It is true, that in most cases, it is best to cut off ties when you bring up with someone. That can allow for time to heal and move forward. However, for those who are mature enough to handle it, there are some benefits to remaining friends with an ex even after the flames have died.
It depends on the relationship. Some intense relationships are best severed. However, some will work nicely to convert into friendships. Every case is different.
One type of relationship that can translate well into friendship is young love. Most realize those you meet in your teen years will not amount to a lifelong relationship. Those years are filled with emotions, hormones, and drama so relationships can be intense. Even with that, most can convert into friendships because there is an innocence about the treasured memories. These are the people who have known you the longest, so they can understand you best.
Sometimes, those who divorce can remain friends as long as both decide that is how they are going to play it. There should be enough commonality there, especially if there are kids involved, that they can get along as friends even though the marriage didn’t work out.
Here are six things you can learn by being friends with your ex:
You Can Love Deeply Without Romance
You can be friends with someone of the opposite sex without a romantic connection. It is hard to not include someone who was once so important in your life. There may need to be boundaries, but you can still care about each other deeply on an emotional level.
Hostility Doesn’t Have to Be the Result
While most people feel a sense of anger and hostility against their partner after a breakup, time, forgiveness and maturity can remedy this. This is why it may be best to completely separate for a while after the break up until anger clears and emotions subside. Once you have put all those volatile emotions aside, you can treat each other with respect and without hostility.
You Can Share Without Judgement
Once you have put the romantic part aside, you can share things without fearing repercussions. You no longer have to impress them or figure out how to deal with their reactions. This makes for a great friendship.
It takes a lot of growth and maturity to have a healthy breakup and remain friends. It means you can categorize your emotions from your mind and can get past the future you thought you would have. You realize sometimes things just don’t work out and there is no one to blame.
Good Things Take Time
No one plunges immediately from a hot romance to friends. It takes time, self-awareness, and healing. It could be a year or more. You will know when it happens when you suddenly quit avoiding your partner or even when you can have that first friendly chat without any awkwardness, pain, or hostility.
Your Friendship Is At a Different Level
You were once intimate with this person, so they know you well. That also means they can call you out when you act stupid. They can, and likely will, point it out when you are making the same mistakes in a new relationship that you made in the one with them.
This can be enormously helpful as it can stop you from doing destructive things. It can be helpful to have someone to bounce things off of that knows you through and through.
Realize that these relationships are someone unusual because many people aren’t mature enough to have them. Such a relationship could pose problems in other romantic relationships as well because your new love may not understand your friendship with an old lover. At some point, you may have to choose or make adjustments. Even so, until then, it may serve you well to become friends with an ex to reap the benefits of a friendship as you transition through life stages.