Is It Possible To Remain Friends With An Ex?

Daniel Browne

Daniel Browne is a multi-award nominated hypnotherapist and founder of Push Projects LGBTQ youth support charity & Warwickshire Pride. In his spare time he likes to sing, dance and write. Daniel is a massive fan of Star Trek and would like to be Seven of Nine when he grows up and has worked on getting the figure to pull off a tight silver catsuit.

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Ex Friends

Part of me is tempted to answer the title question with a simple ‘yes’, but that wouldn’t make much of a read would it. Of course the answer is yes, it’s absolutely possible, but that doesn’t mean people want to remain friends with an ex though. Would you?

I bring up this topic because I am very good friends with an ex of mine and some people find that a bit strange, especially as I was so distraught when the relationship came to an end. My friends used to ask me why I wanted to be friends with someone who upset me so much. I could see where they were coming from and knew they had my best interests in mind, but the reason I am friends with this particular ex is a simple one; he’s a really nice person.

All those years ago I did have my heart broken (or at least I thought I did), and I thought my ex was a *insert swear word here* for dumping me. But he was fair and rational in his reasons, he came to my house and had a face to face conversation with me, and there was no big fall out. As upset as I felt, I had to respect him for that.

After a couple of months apart, my ex and I made contact with each other, met up and from there a strong friendship was formed. I now count him as one of my closest friends.

We’ve both had partners since and those partners haven’t always been comfortable with either of us being friends with an ex. I won’t speak for him, but in my experience I’ve had partners who have felt jealous of me being close to an ex and one in particular felt quite threatened by the friendship. What they didn’t understand was that the relationship was in the past and we had moved on from there. The friendship was, and is, more important than the relationship was.

I struggle to be with someone who is jealous or threatened by certain friendships that I have. It’s almost like they think we are going to jump into bed with each other, which just doesn’t happen. From that I am sure you can guess that those subsequent relationships have not lasted.

For each good experience there’s usually a bad one, and there have been some exes that it’s been impossible to remain friends with. One particular person I was with overstepped the mark big time when he had an affair with a schoolboy (I must point out that the lad was above the age of consent, but still he was at school and saying ‘had an affair with a schoolboy’ adds an element of sensationalism, don’t you think?). I was fuming and that was the end of that. If someone can do something like that to another person then there’s no going back and no chance of friendship afterwards.

I have actually forgiven that person for what he did. Not because I’d like to forge a friendship with him, but because I believe that forgiveness is about empowering yourself and allowing your own mind to be at peace. That’s where I’m at when it comes to him.

Another ex I have not been able to remain friends with dumped me by text message and his reason for ending the relationship was that I lived in a council flat and that was not good enough for him. He wanted a man who owned a house and drove a Mercedes. I know, what an idiot, right? I couldn’t remain friends with someone who would end a relationship in such a cowardly way and who was so shallow and materialistic. I still live in that council flat and I am proud of my home. It’s not about the property you’re in or the area you live in; it’s about how you make a house your home. One amusing thing is that he is still single and I am now with someone who actually owns a house and drives a Mercedes. But the difference between me and that ex is that while he was shallow and materialistic, I just met someone and fell in love. I couldn’t care less about what he does or doesn’t have. How salt of the Earth of me.

So I guess it depends on the situation. If a relationship ends well and you think there’s something to salvage from it, then go for it. Remaining friends with that one ex has turned out to be one of best things I have done and it could be for you too. If the relationship does not end well or you’re just too heartbroken, then maybe carving out a lasting friendship isn’t the right thing to do. It all comes down to individual preference and circumstance in the end. Whatever your thoughts and whatever you feel, just make sure it’s the right decision for you and be happy.