Can you be friends with an ex?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Em_Catz, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Dec 6, 2013

    I don't regret any of my break ups (the relationships needed to come to an end) but I do regret dating "John" because we were close friends for like 5 years before we started dating.

    After two years, I broke off the relationship because even though we loved each other, we weren't in love.

    A few months later, I met and started dating my current husband. John wanted to get back together, but I was honest and told him I had started dating someone else and I didn't want to be a jerk and string him along. He said okay and I didn't hear from him anymore.

    Flash forward a few months to a pre-marital counseling session where we discussed our exes. After hearing about John, my husband was like, "Wow he sounds like he was really cool. Maybe the three of us could hang out someday".

    I dunno. I know they'd hit it off (they share a lot of the same interests and neither have many male friends because they're not originally from this area) but I feel like it'd be weird.

    The only way i could see ever hanging out is if a lot of time went past, like several years and ex was in a happy, committed relationship and we were hanging out in a group.

    One of my friends is in a situation similar to mine. She was best friends with a guy for years, they dated, then broke up.

    She's been in a relationship with another man for about 2 years, but whenever she and current boyfriend drive to her hometown, they hang out with her ex.

    She talks to her ex regularly and she still calls him her best friend. This summer her ex is going to be studying abroad in Korea, and she and current boyfriend are going to stay with him.

    Thoughts?
     
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  3. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    Dec 6, 2013

    It totally depends on the circumstances around the relationship and how it ended.

    I am totally out of touch with several of my exes, but one of them still remains among my best friends. We go out to eat occasionally (by ourselves or in groups) but we both know it's friends only and it's not at all weird anymore. We've both been in relationships since our relationship with each other ended. I'd introduce any future BF to him without a second thought. Also, we were good friends before we ever dated.
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Dec 6, 2013

    I think it would depend on the personalities of the people involved. A local couple divorced, but they went on vacations with each other and their SO's several times. I know others who have dated awhile, then remained friends in the same social circle after breaking up.

    My EX is the jealous type, and he's not social. We are still on friendly terms, but I'm not going to hang out with him and a new guy. I've eaten lunch with him a couple of times, and I sat with him at a ball game.
     
  5. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    That actually sounds really cool. If you don't mind my asking, are you both in a relationship, both single or one of you is attached and the other isn't? In my situation, I'm married and I'm pretty sure John is still single. I don't look at his facebook page regularly but I check it every once in awhile and I haven't seen any ladies or relationship updates.

    I feel like because I'm attached and he isn't that might make a difference. Personally, I think I'd feel weird if I was hanging out with my ex-boyfriend and his new wife and I was single.

    I hear ya. John's the only ex I would consider being friends with again. My boyfriend before John, NO WAY. We had a really ugly break up and there was a lot of "let's get back together, no let's not." With John it wasn't messy, just hard because I knew when we broke up, I'd be losing a friend.
     
  6. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    Currently, we're both single. I have been in a serious, long-term relationship since ours ended, while he has mainly dated different people on and off without much commitment.

    It was slow going and sometimes awkward at first "re-kindling" the friendship after our break-up. But we have a lot of common friends as well, and we didn't want to create a big division in the group or lose each other as friends.
     
  7. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Dec 6, 2013

    I don't think there are any parameters (e.g. both in relationships) that can be defined that will indicate if a friendship with an ex can happen. It just depends.

    If there aren't any feelings of weirdness, give it a whirl. If you have reservations or your gut makes you question it, don't do it.
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Dec 6, 2013

    I'm friends with my ex-husband. Granted, we have a daughter together so we do have to be cordial, but we were friends before we married and continue to be friends.
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I'm probably not the best person to offer this kind of advice (been married 30+ years to the first man I ever dated), but if you have all agreed that the relationships will work, go ahead and all be friends.
     
  10. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Personally, all of my adult relationships have ended dramatically, so I could never be friends with any of them (I have an invisible "cheat on me" tattoo :p), but I've others to do it without issue.
     
  11. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I've never done it myself. My only real ex was not a friend first before we got together & after we broke up (after about 4 - 4.5 yrs of dating), that was it...no more contact. (I said "real" ex because before him was just a "BF" I had in high school in which I wasn't allowed to go out on dates...he could only come over the house.)

    If I was friends with my SO first & then we broke up, I really don't know how I'd feel. It's hard to say, but I'm swaying toward letting the friendship go when the romance is over. I wouldn't want my current SO to have old female friends, especially ones he used to date.
     
  12. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Dec 7, 2013

    Like others said, I really think it depends. I haven't been able to do it successfully, even when I'm completely over the person. I'm "friendly" with most of my exes and we're friends on Facebook, but we would not hang out or chat without a specific reason. We would just say a polite hello if we ran in to each other. Thus far, I've preferred to just keep my distance. I'm not really interested in being buddies with my SO's ex-girlfriends either. I think it's just easier that way. We have plenty of other friends, no need to risk complicating things. I'm also not totally comfortable with the idea of my SO doing one on one socializing with someone he has been romantic with in the past. I trust him, just feels like it crosses boundaries to me. Every relationship is different, just matters that you and your SO agree. :)
     
  13. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Dec 7, 2013

    They will really enjoy Korea....
    My daughter taught English in Seoul for two years and my wife and I spent a week visiting her. The food is great - especially if you like kimchi - and the people are friendly. If you're a party person, the night life is incredible, too. They looooovve karaoke over there, too, so if you like to sing that's a good place to be.

    As far as ex's, Em, I can't really identify with that.
    I've been in a stable relationship for almost 40 years now...:whistle:
     
  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Dec 7, 2013

    The night before Thanksgiving, we had dinner with Rockhubby's ex-girlfriend of 12 years (I'm still embarrassed that I'm responsible for the split) and her husband (who makes me feel better about it). They're still very good friends, and I'm more than fine with it.
     
  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I think it would depend on why you broke up in the first place. If they did something immoral or something unforgivable then I don't think I'd like that quality in a friend. If it was just an amicable parting of ways then I wouldn't have a problem with it.
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Dec 7, 2013

    Like many others have said, I think that it all depends.

    If you feel iffy or uncomfortable, then it seems to me that you can't be friends with an ex (or date someone who is friends with an ex). I generally feel like if you have to ask the question, it means that the exes should probably not be a part of your life any longer.
     
  17. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Dec 7, 2013

    I'm good friends with an ex, but it took YEARS before we rekindled our friendship after my heartbreak over split. I am now (Newly) married and he is I think single (but dates) husband and ex get along pretty well, although not best of friends. Ex and I are pretty close but I NEVER discuss anything about my husband with him...EVER. if he wants to tell me about gfriends that's his business, but to me my relationship with husband is sacred and not his business. It's the only part of my ife I keep away from him and I think it allows me to feel that our friendship is real.
     
  18. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Dec 7, 2013

    It's not impossible. But I feel like often times when people ask this question, like, "Yeah, I've been hanging out with my ex recently. I don't know, it's kind of weird!" I feel like they are answering their own question. You really have to consider your own comfort level.

    I've had my share of bad splits, amicable splits, bizarre splits, etc. But most men I have managed to stay friends with! We are all adults and were able to work out our differences. Time also changes things. Exes pop up all the time on FB or just around the city. I also am genuinely interested in what they are up to. I love a good trip down memory lane. Each guy reminds me of a certain period of my life and that's something I hold close.

    I'm just a ridiculously emotional person though lol. I can't turn on and off how I feel about someone based on how we broke up. I want to keep them as friends as long as they want to and are comfortable with it.
     
  19. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Dec 7, 2013

    I agree with Caesar here, you are asking the question--that means there are concerns.

    I think of all my ex boyfriends, and the majority of those who I am still friends with are those that were friends who tried to give a whirl, but at the end of the day there were no feelings of affection in that way--so we decided to go back to being just friends.

    Relationships where there were ACTUAL feelings, no way. Those feelings might fade, but they can be rekindled.

    My husband doesn't let me be friends with guys period, so I cannot comment with any real authority though...
     
  20. teachinnola

    teachinnola Rookie

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    Dec 7, 2013

    Totally agree with this. I still keep in touch with a couple of ex boyfriends, and I go out to lunch with one of them when I'm in town. There were no hard feelings after we broke up, but it did take some time to ease into a friendship. It's not weird to me, and my fiance doesn't find it offensive or questionable ('cause if I wanted to be with my ex, I would've stayed with him).
     
  21. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Dec 7, 2013

    Looking around :rolleyes:I think you either have a wonderful husband or a NUT.
    The only time I have stayed friends with an ex is because I had a child with her and it was in mine and my son's best interest to do so.

    I don't think the male psyche can handle a significant other's EXs.
     

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