Can you stay friends with your ex?


When I was at school and College I was the only girl in my close group of friends, at least that was true when this story begins. All through the time I was at school I had people telling me “So-and-so likes you” about one the boys in my group of friends. Call me naïve or dumb but I never saw it, we were always just friends (you may come to realise I am always this oblivious!)


In our second year at college I helped one of the boys get through a difficult breakup, as he got over his ex we became closer and we started dating, we ended up being together for a few months. We eventually broke up when I returned from a holiday to the arctic and realised that I didn’t think we should be together anymore, there were a number of complicated reasons that I don’t want to go into but as university grew closer I felt like breaking up was the right thing to do.


We said we wanted to stay in touch and would still be friends. After all we have the same friends, we would still end up going on nights out together and spending time in our group of friends. But one question I always found people asking and me thinking more and more; can you really stay friends?


I have heard people say ‘you can only stay friends when if you relationship doesn’t matter’ I don’t believe that this is true, I have never been in a relationship that didn’t matter to me, and although I was only with my friend for about 4 months at the time he was important to me and my relationship really did matter to me.


However when I went away to university I started a relationship with a guy I met there, and I feel in love. Without sounding really clichéd I can say it was so much different than anything I had ever felt with anyone else before and with my ex.  That relationship lasted for 3 years and over the last few months began to crumble and we broke up. During that relationship I changed, matured and became the person that I am today, so as I have done with all my other ex’s I didn’t want this to be over and for us to stop being in each other’s lives. However it is more difficult now, love isn’t an emotion that you can just switch off and I can’t stop caring for him.


So maybe it’s not about if a relationship matters but if you were in love, maybe love is what makes it hard to be friends after a breakup. I am still hoping that my ex and I will be able to remain friends, but it would be a lie if I was to say it is easy.


What do you think? Can you stay friends with an ex?