The Ex Files: To Be or Not to Be Friends After Love Fades

After love fades, it’s often the passionate, lustful, and attractive phases that dissipate, leaving behind the attachment phase.
The Love Central - The Ex Files: To Be or Not to Be Friends After Love Fades The Love Central - The Ex Files: To Be or Not to Be Friends After Love Fades
The Ex Files: To Be or Not to Be Friends After Love Fades

Let’s face it, breakups are a global phenomenon, but in the African diaspora, things can get a little more complicated. We come from cultures that often emphasize tight-knit communities and strong family bonds. So, when a relationship goes south, the question of “Can we still be friends after love fades?” hits a whole new level of complexity

According to Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist, love can be divided into three main categories: lust, attraction, and attachment. After love fades, it’s often the passionate, lustful, and attractive phases that dissipate, leaving behind the attachment phase. This attachment can sometimes be rekindled as a strong friendship.

However, it’s essential to recognize that not all exes can transition into friends. In some cases, the pain and heartbreak of the breakup may be too severe, making it impossible to form a healthy friendship.

In other instances, one or both parties may still harbor romantic feelings, leading to confusion and mixed signals.

The Love Central - To Be or Not to Be Friends After Love Fades
If things ended amicably a friendship might be a natural progression Image source Freepik

The Perks of Post-Breakup Buddies

Here are the advantages of being friends with your ex after love: 

1. The Inside Scoop Advantage

You’ve been there, done that with this person. You know their favorite jollof recipe, their secret karaoke anthem, and that hilarious story about the time they tried braiding their hair (we’ve all been there!). This shared history can be the foundation of a strong platonic friendship.

2. Your Hype Squad

Breakups can be brutal on self-esteem. Having a familiar face, someone who’s seen you cry over burnt plantains and dance like nobody’s watching can be a powerful source of comfort and support during this emotional rollercoaster.

3. From Lovers to Lobster Buddies?

Not all breakups are dramatic fights and slammed doors. If things ended amicably, a friendship might be a natural progression. You can still enjoy hanging out, grabbing late-night suya with extra spice, without the romantic entanglement.

But Hold Up, There Can Be Drama Down the Line

Here are the disadvantages: 

1. The Ghost of Romance Past

Let’s be real, sometimes those butterflies don’t completely disappear just because you said goodbye to boo-ness. Being friends with your ex can make it harder to move on romantically, especially if you’re constantly reliving old memories.

2. The New Bae Factor

Imagine this: you’re chilling with your ex-turned-friend, catching up, and then BAM! They mention their new boo. Navigating jealousy and those awkward side-eyes at family gatherings can put a major strain on the newfound friendship.

3. Mixed Signals Central

Trying to be friends with an ex can send confusing signals, both to them and yourself. Are you just hanging out, or secretly hoping for a Nollywood-style reunion scene? It’s important to be clear on your intentions to avoid unnecessary drama.

The Love Central - To Be or Not to Be Friends After Love Fades
Trying to be friends with an ex can send confusing signals both to them and yourself Image source Freepik

So, Can We Be Friends After Love Fades?

If you’re considering staying friends with an ex, here are some tips to help you make the transition:

  • Give it time: Allow yourself and your ex to heal from the breakup before attempting to form a friendship. This will help ensure that both of you are in the right emotional space to maintain a platonic relationship.
  • Set boundaries: Communicate your expectations and boundaries to avoid misunderstandings. Be honest about what you’re comfortable with and what you’re not.
  • Keep it platonic: Avoid physical intimacy and flirting, as these can reignite romantic feelings and create confusion.
  • Be respectful: Respect each other’s new relationships and personal space. Remember that you’re no longer a couple, and your ex’s life is their own.
  • Seek support: If you’re struggling to maintain a friendship with your ex, don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. They can provide valuable insights and help you navigate this challenging situation.

Conclusion: To Be or Not to Be Friends After Love Fades

Ultimately, the decision to be friends after love fades is a personal one. Listen to your inner voice, weigh the pros and cons, and choose what brings you the most peace and allows you to move forward healthily. 

Remember, just like detangling weaves, navigating post-breakup friendships requires patience, clear communication, and a whole lot of self-love.

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