Why It’s So Hard To Cut Your Ex Out Of Your Life
By Korin Miller
Remember that time you swore you’d never, ever talk to your ex again…and now you regularly meet up for coffee? You know it’s probably not the best thing for you, but you do it anyway. Yeah, we’ve been there.
More than 61 percent of us think it’s not worth it to try to stay friends with an ex, according to a poll of more than 1,000 men and women by the Associated Press and WE TV, and the same amount of people think that dropping contact completely is the right way to go. However, more than half of those surveyed said they had remained friends with an ex at some point. That’s including the 38 percent of people who were dead set against friendships with exes.
Manhattan-based licensed clinical psychologist Joseph Cilona, isn’t shocked by the findings. “Post-breakup flip-flops in feelings about staying friends or not can be a very common occurrence,” he says.
Here’s why: Breakups tend to involve some pretty intense emotions, and intense emotions often mess with your ability to think clearly, he says. Basically, when it comes to making decisions related to a breakup, your heart tends to overpower your head. In other words, breakups make us kinda stupid.
“The result can create uncertainties and consequences that are not in line with true wants and needs once emotions settle,” says Cilona. So, you might keep talking to your ex, even though you know a clean break will really help you get over them.
The Best Way To Move On After A Split
Cilona says it all depends on you and your ex. “In some cases, it can be completely appropriate and work for both people to forge a new friendship post-breakup,” he says. “In other cases, it can be a disaster.” And when you really take time to think about it, you know what the right answer is for you.
Decided you need to steer clear of your ex once and for all? Be open about it. Just say something like, “I enjoy spending time with you, but really need to do my own thing for a while.” And then stick to it – that means no texting, calling and tagging on social media.
The most important thing is that you’re both on the same page, Cilona says. “If these things are clear and both parties agree, it really can work,” he says. “If they are not, it’s not likely to end well.”