Why you shouldn’t be friends with an ex

Why you shouldn’t be friends with an ex

Sometimes when you break up with someone you’ll grasp at anything to stay in contact with them, and that usually means becoming friends. Whether you’re the one who ended the relationship or the one who was broken up with, it isn’t easy for either. When you start as “just friends” the break up is still fresh and you won’t have thought the situation through properly, but as time goes on you’ll soon realise how difficult it is to just be friends.

Here are our top reasons why being friends won’t work in the long run:


Your romantic feelings don’t disappear overnight. Going from intimate partners to friends instantly can leave you feeling very confused and unsure how to act around each other. During a simple conversation, they might say or do something that reminds you of the reason you fell for them in the first place, which can be tough to ignore. It’s also hard to know when you’ve crossed the line with your friendship. In a relationship, you’re there for each other both physically and emotionally, but stepping back and just taking on a friendship role can be hard to adjust to and confusing.

False hope

The whole time you’re still hanging around with your ex you’re probably hoping you’ll get back together and want things go back to how they used to be. This is usually one-sided and will lead to disappointment.


It’s awkward being around each other when you’re still finding your feet after the breakup. Knowing that you’ve shared so much together and have memories and nicknames for each other makes it harder to carry on as if nothing ever happened. There’s also the fact that you’ve seen each other naked and you may find yourself picturing them naked, or even feeling embarrassed that they’ve seen you naked but no longer share that intimacy together. It can also be extremely awkward if you have mutual friends who are used to seeing the two of you frequently showing affection towards each other, but now witness the discomfort between you while figuring out how to act around each other.


There will come a time when your ex will move on with someone else and that may be heartbreaking for you and difficult to witness. It’s at this point that you’ll wish you’d never become just friends. It is difficult to accept, but knowing they’ve moved on might actually help you realise you have no future with your ex.

Affects your future dates

Having your ex as a friend can have a major impact on you moving on and dating other people. They will unintentionally hold you back from emotionally moving on. If you do happen to date someone new, don’t do it just to make your ex jealous. Your ex will probably feel relieved as it will take your focus off them and they’ll be more relaxed knowing you’ve moved on. If anyone were to be jealous, it would be your new date witnessing you being so friendly with your ex.

Sleeping together

By being friends and regularly seeing each other, there’s always the chance that you’ll end up sleeping together. This will just lead to more confusion and give you even more hope of reconciliation, not to mention one or both of you regretting it afterwards. Fresh feelings of heartbreak are likely to occur after sleeping together once you realise there is no chance of getting back together.

Too much history

Having shared numerous occasions together and special moments with someone, it’s hard to carry on as if that doesn’t matter any more. Knowing each other so well can cause you to fall back into old dating patterns leading to yet more confusion and uncomfortable situations.

Taking the above on board, it’s not set in stone that you can never be friends with an ex. Everyone is different and some people genuinely can be just friends with an ex without any issues, but for this to happen both people need to be on the same wavelength and be honest about how they truly feel.

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