10 Reasons Why Being Friends With an Ex is a (Really) Bad Idea

being friends with an ex

Sorry, guys: It’s time to put even more space between you.
Photo: Getty

Carly Spindel has inadvertedly been in the matchmaking business since she was six years old. Now, she’s the vice president of Janis Spindel Serious Matchmaking Inc. (check them out atJanisSpindelMatchMaker.com!) and has “officially” been matching couples for four years.

When a relationship is over, it’s hard to imagine your ex disappearing from your life. While you dated, you shared everything. You did tons of things together and he was your best friend. When you break up, your best friend, lover, and boyfriend vanishes.

It’s natural to want to become friends because, if you dated for a while, you obviously have things in common. But, as I’ve learned from past experience, it’s almost impossible. It’s very difficult to move on and focus on the present when the door to the past is still open.

Here are 10 reasons why you should close the door on an ex once the relationship ends.

1. Sex
One of you is going to want to sleep with each other, especially if the sex was great. Sexual tension, mixed with some innocent flirting, almost always leads to sex with an ex. In my experience, it’s always a recipe for disaster.

2. Flirting torture
You’re spending time together “as friends,” but there will always be some subtle flirting. Even if you don’t realize it, because you once dated, it’s hard to turn off the flirting. You might do something that makes him laugh or he might do something that makes you smile. Either way, you’re both bound to take a trip down memory lane which is never a good thing.

3. Sexual tension
It may have felt like years ago, but once upon a time you were obviously attracted to each other. At one point, the sexual tension was there. Your relationship wouldn’t have lasted if there wasn’t. That being said, the sexual tension doesn’t miraculously disappear one day. When you’re friends with someone, you shouldn’t want to jump into bed with them or have any sexual feelings towards them.

4. One of You Just Doesn’t Get It
More often than not, one of you will want the other back. It (hopefully!) won’t be you. Even if you don’t want him back, there’s always a chance that he’ll want you back. There’s a sense of false hope for one of you and that just isn’t healthy!

5. The Naked Factor
You can’t just forget that at one time you’ve seen each other naked and been sexually intimate. Unless you’re professional nudists, BFFs shouldn’t ever see each other naked. It’s also awkward being friends with someone knowing you’ve been intimate

6. You’ll Always Be the Ex
Even if you think of him as just a friend, to him, you’ll always be his ex. When he introduces you to his friends, or his new girlfriend, he’ll preface the introduction with “this is my ex” which puts a damper on the friendship from day one.

7. Boundaries
You can’t talk to your ex about a hot new guy or the one you think is your future husband without making him uncomfortable. Real friends should be able to talk about anything. But your ex most likely doesn’t want to hear about your sexcapades or how you’re imagining walking down the aisle with the new guy you’re dating. You can’t gossip with each other which makes the friendship not so fun. You have to create boundaries so you both feel comfy. In my opinion, boundaries shouldn’t exist in friendships.

8. Deja Vu
Regardless of how long you dated, there are tons of inside jokes and memories that come naturally. When you hang out with your ex, without even realizing it, you’re bound to tell inside jokes and take a trip down memory lane. You’ll fall into your old routine which will be confusing to both of you.

9. Your Own Worst Enemy
When you’re spending time with your ex, you’re getting comfortable. You’re not challenging yourself to meet new people or putting yourself out there to new relationships. You’re being your own worst enemy.

10. The Support factor
When your ex is having some kind of problems, you want to be there to support him. Whether it’s listening to him or giving him advice, it’s natural to want to help him. But, since you’re not dating anymore, it’s not your job to be their support factor.