It’s one of the biggest cliches of all time: “I want us to still be friends.”
From statements of celebrity splits to impromptu break-up texts, to speeches in front of middle-school lockers, there is a notion in our culture that breakups should be sweet and amicable. It’s often assumed that the best way to end a romantic relationship is to magically embark on a close, happy, friendship—where everyone is thrilled, and both parties smilingly tease each other about his video-game habits or her fondness for vintage brooches.
But does this fantasy ever work out, and is it even wise to try for it? Can you really be friends with someone you dated—even if he knows you better than anyone else? Do any great—or even average—romances ever end by segueing into a strong friendship?
The answer, many times, is no. Sometimes, of course, it can happen—with time. But certain conditions must be met. Here are six signs that should tell you that “Let’s just be friends” may not be your best option (as discussed in detail in The Friendship Fix):
copyright Andrea Bonior, Ph.D. Adapted from The Friendship Fix: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Losing, and Keeping Up With Your Friends.
Andrea Bonior is a licensed clinical psychologist, media commentator, professor, and author of the upcoming book Psychology: Essential Thinkers, Classic Theories, and How They Inform Your World, and The Friendship Fix, and the Washington Post Express's longtime advice column Baggage Check. Follow her on twitter @drandreabonior or Facebook.