I get that there are people out there who manage to be friends with their exes after breaking up, but this has never been the case for me. In fact, when guys I’ve dated have suggested staying friends, I’ve always chosen the clean break instead.
- I don’t want to see updates of their lives on social media. One of the most common ways of staying friends is connecting with exes on social media. But I don’t want to see what my exes are doing or how their lives have changed. I don’t want to feel bad when their beloved dog has died or they had a car accident. It feels like seeing updates about their lives will just make me focus on the past when I’ve really got my sights set on the future.
- Friendship is the foundation of every relationship — and they messed it up. I saw all my exes as both boyfriends and friends when we were together, so when they broke my trust and betrayed me as boyfriends it felt like they also damaged the friendship. How am I supposed to see such a person as a friend who has my back and whom I can trust? It’s just not going to happen.
- I didn’t have any amicable breakups. Amicable breakups feel like some sort of mythical creature to me. All my breakups ended badly and dramatically; they were like “The Breakup” meets “Game of Thrones”. When things were over, they were over as hell and I placed my exes’ names into my ‘enemies for life’ list. There’s no way to bring someone back from that.
- I can’t stay friends out of guilt. It’s easy to feel bad for someone after dumping them and yes, I would feel guilty to the point of thinking perhaps I should have stayed friends with the person. But then the feeling would pass because I’d remember that I didn’t owe my exes anything and it wouldn’t do anyone any favors to pretend to be friends if my heart just wasn’t in it.
- I don’t want toxic friendships. After my breakups, I always felt I had wasted too much time on those jerks during our relationships. Why the hell would I still want to stay in touch? It would feel like a step backwards. I’d continue wasting time and energy on toxic people, even on a smaller scale, but just as damaging. I’d rather have friendships that don’t carry all that emotional drama.
- Old issues would crop up. There’s no doubt that old, painful issues would still come up. A relationship changes when it breaks down and gets glued together into friendship, but the people in it don’t change. God, I’ve experienced this with friends: I’d reconnect with an old friend after a horrible fight and soon those old hurts would make a nuisance of themselves. I really don’t want this with an ex, where hurts are magnified.
- “Let’s be friends” sounds fake. I’d always wonder if the person saying they wanted to be friends was really being honest. Come on, “let’s be friends” is something so many people say. It is often said just to lighten the breakup a bit or to try to move on without guilt over any hard feelings.
- Exes might be psychopaths if they want to stick around. A recent study from the Department of Psychology at Oakland University in Michigan found that people who have personality traits like narcissism tend to keep their exes around for their own manipulative purposes. I’ve seen this happen with exes who would try to get back in touch when they needed attention or even a fling because they had no one else in their lives. What crap. Seeing as though most of my ex-boyfriends came with drama and problems, the study is just one reason why it’s best I don’t stay in contact with them. Yup, I’m better off.