I posted a picture of my daughter on Facebook the other day- first day of school.  I got all the likes, the heart reactions, and the comments.  And one of the commenters was an old boyfriend. ( OK- for clarity’s sake, I am now discussing a third ex- this is not the guy I never got over nor the sort of creepy guy that never got over me.  This is the one I’m “friendly’ with.)  And the comments were easy, reflecting that his son is a High School Freshman and my daughter is a junior-how one day they might actually date (not each other- just in general) The rapport was pleasant.

Which brings us to the question:  Can you be friends with an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, or can you just be friendly?

What do I mean?

When I think of friends, I think of people I can talk things out with.  Or maybe engage in activities with.  I consider a friend to be more intimate than an acquaintance- there is a bond.  Can you have this relationship with an ex?  Should you have this sort of relationship with an ex?

What are pros?

  1. you share a portion of  history
  2. you know what they like, and what they don’t
  3. you know their family, or stories of them
  4. there was a time you liked this person very much, and you may have loved them


  1. you share a portion of history
  2. You had sex with this person
  3. you know what they like, and what they don’t like
  4. You had sex with this person
  5. you know their family, or stories of them
  6. there was a time you liked this person very much, and you may have loved them
  7. you had sex with this person

So we’ve established that sexual relations were had.  Can you be friends with someone you had sex with? Maybe if the sex was lousy……but what if it was great?

Wait…..I’m totally digressing……

But does sharing a sexual past preclude you from being friends, destined to just remain friendly?  Will your past history in bed, on the floor, in parking lots, in…….digressing……

Obviously, I think that you can’t really be friends with an ex because you share a sexual history.

We will now resume to the comments from my ex.  He told me he might be in NYC next month with his son.  He suggested we meet up with the kids, maybe go to Museum of Natural History.  But, he did not do this in the public forum, he pm’ed me.  Why would he do that?

Because we’re not supposed to be friends.   Doesn’t matter how long it has been, or how it’s a far distant past.   And engaging in an activity, no matter how “G” rated, is just not what you do.

So, no, we will probably not end up seeing one another.  We will continue to partake in cute banter, commenting on one another’s posts, but that will be the relationship.   I’m ok with that….I realize there are societal constrictions…….I realize that there are all sorts of other things that come into play…..

But should you be able to be friends with an ex?


84 thoughts on “Friend vs Friendly

  1. Hmm very interesting. It would probably be difficult to truly befriend an ex, as friendship requires (in most cases) a level of vulnerability which i imagine would be hard with an ex. Maybe it also depends on how the breakup went. A bad breakup would probably make friendship impossible, whereas an amiable mutual breakup might not. Just my 2 cents. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Absolutely not if you are married and want to stay that way!
    Even being Facebook friends is not great. Out of sight out of mind. I had an ex that lost his wife. He started sending me messages which in and of itself was not horrible. Then he started emailing my parents asking them if I was happy in my marriage. My parents warned me that he might show up on my doorstep. Seriously, I dated the guy over 25 years ago!! After that experience, it is hard to convince me that friend or friendly is worth the effort of pushing the add friend button. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. In a way it is kind of flattering. Wow, I must be pretty awesome. I know we haven’t talked in over 2 decades. We dated back when I was the age of my children. Ugh! But mainly it made me feel disgusted. What makes you think that I would leave my family for you? Are you all that??
        Now I just tell guys that hit on me in general that they can’t afford me. It works a lot better then telling them I am married or into girls (they seem to like that for some reason). Lol. Can’t we go back to a time when wearing a wedding ring meant that we were in a committed relationship?? Geez. Don’t get me started…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It turns creepy when there is no reciprocation of feelings and it keeps going beyond that on one side. It seems like they get fixated on the time when those feelings were reciprocated and can’t get beyond that. Oh and probably the love letters, chocolates, and little notes left under the windshield wipers of your car for when you wake up in the morning.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well, I didn’t get the chocolates. 😰 The other two happened with 2 different guys. One guy left a fake rose and notes under my wipers. Scary thing was that he lived an hour away. But that was many eons ago now. No, we aren’t Facebook friends. What did your creepy guy do??

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I remember reading your post about it. How could he think that would work?? Although communicating via text is less threatening and on his part what would it hurt to try?? It is way too easy to be a creeper nowadays. I remember when having an unlisted number was all it took after moving. Lol. Thankfully none of my ex’s have my cell number. To think this would be a problem for us after we have been married all these years!!
        Now we just have to worry about our teenage daughters. My daughter is in a similar situation right now. Some guy is calling her his soulmate and it is creeping her out.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. My daughter has the lead part in her college opera. The lead male confessed that he likes her. She told him she liked him too. Then he said that he thought she was his soulmate. He started talking marriage and kids which scared my daughter. His obsession with her totally turned her off. They only knew each other a few weeks. But she has to act like she likes him and kiss him for the show. She had some issues that were bigger with her ex. Thankfully she talked to me and I understood. My experiences helped me help her. Maybe someday I’ll write about it again.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Don’t think that I have ever wanted to be friends with an ex. That’s not to say that I’m not curious about their life now, and wouldn’t find it intriguing to get some current info, but as to ‘let’s get together’ friends…the past is the past with them.
    Personally, I think that if you have a connection (regardless of the big one being sex) then why not be friends? Our social norms are stuck in the dark ages in many ways, and this is still very much a patriarchal society that rules women in ways we just tend to accept. The sex part makes us assume that ‘being friends’ is bound to mean something more, especially if it’s a woman and her ex.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Oh Gee, I’d feel uncomfortable if my boyfriend would meet up a regular friend (who is a girl) regularly. I trust him, but most definitely don’t trust her.
    Since I am against it, I also don’t meet up with guys.

    Sometimes I wonder if friendship between men and women actually work without getting sexual involved….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am absolutely friends with exs, and dearly love my first Australian boyfriend from 30 years ago! It all depends on context of the break up, & how evolved you each are re relationships & old baggage. Life is too short: if you like him, take the kids to the museum! Have fun together; stuff what society ‘expects’ you to do

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree! There are too many stereotypes and negative connotation to men and women being friends…in quotes or otherwise! And you’re right it does *totally* depend on the context of the breakup/separation and history. 100%

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I think each situation is different and also it depends on how bad the breakup was. Also on how much time has gone by. I really only have one real Ex in addition to my husband and for many years I couldn’t talk to that Ex. I felt like he strung me along and wasted my life. But that was 15 years ago. I had let go of those feelings a long time ago especially since I had a happy life with my Late husband. So now if I saw him, I would wish him well.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I am friends with my ex husband #2. When we divorced (my idea), we talked about how we wanted to be decent around the children — we didn’t really fight much anyway, but we never wanted them to see the ugly side of divorced parents. We still love each other in some way, and I truly believe we get along better now then when we were married. That said, there’s reasons he’s my EX …. and I don’t want to revisit that type of relationship.

    I do feel I can call him and talk about personal stuff, and he has with me as well. As mentioned, there is a shared past, family bonds, etc.

    From my perspective, meeting up with someone from your past and including the children is pretty innocuous. I’d meet at the museum, have a nice time, and let it go at that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Answer is absolutely yes. I actually think it’s good to keep those lines going because nothing is worse that shadows, shade and garbage looming under the surface between two people. Though…I think there are some with which you can be friends? And some only friendly. I have one ex I would rather just have superficial pleasantries with and keep it at that. In the case of my ex-fiancee, we see each other and hang out all the time and I think we can continue to manage to not -accidentally- have sex with one another…I think 🤔

    It is interesting though as to when he decided to scoot it over to a private message! 😲

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My first love called out of the blue when I was planning my wedding nine years ago. That was the first time he called me 25 years. Did i wonder what he ws up to? Yes. Did all the good memories fill my head? Yes. Did i think of returning his phone call? No. I erased the message without writing down the number. There is no room in my life for exboyfriends especially first loves. My life is with my husband.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess there are probably people who could handle it, but even if I were one of them I doubt that my husband would be crazy about me having an ex as a friend. And I know I wouldn’t like it if the tables were turned. In fact, in high school we used to double date with his ex and her boyfriend. Awkward.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m friends with an ex who lives in FL now. I just got through checking on him after Irma. He’s what I like to think of as an exception to the rule though. We were more “friends” than lovers when we were together anyway, so it was easy to maintain the friendship aspect. My other ex’s though… let’s just say that I can be friendly toward them (especially for the sake of my kids) but we will never be actual friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am friends with the wazband…for a very good reason. We still have a minor child to raise, as a linked set of parents in two different households (two different cities, if that makes a distinction).

    But then again, the divorce was different from most of ’em out there – we called it quits before the ‘fuck you’s’ started, so our breakup was more or less amicable.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve had mixed results, which leads me to the conclusion that it depends on the individuals involved. The best situations were when I’ve met them with their current spouses and also my own.

    But I’ve also met two other ex’s alone, one for lunch and the other for coffee. The lunch one went well but the coffee one horrible. The coffee ex apparently had a motivation beyond just saying hello and reminiscing. That experience stopped me from ever wanting to see an ex alone again. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I personally believe that most people are incapable of being ‘true friends’ with their ex. I mean, it probably takes an extremely special type of relationship to do that. I am not friends with any of mine, and that definitely helped me move on. Then again, I am one of those people that has a harder time letting go than most, so cutting off the chord, so to speak, is the only way.

    I’m talking total annihilation of their existence in my mind. I’m a dweller, and I don’t need anymore negative forces driving me down.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ann (I have to use your name so I’ll remember it), I think it is possible, but very rare, far and few between, especially if you’ve had sex. In my experience, I’ve found the only reason exes DM you is because they’re leading up to something else, even if it’s been DECADES…men are resilient and hopeful. Now, I’m digressing. Guess my answer is…no, for the most part lol

    Liked by 1 person

  15. There was a lot of sex mentioned 😀 which indicates to me that a strong sexual bond was present…….. 🦊 Personally I do not think it’s a good idea to walk backwards because all it will do will cause problems……. But what do I know 🤷🏼‍♀️ I detest Facebook!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Another great topic. I enjoyed reading your pros and cons. I am not friends with any ex’s. I think it’s a difficult complication, both in being able to fully move on and to not cause any issues with a subsequent relationship. In theory, if you loved someone (or had strong/powerful feelings), how can you just completely walk away. That assumes there is a scale of feelings whereby love is the step after friendship. I look at it differently, in that you receive different feelings/emotions/thoughts from different people. Some have the balance to be friends and some have the balance to be love/relationship. They certainly cross over and share parts of your experience together, but they are not always meant to be a scale where must maintain friendships after the relationships ends. So I vote for friendly.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I think it depends entirely on the people involved. I have a good friend who is now on quite good terms with her ex-husband. It took them a long time to get to this point, and there is zero physical attraction between then now, but they seem to get along just fine. Other people can’t stand to have any sort of contact with an ex. It’s a personal thing, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I haven’t dated that much in my life (my choice). Of my two longest relationships, the first one, I wasn’t even really friendly with after we broke up (he has since died from cancer). We had too much history and I was not in a healthy place emotionally and it just didn’t work. My second ex and I are still pretty good friends, even tho’ our relationship lasted longer than the first one did. We don’t see each other much as we live in different states, but we have seen each other a few times since we broke up. We still tell each other just about everything. He’s one of my closest friends and I wouldn’t change that for anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. My ex from high school is my best friend. A more recent ex wants to be friends and I’m struggling. I guess maybe in time it’s definitely possible, but there are a lot of factors to consider. . . . I’m torn on the topic.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. One red flag in your post that jumped out at me — the words “cute banter.” Would you describe comments from any other FB friend, male or female, that way? I am absolutely friends with some of my exes, but I honestly treat them and think of them like any of my other FB friends…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I cute banter with everyone – I’m an equal opportunity flirt. When I get to know you better, I will do it with you. I often feel like I belong in a movie from the forties, where people throw around witty bon most…..I’m usually not witty, but I try……


  21. Interesting points. You have a much more interesting life than I do. My exes all dumped me because they got fed up with me and none of them has ever looked me up later. They’d have a hard time on Facebook as I cancelled it years ago.

    So my view – if you’re immature, insensitive and scared of commitment (as I have been told) you won’t have this problem. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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