When It’s Not OK To Be Friends With An Ex

Break up’s are hard and in some scenarios, they are a test of character. You may find yourself juggling between emotions at any given time and it can be hard to see the light at what feels like a very long tunnel. Being friends with an ex may seem like the right thing to do, but the reality is that sometimes, it’s not just possible. No matter how hard both parties may try, some things just aren’t meant to be, and that’s ok. Everyone is different and trying to build a friendship with a toxic ex just because you want to save face isn’t the right thing to do.

Inner peace should always triumph over the feelings and emotions that threaten to tear you down. If any interactions make you feel uncomfortable, cutting ties is essential. Before I go into things, I would like to say that there is nothing wrong with staying friends with an ex. As long as your interactions are healthy and boundaries are set, it’s 100% possible, however, there are some instances where staying friends with an ex just isn’t an option:

If they resent you 

Resentment is ‘a feeling of anger because you have been forced to accept something that you don’t like’. If your ex seems to lash out at you for no reason whatsoever, then the chances are they are still harboring some resentment towards you. If you are the person that ended the relationship or even initiated a split prior to a permanent one taking place, stay woke. A resentful ex isn’t able to manage their own thoughts. In their mind, you (the person who ended the relationship) are in the wrong and they are your victim. Accountability is likely to be another issue: if they can’t understand the part they played in the failure of the relationship, you’ll always be the enemy. I had a situation where a former partner of mine resented me for ending our relationship. Before I decided to end the relationship, I had come face to face with the realization that I had been on the receiving end of behaviour that no woman should accept and I walked away. It was sudden, yes, but I have no regrets. The ex in question couldn’t hold himself accountable for his actions, so whenever he would make lackluster attempts to rekindle the relationship and I said no, I was insulted.

The truth about resentment is that it can happen to any of us, however, we must take caution in order to be certain that our pasts aren’t affecting our future. Nobody wants to constantly be reminded of the moments when they fell short of glory. We all have. Friendship after a relationship should signal that both individuals are ready to build a bridge and walk over it together (or separately) in their own time, and friends bear ill feelings towards their friends.

You’re not ok when you talk to someone about them

Whew! One of the most telling signs of them all! You definitely haven’t healed when the sound of their name can send you into a internal rage. Once trust has been betrayed, don’t expect to remain friends once all is said and done. If talking about your ex doesn’t bode well with you, there is no way you will be able to maintain and retain a healthy relationship with them. Focus on your healing journey. I talk a lot about healing because until you’ve address why you feel or behave the way you do post-relationship, then you will never open yourself up to the possibility of moving on. Also, it is completely normal to experience negative feels when a relationship ends, so don’t expect them to go away overnight. Recovering from whatever went down takes time, and you do have the freedom to take as much time as you need.

You want to get back together (even though you know it’s not the right thing to do!)

We’ve all been in a on again-off again relationships, but this may actually be a sign that our ex just isn’t meant to be in our lives. Unless the issues that keep pulling and pushing you apart have been addressed, they will always appear at some point during your union. If you’re pining for your ex when you know you shouldn’t be, keeping your distance is vital. Some exes take pride in the fact that there will always be a place for them in your life. If you are entertaining someone you shouldn’t be, then the natural choice is to cut them off. Cutting someone out of your life isn’t an easy process, so going cold turkey just isn’t the way to do it. Start small by deleting their phone number, then removing them from all social media and so on.

Waiting for them to be the person they were when you were in a relationship

As someone who did this for over a year after their relationship had ended, believe me when I say that no good can come from hoping an ex will become the person you want them to be overnight. People change because they want to, not because of a person or thing or place. Change comes from within. Humans are so set in their ways, and being asked to change can sometimes feel like a kick in the face. We all want to be accepted for who we are by the people in our lives and this is normal. When I think of change, I’m reminded by something I read in the book ‘The Four Agreements‘. The author, Don Miguel Ruiz, talks about people being content as they are and how other people feel the need to disrupt that in order to satisfy their own needs, and he is right. We take it upon ourselves to go around fixing, healing and saving other people’s sons (and even daughters) and then we wonder why we are left feeling emotionally, mentally and physically depleted. The truth is that once you have accepted yourself, you will learn to accept others as they are (and yes this includes the individuals who are full of nonsense).

No boundaries are in place 

Boundaries are essential because they allow us to have healthy relationships. Personal boundaries are probably the most important of them all because they allow us to set the standard for how we want to be treated. We all have limits and they should be identifiable. A lot of us don’t have boundaries and this sets us up for nothing but trouble. As far as exes are concerned: if there were no boundaries during your relationship, it’s unlikely that there will be any post-relationship. An example of a boundary that you should implement with an ex would be setting a time frame on reaching out. We all need time to recover, and for some people having your ex call you every day because they needed someone to talk to may be a little overbearing. Everyone is different, so think about what you will and won’t stand for and put those boundaries in place.

One thing to remember when a relationship ends is that if your split was induced by personality differences or behaviour patterns, things are unlikely to change. As mentioned in a previous point, protecting your peace should be your main priority. If anything or anyone interferes with it, just let it go. It really isn’t worth it.

Have you ever found it difficult to be friends with an ex after a break-up? Or have you decided not to stay friends with an ex? What advice would you give to someone who’s ex is still lingering around?

I hope you all enjoyed reading this post. As always, I love to hear from you all so please feel free to leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to like and subscribe. If you are subscribed, then tell your friends to subscribe as well xo
























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  • Dani
    August 15, 2019

    It always seems a good idea to stay friends with an ex but, in reality, it very rarely works out that way! Every reason why that you discussed in this post has always been so true for me – I totally relate.

    • itskellesspace
      August 15, 2019

      Absolutely – it is a rarity for most to be honest.
      When it comes to staying friends with an ex, I think that it’s important to prioritize your feelings.
      If it’s not right, just don’t do it.
      Thanks for reading the post.

  • Casey
    August 19, 2019

    I may be the odd pea here, but I’ve honestly never stayed friends with an ex. Only once because it was a bad breakup, the rest were honestly just awkward. It’s hard to care about someone for any length of time and cuddle, kiss, hug, etc and then just be friends with them. Maybe it’s me (probably is) but I just can’t do it. We are civil and kind to one another, but we drift apart and that’s the end of it.

    Props to those who can stay with their ex and make a friendship out of it. However, these are prime and perfect examples of when you shouldn’t be. Great advice for those seeking it!

    Casey | https://mccourtskee.com

    • itskellesspace
      August 19, 2019

      Hi Casey,
      Absolutely, I salute anyone who can do it because it isn’t easy.
      Thanks for reading the post!

  • Mykki
    August 19, 2019

    All of my exes have been toxic, abusive people – so there’s no way I would want to remain as friends with them. No good can come of trying to have any kind of relationship with someone who sees you are the ultimate villain in their personal narrative.

    • itskellesspace
      August 20, 2019

      I couldn’t agree with you more.
      Like you, toxicity has not made it possible for me to be friends with an ex.
      I’d like to think that I could be one day, but boundaries will definitely need to be set in order to ensure that our friendship is healthy.

  • Chocoviv
    August 20, 2019

    So true!!! Always remember this!

    • itskellesspace
      August 20, 2019

      Thanks for passing through! 🙂

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When It’s Not OK To Be Friends With An Ex