"It adds excess stress, excess guilt, and makes the transition to a new partner difficult or impossible," counsellor David Anderson said. "Don't be friends immediately. Take time to heal without the other person being in your life. And when you've healed, then you can consider whether you still want a friend in that person."
Anderson said that the one requesting the friendship may be doing so out of selfish desire, as while they are not willing to continue a relationship, they are also not willing to release the person to move on with their life.
Here's why you shouldn't be friends with an ex:
1. Your ex may take you for granted. No one likes to be taken for granted, but if you hold onto your ex, he/she may feel you are so caught up in them that they can treat you just about anyhow and you will always be there regardless of the bad treatment.
2. Your present partner may be insecure. Not everyone can handle a relationship in which they feel that they are competing with an ex. This situation is made even worse if there is constant bickering between you and your new partner regarding incidents involving the ex. At some point you may be forced to choose.
3. You will not put your all into your current relationship. Having someone else to lean on usually prevents you from giving your
full attention to your partner, which in turn could lead to quarrels and a 'don't care' attitude on your part. After all, having a 'back-up' will force you to take risks you would not otherwise take.
4. You will not get over your ex. It is important that you give yourself time to heal from a broken relationship, and remaining friends does not allow this to take place. As a result, you will enter into your new relationship not fully healed and with unnecessary baggage.
5. You won't be able to fully move on. Moving on means you have not only got over your ex, but also that you have come away with lessons learnt that would better enable you to deal with a new relationship. If you remain friends, this cannot take place as you are never truly free.
6. He/she may use you for sex because you are available. Even if your ex has moved on to a new relationship, the moment they feel the need to go outside their relationship you will fall back into the picture, not because they are in love with you, but because you are available.
7. You are vulnerable to excess hurt. Being friends means you will still have expectations and hopes which will only result in hurt when these are not met.
8. A feeling of attachment and obligation may remain. Being friends, especially soon after a break-up, will undoubtedly mean you still have feelings for your ex, especially if he/she was the one who called it off. You are likely to also feel a sense of obligation and will answer to their every beck and call.