“I don’t think you ever can ever be best friends with your ex,” laughs relationship expert and author of Dating Again with Courage & Confidence, Fran Greene.
That’s not always the case, Fran adds, saying there are so many factors that you need to take into consideration to see if you can really truly see your ex as a friend.
“I really think being best friends with your ex is really a double-edged sword,” Fran says. “If you’ve been the one who’s been dumped it’s impossible to be best friends with your ex.”
Fran says if you do choose to be best friends with your ex, it comes at a cost.
“It’s so tricky. You’re going down a scary road,” she says. “Once you’ve shared in initiate relationship with someone and then it’s over, it’s hard to go back to a different level of a relationship. It’s hard to switch gears from lovers to best friends. It’s complicated.”
There are scenarios where the relationship was something that wasn’t going to materialize into a loving partnership and both of you decided you truly care about each other and have so much in common, it’s really OK to be best friends.
Sexual orientation can also play a huge role in determining a future friendship.
“If somewhere into a relationship one of the partners owns up that they are not straight, or one of the couple is not of the same sexual orientation, that’s a whole other dimension. The split has a reason and you can be friends then.”
Overall, Fran says, every single circumstance is different.
“If I was dumped by the love of my life I would never in a million years be able to or want to be best friends,” she says. “If your heart has been broken into smithereens and this person was your final puzzle piece and they say it’s over, that’s when you have to say, 'I can’t be your best friend.’”
“Being best friends has to be mutual, there are all different kinds of exes.”
But no matter what type of friends you become—if any—take three months away from the person to see what you want.
“Time is a crucial element in being friends with your ex,” Fran says. “Have a least three months with zero contact.”
Got an ex? Yeah, we all do. Bravo’s Personal Space is diving into everything there is to discuss about breakups, from the ones that got away to ghosting to what the hell you should do with an ex on social media with Ex-Files Week. It’s all leading up to our new series A Night With My Ex, which explores what happens when former couples reunite…for one night only. Check back each day for exclusive interviews, personal stories, and don’t forget to catch the premiere on Tuesday, July 18 at 10/9c.
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