After a break up, do you think you are "supposed to" remain friends with your ex?


After a break up, do you think you are You dated Amber for 5 months but towards the end, you argued almost constantly. Both of you realized that this relationship wasn't working. You initiated The Talk but she agreed and you decided to go your separate ways. Now. she has been talking with that guy Ben who you always thought was a dork. Your friends all know that you have broken up and they are telling you that old saw about plenty of fish in the sea, etc. but it doesn't feel right. You realize that breaking up with Amber was probably a mistake and you never thought it would go this far.

Should you try to remain friends with Amber? Should you talk to her occasionally or maybe even hang out together sometime? Should you remain Facebook friends and follow each other on social media? How would you feel if she blocked you on Facebook? How would you feel if you saw her post a change to her relationship status and she has switched from "single" to "in a relationship" with Mr. Dork?

Is there some rule - perhaps an unwritten rule - that says that you are supposed to remain friends with her? Is that what you really want? How are you going to react when you find out that Amber and her new boyfriend spent the night together? What do you get from remaining friends with her? Is that what you are "supposed" to do?
  • Yes, it is expected by everyone
    Vote A
  • Yes, breaking contact with them would be rude
    Vote B
  • Yes, we should be mature enough to salvage something from our relationship
    Vote C
  • No, because if we break up, I'm mad at my ex
    Vote D
  • No, because if we break up, trying to be friends makes it more difficult to move forward
    Vote E
  • I don't know because I have never had a relationship
    Vote F
Select age and gender to cast your vote:
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Most Helpful Girl

  • Personally I don't, because it just brings too much drama into your life and complicates future relationships. I'd view it as disrespectful to my new SO, and I wouldn't want to put him in such an uncomfortable position. My relationship with him would take priority over a friendship with an ex. My new boyfriends feelings would come first

    I have no need to remain friends with an ex. I prefer to let go of the past of, what was, and focus on moving on and forward with my life

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    • I agree, in my comment one thing I forgot to mention was that my ex never told any of her new SO's that we dated and I told her that was such a shitty move on her part and she would say "you need to get over and it wasn't anything". But the one time she saw a girl I slept with three years ago she just about has a stroke over it and this past year every time a significant date comes up and we did something real fun together when we dated, she has blown up my phone and either gave me like 100$ or payed for my drinks at a bar or something. So obviously she feels worse than I do and needs to see that we can be cool but being bff's isn't going to be a thing

Most Helpful Guy

  • From personal experience, I say just agree you won't kill each other in public. I dated one girl, she was rather immature. She was all about me until she realized that my life has other things in it besides being hammered all the time. Well she accused me of being obsessed with her and all this other stuff until I showed her the nudes she sent. She then cried and admitted she could never be on my level and wanted to be friends. Well she subscribed to the child logic of "lets rewrite this whole situation because I lost" this led to a year of confusion for us. She tried to replace me with a guy who was more apt to her life style which failed miserably and felt lead on because she was acting like nothing ever happened. Then the first time she met a girl I hooked with with return from the air force 3 YEARS AGO she almost goes into cardiac arrest.
    It was then I knew exes can never be friends.

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Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 40

  • It's unfortunate that you didn't include an answer in the poll that says "it depends on the relationship".
    Because that's what I think it really boils down to. Some people are capable of remaining friends, others aren't. And usually that depends on how/why the relationship ended. If it ended because one of them cheated, or did some other horrible thing, or if it just ended in a long string of exhausting arguments, then I don't expect them to try to keep being friends after that. If a friendship happens naturally after a breakup, then great. Kudos to the people who can do that. But I personally don't expect anyone to keep being friends with their ex, especially if they were deeply hurt by the breakup or something bad that happened while still in a relationship.
    There's no "SHOULD" when it comes to post-breakup behavior because everything is so extremely individual. It completely depends on how the people involved feel about one another. Just because they were in a relationship and thought of each other as best friends a year ago, it doesn't mean that they SHOULD or that they HAVE TO feel that way today. Things change, people change, people move on, relationships end and friendships fade.
    If you remain "friends" with an ex but feel jealous when they find another partner, when they move on, when they spend the night with said partner etc etc, then you're not really being their friend. You're just sticking around in the hopes that you'll get back together, and that's not healthy.
    A healthy FRIENDSHIP with an ex can only happen if the two people involved are completely over each other, and if neither backstabbed/cheated on/otherwise severely hurt the other person. In such a friendship there's no such thing as being jealous of the other person's new partner, pining for them, hoping things will go back to the way they were etc.

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    • It's not usual for long term relationships to end up in good terms from what I've noticed and from personal experience too, though I've ended in good terms with pretty much all girls I've dated short term.

      It seems the more serious and the more time you spend in a relationship it either lasts for good or it implodes, and there's usually someone who will end up getting hurt.

  • There's no rules about being friends with your ex or you have to. But usually the person who wants to remain friends is the one who doesn't want to move on.

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  • I don't think any one person is "supposed to" remain friends. It is really up to those people. Personally for me I have always maintained a cordial relationship with my exes. But I can't say we are "friends".

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  • I think people should be civil toward one another after a break up - be friendly when you happen to run into each other, don't talk a bunch of shit about them to mutual friends/acquaintances, etc. But no, I don't think you should be friends with an ex. Continuing to spend time with an ex makes it hard to move on and may give one or both people the impression that the break up is temporary or that you'll get back together eventually.

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  • No it's not a rule, I don't think you should be friends with your ex because it will be difficult, seeing him/her all happy and in love with someone else, you will feel hurt and a little jealous. And this for relationships that didn't work out and it becomes a mutual break up.

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  • E... also - it all depends on the breakup.
    If it was mutual, then some time is required to get your life back on track and then revisiting a possible friendship is amazing, but if the breakup was terrible... and one or the other side never saw it coming - the friendship is non existent there.

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    • *I'm assuing here we're talking about a healthy (more or less), grown up relationship where it's not just based on sex or mutual codependance...
      If it's one of those, then all bets are off. o. O

  • Staying friends with someone who dumped you is almost always a terrible, terrible idea...

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  • Are your feelings for her the type of feelings you only feel for a friend? If not I would ask yourself if that type of relationship would even be a real friendship.

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  • I only think that if you were friends before you started dating. Like I dated a guy who was my really good friend and we remained friends. But my current SO? If we broke up, we wouldn't be friends because we never started out as friends.

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  • i was never in a "serious" relationship but i think it's just weird in general if you've been dating someone for so long, and when you break up, you're still friends with them. especially if they are now in a relationship with someone else. it's like if i were to date someone and find out they were still close with their ex whom they have been dating for a long time. i would find that sketchy.

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  • Not all the time. I used to think that no you cannot or should not be friends with an ex. But as I've gotten older, I allow it to happened if it's naturally. It's not something that I'd force. Some people aren't worthy of your friendship if they weren't good to you in the relationship. Some people are better friends. Just have to go with the flow.

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  • remaining friends afterwards is not an obligation
    whether you do or not is something that should happen organically
    in most cases, it doesn't happen
    something about sharing bodily fluids changes the dynamic

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  • Depends on the situation. I'm friends with one ex and one ex and I just can't get out of each other's lives. The first one is healthy the second isn't so I don't know.

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  • I have only had one ex in my entire life. It was a difficult break up but also necessary because I felt more like a therapist on his side. With that being said, I do not think it is always necessary to be friends with an ex. When I broke up with my ex we did not see each other again in person but we remained friends on social media. It was evident through my interactions with him in the internet that he was still a neurotic and deeply insecure person. What made the situation worse was that when he would contact me it made me realize why I broke up with him. I have not heard from him for over three years and it has been the best thing. There is a quote that I have seen a lot over the internet that states that when exes remain friends either both never loved each other or they are still in love with one another. I do not know what to think about that quote but I was not in love with my ex.

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  • i never been in a relationship but i think that it all depends on how much you hate the person after the break up. if you dont hate the person then go ahead and be freinds but if you hate the person and he/she makes you feel uncomfortable then dont be friends, you dont need that type of stress in your life.

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  • You're not "supposed" to do anything. You can do what you want and some things will work for some and not others. Just do what works best with your, your life, and your relationships.

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  • This I'd why after my last ex I decided to not date people from my inner circle. If shit happens, we both just go our separate ways and never have to meet.

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  • No friendship with your ex is baloney. It's said if your remain friends with your ex you either never truly loved them or never got over them aka still love em. Plus it seems pointless to me. You hurt the person by breaking up. .. And now you wanna be selfish and keep them close. Potenially hurting both of y'all. Makes zero sense. And also I've got enough friends don't need to add my ex in there too... Just my two sense though =) great q

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  • It all depends on the what terms it ended on, if you do remain friends and feel some type of way when they do move on then some feelings are still there

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  • Personally I wouldn't stay friends as it makes it harder to move on and it can just cause more awkwardness and arguments.

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What Guys Said 39

  • I've tended to find no contact for a while gives both parties a bit of space, and it's generally a good idea.

    At first it can feel wrong because a person who's been a big part of your life is no longer in it, but keeping up with everything they do isn't all that healthy, and stops you moving on.

    I tend to find that the idea of reaching out to them again usually becomes less important with time, too.

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  • I don't think you're "supposed to". If they can have a positive, healthy, happy, and constructive friendship after breaking up, then more power to them. It's totally understandable if they choose not to though.

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  • I would avoid it, especially if we were only together for a few months. I know I wouldn't like it if my girlfriend was still friends with her exes, so it would be hypocritical for me to do the same.

    I could mainly see myself doing it if she was a long-term friend before we even started dating, but even then I feel like it would make it harder to truly move on.

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  • It may depends on how you break up with her, if was a friendly break up it should be alright now if was in a bad way of course not. Another thing that I felt if I see my ex with someone else it's not a good feeling so I think that will be hard for the firsts months, and handle it, it's a bit hard!

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  • Uh no. Unless she ads an obscene amount of value to your life somehow ( which I can't see how that could be) I would never stay friends even if you are the one who screwed it up. Don't pine over your mistake... take ownership... learn from it and move on... in my opinion of course...

    What's up older and wiser? How's it hangin?

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    • It's that time of year when I am coaching high school kids for participating in a mock trial competition My birthday is January, my girlfriend's birthday is February 14, so there is lots going on for a few months here. What's keeping you off the streets?

    • Show All
    • Wasn't that the plan all along? :)

    • Yes there are advantages... lol that's for sure.

  • yes but should not contact for a while. I don't know you do what you have to do some people can even see the other person and some people need to see what they don't have anymore so I can be bad and good depending on how you feel about the relationship

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  • There's no rule saying you have to or don't have to. But if it ended poorly, then I don't see why you'd want to keep in contact with that person.

    But if time has passed and you're both neutral towards each other then I don't see the problem.

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  • No.

    Even more so if you're having doubts. Cut off all ties. IF you're friends again in a few years because you bumped into each other six months later? Fine, but right after the break up you need to move on. So does Amber.

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  • Unwritten rule or not, I don't owe ANYONE my friendship. If soemone has it, they're a worthy mother fucker in my eyes. If I deem it not worth to have a friendship with my ex who perhaps even wants it, then boo-fucking-hoo. Deali with it.

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  • You need to be mature and make that call. There is no one answer. Sorry XD

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  • it ended for a reason.. but all circumstances are different... its very strong and mature of you if you can remain friends.. but it's best to part ways

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  • I'd vote no. But not because of the options you mentioned. I'd vote not because you are free people. Before, during and after the relationship.

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  • Depends entirely on the situation, if the relationship didn't work out the friendship is usually completely dead. You don't have any desire left to stay in contact and it falls apart. So in that situation i don't think you are supposed to remain friends at all. However if you split up on good terms, for example you still love each other but the distance was an issue , someone is moving or any other reason where you get along together perfectly but something else got in the way you should deffinately remain friends. Why loose such a good friend if you can keep them right?

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  • Geebus, what's the point?
    Friends? The only reason the gals want to stay in touch is that if they had an emotional connection they want to somehow try to maintain that. Or if he's beta enough and keeps hanging onto her she might keep him around for validation. For the guys there's just nothing there, no upside.

    Who gives a shit who's she's dating or who she's doing? It was a dead-end relationship. It's highly likely he dodged a huge bullet.

    No matter how pretty a girl is there is always someone out there completely fed up with her bullshit.

    :)

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  • not even this autist thinks so.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUHKIHz8DJs

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  • No thanks. I would rather not be with someone who left me. Hypothetically of course because i am forever single

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  • You can be friends with your ex. if she is a bitch that's a whole other story... or if you're an asshole...

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  • i've never been in a relationship, but for argument's sake i'd like to think i'd be mature enough to at least remain civil with an ex if friendship was out of the question; but neither are mandatory...

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  • I think it depends on the relationship but more often than not it's best to not be friends following the break up. For the person that got dumped it wil only complicate the moving on process and give you a false chance at hope of reconciliation.

    For the person that ended the relationship they tend to use it as a crutch. A way to let you down easy and make them feel better about the breakup.

    One thing that is important in deciding whether or not to remain friends ask this, will he/she be there when you need them? More often than not no and they use it as an ego boost rather than truly meaning it.

    Not saying this is always the case but the majority of the time. My most recent ex still keeps tabs on me on social media and tries to reach out. I went the other route and went LC (we work in the same office) to help move on rather than false hope of her wanting me back.

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  • Not at all. I remain cordial if I ever encountered an ex but I never felt the need to remain friends. I tend to look at life as a book. Once a chapter ends I see no need to go back and revisit it.

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