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Staying friends with your ex, can it work?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think to put it simply your right. I think the only way of ever being able to get over someone is to totally keep them out of your life until you know you have moved on. It is stupidly hard to do it but i think thats the only way. Otherwise you will just constantly be feeling shit all the time and you dont deserve that.

    :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    PussyKatty wrote:
    Do you think it's better to just kick your ex out of your life and then you can move on?

    It's very difficult to generalise and talk about everyone's situation, but yes I do.

    In terms of your feelings of loss, if it was a relationship that lasted for a few years - as yours was - I don't think it's abnormal or even unusual to still have feelings for someone after eight months apart. I think your problem is that you've tried to sail smoothly from a relationship to a friendship from the start (at least that's my understanding of it) and you need to give yourself a period of time and a degree of space that's going to enable you to grieve for the relationship you've lost, dust yourself off and start to focus on a future that either doesn't include him... or in which he plays only a very minor, supporting role. You need to stop having frequent phone conversations with him, I think talking on the phone is even worse for your situation than actually meeting face to face. Talking to a faceless person who you have lingering feelings for is just gutwrenching, I've always found it creates a pretty unbearable sense of yearning for them that I don't seem to feel when I meet and talk to them face to face. There's something about the phone that does that to me, and I haven't yet put my finger on why exactly that is.

    Of course it is possible to be friends with an ex, but it's extremely difficult and (in my opinion) hinges on whether or not you've allowed yourself to get over the romantic relationship before you attempt a platonic one. After splitting up with my most signifigant ex, I too had that feeling of disgust about other men who I'd probably have been very interested in if I wasn't carrying such baggage. I'd get an overwhelming feeling that I wanted them to get the hell away from me, and I found it very difficult being intimate with the next bloke I was "seeing" as he wasn't my ex. He hadn't done a thing wrong, I just wasn't ready.

    I really feel for you, the loneliness and the memories can be haunting. Especially when you've been drinking. Didn't you start a thread about quitting drinking (or at least cutting down)? I think that'd possibly be for the best, for a while, I would always get very maudlin when drinking and that'd be the time I'd be most likely to call him up or text and break my self-imposed "no contact" rules. It's one of those situations that is only ever going to be resolved by a bit of time, space and clearing the cobwebs from your head. You need at least a short period of time with no contact. I think that if you're anything like me, you'll find that with no contact and a little time that the feelings of hurt, loneliness and "love" (or yearning for the love you did share) will just gradually die away, until one the memory that they were once a colossal part of your life actually starts to feel quite surreal. The only way I can describe my feelings towards my ex now is that it's like thinking back to an occasion or even and having that questioning feeling about whether or not it actually happened - or if it was just some strange dream you once had. I suspect you might be holding onto a lot of trinkets, gifts and memorabilia of your relationship, and may well not want to get rid of it. But I did, and after flushing the evidence I have to say there's actually not much to show that our relationship wasn't just a recurring dream/nightmare I had for a couple of years.

    One day you'll wake up and realise that you haven't thought about him in x days/weeks/months. You will get there, it just does take what seems like an eternity and there's no fast forward button.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It depends entirely on what terms you break up on. For instance, I dumped my last girlfriend after I caught her in bed with another man. Since then, she's tried to blame me several times for her cheating - the sheer cheek of it! Only recently did she finally admit she was at fault, and she's asked if I can stay in touch with her at university. Sorry as I am to say it, but the chance of it is almost zero.

    Previously, the circumstances were entirely different, but somehow we've managed to stay amicable and in touch. Last summer, me and my first girlfriend broke up, mainly because of my commitment phobia at the time. For the sake of her son, (she was a single mum) we kept things amicable. He still thought we were together until his sudden death late last year. She's since moved away to London to live with her sister, and I saw her again recently. We're in touch, but things will never be the same again.

    As to whether it can work... it's too early in my life for me to answer that definitively.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote:
    It depends entirely on what terms you break up on. For instance, I dumped my last girlfriend after I caught her in bed with another man.

    Seriously? I've never known anyone to actually catch their other half in the act. Whose bed was it? Were they mid-shag?

    Sorry if it's sensitive subject (but you did bring it up), but I can't resist asking... it sounds like a scene out of Emmerdale :chin:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I can't, even though I'd like to.

    I think all bar one of my exes I'd be happy to be friendly with, if there's any grudges there then they aint from my end (even though I'm constantly told they should be)

    I think it'd be really hard to be proper good friends with any of them though, because every breakup I've had someones been hurt or someones cheated or whatever.

    It is a bit gutting when you're really good mates with someone, it turns into something more, shit hits the fan, wanky breakup and there's no friendship left at the end.

    Maybe I might get proved wrong in time, but I'd definitley rather have had them as friends rather than exes :yes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    briggi wrote:
    Seriously? I've never known anyone to actually catch their other half in the act. Whose bed was it? Were they mid-shag?
    I was doing a late shift at work mid-week. I finished at 10.30pm, but I had to be back at 8am the following morning for the next shift. I have a lot of travelling to do to get to work each day, so the ex had said "you can come and stay at mine for the night". (she lived on the park) I went over to hers, went in the house and kept hearing humping noises. I thought it was just one of her mates had managed to pull. Not so. There she was with another bloke. I walked out just as they saw me.

    In the end, a crying and upset SG went to stay over with another work colleague. The next morning, she was unceremoniously dumped.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    GoodFella wrote:
    I think the only way of ever being able to get over someone is to totally keep them out of your life until you know you have moved on.

    I dont even understand how this works. How can a person possibly just cut someone completely off who has been around for the past few years? Especially if they haven't cheated on you or you have no real reason to properly hate them? It's like cutting off a leg or something. :(
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    draven wrote:
    I dont even understand how this works. How can a person possibly just cut someone completely off who has been around for the past few years? Especially if they haven't cheated on you or you have no real reason to properly hate them? It's like cutting off a leg or something. :(

    Tbh im finding doing that extremely difficult myself at the minute, guess its what advice ive been given. But i guess all our situations are different. I mean if you are happy to be just friends and wont feel shit all the time if thats all it is then i don't see there being much of problem being friends, just in my case its abit different. If i am constantly in contact with this person and i know those old feelings havent gone anyway then i know it wont work as being friends at the moment, i'd just feel shit all the time.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i'm friends with my ex. we split up a year ago now (!!) but we were sort of seeing eachother for a few months after we split up. we split up on good terms (he wanted to be on his own and he was starting a new job where he knew he wouldn't really have the time for his job, himself, his mates AND a girlfriend which i understand) and even though it's sometimes been hard (moreso for me i'd say) we've always been determined to remain friends and as yet we're still doing well. i saw him last around a month ago and we went to the cinema. he was gonna come over last week but i was poorly sick so i had to cancel it. the time before that that i saw him we slept together but i'm not sure he'd want that to happen again (and i probably shouldn't but hey..!).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    :no: thats horrible. why the hell would she invite you over when she was planning on doing THAT????
    I have no idea whether it was planned, or whether a bloke had come over and they'd ended up in bed afterwards. Either way, it led her to one place - Dumpsville.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    we've always been determined to remain friends and as yet we're still doing well

    Good stuff, I reckon if both peeps have a grown up attitude and are mature enough then there's a better chance of it working.

    I'm lucky enough because 99.99999% of my past flings and shags and exes and stuff are all back home or back in Dundee (except the one off here obviously :wave: ) because I moved a few months ago, so it's not like I've much chance of bumping into them or anything, so any friendship would probably just be an occasional texts type of thing anyway.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    draven wrote:
    I dont even understand how this works. How can a person possibly just cut someone completely off who has been around for the past few years? Especially if they haven't cheated on you or you have no real reason to properly hate them? It's like cutting off a leg or something. :(

    for me its impossible......ex's are horrible i cling onto them and cant get them out of my life
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote:
    I have no idea whether it was planned, or whether a bloke had come over and they'd ended up in bed afterwards. Either way, it led her to one place - Dumpsville.

    Thats a terrible thing to do to someone planned or not! Anyone would have been upset in that situation.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thats a terrible thing to do to someone planned or not! Anyone would have been upset in that situation.
    I spent much of the night crying about it. I looked like a zombie at work the following day. This was probably the first girl I'd ever truly been in love with, and she treated me like that. I'm slightly cautious of women at the moment, unfortunately.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was with my last fella for over 2 and a half years... when we split up last year, we tried the mates thing. It was fine until he found out that I had pulled someone and he went absolutely ballistic - he's since told me that he can still see us going the distance, getting married and having a family, etc etc.

    Now, if we see each other we speak to be polite, but I wouldn't say that he's a mate. Just someone from my past.

    If you can both be mature about it (my ex couldn't, I think simply as he had no other relationship experience until me) then being mates is fine. But in most circumstances, one party is going to find it more difficult than the other.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm only friends with two of my exes and thats only because our relationship were short/not serious.

    I no longer talk to my ex of three years. I tried the whole friends thing with him but it just didn't work. I found it hard to move on properly too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not friends with my ex, only because I finished it and he was still attaracted to me and couldnt accept it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it probably can work. But there's got to be a gap, say a month or two, where you do cut contact. Otherwise it makes getting over them far too hard.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    PussyKatty wrote:
    (well actually I want more than that even though I know I am better off without being in a relationship with him)
    In my experience, if one or both feel like that, then it won't work. My experience anyway.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    VinylVicky wrote:
    In my experience, if one or both feel like that, then it won't work. My experience anyway.

    No your right, there is no way it would work if its like that. The other person is just gonna end up getting hurt or just feel crap. I agree.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I tried the friends thing. She was with someone new and I got over it. I was still friends with her. Then.......... I found someone. I told her. She went balistic. Everytime I see her now its like WW3. There is so much venom. My friend gets called all sorts of things F'ing Tart bitch whore you name it. So I try to avoid my ex. You cant be friends in my book becuase there is too much involved. Even after a time all the feelings will come back. Keep away and move on. SDA
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it probably can work. But there's got to be a gap, say a month or two, where you do cut contact. Otherwise it makes getting over them far too hard.

    I agree with Mr Skellington, I broke up with my ex because it wasn't working while he was at uni. We broke up at the beginning of the Christmas holidays and it was too hard not to be err...friends with conveniences...but then when he went back to uni we said that's it. He came back at Easter and we were good pals again and still are. We go out together loads because we have all the same friends.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It may be possible, but it is very difficult...i've tried to do it several times, and it just doesn't work. :( Then again, however, most of my exes HAVE been a bit on the dodgy side, which may explain it...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm friends with one or two of my exe's, an exe from 3 years back I won't see him though because of how we broke up.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I want all my exes to be happy, as far as I'm aware most of my exes are happy with where they are now, so it makes it easier to at least be able to send the occasional "How are you?" text, and I try to see them as happy memories, rather than exes.

    Nice to be nice, no point holding things against people years after the event.
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