Coffee Talk: Can You Be Friends with an Ex?

  • Copy by: Brianna Cook

No matter what the circumstances, break-ups are hard. Even if you’re lucky enough to part ways on good terms, you’re still left with feelings of sorrow, loss, and perhaps even failure. Not only are you  an emotional wreck, but your daily routine is turned completely on its head. The early morning text exchange, after-work dinner dates, and leisurely Sundays on the couch are things of the past, and you find yourself fighting the urge to pick up the phone and dial that familiar number—wanting to maintain your sense of normalcy. While you’re confident a break-up is the right thing to do, you can’t help but miss the friendship. So, would it really be the worst thing to give him a call?

We’re curious, do you think exes can be friends? Have you ever remained friends with an ex? If so, how long did it take for you to establish the friendship post-breakup? How does this affect your future relationships? Bottom line: do you think it’s a good idea?

  • No I don’t think it’s a good idea. It affects future relationships no matter who the people are. To ignore that or deny that it has ANY affect at all is superficial. Someone always ends up getting hurt.

  • Chloe Moon

    I don’t think it can work unless the reason for the end of the relationship is that you two realized you are more friends than lovers. I can’t be friends with my exes because the way they broke up with me was too bad.

    Ergo – Blog

  • It can work, but I think some time has to pass first. You both need time to heal and move on before you try to establish a friendship outside of what was once your “relationship.” The only long term friendships I’ve been able to maintain with exes have worked because of this.

  • I think it would all depend on the context of the break up. After an amount of time then I think it could work.

  • I think you could, but I never advise it. Things always get messy and it’s dangerous for future relationships. You just have to let it go and move on.

  • Anamaria

    Usually not, but it depends on the reasons for the break-up. Definitely not if one person still wants to date (or marry!) the other. It also depends on how physical the relationship was. I’m friends with one of my exes, but we never even kissed. And then the time the relationship lasted, if not longer, must pass (if you date for three months, three months need to pass before re-establishing contact).

  • Rebecca

    In the beginning no, a friendship should be avoided with your ex. I do think that after several years after you both have moved on a simple “hello, how are you” is fine, but only if you happen to run into that person unintentional. It’s not fair to you or your next love to be still involved with an ex.

  • I think it depends on the people involved. I’m still friends with one of my exes, but it took a year or two to figure out what our new boundaries were going to be as friends. We definitely aren’t as close as we once were, but he is still definitely a part of my life. If my current boyfriend and I broke up though, I don’t think we could still be friends. He’s not the type of person who could forgive and forget.

    • Hannah

      What happens if you and your ex didn’t break up. But his mom made him break up because she found out we smoked weed once. We are both straight a kids. And only did it once to try something stupid together. His mom forbidden him to ever talk to me. He was my best friend and my true love we are both 16 but dated for a year. That’s the only thing we done. No sex. But it’s been 5 months. I at least want a friendship. So what do I do?

      • Jake Olsen

        You tell your mom youre seeing him anyways and you’re sorry and your mom doesn’t control your life.

  • I’m sure it’s possible but I’ve never been able to be friends with my ex-boyfriends. For me, it leaves too much space open to wonder “what if we could make it work again” and I find that little window to be detrimental to moving on.

  • LoganDrayton

    I think it’s important and healthy to be friends with an ex. I agree with some posts that immediately after a break-up a friendship isn’t likely, everyone needs time to heal. However, I’m always suspicious if a guy I’m dating is not on speaking terms or friendly with his ex, it says a lot about the previous relationship.

    I find it hard to imagine not wanting to be friends with someone who you at one point thought was a very good person, good enough to date. As I said, immediately after probably not, but at some point when you’re both over things both parties should be able to say, Ok that happened for a reason, we both got something out of it, we both grew in different ways but that was right then but not right forever.

    • Sarah

      I completely agree, i’m glad i’m not the only one that feels that way.

    • Joe

      Thank you, I also totally agree and am glad I’m not the only one that feels that way! It seems like the clear default, no? And I like that you use the word healthy. (I’m a guy, Google sent me here, not sure if i’m allowed in but I just really wanted to second that!)

      • Tony Corazza

        Well what if you found out that by the end of a relationship they aren’t a good person like you thought they were.

        • Joe

          I suppose that’s where the default part comes in. If it’s your average mix of good and bad feelings and experiences then it seems to me the default might as well point to ‘friends’. But if it’s not such a fork-in-the road scenario (i.e. you’ve been pretty much forced down a certain road) then yeah, the whole default thing wouldn’t apply then.

          • Tony Corazza

            For me it was mostly bad feelings then good like a 80/20 percent ratio.

  • I’m friends with one of my exes. We were friends before and friends still. Another, we tried to be friends… I would say we’re cordial but not friendly. I say happy birthday but wouldn’t give a gift.

  • Jessi

    I think there is a big difference between being friends and being friendly. Oftentimes friends of mine have tried to focus too much on the friendship part right after the breakup and it just ends up making the situation worse. I think a lot of space is essential especially in the beginning and then after that it is important to just be friendly. I don’t really think it’s a good idea to be friends with an ex, but I think being friendly is very important because then you know that you have moved on and you aren’t putting any effort into negative energy or a negative relationship!

    • Kim


  • Ashley

    As a general rule, I don’t think it’s possible to be friends. I think the old saying goes, “If you can be friends after a break-up, it means you were never really in love, or you still are.” I am friends with one of my ex-boyfriends from years and years ago, but not with my most recent. You can still care for that person and be cordial, but a friendship is hard – esp if there are feelings on any side. I find it hard to find the new boundaries of friendship with someone who you were once so intimate with. I really believe its best for both parties despite what they feel for the other person to let go and move on.

  • Totally! My ex-boyfriend and first real love whom I dated for over two years came to my wedding! And I’ll be at his wedding this summer.

    We broke up because the chemistry had fizzled so it was pretty easy to just stay friends, although it took about 6-12 months to not feel a little jealous of other people in his life…

  • It depends on you, the ex, the nature of the breakup, and how the whole shibang went down. There is one ex of mine in particular whom I do not maintain a friendship with whatsoever because our relationship was destructive and unfruitful. We’ve run into each other a couple of times and we’re cordial enough to briefly “catch up” like Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn at the end of the ‘The Breakup.’ But that’s the end of that, there’s no kind of contact, no phone number exchange nor email… nada!
    On the other side of that coin is another ex who has loved me like no other till the end of time. We ended things with love. And because of his nature and the loving kindness of our relationship we managed to maintain a beautiful friendship immediately after we broke up, and even over long distance to this day. This is a very unusual situation for me. Actually it’s just plain weird, but he’s one of my closest friends.

    Once you decide to breakup, break up. If both parties, and I mean both parties, can get past the romantic issues and any baggage of bitterness then a friendship is possible. But I wouldn’t force it, organic is always preferred 😉

  • Yes! Absolutely can be friends with an ex. In fact, I am. I usually give the post breakup sometime to heal and move forward before calling the ex for casual conversation. This time varies on the dynamics of our relationship. It’s okay idea!

    ♥, LONDA

  • Jasmine Brink-Li

    Yes. Although, I’m really only close with one ex, mainly because the relationship was young and we were 16 and we didn’t do anything, but I’m actually going to his wedding in May. And we’re quite good friends. Others have always been fairly amiable, but lost contact due to distance, or really, I didn’t want to continue a friendship there at all. All but one has been not so nice.

  • Can I just say “hell no” and leave it at that? My own experiences have not led me to want to be friends with my ex, which I think says something on its own. For those that can maintain the friendship after the split – kudos. Though, it seems a whole new ball game when either party enters a new relationship…

  • Laura

    I believe it depends on the ex and the situation you ended the relationship in. That being said I have yet to remain friends with an ex nor have I had an ex that I would want to remain friends with. I like to believe it is possible and maybe one day in the future we will be able to be friends. I do believe in being friendly, or at least polite especially when you have mutual friends.

  • I think it depends. If you were better at being friends than being something more than sure its possible. But, if your relationship was complicated and messy than its better to just walk away and leave it at that

  • Jane

    I don’t want to be friends with my exes. I choose to part ways with them, so they don’t need to be part of my life. I’m not one for sentiment, and there might be underlying temptation. It’s easier to be separate

  • This is kind of interesting. I’ve never had a crazy, intense break up (or a super serious relationship), but I’ve also never stayed friends with an ex. Once we break up, we break up. Now, I will stick by my decisions with this and continue to say it was the best idea for both parties, but there is a part of me that feels like you can date someone, break up, and EVENTUALLY be friends. Or maybe ‘friendly’ is the better word?? It depends on an entire grab bag of things–maturity, the past relationship, so many factors. Relationships are complicated and they’re definitely all different. I think one thing is for certain. Time is necessary for all of us. It allows you time to reacquaint yourself with yourself, your friends, who that particular boyfriend/girlfriend is/was. THEN, you can decide whether becoming friends or mere acquaintances (or strangers) is right for the two of you. It definitely varies, but if you can BOTH manage to have a responsible relationship after, I say go ahead. Perhaps with a little caution and consideration of any new relationships. (I probably won’t be changing my stance with any of my old flames though.)

  • Yasmine

    If your relationship doesn’t mean a lot to you anymore and it’s been a long time since you broke up you could be friends. I mean let’s face it, if you’ve been hurt by him you couldn’t forget that in a million years you’ll always have that little dark side that wants revenge each time you talk especially if he wants you back. So I think as long as your previous relationship didn’t mean something at that time nor it does now you could be friends .

  • Sarah

    I am friends with my ex from college. We were off an on for a couple years and it took about a year before we were able to really be friends however it’s been 8 years since we first dated and he is one of my best friends. I think it really depends on what kind of breakup it was. My other ex and I can’t even be in the same room with each other let alone be friends. If you are both on the same page and don’t have residual feelings for each other its comforting to remain friends.

  • Jessica Lauren

    I had a good friend, developed feelings for him, and we began dating. After a few months, he broke up with me because the romantic spark just wasn’t there for him anymore. He distanced himself from me to allow me time to get over him, and now we have reconnected and are friends again. We both believe in saving sexual relations for marriage, so we didn’t have to worry about the consequences of having been too physical. Because we both valued each other as friends before we dated, it was worth taking the time away so that we could continue our friendship later. He is now one of my closest friends again, and I couldn’t be happier that he is still in my life.

  • KJuliette

    I think under some situations you can remain friends as long as you can accept that there can never be anything more . I have a ex that I care about and we a both married but I would rather have him and accept him as a friend then lose all contacted with him. I always care about him but I have accepted we were not meet to be more and I’m not sad or depressed about it.

  • l

    There’s only a couple I could be friends with, but there’s time, distance and the knowledge that there is no future to be had with those people. But for the most part no. I just told a recent ex that I can’t be friends with him while he’s dating other people etc. I’m still very much in love with him and attached to his children and had to break things off because he just wasn’t treating me right. Basically, the feelings I had were unrequited and if I ever want to be happy I need to move on.


    it was very terrible when i started with my relationship 5year back,when BEN called me on phone from Minnesota and said bye to me,i could not understand him well because its very funny. In MAY i went to see him and he said to my face it is over.i was so sown and never know what to do,when i was on Google i saw Doctor kizzekpe contact where everyone was testifying on his spiritual power and i mailed and called him and explained my problems to him and all he said was don’t worry because i will help you with your case and truly after all was done, he settle problem for me and 5days later BEN came back to me and apologize,its like a dream i started counting days but BEN nevered thought of living me. Do you have problems and need a solution then contact Doctor kizzekpe now for help via email: [email protected]

  • lucy676

    I’m lucy by name I have a few testimony to share with you all about myself, I was in a relationship with this guy and for 3years and we were about getting married when we both have misunderstanding with each other and he ask me for a divorce and we both agreed and after 5months I head that he was having an affair with one of my closest friend and I was very upset and worried so a friend of my advice me and told me if I still love my ex and if I really want to have him back so I told her yes, and she ask me to contact Dr. Humen email is [email protected] the spell caster and I did although I never believe on spell so he gave me something when he was casting the spell and ask me to say my wishes on it and after the casting of the spell a receive a phone call from my ex and was ask me at which I did and now we are back together again I’m so happy and I wish not to ever have this mistake again in my life. I will also advice anyone with this kind of issue to contact him for help he is really nice on phone and always there to answer you question giving you the good advice that you need.

  • Lyn

    Need to share this with the folks at Lots of folks on either side of the argument.

  • ady

    I wil say its not easy 2 still b frndz even when u broke up on good grounds,the thought of losing him 2 someone else is hurting n anger most tymz sets in….but its best u give it sometym…

  • Jake Olsen

    NO! Not one you were in love with, but I wish it could. With my current girlfriend we’ve broken up 6 times, yea 6 times. I wish we could just be friends but we’re in love with each other and obviously if either of us said this to the other the other person would be mad, but we both want it we just love each other too much.