We’ve all been there – we’ve tried to be “friends” with our exes, at least some of them; the ones who things maybe didn’t end so badly with, or the ones who you were in a relationship with for so long that you can’t help but be some version of friends years after you broke up.
After all, it’s not uncommon for things to end amicably at times, so what’s the harm, right?
Well, what about when you start dating someone else, someone serious. What do you do with that ex who still texts you or calls to check up on you? What if that new person isn’t okay with you being “friends” with your ex?
There’s suddenly a problem where there wasn’t one before. Before you were free to have that platonic relationship with your ex and now you’re running the risk of upsetting your new boyfriend or girlfriend over the old one.
Who’s right and who’s wrong? Should you give up that relationship with your ex for the new relationship? Should you have to?
What it comes down to is this – are you REALLY friends with your ex, or is it something else, like holding onto the past rather than a real, solid friendship?
For the most part, these ex relationships aren’t actually friendships. They’re a bad habit you can’t let go of, maybe even a twisted form of insecurity where you need them or they need you to validate that you’re still wanted by that person despite moving on years ago. Sometimes it’s just the other person playing mind games with you for their own ego and you don’t know how to shut it down for good.
That’s usually the sad truth. When you sit back and analyze what your relationship with your ex actually is, for the most part it’s just an empty one full of old memories and habits neither of you (or one of you) can let go of. In some cases you think it’s a friendship when, in fact, it’s your ex using you for something like an ego boost, help with their car or something about still using your medical.
Material things. Selfish things.
That’s not a friendship.
When faced with this issue of letting go of the past to move forward with someone new, it’s not always easy but once you evaluate that relationship with your ex, you’re likely to find it’s not a healthy one. Perhaps the reason the new person in your life doesn’t want you in touch with that ex isn’t because he or she is insecure ¬– it’s because they’re outside of your bubble and can see it’s not healthy for you.
Sometimes it will be because of insecurity, but if you care about that person it should be an even easier decision to cut ties with your ex for the sake of your new relationship and for your own good, too. After all, there’s a reason you’re no longer with that ex so what makes you think you can be “friends” after everything?
Is it possible to truly be friends with your ex? Doubtful, although there are a few rare cases. There’s too much history, sexually and emotionally, and it’s no wonder new boyfriends and girlfriends are uncomfortable with the idea.
Cutting ties is a win-win, although it’s not as easy as that – it never is.
But it will get easier for everyone involved, and that’s a promise.
Looking forward in any new relationship should mean not looking back over your shoulder at an old one. Cut the ties, let it go and concentrate on the positive relationships in your life, not distant memories.