Point/Counterpoint: Can exes be friends?

The pros and cons of staying friends with your ex

Image by: Amna Rafiq
If they made you cry

The person who broke your heart shouldn’t be there to mend it

Exes can’t be friends—and they shouldn’t try to be.

Friendship is beautifully platonic. Breaking intimate boundaries to enter a relationship should involve a mutual understanding: we won’t be friends if we break up.

While that can be scary or intimidating, it’s part of the process. There’s a reason people advise against dating your friends. You should date someone who can become your best friend, not the person who already is.

If you break up with someone, it’s unhealthy to keep them around as a friend; you’re just lying to them and yourself. Letting go and moving on is part of the healing process.

Be real: why would you want to be friends with your ex?

When people say “let’s stay friends” after a breakup, they’re either trying to soften the blow or keep the other person around in hopes something changes. Why would anybody want to go hang out platonically with someone who broke their heart?

Even when a breakup is ‘mutual,’ it still involves hurt feelings. People don’t just up and leave a relationship that’s going swimmingly. When things are actually going well, people stay in their relationship because being in love is wonderful.

Instead of pretending to be friends with your ex, focus on spending time with your actual friends that you’ve never dated. Or, better yet, take some time to self-evaluate and dedicate your newfound free time to growing as a person. The opportunities are endless.

When it’s over, it’s over. People break up for a reason. Sometimes the best thing for both parties is to call it quits and move on to new people—that’s just life.

Remember: your real friends didn’t make you cry.

—Ben Wrixon, Editor in Chief


Befriending your ex is a sign of maturity and growth

Putting toxic breakups aside, exes can stay friends.

Breakups are the worst; you can lose your significant other and your best friend in one fell swoop. This isn’t the only option, though. Break up with them, but don’t block them.

I’m not saying be best friends, but keeping things amicable, kind, and—most importantly—not hateful, can only help in the long run.

Relationships are complimented by friendship. The ideal situation in which you marry your best friend isn’t just a cliché. Thus, even when relationships end, a shred of friendliness can remain.

Even if romantic feelings get complicated, platonic ones can take over. Keeping the little piece of friendship alive can lead to healing and personal growth.

In some cases, all you need is time. After a breakup, you shouldn’t immediately become besties, but there’s room for friendship after a little space.

Friendship—caring for the other person and valuing them—is a great way to see your ex as more than a mistake or accident. By recognizing them as a friend, you validate the memories and experiences you’ve had with them, even if you don’t want to continue your relationship.

If that little shred of friendship isn’t enough for you, think about the cycle of hate. If you’re not friends, then what? Most people immediately jump to hating their ex.

The thing about hate is that it consumes you.

That little block button does more than stop you from seeing posts. It looms over you, reminding you that you let the relationship impact you in a negative way. Real growth, and really getting over someone, requires maturity a block can never provide.

For as long as you let it fester, hate will leak into all aspects of your life. The better option is forgiveness and friendship.

Forgiveness allows you both to grow; it’s the ultimate version of closure. As for friendship, it’s just a great follow-up. If they’re forgiven, they can stay in your life. You’re definitely not as close as before, but you’ve at least removed all the entry points for hate.

Befriend your ex and see how much freer you feel.

—Sarah Maat, Senior Sports Editor 


Dating, Exes, friends

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

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