Why “Can We Still Be Friends?” Doesn’t Work After A Break-Up
If there ever was a statement that needs to be thrown in the relationship trashcan after a break-up, “Can we still be friends?” would be it. Regardless of who is saying it, the one who did the breaking up or the one who just had their heart shattered in a million pieces, IT DOES NOT WORK! To cover all the bases in that statement, as with everything, there are a few exceptions to the rule. But those exceptions usually started out as friends and then became romantic and somehow figure out how to return to a friendship level. Not impossible, just unrealistic.
“We can still be friends,” is an easy line to drop during a break-up, as its intentions is to ease the pain of a breaking heart. But the reality of the situation is awkward for everyone involved, including all your family, friends and peripheral acquaintances.
Without going into all the ‘exceptions to the rule,” this is one I adamantly never support in a reading, regardless of the story line behind the break-up.
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Here are a few reasons why you can’t and shouldn’t even try to be friends when the relationship is over until a healing time has been put in place and even then, it can be tricky.
1. It’s absolute torture. You’re hanging out “as friends.” If he does something that makes you smile or feel happy, you suddenly want to kiss him but you can’t. Why would you put yourself through that?!
2. False hope. Admit it, it’s there. Hoping they will see something in you they didn’t see before and that goes for someone you have broken up with too.
3. You can’t unsee or undo the past. If you’ve seen each other naked, you’ll have always seen each other naked. To make the point stand out even more, most platonic pals of opposite genders have NOT seen each other naked.
4. If you are honest with yourself, you really don’t want them to be with someone else. That is the big ‘conflict of interest’ in your new “buddy-buddy” relationship. Real friends want each other to be happy.
5. You can’t ever talk about your personal lives without it getting awkward. Again, real friends talk about their personal lives with each other.
6. Do you want to get invited to his wedding? No? That counts you out as a good friend.
7. It’s going to be awkward for your mutual friends. They know you dated. They remember the PDA. And now they have to figure out how to treat the two of you when you show up to a party together-but-not-together.
8. Spending time together sends mixed signals. You two have dating history with all the memories, inside jokes and nicknames that go along with it. It’s too easy to fall into an old dating pattern even when not romantically involved.
9. The odds of finding a new true love are slim to nothing if you’re still hanging out with your ex.
10. You’ve just had your heart broken. Why are you choosing to spend time with someone you’ve already learned isn’t good for you? Spend it with someone who will make you happy because now is when you need some peace of mind and time to heal.
Susan Z’s Verdict
To be able to grow and mature in the relationship arena, it is best to accept what hurts and then move on. Making a clean break will give your life a chance to change for the better with time away from your ex. That separation, regardless of how much you liked spending time with your ex, may also allow you to begin to see that maybe things weren’t as great as you thought they were or wanted them to be. Best thought pattern to hold onto is: “If someone is leaving your life, it’s because something better is about to enter.”
Susan Z Rich is an emotional addiction counselor, spiritual intuitive and holistic therapist. She counsels others to see life in a more positive way and teaches personal accountability for life choices. She is also the author of several children’s books and Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine.