Can you really be friends with your ex?

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by Vonvon87, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. Vonvon87

    Vonvon87 Member

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    my girlfriend of 3 years has recently called an end to our relationship, it was a very happy, loving and caring relationship. we were both very in sync with each other and were laughing a joking right up until out of the blue she decided it was over.

    bit of back story she suffers with depression, and has since started a course of medication, has had a change of co-workers all young and mostly single who started asking her out for drinks after work. i never stop her as i had to work till 10pm between 2-3 days a week and did not want her sitting alone in the house. Being her first girlfriend she found it a strain her mum would not accept us, it was only a year after living together than she told her i had moved in. her mum did start mentioning me more i even got a happy new year in a text sent to my then girlfriend. She says that she feels that whilst she still loves and cares for me she sees me as a best friend.

    obivously at first i wanted to cut all ties, but i could see how sad she was i left the home we had made as it was her house, i returned a day later to collect some work thing giving her some space,there were tears and i asked again if there was any chane , she said no. we sat and had a really healthy long conversation, i said that unlike my previous two exes who had cheated i could not be mad and would like to be friends.... she was delighted with this and hoped my family would still talk to her as she really liked them ( i have to say her dad was devesatated we broke up) the idea of not losing her out of my life totally has been whats keeping me strong and we've texted a little every day. however i keep getting sudden crashes of sadness and miss all the little thing hugs, kisses being on the sofa curled up waching netflix.

    it's hard to not want to just text her and go round for a hug and the idea of anyone else being with her kills me, all my family are in long term relationships and i dont know anyone who has remained friends with and ex, can it happen ? and if so does it get easier?

    vx
     
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  2. ThenAndNow

    ThenAndNow Member

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    My ex too decided to walk away after 'three' years. I do have an ex that is friendly with me and we still text and talk. But, she was different in that we both called it off with mutual consent.

    However, with my current ex girlfriend, I am struggling to re-position her in my life as a friend. I have tried to be 'friends' with her immediately after the break up because I did not want to let her go. If I see her in front of me now, I can only remember her as that woman who slept effortlessly next to me, giving me all of her. That image of her will never leave my eyes when I see her. After she called it off, I ran like a race horse without blinkers, I saw too much that I did not know where to run. Like a teen, I deleted her from the contact list on my phone, blocked her number to never see her texts, I burned with vengeance and anger and then cried like a baby at night and fell into sleep alone. After going through shock, anger, dismay, disbelief, I finally stopped to fight myself and unblocked her from my phone. I am glad I did that because I can only change myself. I feel happy and proud about myself.

    It is easy for her because she chose to leave our relationship first and I cannot burn myself thinking about who gets to have her next. I thank God and keep myself pure and move on. Although I have those weak moments where I miss her presence in my life immensely, I stop ever trying to 'retain' her in my life as a friend. I still get sympathy texts from the ex every other day, she checks to see if I got my pulse and that I am not dead yet.

    One moment, I did give up my resistance and called her but then realized it is not worth trying to be 'friend' with a person who failed at being my life partner and who walked away so easily and abruptly.

    Friendship is purely unconditional without the benefits of those temporary sexual pleasures. And those real friends who would find time for us and be there for us (without any sexual benefits) are true gems and need to be held in a very special place in our heart. I did not want to give the ex that place because the moment she quit on me, she failed my trust. And, she can never be my friend.
     
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  3. Vonvon87

    Vonvon87 Member

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    thanks for you reply...

    thanks how i felt and dealt with my previous 2 exs i was so mad at them and hurt turned into anger and i get what you are saying in the final bit.

    this time feels different i might just be trying to clutch at straws , i suppose i need to take things one day at a time and see what happens,

    vx
     
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  4. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

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    You need enough distance between the relationship and ultimate friendship, if that is your goal. That is, you need enough time to allow yourself to grieve and be over it before you can be friends. I'm "friends" with certain exes but when I say friends...we're cordial. We tried friendships in the past...but ultimately after time and distance, the relationships grew opposite and withered and maybe are considered Facebook friendships and that's it.

    In all fairness, I am friends with an ex boyfriend -- we became friends after we dated because we work in the same profession. He's now married with children, i'm married, and we've been friends for triple the time we ever dated -- and it works and there's absolutely no pressure or tension or anything there other than friendship. I've known him for about 20 years now...and we only dated for 4 of those at the very beginning of the 20....So, yes, it can happen in the right circumstances. And, I'm still friends with his family...and we are social from time to time..his wife and he will come over for dinner, or we'll go out....but it took a lot of time to build this friendship from a completely different perspective from when we once dated.
     
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  5. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    It could happen, but it would be so much easier when you have already moved on and are in a stable relationship of your own. It is not about being angry with her, it is about really building your own life as a single person, and a happy single person at that.

    Side note: You seem like a happy person in your very foundation, and it is really her loss. It will still suck for a while, but I think you will recover well and once you are on the other side of this, you will be able to find someone who will suit you better.

    Side side note: A lot of people break up and say they will stay friends, but a lot of times it just does not happen. Please don't feel guilty if it doesn't, it is just the way it is with breakups.
     
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  6. Lauren_1989

    Lauren_1989 Active Member

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    I think that 9 times out of 10, being friends with your ex is a stop gap to them becoming a less and less import any part of your life. It eases the pain of the break up on both sides (because even if you end a relationship, you're still losing something too), and eventually the friendship either fizzes out or resets itself all together.

    I think being friends with an ex you're still in love with is difficult to say the least, I'd say almost impossible. You're not moving on with your life if you're still 'BBF's' with your ex, your torturing yourself because they're so near, yet so far, until the day they meet someone else and you have to take the plunge all over again.
     
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  7. Vonvon87

    Vonvon87 Member

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    Thanks for your replies. ive still got things at hers so i still am in contact and there is alot of stuff we need to sort around stuff we bought as a couple.
    it's going to be a long process what ever happens i guess, i suppose its the feeling of being forgotten that is keeping me from cutting her out.

    cheers guys
    Vx
     
    #7
  8. TheScandinavian

    TheScandinavian Well-Known Member

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    It was possible for me and an ex girlfriend. We're best friends and we are even roommates and are taking care of her dog. However, it was a mutual break up for us so no hard feelings. I
    Would it work in your case? For now I'll say "no" since as you stated-you want to hug her out of nowhere etc. However, excluding the relationship part I really believe that you need to ask yourself whether you need her and want her in your life as a friend, as a person you can learn from. If it's "yes", you should give it a try and see how it goes :)
     
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  9. Christy-lee

    Christy-lee New Member

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    I am friends with all my ex's, even the one that turned out bad in the end and the one who emotionally brought me down. There was a lot of misunderstanding on my ex's part and she hated me.We had broken up and not talked apart from a nasty Facebook message she sent me. (Made me cry it was that horrible) We actually saw each other out one night and started to talk about everything that happened. She realised she took the things I was doing/saying the wrong way. (She was going through a lot of personal things herself at the time, so I guess you could say she was vulnerable.)We are good friends now and we talk on Facebook all the time (she moved away). I cherish our friendship so much and the fact that we can be friends after everything that happened is so amazing.

    So yes I do believe you can be friends with your ex's, but if you still have feelings for her the only way to get over them is to have time away from her so you can heal. Of course she will always be special to you, that will never go away, but if you truly want to be friends with her you need to tell her how you feel and explain that you need some time away to heal. You can't be texting her everyday because it won't give you a chance to move on. Being friends with ex's is sometimes the best thing because you grow from what you went through with each other and it brings you closer. The one that hated me is the one person I can talk to about anything and she is always there to listen and give advice, and vice versa. It made us closer in a lot of ways. It does take the people involved to be mature though to be able to do that.

    I hope you figure out what to do because it is a difficult place to be in. But you can learn and grow from this experience and it will make you become a better person for it. Good luck. X
     
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  10. Vonvon87

    Vonvon87 Member

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    lots of informative replies. I suppose right now the break up is still raw for us both and having my stuff at hers is doing neither of us any good, i dont have my comforts around me and my stuff is a constant reminder. we are meeting tomorrow to sort some of my things into boxes and move them into the garage (she never uses) that way whilst i have no where to put them they are safe and she has her space again.

    For me this was the most mature relationship i had (even if we were daft together at times) and she showed me the potential i had for a lot of things, she suffers with depression and her mums lack of acceptance and i was there to support her.

    I got some sort of bad news about work, naturally she was the first person i text had a melt down about it, and she was very kind in her words and very positive about things to do with my future, she isn't a bad woman and wants the best for and i want the best for her. Although i did not want it to break up, we did break up quite maturely and no bad words where said , lots of crying on both sides then after a couple of days we meet up and had a long conversation. we have had days of no contact and we'eve not seen each other in a week, it does feel odd but each day i do feel better.

    tomorrow will be the test to see if we an continue, @TheScandinavian you said if i want her in my life has a friend and can learn from her then yes try to be friends, I've already learned a lot from her before we were together and during and even thought she is younger (slightly) then me she has a good head on her shoulders and could help me in a number of ways.

    time will tell, and from the answers on this thread each situation/ person is different. it will take both of us to work on it and understand what is going on. Like i said i have 1 ex that is just a face book friend i don hate them and we're not on each others lives but its good to see them doing well. Then another ex who i haven't spoken to in 3 years and would not go out of my way to talk to them, this is due to their perosnailites and how the relationship ended.

    cheers
    vx
     
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  11. Vonvon87

    Vonvon87 Member

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    So to update...
    Since my last post we meet for me to try and sort my stuff into boxes, at first we chatted and it was easy and light hearted , then came the packing of stuff and i broke down it was more the losing of my home. we had to leave it , the whole time she was by my side and there was an awkward moment for me when she hugged me and started to ruffle my hair, i told her this but she said she haed to see me cry and felt it was natural to hug me to stop me from crying.

    we chatted a bit more and decided to not finish the packing and i went home , i decided to not contact her and give her space, it was hard but i was good at it then she sent me a link to a job she thought i should apply for, i started the application but found it too hard, she told me she had faith in me and this would be a good job for me, i tried but decieded to not apply we gave a few texts and left it at that. again i went on to no contact it was a good 4 days of no contact, again she messaged me to ask how i was, there were some replies and she asked for an update with everything going off with work and stuff, so i sent her an email we texted a bit again and i left it with her texting last, i found the first few days hard, i am so out of a routine my shifts were all late nights so i was finding it hard to motivte myself, friends work silly hour like me, i went out i played badminton , i thought alot and read alot of forums around no contact, i hung out with my siblings, things at work were on the up there is more stability around my job and i have decided to move back to nottingham i just need to find the perfect little place of my own to gain indepance again and sort my routine. it was 8 days no contact, then she replied to my email and it was really nice an update about her life and lots of questions about my family and myself.

    not to be rude i told her i got her email, i said i was going to light night an event in nottingham and was getting my hair cut, she said she was going to so we decided to meet,i explained i was going with my brother which she was happy about as she wanted to hear his news too.

    so tonight was light night, i finally got my hair cut which was needed, i dropped of something of hers in the garage expecting to see all my things in there but nothing, we meet and just chatted , my borther thought it was going to be awkward, but we caught up like old friends and it felt ok, she chatted with my brother who is applying for fostering with his boyfriend. it was nice to catch up. we spoke of me moving back to the same city and how even though i would be making new friends it would be nice to have a friendly face to meet up with from time to time but not all the time. So no contact for sort while worked i had to work on my thoughts and my wants. But we can be friends so not best friend even my brother said it was not awkward at all in face strangely good. Again this is all still new, she is still out almost every night and she has not changed anything in the house since we tried to pack my things, i do worry that when all my stuff goes it will hit her and things can change again but right now we are in contact and can meet without it being too weird.

    so there is hope of a friendship coming out of this.
    Vx

    Sorry for long post
     
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  12. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts are with you as you continue to heal. You are spending good energy, I see, and I have also noticed that you are spending time helping others in the forums. May good things come your way manifold.
     
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  13. Vonvon87

    Vonvon87 Member

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    T
    Thank you, it's been a crazy 4 weeks that I did not expect but suddenly things are starting to turn.

    And we've all been through good and bad times and all experienced things in different ways and it's nice to help where I can
     
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  14. diana817

    diana817 New Member

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    I can't do it. Maybe because my feelings is still the same. I've tried but very difficult. I just ignore her even though it kills me. But, I need to help myself to move on. Since, she already did. Be strong. Prayers is the most powerful tools for you.
     
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  15. Vonvon87

    Vonvon87 Member

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    Thank you. It's been 2 months now and we've met up a couple of times first few times were wierd but we met Monday just gone after I moved back to Nottingham and hung out and even went food shopping and had a laugh. We've both been quite supportive of each other for different reasons. Like I said I am not sure if this is just a for now thing and that we might drift or if out of all of this we can be friends but it's friendly for now.
     
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  16. Cate94

    Cate94 Member

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    Just be very cautious it doesn't turn into a friends with benefits situation. I had this in the past with one of my exes and it hurt me more in the long run. Yes he was my best friend and we kept our distance for a while but we both acted on feelings. I ended up getting hurt in the long run. What you're doing is smart right now just remain cautious.
    Good luck!
     
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  17. Vonvon87

    Vonvon87 Member

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    its strange we have met a couple of times and had a good laugh , she's seeing someone else now which is cool as they are a nice person. So there will be no benefits. But thanks for the advice :)
     
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