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Should we be friends after separation? What the experts say

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Emotional relationships between couples always have their own challenges. The end of an emotional relationship has its difficulties. But for many, after a relationship ends, the question arises as to whether it is possible to continue to be in a relationship with an ex-emotional partner. Some people can forget about unpleasant things by focusing on the good parts they have experienced in their relationship and remain friends with their emotional partner after separation. Some people tend to forget everything about the previous relationship and seek new experiences. There is research that supports both positions. In this article, we examine friendship after separation from the perspective of experts.

Rachel Sussman, a psychologist and author of The Breakup Bible in New York, recommends that you be careful with your partner after separation. He believes that maintaining friendships is not suitable for all couples, and ultimately, it is an “individual decision”. However, Sussman says couples who plan to maintain a friendship after separation are better off following the tips to avoid less trouble.

When should we end our relationship with our ex-partner?

Under no circumstances should a relationship that is offensive, deceptive or toxic turn into a friendship; Sussman says; But if your previous relationship was largely healthy but you could not continue it, it is better to think again before deciding to continue the friendship. For example, a 2000 study found that friendships between two emotional partners after separation usually have a negative effect on couples rather than positive ones, and ultimately, it is less likely that Platonic friendship Become.

“If you didn’t know each other before you started an emotional relationship and weren’t really friends, it would be even more important,” says Susman. He goes on to ask, “If you love the other person and have a very good and passionate relationship, how can you be friends with him?” “The sentiment among human beings in this regard is usually unchangeable.”

The psychologist believes that sometimes being friends with an ex-emotional partner can also have problems. “Sometimes maintaining a relationship after separation can prevent new relationships from forming,” Sussman warns. Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl. This is a bit complicated. “Will you really give your new relationship a chance to flourish?”

A psychologist known by the pseudonym Ashley Brett understood this well in his late twenties. After ending a relationship of about a year and a half, he became friends with his former emotional partner and entered into a five-year suspended relationship that was constantly boiling and breaking up again. “Our friendship was never really different from the emotional one we had before,” says Brett. “This relationship reached a new emotional stage each time, and after a while it became a simple friendship, and this journey continued.”

Although Brett believes that the relationship also had many positive aspects (which may have caused him to “repeat a mistake”), he probably never advises his friends or clients to be friends with their ex-partner after the separation. “One of the biggest disadvantages of this type of relationship is that it prevents you from having new relationships and experiences,” he says. I distanced myself from others and really did not want to bring a new person into my life. “Psychologically, such an orientation is not very healthy and constructive.”

He adds that maintaining friendships after separation has also had benefits for him. Being friends with a former emotional partner reduced the pain and grief of the loss he experienced after each separation. This method may seem like a good solution; But it actually hinders growth. A 2013 study published in the scientific journal PLOS One found that “grief of separation can act as a catalyst for personal growth and actually benefit the individual”; While escaping this grief may hinder the process of personal growth and development.

When to befriend an ex-emotional partner?

Friendship after separation with a child

Sussman says emotional partners who have children and are separated should try to have as good a relationship as possible; Because they are supposed to stay in each other’s lives for a long time. This demarcation is a bit more vague for childless couples; But Sussman says those who started a relationship at a young age, those who were friends for the first time, and those who did not have a serious or long-term relationship are good options for maintaining friendships after separation.

A real and different experience of friendship after separation

Robin Zabiegalski, a 31-year-old writer living in Vermont, USA, is an example of a violation that seems a little strange even in American culture. He is married and has a good life with his wife; But he still maintains relationships with several of his former emotional partners and has remained friends with them for several years after the separation.

“After the separation, I destroyed everything about my relationship and was not friends with any of my former emotional partners,” says Robin. But finally, when Robin was looking for personal growth, he turned to his former emotional partners. He first apologized for the bad things that happened in the past and then tried to “fix” the relationship that had lasted for several years. “My emotional relationship was a big part of my life that I shared with everyone in some way,” she says. “I felt like I had lost these parts, and the only way to correct and recover these parts of my being was to ask them, ‘Can we repair our relationship?'”

The young writer admitted that maintaining a friendship after the separation was successful for him because his current wife was “not inherently jealous” and he himself was honest about his past relationships and current relationships after the separation. He believes that if one wants to be friends with one’s former emotional partner after separation, there should be no romantic relationship between them. “If you remain friends after the separation and your goal is to re-enter into an emotional relationship with the other party, it will only create unnecessary tension and controversy,” he says.

The results of some research also confirm this. Couples who remain friends for the same reasons after separation (it does not matter if their reasons are due to feelings or realistic thinking) will have a successful friendship; But if maintaining this relationship is due to unresolved romantic and emotional tendencies, the negative consequences of this type of relationship will soon become apparent to them.

How to have a friendly relationship with a former emotional partner?

Stay away from each other for a while after separation

For those who want to have a friendship after separation, Susman’s suggestion is to wait and distance yourself from each other before making any decision. “I’m a little skeptical of couples who claim to be each other ‘s best friends immediately after separation,” he says. The passage of time helps to reduce pain and negative emotions. “Some time after separation, the understanding and insight of most people increases.”

The same is true of personal relationships and social media. “I urge couples to remove each other from their social media list for a few months after the separation,” says Sussman. Otherwise, before you know it, while browsing your Instagram page, your eyes will fall on your ex-partner’s page and thousands of thoughts and feelings will flood you. “It triggers thoughts and feelings that you may feel you have reconnected with or want to do.”

Susman believes that there are boundaries for couples who become friends after separation; However, each couple may have a different situation. “A healthy demarcation can be like this,” he says. “Let’s not talk to each other every day or text each other.” “Let’s have dinner every few months or go to the movies together.” “But do not form regular, daily relationships.”

Most importantly, evaluate your friendships and emotions on a regular basis and be honest with yourself. “Most of the time, someone who befriends their ex-partner after a breakup is somehow attached to something,” says Sussman. “It works like a safety valve.”

If this is why you want to keep the friendship after the separation, it is probably a wiser way to break free from that bondage. Even if it seems painful and difficult at the moment, do your best.

What is your opinion, dear friends? Do you have a similar experience in maintaining friendship after separation? Share your valuable comments and experiences with us.




Should we be friends after separation? What the experts say

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