When is it OK to be friends with an ex?

Diaz and Timberlake: An exception to the rule

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 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. 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 this: It probably isn’t such a good idea to try to be friends unless neither one of you holds any hope to be with the other romantically. 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.

— Relationship expert Dr. Jane Greer is creator of “Shrink Wrap” – national commentary on what we can learn from celebrity relationships – and host of “Let’s Talk Sex” at Healthylife.net. Her book, “What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship,” is available nationwide.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…

Local

Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…

Local

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…

News

U.S. Secret Service director Pierson resigns under fire

U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned under fire on Wednesday after a series of security lapses came to light.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…

Music

See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

NFL

Rex Ryan fields more questions about Geno Smith,…

The idea Geno Smith will be replaced by backup Michael Vick appears to be all smoke, as the Jets are intent to ride with their second-round draft pick.

NFL

Will Beatty playing like franchise left tackle again…

Left tackle Will Beatty, who is the elder-statesman of Giants’ line, has turned around his season and become a consistent force on Manning’s blindside.

NFL

John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…

NFL

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid

Career

Creating a support system for minority women in…

When Kathryn Finney founded digitalundivided — an organization devoted to engaging minority communities with the tech world — she didn’t know quite what to expect.…

Sex

We can learn a lot from animals about…

There’s a lot we can learn about love from the birds and the bees — and the chickens, monkeys and squirrels that we share the…

Style

Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.