The ex effect: Should you be friendly with a former partner?

  • Collin Rodrigues, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jan 21, 2016 17:38 IST
Ranbir Kapoor (centre) and his former girlfriend Deepika Padukone (right) spent a lot of time together while promoting their film Tamasha. Ranbir was dating Katrina Kaif at that time. (HT Photos, Shakti Yadav, Getty Images)

Last year, Ranbir Kapoor and his former girlfriend, Deepika Padukone, spent a considerable amount of time together while promoting Tamasha (2015). At the time, Katrina Kaif, Ranbir’s last girlfriend (she reportedly broke up with him a couple of days ago), was asked by a men’s magazine what she thought about him spending so much time with his ex. “I can’t enforce my will on the people in my life. Their choices are their own. I may not be happy with them, but I hope that as they mature or evolve, their choices will change,” she said. Her comments didn’t come as a surprise. After all, it is common for people to not like it if their current partners are pally with their exes. And if they happen to work together, which means spending a considerable amount of time in each other’s company, things tend to get even more complicated. So, how does one maintain a good rapport with an ex without jeopardising a current relationship?

“It completely depends on the understanding that a couple shares, and the faith and trust they have in each other. But overall, maintaining contact or some form of correspondence with an ex, can have some repercussions on the current relationship,” says Dr Riddhish K Maru, a psychiatrist and sexologist in Mulund and Thane.

Read: Parenting tips: How divorced couples can be there for their kids

He adds that some people, whose partners are friends with their exes, can get insecure. They may stop trusting their partners and get possessive. They could randomly start checking their partner’s emails or mobiles for suspicious messages, or begin seeking extra attention from their partners. “All these issues could gradually lead to irritability and fights, and increase stress, which could lead to loss of happiness and peace in the relationship,” he says. So, how does one deal with it? The onus lies on the person, who is good friends with his or her ex, to handle the situation in a mature manner. Relationship expert Vishnu Modi believes that explaining the whole scenario to the partner should be the first step. He says, “This will work only if the current relationship is solid. There has to be a lot of trust involved. Encourage the partner to talk about any worries he or she has about the ex, and also reassure him or her that an ex will always remain just that.”

Whether or not a relationship gets affected eventually depends on the couple and the bond they share, but openness clearly seems to be the key to maintaining a healthy rapport with an ex.

Read: It is best for me and my wife to stay friends: Raghu Ram

Former partners who continue to be friends

The duo started dating in 1996 while shooting for Raaz. They broke up in 2002, but became good friends later. Bipasha has attended events to support Dino’s fitness brand, while he was spotted at her birthday party in 2015. Bipasha even posted pictures of them on Instagram.

The duo was married for three years. They split in 2003, and still remain friends. It was even reported that Jolie had revealed to Thornton that she had undergone a double mastectomy before she went public with the news. “She wanted me to know so I wouldn’t freak out. When you’re great friends with somebody like that…you don’t want to hear it on the news,” Thornton was quoted as saying. Thornton has even said that he and Jolie “check in on each other all the time”.

Sangeeta allegedly started seeing Salman in the ’80s. The two parted ways in the early ’90s. Salman supported Sangeeta when her marriage with former cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin hit a rough patch. Over the last few years, she has been regularly photographed at events hosted by Salman and his family, be it film screenings or Ganpati celebrations.

The duo married in 1986 and divorced in 2002, yet Reena and Aamir have maintained a good rapport with each other. Last year, HT had reported how Reena and Aamir’s present wife, Kiran Rao, as well as the actor’s other family members, had come together to celebrate the success of a film. It was not a one-off occasion. Reena has been spotted several times with Aamir and his family members post their divorce.

The duo started dating in 2003 and split in 2006. In 2007, they promoted Shrek The Third together. They also worked on Bad Teacher (2011). In fact, Diaz has said that she remains friends even with Jared Leto and Matt Dillon, both of whom she has dated in the past. “I’m still friends with my ex-boyfriends. I feel like all my relationships are strong. I’ve invested in my people and they’ve invested in me,” she was quoted as saying in 2014.

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