Best Friends with your ex?

I was reading a thread about keeping belongings given to you by an ex and one of the posts struck me as a bit…odd. I didn’t want to hijack that thread, so I thought I’d start one of my own.

One of the posters mentioned that they were “best friends” with their ex-spouse. That poster has since re-married. Poster also mentioned that her husband is “best friends” with his ex-wife, to the point where she vacations with them. I think it’s great that some people are secure enough in their relationships that they can remain so close with their exes. However, I know I couldn’t handle my SO being best friends with his ex. I wouldn’t dream of telling him who he can and can’t be freinds with, so if he had that close of a relationship with the ex, I probably wouldn’t have made it past the first couple of dates.

I guess I just figure relationships tend to end because the partners no longer get along, at least not well enough to remain in the relationship. So, if you get along well enough to consider your ex your best friend, I’d wonder what’s stopping you from getting together again.

So what say you, dopers? How would you feel if you started dating someone and found out they were best friends with their ex? Would you be concerned? Would it be a deal-breaker? Totally cool?

My fiancée was best friends with her ex, until recently. I said asked her to distance herself from him because while I trust her, I don’t trust him, at all. I know that if something happened between her and I he would try with her the next day. She agreed with my assessment and has stopped talking to him.

Had my wife picked a less traumatizing way to bring our marriage to a screeching halt, I imagine we could have been best friends again down the line, if not sooner. She and I were best friends for a year before we began dating, and no matter what issues we had on the romantic side of our relationship, we remained best friends throughout the 13 years we were together. We never lost, until perhaps the very bitter end, the enjoyment of one another’s company.

So while this scenario doesn’t apply in my reality, I can see how it could happen. If I’m being honest, though, I don’t know how comfortable I would be as a new guy coming into a relationship with someone who had such a bond with her ex. For me, personally, I can see that being a breeding ground for a whole lot of insecurity on my part, and that’s likely to doom the relationship.

It’s like the opposite of someone you booty call. You realize that while the friendship works, the sex doesn’t, and the chemistry is no longer there (or never was in the first place). I’ve seen it work, but only when the ex is genuinely good friends with both members of the new couple. If there’s a history of cheating or lingering chemistry, it’s probably a bad idea. Being in a new relationship can’t be the only thing stopping you from having sex or re-starting a relationship with this person. It has to be something you wouldn’t do if you were single.

My ex is one of my best friends.

When I met my husband, him and my ex became chummy and are now good friends. Bowling buddies, fishing and hunting pals… My husband was one of my ex’s groomsmen at his wedding.

I’m friends with his wife, we get along wonderfully. Her daughter was the flowergirl in my wedding.

Sometimes it just works.

Both times my husband and I separated, we were closer than our ailing marriage at the time. Now we’re best friends again and I can’t imagine that being any different if we split up.

Okay, for those who are best friends with your ex, would you be okay with your SO being best friends with their ex? If you just started seeing someone, and learned that they were exceptionally close with their ex, would that raise any red flags for you?

A good friend of minelives with her ex over a year after they broke up. She’s ambivalent about it, but more because of mixed signals from him than the living arrangements and friendship.

I recently met a woman on OKCupid who is best friends with her ex. I started talking to her in the first week of December, and we eventually made plans to meet at the end of the month. Her ex was visiting (and staying with) her from out of state during the same time, and the original plan was for him to spend time with other friends while I was visitng, but that fell through, so all three of us wound up spending the evening together. It didn’t bother me at all.

Wow - I guess I don’t get this. It seems strange that this person is STILL your best friend, and yet you couldn’t make the relationship work. I guess I can understand if, after a long period of time when both parties were in other relationships, I could see you enjoying the company of the ex and becoming best friends again… but I certainly don’t think a relationship could end with the best friend situation going right back to the way it was.

I would very much NOT be cool with my wife being best friend’s with her ex, because I have to believe the old feelings would come back. My wife has recently started spending time with a guy who she had a mad crush on in High School, but he is flamingly gay now, and so I figure I’m safe there.

With myself, I am equally good friends with my best friend and his wife (who is also an attractive woman that gets hit on a lot). Despite the fact that I would never cheat on my wife, and I would certainly never mess around with my best friend’s wife, I can tell that he is uncomfortable with me doing things “just with her”. As such, when she suggests going out when her husband is busy, I always make sure their daughter or some other third party is there, so there is no way it can be misconstrued as anything even remotely romantic. Everyone trusts everybody, but all the same, I think this keeps everything out in the open and prevents any weirdness from even being suggested.

Some people marry their best friend, then later realize that, oops, really friends had always been their true destiny all along. Some people were never meant to be spouses, and the romantic relationship was a direction they tried and it just wasn’t right. It’s also the reason why they won’t get back together. They tried it, it didn’t work, they know that. The wrong kind of spark.

My partner’s ex is one of her best friends and we all vacation together.

This is what I was trying to get at, but is worded much better than I put it.

Thank god you posted this, I was starting to think I was crazy for thinking it sounded a little strange. I guess because all of my relationships were with people I started out dating, I’ve never had a “best friends for years then tried the relationship thing and it didn’t work” kind of situation. I occasionally talk with an ex on facebook but it’s just a couple short messages. I wouldn’t consider hanging out with him one on one on any sort of regular basis, though. I’d think if we got along that well it would inevitably result in some “what ifs.”

I’m not talking about “we tried sleeping together and there was no chemistry” type of ex. I’m talking about actual relationships that had been sustained for a significant period of time, then ended for whatever reason.

Posters that are best friends with their exes: what was the cause of the break up? If you don’t want to share that much, that’s fine, I’m just fascinated by this topic and want to learn more. It comes from curiosity, not any kind of judgment.

I am pretty sure you are talking about my post but you misunderstood. I am indeed best friends with my ex-husband but my current husband and his ex wife cannot even be in the same room together. My ex SO had an Ex wife who vacationed with us (and her new husband and chikldren as well).

Relationships do end because partners no longer get along, however when you have children together some form of relationship will remain (at least until the kids are 18). In the case of my EX and I, we divorced amicably, and realized early into our divorce process that we still made pretty good parents and pretty good friends. We simply could not live together anymore and were no longer “in love”.

IMHO it is always in the kids’ best interest to have two parents who can put their differences behind them and can remember that there was something there at one point keeping them together, and can work hard to keep some respect for one another and raise the kids well. Not everyone can remain friends, but I believe everyone with children together should at least try to.

In my case that is also what keeps us from ever getting back together- something that my husband understands but only grudgingly accepts (he is the jealous type on his best days, and sometimes does get very upset over my and my EXs friendship). We know we don’t work as a couple and it would be pointless to try again. It also helps that we both moved to different states after the divorce and rarely see each other. He stays with me when he comes to visit our son, and I sometimes stay with him if I am in his town for whatever reason. Our son is grown now so we have much less of a reason to see each other., but we still talk on the phone about once a month and he is the first person I would call (besides my husband of course) if I needed anything.

I have 2 friends who are very, very close with their ex-husbands. In fact, not wanting to be married to a “buddy” was a reason that one of them gave for wanting to get divorced.

Yes. As long as he was happy, I’d have no problem because I trust him implicitly.

One of my exs is a very, very good friend of mine. He and his wife go out with my husband and me on a regular basis.

We enjoy each other’s company, laugh at each other’s jokes, enjoy spending time together and really, really hated each other when we were dating.

He’s not my best friend, as that slot is reserved for my husband; however, I know, without a doubt that if the shit hit the fan I could call him and he would be here in about 2.3 seconds, no questions asked.

I am best friends with my ex. We were together about 8 years before I came out as gay. I’m guessing this is probably a bit different from the other posters situations and I think it would have been difficult for a while if I had been seeing men instead of women. None of my girlfriends have had any issues with me being so close to him, which you might find obvious but is not always the case. Women can be super possessive and I’ve just been lucky that none of the women I have been with have been the jealous types, 8 years of shared history can be pretty intimidating to a newly forming relationship. On the flip side he hasn’t had a relationship since we broke up (over a year ago) and it will be interesting to see how I react to him having someone more special than me in his life, I want him to be happy but I still can’t help doing the ‘what ifs’ that may have been if we had been able to make things work sexually. Sorry I feel like I may have slightly hijacked your thread.

To get it back on track…

My mother was best friends with her ex for years before they drifted apart (more to do with physical distance than anything else). They split up for a multitude of reasons but mainly because there was no sexual spark.
I think that has really got to be the main reason people end relationships with their best friends. If you have a best friend who is great company, are attracted to them and you have decent sex I think you’ve pretty much got it made. ‘In love’ is overrated.

I’m a guy and one of my very best friends in an ex-girlfriend. Ever hear the expression: “We make better friends than lovers”? It was that. Totally.

When we met we had tons in common and we got on like a house on fire: we laughed and laughed and laughed! She’s a very attractive woman, she seemed to think I was reasonably good looking, so on paper, you’d think we would be an ideal couple. Everyone else thought so too.

But it was just… wrong. Totally the wrong kind of passion. Wrong chemistry mix. We were super-enthusiastic about each other’s company and loved each other to pieces and had so much fun together. But we were never “IN love”. And I guess we sort of both expected that in time we would be “IN love”, but it wasn’t meant to be. Eventually our relationship became more and more chaste until we’d completely gone back to our pre-dating, best friends pattern. So that’s when we decided that we were waltzing down the wrong path. She’s one of the best people I know in the world and certainly one of my favorite individuals.

My fiancee and I attended her wedding last spring and we vacation with her and her spouse when our schedules permit. We have brunch with them on an almost weekly basis too. But if we were both single, there is still no way in hell we’d date again. That would be just “Ew.” I wouldn’t say I now see her as a sister. I have a sister and it’s not like that. But she does feel sort of like family and I only see her in a totally non-romantic context.

This would be oversimplifying much more complex elements of human nature. If you’re worried about people getting together again, you should remember that the world isn’t divided into “date” and “not date” in absolute terms. There are a lot of reasons why relationships end. You can get along great but that doesn’t mean you have the right passionate spark for a romance-based relationship. People who think relationships through in a big picture kind of way can recognize when it has no future that would fully meet each other’s needs.

Ultimately, my friend and I would have been trying to force our relationship into a mold that it just really didn’t fit. While we didn’t make each other unhappy, romance was very much the wrong relationship structure for us. Very wrong.

I take it that those who are best friends with their exes split because of something other than trust issues? Because honestly, I’d love it if I could be friends with my ex - it would make sharing parental obligations a lot easier, or at the very least less tense…but I have absolutely no trust in her, save that I trust she will do whatever is best for her, everyone else be damned, every time. And I just can’t manage to be friends with someone I can’t trust.

One of my exes is a good friend. Not my best friend (I already have two!) but we talk on the phone a lot and make a point of hanging out when we can.

When we broke up I realized I just did not enjoy having sex with him. I also did not like his relationship style. But, I like him as a person and he’s very nice to me (not with intention) so it worked out that we actually do make better friends than lovers.

Come to think of it…his mom and dad are very close friends with a guy she used to date back in the day and the guy’s wife. He is friends with their kid, and likes to joke “[friend’s dad] could have been my dad!”