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Can You Be Friends With Your Ex?

I’ve been getting this question a lot, so I felt the need to address it. Can you be friends with your ex? Well…..

If you guys experienced a mutually decided, civil breakup up that wasn’t filled with any drama, tears, and hours of drunk venting to your friends and family about how they hurt you and screwed you over….. then sure. Go right ahead. But let’s be honest, it usually doesn’t go down like that. Even if the break up is 100% amicable, one of you wanted it just a little bit more (He may have wanted it 51% while you wanted it %49 which means it still wasn’t an even break). Most breakups include some form of argument, harsh criticism, lying, cheating, backstabbing, heartbreak, insensitivity, betrayal, anger, depression, disappointment, removal of your relationship from social media as if it never existed, and the stinging revelation that they’ve probably replaced you with a rebound. You are suddenly forced to delete a person from your life that you spent countless hours laughing, joking, and spending time with. And don’t even get me started on situations in which the breakup happens out of nowhere for seemingly no reason. You are left confused with no closure, and a huge sense of loss. No matter what caused it or how long the relationship lasted, you are experiencing separation from someone you loved deeply. And It hurts. It really hurts.

That being said……Can you be friends with an ex? Sure. But the real question is, WHY IN THE HECK WOULD YOU WANT TO? You may as well be friends with Freddie Krueger and not expect him to gut you like a fish when you’re sleepy. A crappy boyfriend = a crappy friend after the breakup. Your change in relationship status doesn’t change his character.


Be my friend, I still love you!!!

Be my friend, I still love you!!!

I think it’s important to first evaluate the true meaning of a “friend”. My friends are supportive, loving, and care about my feelings. They want to see me succeed, and would never say or do things to intentionally hurt me. They are there when I need them. They keep their word. They pray with me, hold me accountable, and would never tell my secrets. They LIKE me. They won’t break promises. They won’t break my heart. And they don’t sleep with me. If you can’t say all of these things about your ex, then HE AIN’T YOUR FRIEND! Make no mistake about it! If he didn’t value you enough to promote you (marry you), then he shouldn’t expect you to stick around for a demotion (friendship). If ya’ll broke up because of constant fighting, cheating, insecurity,trust issues, domestic violence, or because he is not SAVED- congratulations! You’re on the right track sis! But after all he put you through, why would you even consider gracing him with your energy and friendship? He deserves your forgiveness- not an invitation to your inner circle.

Now, let me be clear- I’m not saying that you need to roll your eyes every time you see him, or cuss him out when he calls to say Happy Birthday. You should always be cordial and minimally polite to a person you have history with. RESPECT THE EX and be grateful for everything you learned throughout the failed relationship. It will help you when God sends the right man into your life. What I am saying is that we should be more selective about who we call a friend. Just because your ex says ‘hello, doesn’t mean you owe him home cooked brownies and a deep convo. It also doesn’t mean he is your friend. Just say ‘hello’ back to him, and keep it moving. You can be friendly without being his friend.  Nothing to see here playa, be on your way….. Also, be real about the motive behind the friendship you desire to have with your ex. Is it because you would rather have some contact with him, than none at all? Is it because you’re still holding on to hope that if you are nice enough he will see the error of his ways and come running back? Is it because you realized, (even though you don’t want to be with him), that you were wrong and your actions actually led to the breakup (guilt)? Or Is it because you have “rejection issues” and poor self-esteem, so you are relying on him to validate you as a woman by telling you that even though he dumped you, you are good enough to be loved, as if it will retract the hurt that he has already caused you? Honestly, these were all different reasons that I tried to stay friends with ex’s. And it wasn’t until I gave my life to Christ that I realized how foolish I was being. You cannot expect your ex to help you heal from a heartbreak that HE CAUSED. It’s not his responsibility. That’s what Jesus is here for. Come back for a follow up post as we discuss his motives for sticking around after the breakup, how you can heal and get over the breakup, and why the pain you experienced is actually one of the best things to ever happen to you.

Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

One time for the nation,

~Britt

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About Saved Single ME

Christian, cupcake lover, owl collector, Grad student, Carter’s Aunt, part-time extrovert, pink Starburst on deck, secretly loves listening to Christmas music year-round, secretly fears robots #Huglife

4 Comments
  • Michael O
    July 14, 2014

    I like this blog. Many things that I agree with and some that I would challenge. The damage of a break-up is very hurtful and does not sit well with us, male or female. To address the question of “can you be friends with an ex?” It varies from situation to situation. Proverbs 11:3a says “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.” I think if the person that you dated in the past is saved, has good character/integrity and the relationship did not work, then friendship CAN be possible. It DOESN’T take away the fact that hurt doesn’t exist, however when a person is upright and their fruit bares good, understanding and forgiveness can guide them in friendship. Some people just aren’t meant to be together and that is fine. It is simply life taking it’s course. The passage in Proverbs 11:3a that speaks of crookedness of the treacherous is the “Freddie Krueger” or “Pinocchio” simply because they are not upright (saved), and not led by integrity. If a friendship with ANYONE is to be considered, there must be a foundation built first. Why is this person relevant in my life now, and what is the purpose? Are they making me stronger or are they a distraction? How do they show me that they love me (and as Christians, how do they plant seeds to encourage growth in your walk with The Lord)? Ultimately, it comes down to purpose and reason. We also have to forgive and move on! Romans 5:3-4 says “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” In other words, life is about learning. I agree, RESPECT THE EX and be grateful for everything you learned throughout the failed relationship. Experience will make room for growth.

    Brit, keep up the great work. 🙂

  • amiya
    July 9, 2014

    love, love, love!!! and to be honest you may miss out on your future husband while still holding on and (being friends with an ex) it’s hard, but it’s good to keep things moving so you can get over the situation, forgive your ex, forgive yourself-and don’t let an unhealthy friendship block your BLESSINGS!!! Britt, keep preaching girl 🙂

  • Vanessa V.
    July 8, 2014

    Great piece Britanee!!
    I think that keeping relationships with old flames only opens the door for re-kindling flames and welcoming in old issues when you start new relationships. we are supposed to forgive them but then move on… there is a reason it didn’t work, so close that baggage and walk away, don’t carry it into your future. Of course the exception is if you have children together, then there needs to be a platonic and respectful relationship with boundaries. I’ve gone as far to delete them off social media… this is especially important if you were the one that didn’t want it to end and acknowledge that you could cave in weakness.

  • Emerald W.
    July 8, 2014

    Sis, this is great advice!

    Particularly the probing question regarding your own intentions of being “friends” with an ex. Additionally, I think it’s important that you noted whereas we can’t be friends, as a mature woman of God we can still be cordial.

    You’re dropping knowledge sis! And I’m picking it up 🙂

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