Debate Club: Can You Really Be Friends With An Ex?

Friends With Ex

Zac and Vanessa are supposedly still friends after breaking up.

We’ve already had a discussion on whether or not guys and girls can just be friends, but we want to know something a little bit different now: can two exes really be friends? We’re talking having a totally platonic relationship, not one of those ‘we kind of hook-up sometimes’ friendships that so many people get into with their ex. After a breakup, staying friends with someone you once loved (and maybe still do love) might seem kind of impossible.

Turns out, the editors over at Gurl all feel differently about this one. Read our opinions and then let us know what you think:


It's broken for a reason!

Emerald Says: Make It A Clean Break
So we’ve just broken up – why are you still hanging around? Go away! Your time is up! Consider yourself snubbed from the Oscars. After you’ve split up, probably for a list of very good reasons, why confuse things by hanging around each other? Maybe we’ve called it quits after a huge, crying, screaming fight, or maybe it happened amicably – either way, when things are first over, it’s real easy to get a case of the “lonelyboos.” You’ll immediately start wondering: but, why me?! Is there anyone else out there who thinks the Josie and The Pussycats Movie was high brow, cinematic art? Then I’ll think about what could have been, and what was and all those wonderful things that used to be. Now, I’m back at square one, stuck in rut with someone who was only half compatible with me. It’s a slippery slope, make a clean break, and then maybe after 100,000 months of separation, hindsight and perspective we can be besties again.


Do you EVER see these two together? No!

Jessica Says: I Wish, But No
You don’t know how much I wish I could call some of my ex-BF’s a friend (some of them, not so much), but I just don’t think it’s possible. No matter what happens at the end of a relationship, breakups are always a little messy and upsetting. How can you put aside all of those emotions and just move on to a friendship? Once I’m done with an ex, I don’t want to be reminded of our cute memories or our awful fights – and I definitely don’t want to deal with the jealousy of seeing them with another girl. I just think a friendship with your ex means that one of you is still holding onto something, and I also think it will inevitably lead to one of you getting hurt.


This will probably be the result.

Julie Says: Just A Little Friendly
Post breakup, I’ll be sad, mad and hyperventilating crying on public transportation for a few days. You know, the usual. Then I’ll think I’m over it and friend up the guy. It’ll be hunk dory… until he gets a new girlfriend. And then I’m sad, mad and subway sobbing all over again. I’ve realized that I’m never really friends with an ex. Half of me is in the friend zone and half of me still wants to date the guy. It’s beyond icky to basically have a never-ending break up. So, I’ve forced myself to start having clean breaks. No halfsies friendships for me anymore. It’s harder at first, but it helps me move on a lot more quickly…and cuts the subway strangers watching me sob in half.


So basically this is Mel, her BF and her ex in the future.

Melanie Says: Of Course You Can!
Considering that my first real boyfriend, Eric, is now one of my super best friends — like, the kind of friend who I can call when I can’t decide what kind of ice cream to get at Baskin-Robbins — I think my response to this is obvious. Of COURSE you can be friends with an ex (if you want to, that is), and it absolutely does not have to interfere with new relationships. In fact, my awesome boyfriend has met Eric and now they’re Facebook friends! Boom—proof that it works! The thing is, there are some rules to making a smooth transition from dating to friends. Definitely take a longish break after the split (at least a few months!) where you don’t talk to that person for a while so you can move on with your life and meet other people and be silly and single without feeling like yesterday’s news is looking over your shoulder, but if you were friends when you were dating and you legit have stuff in common (besides you know, the fact that you used to smooch or whatever), then why the heck shouldn’t you be friends again? Just keep your friendship out in the open, and make sure anyone you’re dating knows that they’re the one you’re all ga-ga over, not that guy you used to date, who still chews with his mouth open (Eric, I’m looking at you!).


So who do you agree with? Are you friends with your ex? Tell us in the comments.


Should you be snooping through your sweetie’s phone?

Posted in: Discuss, Discuss, Health, Sex & Relationships, Love&Sex, Relationships
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  • Ally

    My ex is now one of my bestfriends who is now dating one of my other besties. I’m sorta jealous but I can just ignore it we are still friends.

  • MarleyEnsor

    you can absolutely be friends with an ex, my best friend right now is my ex(:

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  • Natashia

    I also dated Mike for 4years which made our break up severally hard and kind of still is today .. When I see him with his new GF I put my ‘big-girl panties’ on and suck it up.

  • Natashia

    I agree with Melanie, I have never had a problem with becoming friends with my ex-BF’s over a period of about 4 or 5months. My ex Mike has always been there since we were kids we were bestie before we dated and still are today. We thought it would be weird and ruin our friendship if we dated but it didn’t really change it all that much. I still love him a lot and wish that I could still be with him but he has a beautiful girlfriend so I am waiting til I get through some of college to see if me and him still have that certain ‘spark’. I feel like we do, since we always talk and sometimes he accidently calls me ‘baby’. It makes me laugh.

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  • schuyler

    I think that you can definitely be friends, just not right away. My first relationship was a short thing, and we stayed friends to this day, but that was because i didn’t try to rush back into friendship mode with him right after our break-up. Then the next relationship i had was longer and when we broke up i tried to shove my way back into friendship mode, because i missed him and wanted to spend time with him. but whenever we were hanging out with both of our girl and guy friends, and when he was alone with some girls, i was freaking out in my mind! I felt so stupid for being jealous of my girlfriends who i know didn’t like him, but i realized that i couldn’t help it because i still had feelings for him, so i knew we had to stay away from each other for awhile. we both still tried to work it out later, but we’re not friends anymore. I think its better to wait until you are sure you no longer feel the sick heartbreak feeling, then you can go be friends with them!