Many former couples try to stay friends after breakups. Especially if the breakup is amicable, maintaining a lasting friendship might not be a problem.
Forty-eight percent of people surveyed said they stayed friends with their exes after breakups, while 18 percent said they tried the friendship thing, but it did not work out, according to an NBC.com poll.
Previous research and expert analysis also suggests that individuals with dark personality traits, like psychopathy, engage in behaviors and relationships that are beneficial for their personal gain, according to a New York Times article. It was mentioned that a post-relationship friendship may provide opportunity for ex-partners to exchange desirable resources such as love, status, information, money or sex.
After a breakup, there are usually two types of situations. Former couples are either on bad terms or on good terms.
“I think it depends on the way you guys end the relationship mostly,” sophomore human development and family relations major Stephanie Izquierdo said. “If you guys are on bad terms, then it is not a good idea to stay friends with your ex.”
Izquierdo said couples who cheat on each other or fight very often can end up having bad breakups.
“Other than that, if you guys are on good terms, like realizing that you guys do not have feelings toward each other anymore, staying friends would be a good way to end the relationship,” she said.
There are many reasons for someone to stay friends with their ex after a breakup. Izquierdo said one of the reasons behind it is because your ex used to be with you, and you and your partner used to spend so much time together. She also mentioned maintaining a friendship with your ex means that you do not want to lose the relationship you and your ex had built with each other.
“For me, at first, right after a breakup, I would not want to be friends with my ex,” Izquierdo said. “But maybe after two months or so, that would be fine.”
Couples decide to break up for many different reasons. Many former couples decide to maintain their friendship to try to make the transition easier.
“I dated a few times in high school,” junior broadcasting journalism major Lauren LaDuke said. “In my junior year of high school, I broke up with my boyfriend.”
However, LaDuke said she ended up staying friends with her ex because they both realized they would be better off as friends instead of being in a relationship.
“I do not mind if we are better being friends than we are in a relationship, so I do not have to lose a friend,” she said. “He is still one of my close friends, and we still hang out because we are in a group of friends together.”
In some situations, such as a traumatizing breakup, LaDuke said she would say “no” to her ex if he wants to be friends.
“It really depends on how the relationship ends,” she said.
Freshman biology major Hannah Kubsch shared a story about her ex as well. She was the one to break up with her old boyfriend.
“I was totally fine being friends with him honestly,” Kubsch said. “Even in my mind, we were still friends while dating, but I think for him, it is a little bit difficult to maintain the friendship after the breakup, and he did not talk to me much after our breakup.”
She also pointed out that it might be toxic to stay friends with your ex if your relationship ends badly.
“You ask that person out for a reason in the first place because you like them, and you want to hang out with them,” Kubsch said. “When you are not in a romantic or physical relationship, it does not mean you guys cannot still respect and be around each other.”
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