Are you and your ex really friends, or is someone wanting more?
By Erica Conte for BounceBack.com
There is no easy answer to the question of how to handle a friendship with someone you once dated, for all relationships are different, as are the partners involved. Sometimes the amicable breakups tend to have the most potential for friendship, whereas breakups over jealousy and dishonesty generally don't -- at least not for some time. However, whether you randomly bumped into your ex and felt comfortable or you decided to make the call on his/her birthday, taking the plunge into this friendship pool can only work if both partners are on the same page about what they want now.
Related: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire - 5 Tips for Dealing With Dishonesty
We've developed 5 thought-provoking ways to determine whether a friendship with an ex is the real deal or just a subconscious ploy to get back together.
1. You immediately want to be friends after breaking up.
One of the hardest things to realize after a breakup is that your partner is no longer part of your life. Accepting this is a great way to grow and essentially move on. It also enables a more likely chance to salvage a friendship with an ex one time, for time really is the ultimate healing power. People who are unable to accept the breakup immediately or cannot imagine their lives without their ex tend to vie for an opportunity of a friendship. One would think jumping into a friendship would help the ex partner be forced to think of the relationship now as a platonic one, but this could also run the risk of causing him/her to hang on instead.
2. You miss your ex's company.
There is a fine line between missing your cuddle sessions with your ex and missing your ex's quirky and twisted sense of humor. Articulating what you are missing from your ex will help decipher whether you are missing the actual person vs. missing the relationship.
3. You talk about the past. A lot.
Because a friendship with an ex runs the risk of feeling awkward at first, both partners generally revert to taking a trip down memory lane in order to joke around again and add levity. Any more relationship talk between the two partners demonstrates a sense of immaturity and unnaturalness in the friendship. Maintaining a friendship with an ex involves moving forward and dwelling on the past will only inhibit the friendship from ever growing honestly.
4. You talk about dating other people.
Talking about romantic relationships with an ex is not the easiest of conversations, but if the inevitable awkwardness evolves into jealousy and persists, then this friendship cannot continue honestly and platonically. You may argue and say that you can maintain a friendship without disclosing each others' romantic lives, but this is just as dishonest. Dating and relationships will continue to be a part of both of your lives and if you are unable to share this, then the point of the friendship lacks the opportunity to grow.
5. You think about getting back together one day.
This seemingly appears to be a big warning sign when befriending an ex, however there is potential here. Imagining and re-imagining your life with someone is a part of our nature, for we are never fully certain where we'll be in years to come. Imagining getting back together with your ex is worth discussing with him/her if you find yourself actively thinking this way. Chances are, your ex may be feeling the same way. If you find yourself pondering the idea of getting back together but definitely not now, continue to enjoy this friendship, for it may be all you wanted after all.
Related: Starting Fresh: 6 Tips to Get Over The Past and Find Love Again
Building a friendship with your ex doesn't come with guidelines, but as long as you are passionate about the person rather than the relationship, then your friendship may grow effortlessly.
Have you ever tried to be friends with an ex? Did it work out?
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