ETI Readers Explain The Brutal Truth About Why We Can’t Be Friends With Our Exes

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Part of what fuels my passion for writing about love and dating is that I’m constantly learning new things: things about myself, the opposite sex, how to better handle situations. But one thing I could never fully comprehend is why being friends with an ex is so taboo.

There have been studies that show many who remain friends with former flames are narcissists and psychopaths, which is both interesting and worrying. I’ve always believed that exes can coexist as friends (or at the very least, acquaintances) because it shows a level of maturity. To me, it always seemed childish that two people couldn’t maintain some sort of cordial relationship if it was a mutual split and their romance or fling didn’t work out.

I’ve only had two serious girlfriends in my life, and I’d say our relationship is cordial, at best. We don’t talk regularly and we aren’t friends on Facebook, but if I needed to reach out to them for whatever reason, they will more than likely answer.

There are many people who cut ties and burn every remnant of a bridge once their time with their significant other or fling is up, and it never made sense to me. Since I’m always curious to see how people think, I asked people to give me their take on the matter:

“It’s naïve at the bare minimum.” — Linda

“It depends on the relationship and why it ended. If it was a mutual split and things just didn’t work out, then I see no problem with it. I doubt you’d be close to them, there’s a reason you broke up and being close to them would kind of negate that concept. But to keep in touch with someone isn’t a big deal. I am in touch with a few of my exes. It’s only really in situations where the reason you broke up is because of something wrong either party did that I think it would be inappropriate.” — Grace

“It’s a sign of maturity if you stayed cordial with an ex. It’s plain weird if either of them try to be friendly on a daily basis.” — Layla

“I have only remained friends with my ex-husband, we did not divorce for typical reasons. We have children, who are older now. No others did I remain friends with. Exes are exes for a reason, in my opinion, and usually not for good reasons.” — Theresa

“It all depends on why they are your ex. If it just didn’t work out, then yes, I see no reason why you can’t maintain a friendship.” — Scott

“I think it depends on your personal situation. Bad or horrible breakup? Absolutely not. Mutual separation? That could be okay. I don’t think we can generalize all the exes in the world. I wouldn’t have an issue if my significant other did. It really depends on their situation and your trust level.” — Elizabeth

“What if you had a bad breakup but your relationship with this person has been strong for so long even when you weren’t dating? Would it be okay to keep in touch with them? That’s what I had, and I mean, I don’t speak to this person on a daily basis or anything, but we still keep in touch and it’s never awkward or anything. When we see each other or anything like that, I understand why my girlfriend isn’t a fan of me doing that, considering she knows what happened between us, but I don’t know. I don’t really see the problem with it.” — Tony

“I would have liked to be friends but maybe I am not that mature.” — Sabrina


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