Dating Magazine

Two Steps Forward, Not Two Steps Back: You Don’t Have to Be Friends with an Ex

By Shauntee @shaunteebattie

Two Steps Forward, Not Two Steps Back: You Don’t Have to be Friends with an ExWhenever I give advice, I often wonder if the advice I’m giving is the best advice. I do have strict rules about what I say, how I say it, and when I say it. Most of the time, I find that people don’t want advice they mostly want a listening ear. So I try my best to respect that and keep my thoughts to myself, especially when it comes to dating and relationships. I never tell people to break up or divorce their boo, even if I sense that it won’t work out, I keep my thoughts to myself. I’m all for love, so I try my best to remain positive on the outcome of somebody’s relationship.  Often, I ‘m able to listen to others viewpoints to understand where they’re coming from, it gives me another way to look at any situation, but there is one piece of advice that I do no change my viewpoint on for anyone and that’s maintaining a friendship with an ex.

Strangers→  acquaintances→ friends→ lovers→ strangers

I seen this on Twitter months ago and the order in which things transpire in relationships is right on the money. It is very easy to go from friends to lovers but making the transition from lovers to friends is the hardest thing in the world to do when you have formed some type of emotional bond.

Last week, I found myself in a conversation with my sister about being friends with an ex, in which I stood firm that it is not healthy. The next day, an article was published on Your Tango in which scientific evidence backed up my belief that it is unhealthy. So here’s why from my viewpoint:

Some people really feel like they’re working with some form of entitlement, they think they’re the best thing that happened to you since the invention of the iPhone. They pursue relationships with other people and then put you on the backburner thinking they have a safety net to run back to.

Confusion, you cannot switch gears easily from being romantically involved with someone to being friends. Some will call and talk to you like they’re still involved with you thus leaving you like WTF…

Guilt, when someone feels like they’ve done you wrong, maintaining a friendship helps them feel better about themselves and the situation. At this point, you don’t need to be friends with anyone to make them feel better….you are always your number one priority!

Prevention, they don’t want to be with you, but don’t want you to be with anybody else either. Meanwhile, they’re out having a grand ole time….can you say selfish? Maintaining contact with an ex can be damaging to whatever new relationships you’re trying to develop with someone else. A relationship is a two person adventure not three…well at least for most of us!

All breakups are not permanent, but the odds that a second time around will be better is against you, statistically speaking. Until you find that magical unicorn that will put you two back together again, it’s best to remember that an ex is an EXample of an EXperience that you no longer need. If you’re soul mates and it’s meant for you to be together you’ll reconnect, but you will need to know the difference between a soul mate and a foul mate; someone who still got the same rotten ass problems they had when you were together previously. Always take two steps forward, not two steps back.


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