Why can’t we all just get along?


Ah, love. One minute it’s dropping in for an unexpected visit, the next it’s throwing things as it storms out the door. But your ex makes the best coffee, and nobody else truly shares your love of grocery shopping.

You can be friends with your ex. But that’s using the term broadly.

Friendship, generally speaking, is supposed to be affection without sexual relations — or perhaps even sexual attraction.

Of course, you’ve blazed right past that, getting things all hot and heavy without giving a thought to how it will work now that things have cooled down. Way down.

Regardless of why the relationship ended, you’re both mature, reasonable adults. You can totally handle this friendship thing.


Naysayers will insist there is no going back — once a relationship has progressed to a certain point, it can’t go backward. But who’s to say friendship can’t be a step forward?

Chances are, the reasons you were initially attracted to one another didn’t completely vanish along with the relationship. When you find someone so appealing to you, even if a serious relationship didn’t work, it’s not necessarily a bad idea to keep that person in your life.

That said, there are definitely some ground rules that have to be followed if you’re trying to be friends with a former flame.

1. Be friends — seriously. Don’t let yourself treat your ex differently than you would any other close girl or guy friend — you’ll eventually regret it. If your ex still has feelings for you, he’s going to feel a false sense of hope. If you still have feelings for your ex, letting things be relationship-esque will make it harder for you to get over him.

2. Be considerate. If she has a new boyfriend, don’t trash talk him at every opportunity. If he introduces you to his new girlfriend, be nice. Maybe you don’t want to acknowledge that someone else can make your ex happy—but you do want her to be happy, right? If there’s nothing wrong with her new beau besides the fact that he’s not you, tolerate it.

3. Be honest with your current significant other. Don’t lie to your new boyfriend about the old one. He needs to know that your BFF also happens to be the guy you dated through high school. If you’re completely open with your current girlfriend about your friendships with your exes, she won’t feel threatened.

Before you make any attempts at friendship, ask yourself if you can do those three things. If the answer is yes, that’s a start.

I tend to be open-minded about relationships. Whatever works for you, however it works — best of luck. There will be people, usually out of concern, that warn against keeping an ex in your life. Who cares? This is between you and your no-longer-quite-as-significant other.

There will be days you forget why you were ever with your ex, days you forget why you broke up, and days you want to forget everything.

But it will be just fine.