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So You Think You Can Be Friends With Your Ex?

So You Think You Can Be Friends With Your Ex?

By Chrissie Gruebel

When it comes to breakups, I fully subscribe to the "relationship half-life" idea, which is something I made up myself, based on my very loose and some might say "wrong" understanding of science and math. Basically, I think it takes roughly half the time you dated someone to get over them once you break up. If you dated someone for 3 months, it takes 1.5 months to get over them. If you dated 5 years … you're going to be sad for 2.5 years. I can't help it, guys. It's "science."

ALAS, once this half-life period is over and you emerge from your grief routine of eating tacos every day, watching yourself cry in the mirror so you can see what you look like, powering through entire seasons of Gilmore Girls on DVD, and wearing nothing but those black sweatpants with the bleach stains … you're ready to be friends with your ex. Weeellll, maybe. Can you? Maybe.

If any of the things on the below list do apply to you, then yeah … go on and be friends with your ex. It's worth it if:

1) You in no way want to make out with this person … ever again.
This is imperative. Take a step back and think about it. Do you want to kiss this guy? What if you were sick? What if you got ombre highlights and they didn't turn out as great as you'd hoped so now you're emotionally vulnerable? You still don't want to make out with him? You're good. Just in case, though, let's take it one step further. Would you care if this ex dated your best friend like right now? If right this second, he's taking her to see Wreck-It Ralph? Do you feel the rage? No? NO? Tell the truth. Ok, we believe you. Friendship!

2) You're mature enough to talk about any lingering weirdness.
If everyone in the partnership is cool with emotions, this should be no problem. If you're both little robots, this might turn out to be an issue post-breakup (and really, it was probably an issue pre-breakup, which is what contributed to breakup proper). No one's gonna get anywhere unless you talk to each other. So if you guys decide to go for the friendship gold and then you end up at a party and he's being way too couple-y with you, you have to lay the smackdown … but do it sweetly, because you're a hard habit to break, you fabulous thing you.

3) It was good on paper.
No one was a jerk, no one did anything wrong per se … there just was something missing. Spoiler alert! This is one of life's sadder situations. You really like her—she's funny, smart, is down with Dr. Who, your friends all dig her, her friends are great too!—but something's. just. missing. And you can't put your finger on it. These "good on paper" relationships are tough to get out of because at first you think it's your problem. There must be something wrong with YOU if you're not wild about this great, awesome, amazing person. But no. Sometimes the pieces just don't fit. The good news? If you're both honest with yourselves and careful with each other's feelings, you can end up with the best friend you've ever had.

4) You guys share a group of friends.
For everyone's sake, figure out a way to handle it. Just keep showing up to group outings until it stops feeling horrible. You're welcome, Daniel-san.

5) He already has the backstory on basically anything that might annoy you now.
It's really nice sometimes to talk to someone without having to go into a whole looong Lifetime Original Movie about how your aunt doesn't talk to you family because 12 years ago, your brother yelled at her but it totally wasn't his fault and blah blah blah blah. Sometimes you just want the conversation to be like:
YOU: Remember my Aunt Marge?
HIM: The crazy one who slapped your brother?
YOU: Ugh, yes. Guess what she did this time … (aaaand you vent).

If you and your ex happened to have that relationship where you trusted each other and you know things, try and keep that intact because it's nice to have someone who understands where you're coming from without the whole dog and pony show to explain everything. It's efficient.

We LOVE this post because we totally believe it's possible to be friends with your ex (as long as you meet the requirements that Chrissis has laid out herein). What do you guys think?

Topics: Life
Tags: relationships, breakups, love, friendship, boyfriends, girlfriends, exes, getting over a breakup, being friends with your ex

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About the Author
Chrissie Gruebel

Chrissie Gruebel is a bunch of things separated by commas, but more often than not, she’s a writer, comedian, and wearer of too many colors at once. Here she is on Twitter: @chrissiegruebel.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.

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