Amicable Exes: Should You Stay Friends?

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"Let's just be friends." It's the mantra said by couples who split up all the time, but does anyone really mean it? It depends. Consider the tone of the breakup. If things got really ugly at the end - perhaps one partner cheated on the other, or there was a major argument - then being friends just might not be possible. The same goes for one partner who just can't seem to get over the other. It's safest to make a clean break in those situations to avoid the cycle of breaking up, hooking up, getting back together, and so forth. And if you're the one breaking up, don't use the old "let's be friends" line to lessen the blow, particularly if you really never want to see the person again. You give your ex false hope of reconciliation if you offer to continue the relationship on a platonic basis - it's best just to make a clean break and be done with it. Likewise, if you're not entirely sure you want to break up, then it could be tempting to offer friendship as a contingency plan - perhaps you might want to get back together, and being on friendly terms could offer a way to do so.