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After Dating: Can We Just be Friends?

Oct 11, 2007
The usual answer that your other friends will tell you is "of course not" but is this true? As with all situations, it depends on a number of variables. In this case, it depends on whether or not you both want to remain friends. Sometimes there's a history between a couple that goes back further than the dating relationship. If you are in this situation, then it's probable that neither of you want to lose the friendship even if you've found that you don't actually work as a couple.

Sometimes you date someone for a while and then you both realize that you are great as friends, but neither of you feel a spark of physical attraction and so decide to call the relationship quits, but remain friends. There are a number of scenarios like these where the relationship dissolves amicably on both sides, and both of you want to remain friends -- and if that's the case, why not? Don't listen to those who say it won't work; it'll work if you want it too. Make it work!

If, however, the break-up isn't mutual, if one of you still has romantic feelings for the other one, then remaining friends isn't a good idea. Usually one partner wants this because they don't want to hurt their partner by walking out of their life completely, while the other partner clutches at straws thinking that if they remain friends, they can win back their affection. It doesn't work that way. If you still have feelings for your partner, or you know that they didn't want to break up, then both of you have to walk away before the situation becomes an emotional mess.

What you need to consider before entering a platonic friendship with someone you've been dating is how this will affect the relationships with other people you date. There could be people who aren't happy that you are still friends with this ex partner and your ex partner could also find themselves in a similar situation. You both need to figure out what you would do if this should happen so that if the situation did arise, you both know what will happen.

It could be that you both decide to remain friends but only see each other casually if you aren't dating someone else, or it could be that you will expect anyone you are dating to accept the friendship or you're not interested in dating them. This is something that is almost 100% likely to come up with either you or your ex partner so deciding what to do about it now will stop either of you being hurt should the other suddenly break off all contact because they are seeing someone who isn't happy about the friendship continuing.

Whether or not you remain friends with someone you've broken up with isn't down to what other people think. It's about what you and your ex partner feel about the relationship. Of course the popular response is "no it can't work" but the reality is that it does work out for many ex couples so you have assess your own thoughts on the matter, and discuss it thoroughly with your ex partner, and then make an informed decision based on how you both feel rather than on what other people think.
About the Author
Jane Saeman runs a site called along with info on dating and relationship on her blog at at http://www.Hot-Firefighters.com/blog2
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