6 Signs You Can’t Be Friends With Your Ex

The topic of whether you can be friends with an ex is usually a debated one. While some people believe it is possible, others think its inappropriate or unrealistic. But is it really possible to have a genuine friendship with an ex? And if so, is it possible to maintain that friendship without it affecting your future relationships?

Well, a person’s ability to have a genuine, platonic friendship with an ex is based on 6 intertwined factors:

1. Maturity Level

You’re more likely to be able to maintain a friendship with an ex if both of you are mature. Maturity in this respect is accepting the outcome of the relationship, not harboring any negative feelings, genuinely wanting the best for an ex (even if it means not being together), and not treating each other poorly because of residual negative feelings from the break up. If an ex isn’t mature in these aspects and doesn’t continue to respect you, there’s no way a friendship could possibly work.

2. Feelings About The Break Up

If either person is harboring any negative feelings about the relationship or breakup, they won’t be capable of sustaining a friendship. Those lingering negative feelings after a breakup will spill into the friendship in some way. Your ex might have an attitude with you out of nowhere, do something that seems vengeful, or even make you feel bad about yourself simply because they are still angry about breaking up. Whatever snarky things an ex may do will prevent a friendship from ever working.

3. Desire To Get Back Together

This is a huge determining factor in whether a genuine friendship with an ex can work. Although some people will tell you that a relationship ended mutually, few breakups are ever mutual. The truth is, when there’s a breakup, one person always wishes the relationship didn’t end. No matter how convincing your ex was when he or she amicably agreed to breakup, you better believe that your ex would have preferred to stay together.

When you’re friends with an ex who wants you back, your ex might try to sabotage your dating efforts or future relationships. In this case, there’s no way you can maintain a genuine friendship. However, if an ex is mature enough to recognize that the relationship cannot be revived, embraces other options, doesn’t let residual feelings negatively affect the friendship and your future relationships with other people, there’s hope for a real friendship to blossom.

4. Jealousy

It is very common for the person who is broken up with to be jealous of their ex’s new dates or love interests. This jealousy could manifest itself in many different ways. A jealous ex might act angry, frustrated, or annoyed with you, question your whereabouts, try to sabotage your relationships, or intentionally give you bad dating advice. A lack of jealousy is imperative for a friendship to work with an ex.

5. Stuck In Your Relationship Ways

If you try to be friends with an ex immediately after breaking up it’s extremely difficult to hang out without acting like a couple. After all, you did just spend the past several months or years together so it’s understandable that you’re accustomed to acting a certain way with each other. Unfortunately, things like your old lovey-dovey or touchy-feely ways can get in the way. You may have loved running your fingers through your exes hair, but if you can’t stop doing it after the breakup, you simply just can’t be friends. 

6. Friends With Benefits

It should go without saying, but if you become “friends with benefits” with an ex, a genuine, platonic friendship is out of the question. Continuing to have sex after the breakup blurs the lines in more ways than one. If you try to have a friendship with your ex, but keep having sex you essentially enter a situation that resembles your relationship without the official title.

And if one person is still eager to be back in the relationship, it’s only a matter of time before the question, “what are we really doing” comes up. Lets face it, someone is going to seriously wonder why there was a breakup at all. 

So, if both people are mature, don’t harbor negative feelings about the breakup, don’t want to get back together, don’t start a “friends with benefits” situation, and respect each others future relationships, then a genuine friendship may just work out!

Here’s the kicker though, what happens if your next boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t comfortable with the friendship you have with your ex? What if it’s your husband or wife that has an issue with the friendship? Are you willing to end a friendship with an ex if your current partner is bothered by it? Let me know what you think in the comments!

For more great dating advice, get my book: Picking up the Pieces: Rebuilding Yourself for the Love and Relationship You Deserve

Till Next Time,


Photo Credits: Images courtesy of Nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Date Men Who Live With Their Exes

Veronica’s Story*

When Veronica started dating Charles, he was completely upfront and honest about the fact that he still lived with his ex-girlfriend. He told Veronica that they broke up months ago, but neither could afford to move out before the lease was up. Charles assured Veronica that he and his ex lived strictly as roommates and that he no longer had feelings for her. Veronica appreciated that Charles was honest about his living situation and she felt confident in her choice to continue dating him.

Although Veronica wasn’t interested in spending time at Charles’ apartment since his ex-girlfriend would be there, she didn’t like the fact that they could only hang out at her apartment. On top of that, Charles would never sleep at Veronica’s place because he wasn’t sure how his ex would react to him dating just months after the relationship ended. While this didn’t sit well with Veronica, she wrote off her feelings and swept her slight bitterness under the rug.

As the 4th of July holiday approached, Veronica asked Charles if he wanted to barbecue together at her place. He told her yes, but that it would have to be closer to the evening because he was going to another barbecue. When she asked if it was a certain friend’s barbecue who told her it was actually his ex-girlfriend’s family’s barbecue. Veronica was crushed.

The whole time she dated Charles she genuinely believed that him and his ex had completely cut ties, but that wasn’t the case at all. She asked him why he would be going to their barbecue and he said he didn’t want his ex to feel bad because she had to go alone. Obviously, this was a load of crap and Veronica knew that Charles had not been as upfront and honest about his “ex” as she thought he’d been.

Moral of the story? No matter what reasons or excuses a man gives you, you should never date a man who still lives with his ex-girlfriend and here are four important reasons why:

1. It’s Probably Not Over

If you’re dating a man who lives with his “ex,” there’s a good chance that your new love interest is still in that relationship.

2. The Attachment Isn’t Broken

You can’t completely get over an ex and move on when you still live together. You need to know that your date still has a strong emotional attachment to his ex. A man might tell you that he’s over his ex, but living together allows a person to temporarily escape some of the pain that a full separation would cause.

3. Relationship Relapses Are Real

If the relationship is actually over, this doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. When you continue living with an ex after a break up, getting back together is all too easy and you could get your heartbroken all because of residual feelings that eventually are acted upon.

4. You’ll Always Be The Rebound Girl

Another important reason why you shouldn’t date men that live with their exes is because you become the rebound girl. All you are is a crutch for this man to bridge the gap between leaving his ex and regaining his freedom. Remember, men usually never end up seriously dating or marrying the rebound girl.

Give a man time to fully untangle himself from his last relationship and emotionally move on before considering him as a date option.

For more great dating advice, get my book: Picking up the Pieces: Rebuilding Yourself for the Love and Relationship You Deserve

Till Next Time,


*The names in this article have been changed for anonymity.
Photo Credit: Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Answer Questions About Why You’re Single

Dear Dee’s Dating Diary,

How do you answer questions about why you’re single or why your last relationship ended?

Dear Dater,

Less is always more!

If you’ve been asked questions like these by someone you recently met, keep your answers short and sweet!

If you’re asked why you’re single, the best answer is always “you haven’t met the right person.” And, this isn’t a lie, it’s true!

If you already met the right person, you’d still be with him.

The Time Will Come To Open Up

After you’ve been on several dates, if you’re asked details about why your past relationship ended you can open up a bit more. But, remember, the new person you’re dating doesn’t need all the nitty gritty details.

When you’ve been dating someone for awhile, of course you’ll have to speak more openly about why it ended with your ex.

If a past relationship ended as a result of your own bad behavior, own up to what you did and be sure to tell the person how you learned from that mistake and that you’d never do that to someone again.

It’s easy to scare new dates off with what they may perceive as problems that you have. Too much information too soon can definitely kill a potential relationship. Check out the post I wrote about this: One Thing That Kills A Potential Relationship is…

For more great dating advice, get my book: Picking up the Pieces: Rebuilding Yourself for the Love and Relationship You Deserve

Yours Truly,


Should You Burn Your Exes Things After A Break Up?

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last week, I discussed whether you should keep your exes stuff after a break up. This week, I want to talk disposal methods!

Some women are so angry and hurt after a break up that they feel compelled to get rid of their exes things in the most destructive way possible.

From tearing pictures and other things a part to burning things altogether, some women think that destroying their exes stuff will make them feel better.

But, the truth this, it’s just an unnecessary waste of your time.

Image courtesy of FrameAngel at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of FrameAngel at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why Not Destroy His Stuff?

Going the destructive route often makes you much more emotional.

You have to remember that there’s no amount of ripping, tearing, or burning that will take away the hurt, pain, anger you feel from a break up.

Only in going through the natural course of the healing process will you truly feel better.

So, is it okay burn or destroy your exes things after a break up?

The answer is no.

Image courtesy of Digidreamgrafix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Digidreamgrafix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What Should You Do With Your Exes Stuff?

I know you’re thinking, “do I just throw everything in the trash then?”

Well, yes, that is an option, but you do have better ones.

You could donate your exes stuff to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or any other organizations that accept these kinds of donations.

Or, you could even return the stuff to your ex if you are both capable of amicably handling that encounter.

No matter how you chose to get rid of your exes things, don’t make it more difficult for yourself by putting negative energy into that process.

For more great dating advice, get my book: Picking up the Pieces: Rebuilding Yourself for the Love and Relationship You Deserve

Till Next Time,


Should You Keep Your Exes Stuff After A Break Up?

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

During the course of a relationship, we usually cultivate many things from our partner. From gifts, to “borrowed” shirts and sweaters, it’s easy to rack up a lot of items from your boyfriend.

But, after a break up, should you be keeping any of these things?

The answer is no.

Image courtesy of Marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why You Shouldn’t Keep Your Exes Stuff

When you’re trying to get over a relationship, the last thing you need is to have a bunch of stuff around your house that constantly reminds you of your ex and the relationship you had.

Your exes stuff could send you into emotional lows and put you back in that sad place that you were in at the end of the relationship.

Keeping your exes stuff around definitely makes it more difficult to get over the relationship.

These little reminders of your ex will only prolong and delay the healing process after your break up.

And, this is definitely not what you want.

Image courtesy of Imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Let’s Make A Distinction

For some women, yes, seeing an exes things or the gifts he gave can send them into emotional spirals.

But, there are some women who can break up with a boyfriend and not be emotionally affected by seeing some of his stuff.

Take for example, the sweater you took from your boyfriend and love wearing because it’s huge and super comfortable!

Some women might see this sweater after a break up and cry into it. While other women may continue to wear the sweater and simply enjoy its comfort with no emotional attachments or issues.

Image courtesy of Photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why Make This Distinction?

I have to make a distinction between women who can keep some of their exes things without being emotionally affected by it and women who can’t.

If you can separate the emotional attachments between your ex and certain items, then you don’t necessarily need to get rid of everything.

If your ex got you a gift that you’ve always wanted and you won’t be reminded of him every time you look at it, then there’s no need to junk the gift.

But, do keep in mind that even if you are great at separating your emotions from the gifts your ex gave you, a new boyfriend could have a problem with you keeping some of these things anyway.

Image courtesy of Photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why Do You Need Your Exes Stuff?

While it may seem harsh to get rid of your exes stuff after the relationship, sometimes it’s the healthiest thing you can do for yourself.

You don’t need a bunch of CDs, pictures, and other things to remind you of your ex.

At the end of the day, you’ll always have your memories and no one can take that from you.

So, don’t allow yourself to unnecessarily hold on to things from your past relationships.

For more great dating advice, get my book: Picking up the Pieces: Rebuilding Yourself for the Love and Relationship You Deserve

Till Next Time,


No More Boomeranging!!

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Aside from ending a relationship because of cheating, abusiveness, and other serious deal breakers, there are certain things a woman must do before she decides to leave a man.

I firmly believe that a woman shouldn’t leave the man she is dating until she has tried everything within her power to make the relationship work.

Male or female, no one is perfect. We are all flawed in some way. We can change some things about ourselves, but not everything. It’s up to us to TRY and change those things that we can.

It’s better to give a relationship your all so you can leave with a clear mind. No one likes looking back on a relationship thinking, “Could I have done more to make it work?”

Image courtesy of Imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


If a woman breaks up with a man before trying everything she can to make that relationship work, she’ll most likely look back on the relationship with regret or constantly wonder whether she made the right decision ending it.

And, when a woman is unsure of whether she made the right decision in breaking up with a man, it’s all too easy to end up back in that relationship. She may end up going back to him for round 2, 3, and maybe even 4!

Boomeranging with an ex is a huge waste of your dating time! If it didn’t work out the first time, the chances of it working out in round 2, 3, or 4 are even slimmer!

Instead of boomeranging with your exes, date them once, give it your all, and if it still doesn’t work, move on and NEVER look back!

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Set A Cut-Off Date

If you’re considering leaving your relationship, but first want to try something new so you don’t look back with regret, you have to set a cut-off date for yourself!

Maybe you want to give it 2 months or maybe 6, depending on the depth of your issues. If your issue is waiting for your man to go back to school then 6 months is more reasonable than one or two.

But, never stay in a relationship for more than 2 years waiting for a ring, circumstances to change, or for your man to go back to school. Whatever your thing is, always have a cut-off date.

If you’re not happy by your cut-off date, cut your losses and end it!

You can’t try to make a relationship work indefinitely. Time flies and we’re only getting older.The sad truth is, it gets harder to find a good man and husband as we get older.

If you stay in a relationship too long after you should have left, you’re only hurting your chances of finding what you really want.

And, by staying in the wrong relationship for too long, you’ll still have regret over that relationship, but for a different reason.

Image courtesy of Photostock/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Photostock/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Make Positive Changes In Your Relationship

I’m not at all writing all this to say that you should stay with a man that’s isn’t right for you or treats you badly.

I’m just saying that if you aren’t completely happy in your relationship, you owe it to yourself to try to change what you’re unhappy about before jumping ship.

Image courtesy of StockImages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of StockImages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tips For Change

If you’re generally an impatient person, try showing more patience in your relationship. You can also try handling your disagreements differently.

Maybe you’re too aggressive or too submissive in disagreements. Find a balance and change up your usual approach.

When addressing your issues, use the word “I” instead of “You.” You’ll see that people are less defensive when you say “I feel…” as opposed to “You…”

Sometimes we get so used to talking to people or handling issues with them in a certain way that we continue that habit, whether it’s beneficial or not.

So, if you think you may have unanswered questions about your relationship that may lead you back to your man months or years down the line, then put some serious effort into handling things differently in your relationship now.

And, if it still doesn’t work, move on!!

For more great dating advice, get my book: Picking up the Pieces: Rebuilding Yourself for the Love and Relationship You Deserve

Till Next Time,