Friends with an ex: the return of Sharon and Gabby
The reunion of Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion may have rekindled hope in your hear, but are you ready to be friends with an ex yourself?
Is it okay to be friends with an ex? You may have seen that McDonald’s Philippines ad featuring Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion, and felt a surge of kilig and nostalgia for one of the most well-known celebrity couples in Philippine history.
If they can do it, surely you can do it too? So just like Sharon and Gabby, would you be friends with your ex?
Hope and nostalgia
In a report by ABS-CBN News, Sharon Cuneta says she felt overwhelmed by the positive feedback she’s been receiving after her onscreen reunion with ex-husband Gabby Concepcion.
“I had a feeling this would be something special,” she said. “But I didn’t know what to expect in terms of how our public would receive us now that we are older, now that we have been apart for 26 years onscreen, and not exactly friends offscreen.”
She admitted that she did not know what to do or expect of Concepcion before their shoot. She prayed that it would at least be pleasant.
Seeing that their onscreen reunion, however brief, made a lot of people happy, she said “too happy, in major disbelief, and I don’t know what else and how else I am feeling.”
Where they left off
She also thanked Concepcion at length, including McDonald’s, for making the project and reunion possible.
“Thank you, Gabby. For the years of true love, for KC, for all the happy memories. Thank you for and to McDonald’s for allowing us to do this together. Thank you to our amazing God who has allowed what I thought would never be possible in KC’s lifetime to happen,” she said.
Cuneta said she herself was surprised how the two of them easily connected and were able to do what was asked of them during the shoot.
“We just picked up from where we left off.” she said.
To end her post, Cuneta said her reconnection with Concepcion has been God’s biggest gift, for it made not only the two of them happy, but also their daughter, KC.
Singer and actress Sharon Cuneta started answering fans’ questions about her past relationships recently on a Facebook thread. It began with a post on the personal account of writer Krizette Laureta Chu, in light of the McDo ad released on February 8.
It was a fun lighthearted conversation with lots of never-before revealed information about Sharon Cuneta’s dating life. It seems Sharon Cuneta is still friends with some of her exes. If not just friends, they're very close and reliable friends whom she has worked with for a long time. Of course, her friendships with all her exes ar not equal.
You can read the whole juicy thread here.
Should you be friends with an ex?
Sharon’s story begs the question: should you be friends with an ex?
The short answer is: you don’t need to be. The long answer is, you need time apart after a break up, so don’t try to be friends immediately afterwards.
It may sound easy but it only makes sense in hindsight. Just like Sharon and Gabby, it took decades for them to be comfortable with each other and become friends. In my experience, it’s always better for exes to become friends after years have intervened between us and our break up.
Becoming friends with them too soon after a breakup sometimes undoes the break up itself. Then, all the negative emotions from the romantic relationship can bleed into the friendship.
Hold the door?
“If you always have one foot in the ex door, how can you be open to someone new?” says online dating coach Erika Ettin, founder of A Little Nudge.
Ettin encourages single people everywhere to think about why they want to stay friends with their exes after some time apart.
“Do they see qualities that add to their life, or is it because they’re lonely and they don’t want to be alone?”
Similar to a romantic relationship, friends must be on the same page for the friendship to go anywhere. Simply put, remaining friends with an ex needs both parties to look for the same thing, to have the same goals.
Dating coach Francesca Hogi says she often sees exes trying to be friends when one person still has feelings for the other. Perhaps someone is holding on to hope of reconciliation. Sometimes, someone is still hurt from the breakup, making it hard to continue any kind of relationship.
Not wanting to be disagreeable
She also says she notices women agreeing to be friends when an ex suggests it. But only because they do not want to be the disagreeable one.
“You should just really honor your own sense of self-preservation and feel okay saying to someone: ‘Actually we’re not friends. We’re not going to stay in touch,'” Hogi said.
Hogi suggests a litmus test to help people decide whether they still want to be friends with their ex or not.
“If I met someone who I thought would be a great match for my ex, would I introduce them? For most people after a breakup, the answer is no.”
Mandy Len Catron, author of How to Fall in Love With Anyone, says when people want to be friends with their exes, it’s related to their desire for closure: a clean and tidy narrative.
“In general, I think the way that we talk about former relationships is fairly limiting or limited,” she says. “So often we frame relationships that ended as a failure. Maybe if you stayed friends, you’d be less likely to think that a relationship that ended was a failure.”
“We would benefit more of thinking of previous relationships as meaningful experiences that existed for however much time they did,” she says. “They were important parts of our lives — even if they weren’t what we wanted or hoped they would be.”
In this light, remaining friends with an ex becomes our connection to a bygone era in our lives. They give us a chance to look at ourselves and our histories that we can compare to our present. Perhaps they give us a chance to learn or look at ourselves from another perspective.
You can also read: Can separated couples get back together?