May 22, 2018

Can you be friends with your ex? – Joy Ehonwa

Can you be friends with your ex? – Joy Ehonwa

Should exes remain friends? This question has been around for decades. When time has passed after a breakup, allowing the pain that was so strong in the beginning to fade away, and feelings of awkwardness to die, a beautiful friendship built on understanding and trust can emerge.

Unfortunately, not everybody can handle this, and not everyone wants it, even. Furthermore, it’s ill-advised to rush things or force a friendship just to prove a point.

When it comes to remaining friends with exes, people’s opinions and behaviour usually falls under one of these 5 primary teams:


1. Team Once Loved, Always Loved

These ones are, as much as possible, friends with all their exes. In fact, some of them carry an air of superiority that suggests that if you’re unable to remain friends with your ex, there is something wrong with you: you either haven’t truly moved on, or you have a character deficiency. In their minds, if you truly loved someone, you can never unlove them, so you should maintain a friendship with your ex. “It shows how mature you are,” they say smugly.

2. Team Let It Go

“The past is in the paaaaaaaaaaaast! Let it gooooooo!” Elsa would be so proud of these ones. People in this team are usually those who believe that a friend is a friend, and a lover is a lover; one can never become the other.  So if you are a lover, then you were never a friend and can never mutate into one. They don’t believe in carrying the past into the future, no matter how good it was. Your mum was a darling, your sisters were bitches, you were always so caring, the chemistry was barely there…whatever. We’ve broken up so it’s all in the past now. Bye Felicia.

3. Team I Loved You Way Too Much

These ones are so committed to severing all ties with the ex that you would initially mistake them for Team Let It Go, until you look closer. The motivation here is totally different. While Team Let It Go adherents sever all ties simply because they believe in clean breaks, these ones are actually closer in DNA to Team Once Loved, Always Loved. The only problem is that they loved too much to keep on loving when it’s over. The break up is more often than not, due to circumstances beyond their control – genotype, parental consent, etc. Deep down they know that they will love this person forever even though they can’t be together, but they have to move on. They have to build another relationship and be truly committed to making it work. And the only way a new relationship has any hope of survival and progress is if this precious, incomparable old love is expunged along with all its kaya.

4. Team Someone Like You

This team is named after Adele’s Someone Like You, because, of all the songs that have ever been released on behalf of this team (think ABBA’s Winner Takes All from the 80’s amongst the lot), it is the absolute best and the absolute worst. These are the ones who go about asking mutual friends how the ex is doing, stalking them on social media, and so on. “That contract wey e bin dey pursue, e don win am?” “How many pikin her dog born? How many boys and how many girls?” They also want to know the woman he’s dating now. Is she prettier, taller, or smarter? Is the guy richer? Does it look like they’re serious and headed for the altar? Okafor’s Law also works well on these ones, sadly. Some even start hoping the ex will realise what they’re missing and come back…in short, they basically never really leave the relationship and are often doomed to be assistant husbands and side chicks. Yes, because what is the meaning of “I hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded that for me, it isn’t over…don’t forget me I beg…” when the person is already married to someone else?

5. Team It Never Happened

I discovered this team on Twitter and I still find them hilarious. “I don’t have any ex,” they say. How is that possible? Well, the long and short of their philosophy is that if it didn’t work out, then it never happened. The relationship never existed, and you don’t exist either. You’re not a friend, you’re not an ex, you’re just a…nothing. I laugh every time!

Oya talk true, which team is yours?


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  1. Osas

    Haha. Nice piece once again. I’m glad you wrote on that. You should probably do an indepth piece and call it “The Case of the Exes” lol. To answer your question though, i don’t think i belong to any of the teams 🙂 . Or should i say depending on the person, i can be in Team 1 or Team 2.

  2. damsel

    5) team it never happened .is absolutely the best for those that really want to move on without the ex intruding ex should be a forgotten /byegone.

  3. ngozika oguekwe

    “Team let it go” for me. I rarely enjoy remembering certain past incidents or relationships I am not proud of.

    I filter out the best bits and dust off the scraps from my shoulder. I prefer a fresh start and that seems to have worked out quite well for me.

    My honest opinion is; whether ugly or pleasant, relationships are permitted to infiltrate into our lives for a reason. The trick is to defuse the truth and use it to clarify your future decisions:)


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