There is a common misconception that most exes are not capable of being real friends after they break-up. There are only two reasons for this if it is indeed true in certain situations:
#1. One, or both, parties involved in the relationship behaved so hurtfully and disrespectfully that the other party was damaged long-term, either physically or emotionally.
#2. After attempting to part amicably, one party was unwilling to let the other one go, and instigated a shallow relationship in place of the fulfilling one they used to have, which led to resentment, and eventually, disgust.
In my humble opinion, exes should be able to remain friends, aforementioned situations excluded, of course. This is because, at the most basic level, there were obviously facets of each other that they once wholly enjoyed, and that isn’t something to be ignored.
All break-ups occur because of change. One, or both, parties were altered by an occurrence in their life that set them on a path separate from the one they had been previously on in their relationship. This cannot be helped. It could have been a person, a promotion, a scholarship, an opportunity, a death, a new life, or even something as simple as an article read.
Whatever the cause, it still happens, and it isn’t something to be angry about. You can try to fight it and keep them from changing because you’re scared of losing them, you can try to change with them but it won’t be real, or you can close your eyes, remember the good times, and let go.
In a true relationship, the physical aspects are always replaceable… it’s the emotional and mental connection that’s hard to replicate. If you end things properly, you have a chance of salvaging that.
“We can never just be adults and look at each other and say, ‘Hey, you know what? Come here for a second. Um… we’re fucking over aren’t we? Alright, you go that way, I’ll go this way. It was good times!’ But nah… instead you’re like, let me just stick around for 5 or 6 years and we can end this thing violently.” -Dane Cook
An important thing to watch out for is that the remnants of the physical relationship don’t dissipate immediately… if you try to resume your friendship too soon, you risk unresolved sexual chemistry resurfacing and messing with the platonic nature of your friendship.
**Remember: Just because you get along and are attracted to each other, doesn’t mean you should necessarily be together.