Dear Di

Dear Di is the Fulcrum foremost expert in sexual relations
Image: Christine Wang/Fulcrum.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Is it worth it to preserve a friendship after a breakup?

Dear Di, 

I’ve been in a handful of failed relationships (something about me being high maintenance?), but I’ve never kept in touch with my exes aside from a few drunk texts and calls here and there. 

However, my most recent breakup was with someone who was my friend before we started dating. We have the same circle of friends and we got along amazingly in the friend group. 

I don’t know if it’s a good idea to try and rekindle our friendship after a breakup, would it be weird to reach out? Is it even possible to be friends with an ex? 

-Ex Friend

Dear EF, 

Navigating the waters of friendships and relationships is not an easy task. Once the added pressure of a relationship is introduced to a friendship, it’s very difficult to make the embers of attraction die down, even after a breakup. 

Obviously, there are a lot of factors and a lot of situations that could lead to a different answer to the question. Can you be friends with an ex? Probably not. 

Things can get confusing. Trying to be friends with an ex is likely to make you overthink every interaction and conversation you have with them, especially at first. Did they say that in a flirting manner? Do they still think about all the things we used to do? Do they still have feelings for me? Do I still have feelings for them? Not to mention the likelihood of them seeing someone else and you being forced to be there for them as a passenger in their new relationship. 

If you think you’re capable of going through all that — and more —  without being jealous, weird, or awkward, then there’s definitely potential to preserve a friendship with an ex. If you were good friends before taking your relationship to the next level, it’ll probably be easier to ease back into a friendly tone. If your relationship was very intense, it might be a bit harder to set those feelings and memories aside in order to have a healthy friendship. 

Remember, don’t rush a friendship after a breakup. It can be difficult to sort out feelings and get over a person you’ve been dating if you see them or talk to them frequently, even if you’re just friends. 

To be completely honest, unless it happens naturally, being friends with an ex is rarely ever worth it. It causes unnecessary drama and often does more harm than good when it comes to one’s mental health of even your sanity. 

Good luck.