Do you have to be friends w/ an ex?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2003
Do you have to be friends w/ an ex?
5
Sat, 10-04-2003 - 9:36pm
I've taken my time to work through my feelings (hurt, sadness, loss, pain, etc.). No contact was the only way to go, and now I feel good about myself, life, etc. I think largely b/c I feel good w/ where I'm at in life. :) I'm casually/slowly getting back into the dating world and it feels good, too. So my question -- do you have to be friends w/ your ex? In my case, my ex is a part of the (broad) social world I'm in, and her sister is dating one of my best friends so seeing each other is inevitable. Of course, when I have seen her, I've been friendly/civil but that's the extent of my interest.

I wonder b/c I've had 3 other significant relationships in my life and am really good friends w/ 2 of my exes. It just didn't make any sense to try to find a friendship w/ the 3rd other ex (after our breakup). (If it helps, w/ the 4th, most recent ex, we dated for about 9+ months and broke up about 4 months ago.)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Sun, 10-05-2003 - 12:10am
It depends on what you expect that friendship to be, and if keeping the friendship will not strain or disrupt the *current* life you now have and seem to be enjoying.

In my opinion, no, you don't "have" to. But maybe you have your reasons for wanting to. (Do you *want* to? To me, "having to..." and "wanting to..." have different emotional motivations.) People have their unique ways in dealing with break-ups or thoughts of reconnecting, if at all, even as friends. But like any relationship, you and she both have to mutually accept the circumstances of any renewed contact, beyond the civil yet superficial courtesies. (Are you sure that *she* would want to be friends with you as well?)

It sounds from your post (towards the end) that there really isn't any point to be friends with her. Treat her like anybody you would. You shared a past, and sometimes things are best left there. Also, what works for any of your other exes, does not mean it would work for *this* one. Only you know that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 10-05-2003 - 5:15am
actually, the opposite: it's better if you put some distance between you and your ex...
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 10-05-2003 - 11:10am
Of course not - polite and civil is more than adequate, IMHO.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2003
Sun, 10-05-2003 - 7:34pm
Thanks for the opinions everyone. You all helped confirm what I was thinking I should continue doing - being friendly/civil and that's it. This is the first ex who's remained a part of my social world so it's rather new for me. Things will be fine though - I don't think much of it when I see her so I take it that that's a good sign.

If we're meant to be true friends, that'll work itself out naturally but for now, I have no desire to.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2003
Mon, 10-06-2003 - 11:51am
"Being friends" w/an ex works--til 1 or the other starts dating someone else. Then it can be a little tricky.

My best bet is, if you broke up w/someone, it was for a reason--so then, best that you maintain no contact w/them, other than civility or politeness when necessary.

Ash