According to Rebecca Griffith and her colleagues, there are four key reasons why ex-partners feel forced to maintain or recommend a friendship: For reasons of politeness (i.e., I want this split to hurt less than it would otherwise), and for unresolved romantic needs (I want to see other people but keep you...) or as a way of avoiding the pain of loss (I don't want to be alone right now...). Or perhaps they just want to remain connected (i.e., we were once joined at the hip; now we're just legless).
The need to remain connected after a break up can have negative effects on both parties. If one person starts to rely on the connection too much then that person may be at risk of being disappointed if the other person stops calling or meeting up. At the same time, not being able to move on can cause immense stress and frustration for the person who has lost their ex.
So how do you deal with someone wanting to be friends after a breakup? The first thing you need to understand is that this isn't really about you. Your ex is looking to reconnect with someone they once shared a relationship with and they need you to understand this and give them space to do so.
If you haven't resolved your differences then no matter what path you take, there's always a chance that you could end up back together again.
A really good connection with an ex-partner—one in which new partners are completely integrated and all friendships are disclosed—is not simply a terrific indicator that you've emotionally matured after the split. It suggests the relationship was extremely mature, based on mutual respect and intimacy. In other words, your ex is now your best friend because they were a great partner.
The problem with this arrangement is that it's very hard to maintain relationships as intense as the early ones. After all, there's only so much space in people's lives for friendship, and sometimes feelings grow cold quickly. When this happens, go back to the first part of this answer: Intimacy without love is dangerous. Your ex isn't your friend because it's easy; they're your friend because they meant something to each other.
If this is what you're feeling around your ex, it's time to have a conversation about how you can move forward together while still being friends. Perhaps one or both of you need some space right now? If you want to keep in touch, that's fine, but make sure you don't take over their life by sending dozens of texts every day or calling every hour like you might if this was your current partner and not your ex.
The most important thing is that you stay true to yourself.
There are several reasons why someone may appear to still harbor feelings for their former. If your spouse still chats to, discusses, or follows their ex on social media, it might simply be their method of moving on, recuperating, letting go of baggage, or simply being polite. And that's just OK.
However, if they're constantly talking about their ex in a negative way or showing signs of distress whenever their ex is mentioned, then there could be more to it than that. They might have feelings for their ex that they're not willing to admit or show.
The mention of an ex can also mean the loss of a love story. Whether it's true or not, if your partner was once in love with your ex and now feels nothing for you, the fact that your ex is still very much alive and well might hurt them deeply. You should never have to wonder about your ex's feelings; they should be easy to see. If not, there might be something else going on underneath.
In conclusion, the mention of an ex doesn't necessarily mean that they no longer care about you. It might simply be their way of moving on from their past relationship or letting go of old feelings.
It is never easy to end a relationship. While remaining friends may appear to be a wonderful method to keep your ex in your life, if you still have feelings for them, it will be challenging. According to the study, those who still had "unresolved romantic urges" were less likely to feel comfortable and satisfied in a friendship with their former.
Being friends with an ex isn't only difficult because you both ended the relationship, but also because you miss having him or her in your life. If you still love them, then you will continue to want to be with them even after the breakup. However, they might not feel the same way about you.
The best option for those who still have feelings for their ex is to move on with your life. Don't let the situation drag you down; instead, use this experience as motivation to live your life to the fullest.
So, one of the reasons an ex may seem awkward after a split is because they have a lot of guilt mixed up in the breakup itself. They believe they have harmed you, and they believe they are in the wrong, and they dislike the confrontation. Some individuals enjoy fighting, but the majority do not. So, if your ex seems angry with you even though you didn't do anything wrong, this is probably why they act strangely when they think nobody is watching.
Also, sometimes former lovers feel like they need to prove themselves to you. This can be problematic if you're still friends with their current partner. They may try to show you that they're not who you thought they were by acting cold or arguing with you. This is also why sometimes exes seem like they want nothing to do with you: to prove that they are fine without you.
And finally, sometimes former lovers just want some space. They may not want to see you anymore, nor do they want to hear about your new girlfriend or boyfriend. If you force them to deal with it, they will only shut you out further. Let them go; give them time to heal.