While many would say that being friends with your ex is like skating on thin ice, Hollywood actor Rachel McAdams believes that someone who you have dated in your past, helps you become the person you are.
The 33- year-old prefers being friends with her ex-boyfriends, as each of her relationships have taught her something. Rachel, who has been in a relationship with actor Michael Sheen for 18 months, still feels “tenderness” towards her former partners that include actors Ryan Gosling and Josh Lucas. “Am I still friends with my old boyfriends? Yes, absolutely. There is no one who has ever been significant in my life, for whom I don't have a sort of tenderness. They helped to shape who I am,” McAdams was quoted as saying. “However long someone is in your life, they're there to teach us and I try to make the most of any relationship,” she added.
Many young people in the city agree with McAdams and say that they try to remain good friends with their ex. Shikha Khanna, a 22-year-old set designer, often runs into her ex- boyfriend at parties thrown by common friends. “After we broke up, I thought it would be awkward to see him again. But it was easy, given the kind of comfort level we shared. We look forward to seeing each other,” she says. But Khanna, who is currently single, makes sure that the casual conversations she has with her ex do not lead to emotional entanglement.
Fashion blogger Suruchi Gupta however, does not believe that being friends with your ex-lover is a good idea. “Once a relationship is over, you don’t know how to fit your ex into your life. I broke up with him because the relationship was headed nowhere. I don’t see him making a comeback as a friend. And my ex creating problems in my present relationship is the last thing on my mind.”
Agrees Bindiya Sinha, event manager. “I doubt if relationships end on such a sweet note, that you can carry on meeting your ex like a friend. It only reminds you of the time spent together, and leads to heartache.”
But Dr Pulkit Sharma, psychiatrist, VIMHANS, says to continue being friends, may help you understand yourself better. “But it works only when both the individuals have dealt with the pain of separation, and have a final closure on their relationship. For someone who’s emotionally vulnerable and brooding over the loss of the relationship, it may complicate things,” he says.
Experts also advice connecting to your former lovers, only when you are sure you have moved on. “In the subconscious you could be missing your ex, and wanting to cling to him or her on the pretext of friendship,” adds the psychiatrist. (Some names have been changed on request)