The answer is yes! – But it’s complicated.
There is something that drew you to this person; something more than their winning smile. It is natural for a person to desire a level of friendship after the romance has ended. Whether you are craving a best friend or an acquaintance, when it comes to answering the age old question, there are more than a few things to consider.
Are there any lingering emotional feelings?
You cannot be friends with your ex if one or both of you still harbors a romantic hard on for the other person. You just can’t. In a lot of ways being friends with your ex means you get a lot of the good parts of that person. The headaches associated with dating are left behind, leaving room for the uncomplicated stuff. If you are still attracted to your ex romantically, it will confuse your brain into thinking there may be something more than just friendship. It becomes easy to forget the initial reasons as to why you ended things in the first place.
Were you friends before?
Sure, it may be difficult to remember a time when your ex wasn’t part of your life. But think hard and be honest. Not only were you friends before but what level of friendship did you have?
If you and your closest pal gave dating a go and managed to end things like all stars – amiably – don’t punish yourselves. If you can handle being friends, be friends! It’s difficult to turn the part of your brain off that cares deeply for the other person. You’ve handled things like a boss, gained a life experience and now you get your pal back. Avoid interfering in your ex’s impending love life and your friendship should be golden.
This doesn’t quite work as well if there was never an initial friendship. Perhaps you grew to be great friends overtime, as you were dating. But, keep in mind this friendship evolved amidst feelings of infatuation and lust. It’s not impossible, but tread lightly. Most importantly, let the dust settle on your romantic relationship before forcing something that wasn’t even there before.
Will this friendship interfere with future relationships?
Friends who were once exes should never make future significant others feel threatened. If you remain friends with an ex and start dating someone new, there are many feelings to keep in check. If at any point your current other half feels the friendship with your ex is more than a “friendship,” it’s time to reassess. While you and your ex may think nothing of the friendship your new partner may be intimidated by the meaningful bond you once shared.
Once the relationship has ended and you’re no longer swimming in an ice cream tub of self-scrutiny it is not unfounded to consider a friendship with your ex. If you are able to have a great friendship with your ex – where there is mutual respect with all parties involved – than, go you! You’re killing it at being a mature, affable adult!