The end of a relationship can be hard enough as it is. You’re learning how to do life without someone who probably meant the world to you. If you and your ex were together for a long time, you may have even formed a pretty great relationship with their parents. So, after the breakup, not only are you trying to cope with not having your ex around anymore, you may also be wondering: Can you still be friends with your ex’s parents? The short answer is, it’s possible. The longer answer: There are a few factors you should probably consider before trying to stay BFFs with your ex’s parents.
First and foremost, “the breakup has to be civilized,” relationship and etiquette expert April Masini previously told Elite Daily. If you and your ex had a really nasty falling out, their parents may not want you around despite you having grown close when you were dating their son or daughter. On the other hand, if the two of you ended things more amicably, then being friends with their parents isn’t a totally far-fetched idea.
“Both parties have to have some understanding and empathy for what the other has been going through, and why things didn’t work out,” Masini said. “So, if you and your ex are OK with the way things worked out, even after a breakup, then it’s more likely that you’ll be able to” maintain a relationship with their parents. But, you should also note that just because you and your ex are on good terms, doesn’t mean they’d necessarily be OK with their parents being friends with you. “If your ex doesn’t want you to be friends with his or her family, you should respect that and back off,” Masini stated.
Understanding why you want to maintain a relationship with your ex’s parents can be important in deciding whether or not you should try to be friends with them. “If you had a relationship with your ex’s family member prior to your relationship, then it’s OK to keep in touch, unless it prevents you from moving on or you think that it will help get your ex back,” Fran Greene, relationship coach and author of The Secret Rules of Flirting and Dating Again with Courage and Confidence, previously told Elite Daily.
If, like Greene said, you’re trying to keep your ex’s parents close because a part of you thinks it’ll help you get your ex back, or you just don’t want to accept that the relationship is over, she suggests you “cut the cord.” Any reason you have for keeping your ex’s parents in your life can be totally valid, as long as you don’t have an ulterior motive.
Once you’ve figured out the why, “set ground rules to keep everyone emotionally balanced,” NYC relationship expert and love coach, Susan Winter, previously told Elite Daily. “Negotiate with your ex and family member as to what locations are comfortable and which to avoid,” she advised. “Make your sentiments known to each and every family member in advance.” By doing this, every party involved knows their boundaries so that nobody feels uncomfortable with the situation, making it a win-win for everyone.