Moises: Can you be friends with your ex?

Darwin Moises.
Darwin Moises.File photo

@BASHA: I have a best friend since high school. For the sake of anonymity, let us refer to him as Popoy. We became a couple five years ago. Sadly, we broke up after just three years of dating. Predictably, the end of our romantic journey also marked the conclusion of our friendship. We drifted, met and dated other people. I recently learned he’s unattached. Now that I’m successful as a banker, I treasure friendships forged when I was still a nobody. Popoy was there when I was invisible. It’s just sad we could not win what I thought was our greatest battle — our love story. Can we be friends again?

DJ: It must be hard to cut off all contact with someone who was such a big part of your life. You spent a lot of time together, learned each other’s likes and dislikes and built up some serious chemistry. Can you salvage the past connection and flip the switch back to being pals again? Is it even a good idea?

A study released by YouGov last year spilled the tea — most Americans surveyed were not friends with any of their exes. They’re comfortable being on good terms or in speaking terms. But not as best friends. Another study at the University of Kansas suggested that about 60 percent of people maintained a friendship after a breakup. But they aren’t always successful.

We don’t have the same deets here in the Philippines unfortunately. I also cannot give you a solid yes or no. Besides, every situation is different. What I can tell you is it depends on why you want to continue as friends. If the romantic feelings are dead and gone for both of you, I think it can work. It’s been two years since the split if my Math serves me right. I assume you’re flying solo. The potential drama around that area is covered.

There’s actually wisdom about going backward. It gives you a fresh look at how you might have put your previous relationship on a pedestal. I reconnected with an ex again last year. A thing from way back. I can honestly say I have already moved on. What’s interesting is getting back into the friendship groove made it crystal clear why the romantic part crashed and burned. Today, I am even more convinced that we’re better off as just friends. So yeah, revisiting the friendship side of the relationship can help us see things as they are. Not how they used to be.

Plus, it’s actually practical. You know the guy from way back. There’s trust there. The relationship has de-escalated. And friendships that are born out of respect for each other can be rewarding and make your life easier. In my case, I trust my ex’s opinion. It’s a good data point when I’m making important business decisions. She’s a subject matter expert. It’s like having a consultant to have a collaboration with.

What makes it a bad idea is if you still have feelings for him. It will just drag you back into the old drama, the stuff that didn’t work the first time. Being friends with him won’t stop him from seeing other people, or going out on dates. Are these matters you can deal with? Can you be cool with him even when there is someone else in the picture? Be honest with yourself.

You broke up for a reason. Stuff stemming from unresolved desires can lead to more heartbreaks and jealousy. The whole mess. It only delays your happiness. Instead of investing in a relationship with someone who’s a better fit, you risk staying on a set-up that can hold you back in the healing process.

Now, if you have a clear head to maintain a supportive friendship without emotional baggage or unrealistic expectations, reach out to him. Do it like you’re reconnecting with any other friend. Then take it from there. A clean slate mentality is key to restarting a friendship. Leave the past where it belongs. You’ve done your self-work. Don’t slide back into old habits. Everyone wants to have a happy ending. Just make sure it’s truly the ending you’re sincerely vibing with.


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