So you and your girlfriend just broke up...now what?
Are you supposed to just kick her out of your life and forget those sweet moments you've shared? Or is it wise to stay friends with the person you've been, well, more than friends with?
No matter how bad the break up, you can't deny, at some point in life, your ex was the best person you could rely on. And somehow, you'll be missing her presence.
Now the question remains: Is it ever a good idea to stay friends with your ex?
We consulted Maribeth Brown, a family and relationships counselor from Las Piñas City, to find out just that. She says exes could proceed as platonic friends, but they should move with caution as this sort of relationship has some pros and cons.
One of the advantages, she says, is having "peace of mind that no more ill-feelings are harbored. This can lead to a happier life as an individual and as friends."
In this case, Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist and researcher who did a study about exes, advises that it's a must to have a "trustworthy and reliable communication" so that the label would be clear for both parties.
He adds: "Chart a new, fresh mutual friendship based on those qualities that continue from the original attraction, but with minimal expectations."
However, staying friends after splitting up romantically can possibly affect your new relationships as it will never be easy for your new partner when she feels like she's competing with an ex. Your ex's continuing presence will always be a source of arguments.
Brown adds: "It wouldn't be impossible that the two would fall into the pit off rekindling old romance on the back of new partners. That's a big trouble."
If both parties are single, then there's no worry. But before you jump into a friendship with your ex, make sure that you both have truly gotten over the past.
"It does not matter if the entire letting go process would take years or months. It is when they are ready," Brown says.
If you think you've fully moved on, the next step is to self-reflect. Ask yourself why you need to be friends with your ex in the first place. If your answer is filled with good intentions, then it might be a good time to the pursue friendship.