If your dating life is primarily that of a twentysomething Tinder queen, then it can be easy, and perhaps beneficial, to cut former flames out of your life for good. But as relationships become more serious and meaningful, can you stay friends with an ex? Sparing yourself the emotional energy suck of befriending someone who doesn't put in as much effort as you do (or who puts in way too much effort) is pretty simple when you don't share any real parts of your life together. But what about once you've become more intertwined in each other's lives?
For example, do you and your ex co-parent a child together? If so, it might be necessary to remain friendly for the sake of cohesive parenting. Are you in each other's larger friend circles? In the queer community, exes sometimes stay friends simply because it can be really fucking hard to find/make/have other queer friends. So they don't necessarily let go of companionship just because it's emotionally messy and/or complicated.
BuzzFeed Australia (oh yeah, cute accents abound) tapped men and women asking them in two separate videos what they thought of staying friends with exes. Both groups confessed that it was awkward, either somewhat and at first, or completely and enduringly. But overall, women seemed to have much more flexible views:
1. "I think you can be civil with an ex. I don't know if you can be best buddies."
2. "I think it all depends on how long you've been together."
"You see people where it's so obvious one person still has feelings [for the other]...No one's gonna get over someone that they're still friends with."
3. "Why not?"
"If they were a nice person and you've just mutually fallen out of love with one another, then why not be friends?...Ideally, of course, be friends. Why not? I think that people should put anger behind them and move forward."
4. "I've had a friend of mine now who I dated for about a year and a half and when we broke up it was ridiculously amicable."
5. "I think you need time and space before there can actually be kind of a true friendship there."
Men, on the other hand, were much more guarded. They cited heartbreak, jealousy, and general confusion significantly more often than the women did as reasons why they can't be friends with exes:
1. "Absolutely not."
"Well, actually, it depends. Probably not. Kinda yes."
2. I think you can to a degree, but there's definitely rules."
"They get a new partner or you get a new partner and spending time with them then will probably cause friction."
3. "I don't think you can form a really close friendship after you've had a really romantic relationship."
"Then the next person that you're with actually feels really insecure about your ex, who's now you're mate, and I feel as though it's just a little bit too hard."
Hmm, so maybe women aren't the obsessive cling-monsters in the equation as society would have us believe after all... You can check out both videos in their entirety below.
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