The 'EX'-Factor

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Long before the digital age (in much simpler times), breakups were sealed with a firm goodbye. But in today’s highly connected world of Facebook, BlackBerry and all those other bits of technology that make the world a smaller place, parting ways without crossing paths with your ex becomes almost impossible. No matter how hard you may try to distance yourself, chancing upon the whereabouts and activities of the ex becomes unavoidable. And yet, there are some who aren’t firm believers of cutting all ties with their ex. Deciding whether you wish to stay in touch with your ex can be a tricky scenario. Think twice before you keep one foot in the past and the other in the future.

Friends before Lovers
In such a situation, both parties should make sure that the element of friendship is all that remains and that crossing certain boundaries can never happen. Says Garima Bhatia, “We were really good friends long before we started dating. Obviously, it was hard to break off the friendship bit even though we were practically done on the dating front. So we still call each other up, meet for coffee or an early drink, and even discuss our present partners now and then! He can be described as my male best friend.” However, as rosy as it may sound for one person, this may not always work for the other, especially if he or she has never experienced a platonic relationship with their ex. Imagine this: You are in a relationship and the two of you are having a great time. But, here’s the glitch: your significant other is still close to their ex. They call or text each other throughout the day, go out for lunch and basically enjoy all the perks of a relationship sans the sex. “Such a situation put me in a very uncomfortable position,” admits Melanie Fernandes. “I hated being in such a place. There have got to be some boundaries established, and there’s absolutely no reason why they had to spend so much time together. He said that she was his really close friend, but I’d rather he had seen me as his best friend and not his ex,” she says. In such a situation, think about your partner’s feelings. After all, you wouldn’t want to be in such a place, right?

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing
Are you still in love with your ex (read: you are the dumpee) and your main motive for keeping in touch is to win him or her back? In such a case, it’s best if you try and move on. When couples breakup, and one person is still in love with the other, it could turn out to be a messy scenario if one doesn’t cut off all ties. Not only are you most likely to get hurt in the process, but you will also end up wasting your time and energy. An ex-girlfriend of Kunal Agrawal, who could not come to terms with their breakup very easily didn’t stop at anything to try and win him back. “She would ring me at odd hours, many times when I was with my girlfriend. I felt that I needed to answer her calls because she always claimed to be troubled and depressed. But, it turned out to be a huge mistake because my girlfriend didn’t like it one bit, and all that emotional blackmail eventually landed us in splitsville.” So, if you keep in touch with your ex with the ulterior motive of winning him or her back, remember that it is unfair to the other person and a very unhealthy practice on the whole.

A Win-Win Situation
Couples, who date without actually knowing eachother as friends before, might find themselves in a post-breakup soup. There could be two outcomes to this situation. One being that the post-parted twosome might end up being really close friends. However, as mentioned before, if the two of you act too close for comfort, this could eventually turn out to be a wet blanket on new relationships. Another kind of a situation might occur when during the post-breakup phase, the couple who now claim to just be friends, realise that they still have feelings for each other. This is pretty much of a win-win situation, with your significant other and you enjoying a good chance of getting back with each other and progressing into a stronger and more comfortable relationship.
In the end, the ‘to cut or not to cut an ex from your life’ dilemma entirely depends on why the two of you broke up in the first place. Opting to stay in touch with each other will be a worry-free situation with no negative emotions only if and when both partners have moved on and much time has passed. If you’re pondering whether to stay in touch with your ex or not, weigh out the situation first. Remember: It helps to metaphorically ‘rip of that bandage’ and feel a bit of pain sometimes in your life. Keep in mind that there isn’t one right way to navigate a post-breakup friendship. However, one thing stands true. Cutting off ties with an ex, at least for the short term is a healthy option — one that allows you to process feelings, learn from past mistakes and focus on the process of re-discovering yourself.

DO YOU KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOUR EX?

Namita Lulla, 24 years
“Yes, but only a few. Not the ones who acted like total jerks!”

Sanjay Ahmed , 27 years
“It depends. If it was an ugly breakup, then keeping in touch is a no-no for me.”

Pearl Lobo, 26 years
“My life is already complicated! Why would I want another complexity in the form of an ex-boyfriend?”

-Beverly Pereira

Volume 1 Issue 5