfortunately, doesn’t establish the right foundations for a friendship. 

So, if you do want to become friends with an ex, give it time. Give it all the time in the world. You need to heal from the pain before you can make healthy decisions. Immediately moving into the “friendzone” without giving yourself some time is a horrible idea. 

To put it simply, your break-up needs to become a thing of the past before you can have a cordial relationship with your ex in the present. 

Plus, the time in between can allow you to enjoy new experiences and even reassess your relationship to see where things went wrong. 

So, essentially, what we are saying is you can be friends with an ex, but it definitely requires time. 

Your Current Relationship

Now, let’s say you’ve decided that it’s okay to be friends with your ex and your ex thinks the same too. But, the problem isn’t yet over. You see, there’s another issue to factor in – the current partner. If you and your ex are currently dating, you need to factor in the feelings of your respective partners. 

Unfortunately, in this life, we all have to deal with something called ‘jealousy’ and humans are not too impervious when it comes to that particular emotion. Plus, your current partners are justified in developing feelings of jealousy. After all, the “love of their life” is now friends with someone who used to be their “one and only” at some point in time. There’s bound to be some insecurity and tension. 

So, make sure you consider the feelings of your respective partners, especially if you are in serious relationships. You don’t want another heart-wrenching break-up, do you? If it does come down to choosing between being friends with your ex or keeping your current partner happy, choose the latter. 

Your ex is not the important one here. Your relationship with him/her already failed and for obvious reasons. You don’t want to lose something good for something that ended ages ago. 

However, if your respective current partners are tolerant and understanding, then it should be fine. 

The Person

Finally, it all comes down to the person. What kind of person was your ex? You see, there’s obviously a few reasons why you ended the relationship. Now, more often than not, the reasons for a breakup tend to be “normal”. 

Maybe, you guys weren’t meant for each other. Maybe, you were just two very different people. Maybe, you both had different goals in life. Or maybe, you even broke up over some really silly stuff. It’s possible to recover from all of that. 

But, then, there are some things you cannot recover from. If your ex was/is a/an [add every negative adjective possible] monster, maybe you shouldn’t be friends with them. That’s just a matter of common sense. 

In the world of psychology, they call it Stockholm syndrome (Google it if you don’t know what it means). So, yes, avoid the toxic ex at all times and for all reasons.