Breakup or makeup: staying friends with an ex

Tayler Larsen, Lifestyles Reporter

From strangers to friends to lovers, the cycle can seem to form a never-ending pattern.

Knowing whether to remain friends with an ex after a breakup can present a challenge, and for many South Dakota State University students, it did.

According to an article on Western University conducted a study that found 48 percent of exes remain friends on Facebook, roughly 88 percent regularly check their ex-partner’s page and 31 percent post photos to evoke jealousy.

Even though contemplating remaining friends on social media is a challenge itself, friendship goes way beyond the screen.

For freshman exercise science major Ben Goeman, remaining friends all depends on how it ended.

“My ex and I ended on good terms since we both go to different colleges, so we are still friends,” he said.

A different scenario played out for sophomore advertising major, Abbie Stotesbery. She agrees that remaining friends all depends on how the relationship ended, but time may be an influential factor.

Stotesbery said that her ex-boyfriend and she ended on bad terms, however, two years later they have slowly started to become friends after settling things out and becoming civil.

In the same way, time could also drift a couple apart. Staying friends could initially seem like a great idea, when in all actuality, having only a friendship can be dull.

“It has been said that it is okay to be friends with an ex-significant other. My experience was that we said we were going to be friends, but then we just kind of stopped talking to each other entirely,” said freshman major, Austin Marrow.

“We would see each other and be friendly, but it was never the same. It was not how it was before the relationship or during.” Marrow said.

Remaining friends with an ex can be a solely negative experience. Having an ex lingering in your life can prevent someone from moving forward. When new relationships arise, friendly exes will cause tension between new partners.

According to writer Katherine Marko, staying friends with an ex can be damaging to go through.

“The truth is, if you’re still clinging to the idea of remaining friends with your ex, the reason may be that you’re secretly hoping you’ll get back together again. The problem with that is, your ex may move on faster than you expected. So, each time you see his or her smiling face pressed against someone else’s on Facebook, you’ll be hurt — over, and over again,” Marko wrote in a blog post.

Sophomore pre-pharmacy major, Sidney Lee agrees in the sense that rekindling broken love can have negative results.

“For your mental health it is probably better not to be friends with your ex, especially right after the breakup,” she said. “You’re just trying to get over what you had, and I definitely think it is better to stay away for a while.”

Overall, an understanding between both partners is what will make the aftermath of a breakup as healthy as possible. Communicating effectively will result in the right outcome for your past, present, and future relationships.