Or maybe you want to remain friends with an ex because that’s an easier option than cutting ties abruptly, or because you still feel emotionally attached to them. “If you feel any emotion when you think of your ex—if you’re angry, pining, frustrated, or unsure—that means you’re still connected,” Orbuch says, which signals you have some emotional baggage you need to unpack before you think about reaching out.
Finally, staying in touch with an ex when you're with a new partner could lead you to (falsely) believe the grass is always greener, Breines says.
But even after the hard part is over, it’s never as cut-and-dry as simply saying good-bye. Do you wish them a happy birthday when Facebook aggressively prods you to?
In today’s smartphone-centric, Facebook-addicted, Instagram-obsessed world, staying in touch with an ex is a lot easier—and messier. As with all things in love, each situation is individual, says Terri Orbuch, Ph. And, of course, there are some practical reasons to stay in touch with an ex, says Juliana Breines, Ph.
Still, if you find the allure of looking too distracting or hard to handle, it’s time to unfriend and unfollow once and for all. “When someone breaks up with you, that means they don’t want to be in a relationship with you.” It may sound like tough love, but remember: You want to be with someone who wants to be with you.
If you're not sure, here's a litmus test: Would you feel comfortable hanging out with your ex and your current partner together?
On the other, becoming a pal of your ex amour could do more damage than good. Both of you know each other really well and understand each other better than most others. But at the same time, you have to remember the kind of relationship both of you have shared with each other.