Branson weighs in: When is it ok to be friends with your ex?

These two are still friends, but for how long?

Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz have been famously complimentary toward each other in the press despite having dated and broken up. Rumors have even circulated that the two have spent some time together recently. While Timberlake remains devoted to his fiancee Jessica Biel, the two seem to have remained friends. Often when people end a relationship they say, “Let’s be friends.” It makes sense. You’ve been the most important people in each other’s lives for a long time, maybe even years. It’s hard to make that clean break — it can feel like a gaping hole in your life. So you decide to continue to be a part of each other’s life. But staying connected it isn’t always easy or the best choice. So when, if ever, is it OK to be friends with your ex?

Couples rarely break up on equal footing. Instead, one person might be eager to get away while the other wishes to continue to be together. Or one person is ready to move on, they may have already met someone else, but the other isn’t sure. That’s where it gets tricky. If you are on the side of hoping for more with that person, you run the risk of putting yourself in a position where you remain attached, and don’t allow yourself the possibility of meeting someone new who might be better able to fulfill your needs. If staying connected was a problem while you were dating, imagine how hard it will be to get their attention now. You may just be setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment which, ultimately, might make you feel more empty and sad. If you remain focused on your ex, it could hold you back from finding your future.

The rule of thumb, generally, is that unless you are both truly over each other, and neither one of you holds any hope to be with the other romantically, it probably isn’t such a good idea to try to be friends for the time being. If you golfed or played tennis as a couple, and you were hoping to continue with that activity together, or you are simply using that as an excuse to stay in touch, my suggestion would be that it is probably a new time to find a new partner. And calling after years of not talking? Maybe there are still good feelings remaining, and enough time has gone by that they can really be friends.

Sir Richard Branson comments on staying friendly after the love has gone:

- “I personally think that if you’ve had a relationship with somebody, you should be best friends for life.”

- “Some of my best friends going back for years were people I’ve had a relationship with and so we’re good friends. We’ve actually, over a drink or two at nighttime, we’ll think, ‘There must be a better way than marriage!’”

- “We’ve decided on the ‘friends for life’ contract, which … is a bit like wealthy people do, with pre-nups. You have friends for life: if you decide after 10 years you need to split up, you have children, you just, you know, work it all out in advance so you don’t have to have nasty lawyers coming in and screwing up the relationships and you can remain friends for life.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Grimm choice: Tax fraud trial could dog NY…

Rep. Michael Grimm may be splitting his time between the campaign trail and a courtroom where he is due to face tax evasion charges.

Local

Met Opera, unions extend talks for 72 hours,…

Met Opera agreed to extend negotiations with its labor unions for 72 hours, preventing a threatened lockout, the organization said late Thursday.

Local

MAP: New York City street closures August 2…

Summer Streets, the NYC Triathlon, the Ecuadorian Parade and festivals will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on 'Calvary' and his very…

Brendan Gleeson discusses how "Calvary" began over drinks and how his priest character is the opposite of the officer he played in "The Guard."

Movies

Interview: Chris O'Dowd does funny and serious in…

Chris O'Dowd talks about "Calvary," an Irish comedy-drama about a priest (Brendan Gleeson) under fire.

Movies

'Alive Inside' and 'Code Black' are documentaries with…

Two new documentaries — "Alive Inside" and "Code Black" — portray different issues but suffer from the same problem.

Music

Caught a Ghost catches a soul/rap vibe

Jesse Nolan says Caught a Ghost's sound aims for two things everybody likes: soul music and '90s rap.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…