So many of us put ourselves under pressure to try and be friends with an ex. And, yes, sometimes we pressure our ex into trying to be friends with us. In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I explain why forcing ourselves or others to be friends after a breakup is disingenuous, harmful to our well-being, and can even impact our availability for subsequent relationships.

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5 key topics in this episode

  • Being friends with an ex because it’s a genuine friendship is great. Being friends with an ex because we have a hidden agenda of secretly auditioning for our old role in the hope they’ll see how fabulous we are and regret being broken up, not so great.
  • When we say yes to being friends with our ex because we’re afraid of what will happen if and when we say no, we’re signing up for pain. We fear incurring their wrath, judgement, or even being judged by others. An inauthentic yes leads to far more problems than if we’d said no in the first place.
  • Friendship is a relationship between friends. Friends don’t try to screw you, screw with your head, or screw you over. And once you cross the friendship threshold into romance, it takes distance and healthy boundaries before a friendship can be restored, if at all. 
  • We don’t have to turn every romantic relationship into a friendship to justify having invested ourselves. It’s a sunk cost. Dating or being in a relationship was what it took to be involved. The ship has sailed. We need to stop trying to get a “return on investment.”
  • Were you friends before you became romantically involved?  Even if you were friends, did you (or they) have romantic feelings? If you weren’t friends before being romantically involved, were you genuine friends as well as lovers? Be honest about whether you are or were truly friends.

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