7 Reasons You Should Not Stay Friends With Your Ex


Before you stay in contact after a breakup, read these reasons you shouldn’t stay friends with your ex. These tips will help you figure out if you should be friends or stop talking to him altogether.

A reader recently described her long distance relationship with her boyfriend, saying that they’re both best friends and boyfriend/girlfriend. But, he recently broke up with her. He thinks they should stay friends even though they’re not in an intimate relationship. She doesn’t think she can just be friends with him, even though she can’t stop thinking about him.

Before you read what she says about staying friends with her ex, think about what happened the last time you stayed in contact with someone you broke up with. How did it work out for you? Sometimes it’s better to detach from someone you care about, instead of hanging on to the past.


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7 Reasons You Should Not Stay Friends With Your Ex

friends with ex

Sometimes even the best of friends need space. Go, enjoy life on your own!

“I had just been up to visit him and as usual we had a great weekend. However after I left we began to try and plan our next visit, and found out that our schedules were too conflicting for the next month! As a result, my ex broke up with me. However, he claimed that he still loved and cared for me, and still wants me in his life because he wants to have a future with me. Naturally, I responded that if I was that important to you, why on Earth would you have broken up with me!? Well, men are confusing.

We’re currently not talking because he wants to “give me space” – personally, I’m not sure what I want now. I’m tempted to continue having him in my life, especially since we had planned a future together, but I feel like I deserve someone who is willing to be with me through ALL of the hard times. Opinion?”

Her comment was on my article about obsessing about your ex.

My opinion is that she can’t continue having him in her life if he wants to give her space! I also think that she has been pushing him to stay in a relationship with her (read the full comment for all the details), and that she needs to let him go.

Reasons NOT to be friends with your ex:

  • He says he wants to give you space (when really he’s the one who needs space).
  • You have a current boyfriend or girlfriend who is uncomfortable with your friendship.
  • You have to push him or her to stay friends.
  • You feel jealous, sad, or bitter about the breakup.
  • Your life is disrupted by your ex’s presence.
  • You fight with each other.
  • You haven’t had a break, or given yourselves time to heal after the breakup.

Are you still head over heels in love with your ex? Read How to Let Go of Someone You Love.

Reasons to be friends with your ex:

  • You have children together.
  • You have lots of things in common, and have a good time together despite the breakup.
  • You’re both clear on your boundaries (do not have sex with your ex!).
  • You feel good about yourself when you’re with your ex.
  • You don’t have to move heaven and earth to spend time together. It’s easy and natural.
  • Your family and friends approve of your friendship (usually I don’t care what people think, but sometimes it’s good to get people’s opinions of your choices and actions).

If you keep making the same relationship mistakes, you may be staying friends with your ex for too long after the breakup.

What do you think – is friendship with your ex a good idea? It’s different for everyone. Further, it could be a good idea today but a bad idea in a few months.

For more tips on staying friends with your ex, read You Should Be Friends With Your Ex-Boyfriend on Facebook Only If…


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2 thoughts on “7 Reasons You Should Not Stay Friends With Your Ex

  • Laurie Post author

    Hello Lisa,

    Thank you for your comments! I agree with the psychologists – it’s probably not a good idea to stay friends with your ex. There’s a difference between being friends, and being cordial for the kids’ sake.

    I still feel weird when my husband has lunch with his ex-girlfriend, and we’ve been married for almost 8 years! Maybe it’s my insecurity…or maybe it’s a natural, healthy instinct to keep my marriage intact.

  • Lisa C

    I’ve read what psychologists say. They recommend you don’t do it, at least in the early days. Of course, if you have kids you should maintain an amiable relationship for their sake. It really depends on the situation. If you can be civil, I see nothing wrong with it. But if you’re paired with someone new, it’s probably not a good idea.