November 3, 2014

Can We be Friends with our Exes?

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Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we simply cannot make a romantic relationship work.

When we realize that it’s time to break up, it’s not fun for either party. We’ve invested a lot of time, emotion and physical energy trying to make the partnership stay healthy. There’s also the concern that our partner will go galloping off into the unknown with our deepest, darkest secrets tucked in their kitbag. Beyond that, the fear looms: If I was wrong about this partner, how can I be sure I won’t be wrong again?

A gaping black hole opens before us, made of the painful awareness of an ended routine you two had together (Tuesdays at Zumba, Fridays with the gang, Sunday paper-and-coffee at the place down the street). Within that black hole is also the marked absence of a being you once felt deeply connected to. Didn’t that connection matter? What do we do with this vacuum?

The happy fact is that if you entered your relationship with even a modicum of evolved thinking (i.e., the desire to be open, communicative, and compassionate with each other), there is a way to salvage whatever may be left:

Ask yourself one question: Do you still like this person?

If the answer is yes, there’s a good chance that you can be friends. Maybe not immediately, but certainly in a few weeks or months. Look, just because you weren’t meant to be romantic partners it doesn’t mean you weren’t supposed to be in each other’s lives.

Sure, there’s the worry that as your ex-partner moves onto the next lover (or lovers) you will feel those pangs of sadness and loss all over again. But we’re talking about real friendship here, not possession.

When we know for an absolute fact that the love light has gone out of the partnership, we can begin to nurture the connection the relationship was meant to be. Are we not happy for our friends when they find happiness? Isn’t that what is meant to truly love someone?

All this is not to downplay the anguish of an ended love affair. Mourn it. Hold a release ceremony and unbind your hearts (and second chakras, while you’re at it).

You can still honor what the universe gave you: you found each other, you got along, you shared your lives.

Why kill that connection simply because the mold you tried to fit the relationship into didn’t work for you? Switch the mold, don’t toss the plaster.



Relephant Reads: 

Why You Shouldn’t be Friends with your Ex. 

Feeling Sexy. Thanking Exes. Choosing Celibacy. 



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Author: Rachel Astarte

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Wikipedia

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