>>Joanne discusses the strange situation of being a friend with your Ex!
Me and my Ex are friends, as a matter of fact we are really good friends. So good that even our families have kept touch. When I say this people ask me ‘How is it to be friends with your Ex?‘ with some sort of fear all over their face…
Let me start this by saying that it was a mutual breakup. There were no arguments, no drama and no tears involved, and I suppose this set everything in line. Moreover, we never shared the same place; we never had to cry over who is going to take the sofa or the fridge. Or go through the painful process of seeing the other walking away with their luggage. It all happened in a rather sophisticated and friendly way.
But we weren’t only lovers, we were also friends and most importantly dancing partners. When we took separate ways, I thought that would be the end of our dancing career too, but I was wrong! We kept rehearsing as frequently as we did when we were a couple and this time it was more relaxed, without any arguments that we’d later take in the house.
When he introduced me to his new girlfriend it was a love at first sight (from my side and funnily enough from her side too!). She was kind, funny, supportive and clever-everything you want from a friend. And so friends we became…
We would have sleepovers at each others place and even travel the weekends to my parents place and stay the 3 of us there. My mother still considers him and his girlfriend as two of the most loving people she ever met. And we are all happy for them.
When I introduced him to my new boyfriend it was in a restaurant. I had booked a table and arranged for all 4 of us to go out dining and get to know each other. I felt a bit anxious as to what my Ex will think about my current boyfriend-weird isn’t it – that I felt I needed his approval when there was nothing to be worried about!
We maintained this friendship for 4 years now and there is no going back. We are both happy in our relationships and sometimes we even wonder how were we ever a couple!
It takes a little more than being open minded to maintain good relationship with your Ex. Essentially, acceptance and forgiveness is the key. Whereas for some this might seem impossible, as there are endless opportunities you might end up hurting and hating each other, for others its working excellently!
Accept the situation and be open-minded. You broke up for a reason, if there is nothing to separate or argue over then why be bitter about your break-up? Your Ex knows many things about you and (hopefully) has supported you over some critical life situations, why waste a potential friend?
Be happy for his happiness. If he has progressed in his life then be happy for him taking the next step. Meet his girlfriend, be nice and if it is like in my case, you just got yourself another friend! Don’t feel like being mean, believe it or not as a friend of yours he values your opinion and wants to know what you feel of his new girlfriend.
Make an effort. Maintaining a good relationship with your Ex, doesn’t just happen. You need to work for it and be proactive. Take advantage of your common friends and interests and try to be there for him/her as a brother/sister rather as the lover you used to be. It is difficult to get emotionally detouched to an Ex, after all you have spend so much time together and shared so many memories.
Your Ex doesn’t have to be outside your life. He/She can stay, just under a different role.
Are you still friends with your Ex or did it end up badly?