Does a Friendship Ruin the Chances of a Relationship With an Ex?

Hanging out with him as
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While being friends with your ex seems like the civil thing to do, if you have thoughts of reuniting, you may wonder if taking it to the platonic level is the best way to go. Taking your relationship back a step, to the friend phase, can either bring the two of you closer together or point out the fatal flaws of your romance.

1 Your Motives

Before you even begin to evaluate the pros and cons of how being friends with your ex can impact any future hopes of romance, make sure you are clear in your own mind about your real motive. Pursuing a friendship with an ex often means that you still have unresolved relationship issues or are still invested in the relationship. If the only reason you want to start a friendship with your ex is to get her back, your plan may not work out in your favor. Your ex may see through your scheme to stay tied to her or feel uncomfortable about carrying on any type of relationship after the break-up.

2 Don't Get Stuck

If your breakup was mutual, or at least not an anger-fueled mess, the two of you may decide that friendship is entirely possible. Even though you don't go out on dates, you still hang out every so often, talk on the phone and casually text each other. However, the more comfortable you become with your ex as a friend, the less likely it is that romance will suddenly rebound. If you get stuck in a "just friends" routine, getting back to a romantic relationship isn't always possible. You or your ex may enjoy being friends better or just feel like being a platonic pair is easier.

3 One-Sided Relationship

If your ex is completely happy being friends with you, the relationship isn't likely to move into a more romantic one, according to psychologist Jeremy Nicholson in his "Psychology Today" article, "Escape the Friend Zone: From Friend to Girlfriend or Boyfriend." Even though you aren't together as a couple, you're still there to listen to him when he needs to vent about school or work and you still drive him to basketball practice every week. This type of arrangement often ruins the chances of reuniting, as your ex may see no real reason to get back together with you if he's already getting his needs met with you as a friend.

4 Attraction Factor

Attraction is a key ingredient in any successful romantic relationship, according to the TeensHealth website article, "Love and Romance." Whether the lost spark of your romance caused your relationship to fail or you broke up for some other reason, turning your love platonic may kick the idea of attraction out of the picture. Even though some platonic partners find each other attractive, making a point of being friends may mean that you don't have a physical pull towards each other. The lack of attraction that you feel as friends may ruin the chances of rekindling your relationship. However, if you both can get the spark back, the relationship may turn back to a romance.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.