“Friendship often ends in love, but love in friendship? Never.”


Web sites like DontDateHimGirl.com don’t do well because most people after ending relationships decide to be BFFs. In fact, most break ups end horribly and even the ones that end on positive notes, rarely end in “friendships.”

As the book by the same name points out, it’s called a break up because it’s broken. People don’t end relationships for reason typically conducive to good friendships.  Becoming friends after calling it quits just prolongs those reasons the romance ended in the first place.

But even if the relationship ends on a good note, should exes try to be friends after love has left the picture?

It’s a touchy subject, one that goes back to the “When Harry Met Sally” debate. While men and women, I think, can be friends, exes shouldn’t try. Not right away at least.

After breaking up, you need time to heal, time to get over it. Only after you’ve moved on and let go of any hope or thought of getting back together, maybe then rekindling a friendship won’t be such a bad thing.

In my experience, after break ups, the wounded party becomes sad. A newly dumped girl would do anything to get her boyfriend back, to find that love again. And then, sadness turns to anger.

Exes that stay friends during either period aren’t going to find very healthy, thriving friendships. Instead, they will discover more hurt and more pain. It prolongs the healing process, and before she knows it, she’s been single, pissed off and lonely for longer than hoped.

Break ups need to be clean cuts. Quit cold turkey.  Go a few months, maybe years (depends on the timing and seriousness of the relationship), and then try a casual acquaintance.

As a teenager, I remember being mostly upset after a break up because it meant I lost my best friend. Looking back, it makes sense. Once that friend becomes more than a friend, he is no longer that BFF he was to begin with.  And when the relationship ends, that former friend isn’t going to come back.

It’s a lot like quitting smoking. Once you’ve given it up, keeping a pack in your purse will just make you want one more. And then one more.

You’re just kidding yourself keeping an ex around, even in a friend capacity. It might be an easy fix, a way to keep that person in your life after the love is gone, but it isn’t going to make your hurting stop. It won’t change the fact that you now find yourself in a single world.

Cry. Call your real friends. Spend some alone time with your new best friends, Ben and Jerry. And then keep living your life.  Another friend will come along soon.

After a break up, most likely, you want to find another special someone. If not right away, soon after, you’ll reach phase three and decide you want someone else in your life.

Having an ex around isn’t going to make that step easier. It will do the exact opposite. No new person in your life wants to compete with the former still in the picture.

And no woman wants her fiancée’s long-lost loves at her wedding.

As adults, being friends with our pasts can be healthy. That only comes long after both parties have grown. And even then becoming close friends won’t be good for anyone involved.

Just look at the Ross and Rachel fiasco. Sure they ended up together, but that was six years later, and not to mention, on a television show. Real life doesn’t end up that way.

Every relationship, every couple is different. They start differently. They end differently. But one fact remains true across the board: hearts need time to heal. Anytime someone’s intimate feelings are involved, an appropriate mourning period is necessary.

And maybe one day, you and the ex can re-discover a friendship you once had — only long after those addictive, nicotine cravings have passed.


2 Responses to ““Friendship often ends in love, but love in friendship? Never.””
  1. ksyd says:

    yesss for the ben and jerry’s reference

    toward the end you used of instead of have (before grown)
    on the harry and sally situation: i don’t think guys and girls can be close friends. i’ll send you a celeb ref link later about that too. but i think they can be casual friends, never close, because that just never works out for any parties involved.

    totally agree with the long lost loves at the wedding being g-rosssssly inapprop.

    yay for liz having a blog!

  2. fel says:

    what if the situations that caused the relationship to be broken have changed dramatically?

    what if you do TRULY both still enjoy one anothers company and the romantic thing just wasn’t working out?

    what if you truly and deeply love the person, but for technical reasons like, oh say geography or career choice a romantic relationship CAN’T work? no matter how badly you want it to?

    just to play devil’s advocate… ya know.

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