The 10 Worst Reasons to Stay Friends With Your Ex and How It Can Get You In Trouble

friend with your ex

In one set of studies, 40% of college students surveyed reported engaging in at least one stalking behavior following a break-up, and approximately 10% engaged in six or more. These behaviors included things like contacting an ex after being told not to or showing up at an ex’s residence uninvited. Anger, jealousy, obsessiveness, and need for control all predicted greater stalking behavior, so beware of these traits.

Want to know more staying friends with your ex? Check this video out below:

Staying friends with your ex

2. They still love you.

If your ex is still in love with you and you don’t feel the same way, the best thing you can do for them is to let them go. Spending time with them might make you feel good about yourself—who doesn’t enjoy being adored?—but it could be painful and confusing for them, especially if it gives them false hope.

Even if you make it clear that you just want to be friends, it may not be clear enough to your ex. People see what they want to see, and rest assured they will be on high alert for any sign of returned affection. Your best bet in this situation is probably to minimize contact and let your ex move on.

“I didn’t answer. We were not buddies. We could not chat about the proximity of our offices, or football, or forgiveness.” ― Kimberly Novosel

1. You still love them.

Being in love with your ex, and secretly hoping to win them back, can be a powerful motivation for staying friends with them, but it’s also, unfortunately, one of the most dangerous ones. If your ex doesn’t want to be with you, there is probably little you can do to change their mind. Trying in vain will only lead to repeated heartbreak and make you feel bad about yourself. Spend time with friends who make you feel loved and appreciated. This ex is probably not one of them.

Related: How To Be Alone While Going Through A Breakup

Why Stay Friends?

Are there any good reasons to stay friends with your ex? Sure. If neither of you has ulterior motives like the ones listed above, and if your friend doesn’t interfere with your current relationships—a good litmus test is whether you’re comfortable hanging out with your current partner and your ex together and whether your ex’s partner is comfortable with you—it could very well work.

Ulterior motives can be sneaky, though—our minds have ways of disguising them as more innocent aims. So make sure you are being honest with yourself about what your true intentions are.


Written by Juliana Breines Ph.D.
Originally appeared on Psychology Today
10 Ways How Staying Friends With Your Ex Can Get You In Trouble
10 Ways How Staying Friends With Your Ex Can Get You In Trouble
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The 10 Worst Reasons to Stay Friends With Your Ex and How It Can Get You In Trouble
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