DIVA unpacks the age-old question about staying in touch with your ex
BY CHLOE DEYES, IMAGE BY NICOLAS MENIJES
There are many reasons as to why people break up their relationships. In some cases, it could be for the better, a mutual agreement to take separate paths. Or you could be left heartbroken, watching films where your favourite lesbian couples can’t be together. All these plans that you made with your person, circling your head, knowing full well that you are no longer able to do them together. Or can you?
I have read articles and listened to friends regarding what is best but ultimately, each relationship is different.
Interestingly, when I searched on Google for “staying friends with an ex”, the first article listed is titled “Are LGBTQIA people more likely to stay friends with their ex?”
A prime example as to why you can be mates with an ex is portrayed through the wonderful The L Word as well as The L Word Generation Q. We see the likes of Alice and Bette being good chums after the early flashback of the couple having a steamy kiss through their six-week dating period. In Generation Q we see Gigi and Nat who co-parent their children as well as remaining friends even though both characters have moved on with other people. Through different forms of media, we see ways in which people can remain friends with an ex.
Creating a friendship with an ex could simply come down to mutual interests or shared knowledge and having those cute inside jokes with each other. It could also be because the individual may not have other friends who are part of the LGBTQIA community and therefore need the support from their once ex through this time.
The expression “let’s just be friends” can be a kick in the stomach but in some circumstances, it is a way to create a different and new bond.
My ex and I broke up five years ago and although it was incredibly hard to walk away from each other and start our lives as new singletons, over time we began to talk and then eventually we met up again. My ex and I are friends, our interests in travel and food and drink are still as apparent as ever and even though we are no longer in a romantic relationship, we are there for each other through the highs and lows of life. In my circumstance, we didn’t break up because we didn’t like each other anymore, we ultimately had grown into a friendship.
I think when relationships end, you need to take time for yourself, do things that bring you happiness and even try out something that you’ve always wanted to do. I do believe you can remain friends with an ex, so long as you’re both open to the idea of it.
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