To Be, Or Not to Be Friends With Your Ex, That is the Question

(Photo by Natalie Baugh)

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS CONTENT FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY

To Be, Or Not to Be Friends With Your Ex, That is the Question

By Zelda Dominguez

I recently saw the guest appear, Dua Lipa on a talk show. First her name caught my attention, then the chorus to her new song.

NEW RULES

My love, he makes me feel like nobody else

Nobody else, But my love, he doesn’t love me. So I tell myself, I tell myself

One, don’t pick up the phone

You know he’s only calling cause he’s drunk and alone

Two, don’t let him in

You’ll have to kick him out again

Three, don’t be his friend

You know you’re gonna wake up in his bed in the morning

You ain’t getting over him

Wow, I know its pretty brazen. It grabbed me because it describes so many couples or girls that share with me. One person of the two cares more for the other, and because of that, one compromises, and the other takes advantage of the situation.

A girl in the song knows things are not as she would like and her feelings aren’t being reciprocated. So she makes up some rules or lines not to cross. The third line says, don’t be his friend. So coming from her, she knows it won’t work. Yet she falls for what her emotions tell her.

I myself look back at relationships I had before, and after I became a believer. One in particular I had prior to becoming a Christian stands out. It was a boyfriend who proposed and became my fiancé. I didn’t see it coming, and he broke up with me. I was living in a dream come true relationship that came to a screeching halt! I, like the girl in the song, obviously cared for him more and agreed to be friends. I would think of reasons to call him, and it was painful when I went out and seeing him with other girls. There were even times we’d talk and end up kissing or going to his house. I was so dumb to allow my emotions to control me and accept so much less than what God had planned for me. I was stuck and blinded.

Totally different but one thing was true, it was hard to try to remain friends after breaking up. How could I pretend we were never romantically involved? Think of it, what are the reasons why you would want to remain friends with your ex, and you decide.

Reason #1Insecurity

You get use to your significant other and sometimes you think, can I really find anyone better? If it’s your ex that cuts if off, by trying to remain friends, is constant rejection that can only add to feeling bad about yourself and insecurities. You are so much more valuable and worthy of that.

Reason #2: Loneliness

The thought of being alone may scare you so is your ex better than no one? Nothing to do? Doesn’t watching Netflix, or going for a casual bite to eat with the old ex, sound more appealing? It’s always easier to fall back to doing the familiar than to start doing, or meeting someone new. Unfortunately chilling with the ex, only makes it easier to take up where you left off , falling into old patterns, and riding that never ending roller coaster of  the on/off again cycle.

Reason #3: You Still Care for Them

Perhaps you secretly are hoping to win them back, however you can, and if they don’t care about you this can put you in repeated disappointment and heart ache. We tell ourselves that because of what we feel, we can’t imagine this person not being in our lives and not being our friend. If its them that still care for us, it may be is flattering for a while. I must confess I  enjoyed unexpected gifts . But it gives false hope, plus you don’t want to be a user.

Reason #4: You Have Mutual Friends

Social pressure to stay friends with your ex, research shows more likely you will. (Doesn’t mean you have to though)  They may say for the sake of social harmony, but there’s ways you can still see your friends without your ex being present if they are your true friends.

Reason #5: You Feel Terrible for Them

In the case where you did the breaking up, there’s an obvious reason why. So trying to comfort or shoulder their hurt to help them thru this is admirable, but only prolongs both of you from moving forward.

Reason #6: Lazy Communication

Your ex sending you a text message saying,” I miss you”, ‘How are you?’, ‘Whatcha doin tonight?” or ‘Thinking about you’ is sorry…..a lazy person on the hunt for an ego stroke. Someone missing you, is not equivalent to wanting to be with you or wanting to get back together. So don’t mistake what they’re doing. In fact, let’s be real – you responding to their “I miss you’s” lets them mentally check their standby list as confirmation that you’re still an option. This isn’t real sincere communication. Comments or messages thru social media is either.

Reason #7: Playing It Safe/Keeping on the Back Burner

This always keeps the ex as the old standby, in case nothing comes along better. That’s not having self-respect, trusting God, and, it’s not fair to either party. You should completely end one chapter before you go on to the next, or it will ruin the story.

Reason #8: Won’t Accept the Breakup

Make sure that you are direct with your ex. Because they refuse to breakup you may think, its ok to be friends. Don’t be intimidated, fearful, or feel bad. You have every right to say no to even friendship. In one set of studies, 40% of college students surveyed reported engaging in at least one stalking behavior following a break-up. This is serious and don’t be afraid to involve the police if needed. Anger, jealousy, obsessiveness, and need for control all predicted greater stalking behavior, so beware of these traits.

You are so loved and valued by God. The scriptures say we are fearfully and wonderfully made! You are worth far more than diamonds. He also says He knows the plans He has for us, are for good. We are so focused on what we see on tv, social media, movies and our physical mirrors, we start to mimic that. We forget to view ourselves through God’s mirror (The Word of God) As we continue to do so, we will begin to see and experience ourselves for who we really are. As who we are in Christ grows stronger in our hearts, we will begin to see ourselves like God sees us Let Him guide you, and accept nothing less.