When this question comes up in sessions, there are a few factors that need consideration. I want to share with you some questions that will help determine if being friends with an ex would be right for you.
If there are children involved, it can be difficult to be friends with an ex if there is still hurt involved and if one person is single and one partnered. What I’ve seen with my clients is that it is usually easier to be friends with an ex co-parent after time and healing has occurred.
If there are no children involved the questions you can ask yourself are:
- Would I consider this person a friend? How did the relationship end? How was I treated during the relationship? Would this be a friend I could hold boundaries with or are the lines blurred by hormonal responses with this person?
- Do I hope that someday we can reunite as lovers? This can blur lines of appropriateness as friends or more than friendly comments during conversations and can bring up confusion or fantasy thinking. It can also be quite draining on your emotions.
- How do I feel after each encounter with this person? Am I on an emotional or hormonal high after speaking with this person and make expectations of when the next encounter will be? Do I feel drained after my interactions with this person?
After contemplating these questions, decide which way you’d like to go.
Sometimes it is the best thing for your emotional well being to initiate no contact or block the person from having access to you. If you know that being friends with this person will mess up your internal world, then you know what is needed for you to have peace. This decision is not easy. In fact, it can be the hardest thing to do because the pain from not having a connection with that person, even if toxic for us, seems unbearably excruciating. It is. It can take a long time to detox from a person.
The guilt that comes from knowing this person has good qualities could have you vacillate. This is normal. Know that it is good for them that you respect you so that they have the opportunity to learn too.
If you do decide this is best for you, trust yourself and take each moment as it comes as the opportunity to choose what will bring you the best partner for you in the future. Keep choosing you and your future partner.
You do not have to tell the person what you’re doing. You will already be scared and vulnerable stepping into this. Telling them might have the person try to change your mind. Just hearing their voice can suck you back in. They don’t need to know anymore. You’ve done all you could and they made the choices they did. Ask spirit for the strength to follow through.
Affirm: I am brave. I respect myself enough to stay true to me. I can do this. I will do this. I am worth it.
I hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.