This Is When To Stay Friends With An Ex (And When Not To)

You’re reading Shout Out To Your Ex, our series on breakups, bouncing back, and why the end of a relationship can be the start of everything else

“We can still be friends though, right?” The last words you want to hear after a tricky breakup, as if it will soften the blow (spoiler: it does not).

Some people swear by keeping things sweet, even after an explosive ending. Just look at Friends, How I Met Your Mother, and almost every sitcom under the sun. But how do you know when there’s something worth salvaging from a relationship? And if you’re feeling burned by it, is it even worth finding out?

“As with most concepts in life, there are pros and cons to trying to forge a friendship with an ex partner,” psychologist Lee Chambers, tells HuffPost UK.

There are some situations where you definitely shouldn’t keep that person in your life. “If your relationship was abusive, whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally or financially, this toxicity will follow through into any friendship, and separation will always be the best pathway to take,” Chambers says.

“Even when coercion and manipulation were not present, we have such intimate knowledge of each other that we are likely to focus on the negative, especially if we find ourselves ruminating about the past,” he warns.

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