Transitioning from a friendship to a relationship can be quite healthy; however the reverse usually has an adverse effect. Once an emotional and intimate connection is established between two people, it changes the dynamic, definitely. Trying to revert to a platonic friendship after the relationship ends can become complicated and unhealthy – more so for the current (or future) relationship than the past relationship.
Holding on to your past by keeping your ex-partner in a friendship capacity can prevent you from moving forward in a new relationship. If you remain “best friends,” or even close friends with your ex-love, it will be difficult for you to develop that same level of friendship with your new love. Worse yet, if you still have strong feelings or love for your ex, you deny the possibility to develop and grow with your new partner. By distancing your ex from your life, you create unoccupied space for your new boyfriend or girlfriend.
From your partner’s perspective, he or she can feel uncomfortable and intimidated by the thought of you still being close to somebody you’ve shared intimate experiences, romantic feelings, fond memories and, in most cases, bodily fluids too. Although it is not a competition, your partner may feel he/she is competing with the person or relationship from your past, which can make even the most secure person feel jealous.
Over time, one tends to forget the pitfalls of a past relationship and can begin actively comparing it to one’s current relationship. Remind yourself that this is not an accurate comparison. Also, if you depend on your ex-turned-friend for relationship advice the way you would any other friend, you may not always receive objective, honest advice since your ex could be secretly harboring feelings for you therefore hiding an ulterior motive.
Consider this: If you are not able to discuss your current relationship with your ex because it would hurt his/her feelings and he/she may not be ready to hear the details, then you aren’t really “friends” according to the true definition of a friend. Another indication you are not ready to be friends with your ex is if the past relationship continues to arise awkwardly in conversation. Truly moving on and getting over a previous relationship means letting go of any lingering feelings for the person and the relationship.
There are many reasons why two people come together to form a relationship and there are many reasons why two people in a relationship decide to separate. A friendship may seem like the best alternative after a break up as a way to remain in each other’s lives. Initially, it may satisfy the feelings of separation, but eventually, when in a relationship, it can become a hindrance and a hurdle to exploring the potential of your newfound love – irrespective of if you are the heart breaker or the heart broken.