Nov 152010
Authors: Anna Baldwin and Eugene Daniels

By Anna Baldwin

When a relationship ends, you lose one of your best friends, your No. 1 supporter and the person who will go with you to Taco Bell at 1 a.m., no questions asked. It’s hard to drop this person from your life completely. But it must be done, at least for a little while. And eventually being friends with an ex can be beneficial.

I think that a person can never be just friends with an ex immediately after a relationship ends. There were once strong feelings there, and these do not go away overnight or even after seven beers.

Feelings are always the factor that determines it all and, if they are still there, then stay away from your ex, because it would be impossible to stay within the friend-zone with this person.

These emotions can derail the break-up, and there was a reason the relationship didn’t work out, remember? This hasn’t changed. Fleeting feelings in your gut shouldn’t justify a relapse.

And of course, being friends with someone involves talking to and seeing them, and if this cannot be done without yelling, awkwardness or kissing, then you’re not ready to be friends.

However, once it’s been a couple of months, or more, after a serious relationship, and a couple of weeks after a not-so-serious relationship, then it can work to be friends with an ex.

Like I said, exes as friends can be very beneficial. Selfishly beneficial that is, and that’s okay. Everyone needs to look out for themselves sometimes.

For starters? He once listened to your every complaint, and so you’re comfortable with him. This will come in handy when you break up with a different boyfriend. He’ll learn to expect the late night phone call with you crying.

Exes can also be really good drinking partners. He remembers when you got sick after four amaretto sours and will remind you when you are on the path to repeating this mistake.

But my favorite benefit? You’ve already been intimate with him, and so all the awkwardness is gone. This is a green light if you get lonely because you get to skip the social outing that usually comes beforehand.

The most selfish reason to be friends with an ex: It is a great self-esteem boost. He liked you for specific reasons once, and if you talk to him, he is likely to compliment you. Also, he is a great reminder of what you are not looking for in future relationships.

The fact of the matter is that the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

Remember though, you have to make sure you’re ready to be friends before you start including him in your life again. If you don’t mind listening about his other girlfriends, if he feels like more of a brother, and if you don’t feel any chemistry, even after you’ve been drinking, then you are ready.

By Eugene Daniels

When you love somebody and the relationship ends, where does that love go? Is it like energy and just transfers over to the next relationship, or does a love between two people stay between them? And if it stays, can that passion be transferred into a friendship?

One thing that is for certain is that being friends with someone who broke your heart or whose heart you ripped out, stomped on and put it in a blender is hard. It is a constant reminder of what occurred in the relationship.

And no matter what anyone says, there is rarely a break-up that is amicable. That’s fake! People just say that to save face and not be embarrassed. It’s okay it happens to everyone … I think.

There are four factors that affect whether friendship after a relationship is possible. First, what type of relationship was it?
In college, as we all know, there are some relationships that last all of 30 minutes, while some last for years. So you have to be honest with yourself about what type of relationship you just exited.

Were you really in love with the other person, and were they in love with you or was it unrequited? If it was, that sucks. No one wants to be in love with themselves. (Well, I guess some people do but that’s for another day.)

If the relationship was all about sex and both of you agreed on that, then a friendship could easily form. But when there are emotions and passion involved, it’s going to take a lot more work.

Second, it depends on how the relationship ended. If there were keyed cars, burned clothes or cops involved, then you should probably give up on being friends with that person. It’s not going to happen.

But if the break-up was semi-simple, then a friendship is attainable. As long as neither party was too torn up about what happened, then two adults should be able to be friends.

Third, what type of relationship was there before? If this relationship started out as an “I met you at 100 Octane Bar and Club, we had a booty call, let’s build a relationship,” type of relationship, there was no original foundation to build on.

There has to be something to build off of, like a friendship before. It doesn’t have to be a best friend friendship, but if there was a real friendship beforehand, there is no reason that it cannot exist because the relationship didn’t work out.

Last, both of you have to want to be friends. You can’t force yourself on someone (that’s illegal). Bad job, but really trying to make someone be your friend is dumber than voting for Sarah Palin for president in 2012. You know it’s true!

So if all four of these factors are in your favor, a friendship with an ex may be possible, unless one of you is a douche, and then you’re just S.O.L.

Anna Baldwin is a senior journalism major, and Eugene Daniels is a senior journalism major. Venus vs. Mars appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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