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Friends With An Ex-Lover


Friends With An Ex-Lover

Administrator’s Opinion 

A healthy relationship is often based on honesty, trust, and how comfortable we feel discussing our feelings, hopes, and goals. In relationships, couples tend to pride themselves on being able to communicate well about anything and everything. However, the opening of the ex-file can strike more fear and tension into an otherwise blissful union.

When you are married, being friends with past lovers is not an easy thing to do, especially when you are in the throws of married life. Although spouses may pretend as if they don’t care, chances are they do and the whole ‘ex-friends’ relationship will become trouble for your marriage at some point.

Even with the most honest of intentions, it is difficult to be just friends with people that you have shared a certain level of intimacy with. It is even more difficult to force your spouse to accept it.

I really do think, there will always be a lurking suspicion in your spouses mind about what you are thinking or talking about when both of you are together. And to be frank, you will always have the curiosity of what might have been creeping into your mind (whether you admit it or not) as well.

To those who argue that, being friends with an ex-lover is not a problem, you should understand that one sign of trouble in your marriage could easily send your partner running into their ex’s arms, even if just for a night.

Note: This is the opinion of the administrator. A trained marriage therapist and a relationship expert will be commenting on the topic discussed at the end of the month.


What’s your opinion,  on your spouse/partner  being friends with their ex-lover?

Response to Friends With An Ex Lover by Colleen Blake-Miller M.Div (Individual, Couples and Family Therapist)

First things first, let’s define what ‘friendship with your ex’ really looks like. Are we talking about a deep meaningful friendship where you talk regularly, hang out together, and mutually share your feelings, hopes, and dreams? Or are we talking about a friendship that is more like an acquaintance, where you share mutual circles of friends, see each other at events/functions from time to time, and engage in otherwise meaningless chatter about ‘surface stuff’?

If we are referring to the second type of ‘friendship/acquaintance’ then I would say that this is; although awkward for some, quite doable with an ex. A deeper more meaningful friendship however is not advisable with an ex for several reasons.

  1. There were reasons you broke up that kept you from still being with this person today, and if per chance you are able to resolve the ‘issues’ that caused you to break up in the first place, what’s to say you or they won’t begin fantasizing about ‘what could have been’ ? Do yourself a favour… Leave the past in the past…. DON’T LOOK BACK.
  2. If you had an intimate relationship with someone you were able to find comfort, encouragement, and reassurance in, it is possible that at some point you will reach back out to them, when in fact you should be finding this type of comfort from your spouse/current partner.
  3. You’ve shared intimate moments together and these memories are powerful experiences that actually draw people closer together. Maintaining a close friendship with an ex will create scenarios where these intimate memories might be discussed, reminisced upon, and ultimately ‘kept alive.
  4. It is possible that you begin to compare your past relationship with your marriage/current relationship, which is NEVER good!! Comparing your current relationship with one from the past is a set up because our imaginations and memories are so incredibly FALSE at times, and will recall things differently than how they really went down. Just try to keep this in mind you broke up with this person for a REASON, so try to focus on what those reasons were… OR force yourself to remember how painful it was that THEY broke up with you. Either way what you shared was in the past, and you can’t live in the past AND in the present at the same time.
  5. Being friends with your ex may upset your spouse/current partner and it is important that you consider their feelings on the matter and act in a way that is respectful towards them. Personally I would not feel comfortable knowing my husband was ‘chumming it up’ with a woman he was once enamoured with or who was once enamoured with him. And for the record, feeling this way doesn’t make me or anyone uncomfortable by this insecure, that’s just what people not willing to respect their partner’s feelings typically say ;)

Sustaining a healthy marriage or relationship takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice, which includes GUARDING your marriage/relationship from potential pitfalls or dangers. Although a friendship with an ex doesn’t ALWAYS lead to negative outcomes, the possibility is there, so think carefully about the benefits of this friendship and see if it’s worth whatever risk there might be.

Colleen Blake-Miller M.Div
Individual, Couple and Family Therapist.
To contact Colleen log onto or call 416 873 4892


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25 Responses to “Friends With An Ex-Lover”

  • martinez:

    My opinion is helllllllllllll NO. It Is eventually going to end up to become friends with benefits.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Beatrice:

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. Can’t say no enough to this idea. I have a huge propblem with this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Eghosa:

    It is fine to become friends with an ex-lover, as far as they both know their boundaries. Especially when one or both of them are now married. If they cannot draw the line, then there would definitely be a problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Penny:

    My personal opinion on his topic would be NO it’s not a good idea – Based on how the relationship ended and as long as both parties shared intimate and most importantly a SEXUAL relationship it would be hard to just be FRIENDS. This is just my opinion, but then there are some relationships out there where exes are really good pure friends; especially when they share children etc.

    The situations differ so it is really a personal thing. Unfortunately we live in a world today where it’s just crazy and you just cannot close your mind and think that these things don’t exist. I have personally spoken to individuals who explain the different rules and levels of friendship to me. Ive shared a few of them with you below.

    “Friends with benefits” this is one that I just cannot wrap my mind around as yet – Very hard for me to accept. Below i’ve added some rules for being a friend to an ex and if you do have a friend WITH benefits a few rules too.

    Rules on How to be a pure friend to an ex

    1. Make sure you’re over them
    2.Make sure your intentions are good
    3.Check in on them. Send a friendly text message or call them on their birthday.
    4.Let them know that you feel positive about them as a person and that you’d like to be friends with them — “REAL FRIENDS”
    5.Tell them that you think they’re great and that, for the most part, you wouldn’t change a thing about them. (Well, unless they’re doing something really mean or stupid.)
    6.Avoid sexual and romantic topics
    7.At first, keep your conversations and meetings short and, if possible, fun
    8. Keep working toward your own goals
    9. If your ex is not treating you with the same respect you expect of any other friend, it’s not a good time to pursue a friendship with them.

    Friends with benefits relationship rules….

    1. Don’t hang out with him/her
    2. Keep friends out of it
    3. Limit your time to less than two hours
    4. Talk on the phone one to two times a week
    5. No email allowed
    6. Wear protection at all times
    7. Don’t do pillow talk.
    8. Late night visits are best
    9. No sleep overs
    10. Run at the first talk of becoming more than friends with benefits

    QUITE SHOCKING to me that this is how some people live….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Patrick:

    When there are kids involve, it make sense to always remain friends only for the benefits of the kids. If there are no kids involve, i do not think it’s a great idea to remain friends. There will always be some awkward moment; thoughts and touching might lead to something else that will become a problem in your current relationship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • kelvin:

    Penny makes a great point. The situation differs, and it certainly a personal thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Rahim:

    It really depends on the state at which you and your ex lover broke up, and if there were any kids involved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • sherie:

    When there are no children involved, it’s better to avoid this kind of friendship if you want to maintain peace or keep your relationship with your current lover.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • sandra:

    I was a friend with my ex lover, but I soon realize it wasn’t a good move to stay friend him. My current lover was ready to leave if I had continue the friendship with him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Brethren:

    I do not thinks it is a problem to stay friends with your ex lover. But the reality is, some ex’s do take advantage of this kind of friendship, because the believe they’ve seen it all, they think they can get it anytime they want. That is where the problem is with this kind of friendship. It also depend on how your current lover feel about your friendship with this individual.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • eric:

    It will be better if we can completely avoid this kind of ex lover friendship. Having said that, Penny is very correct for stating that, it depend on individual cases.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Fiona:

    This is a great question and something to really think about. Love this site.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Lilian:

    I would personally prefer to stay away from this kind of friendship. It could lead to a serious problem between you and your current partner. It is a different case when kids are involved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Chan:

    Don’t see anything wrong with staying friends with your ex-lover. You just need to know your boundary,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • kelvin:

    Chan, opening up the ex file can sometimes create a problem in a good relationship. It might not be so for you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Roselin:

    This kind of friendship has stired up problems to some partners that i know, so i would stay away from him. If there is no children involved, i do not see any need for this kind of friendship, when you are already in a love relationship with another person.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Kelvin:

    Great point Roselin. I would be very mindful of this kind of friendship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Morgan:

    Staying friends shouldn’t be a problem, if your current lover is fine with it. It really depends on individuals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Farfan:

    My ex lover and I are still friends. It doesn’t really matter to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • evelyn:

    It will be nice if we all can just get along.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • King:

    This is a very good question to discuss. I personally would not want my lover to stay friends with her ex lover, so that applies to me as well. I would prefer to stay away from this kind of friendship. There are possibilities that your relationship would end up going down with this kind of ex lover friendship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • arnie:

    I am still friends with my ex lover, and we do not have children together. My current lover is aware of our friendship and she seems to be fine with it. She have the understanding that I am with her now, and my ex lover is out of the gig. I don’t understan why it is so much of a problem to so many people here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Drake:

    There is nothing wrong with remaining friends with your ex lover.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Hillary:

    It is not a wise thing to stat friends with your ex lover. Sooner or later, this kind of friendship would cripple your current relationship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • suzan:

    I would not feel comfortable knowing my partner is still friends with his ex lover. It’s a no no to this kind of friendship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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