Now’s relationship columnist Annabelle Knight shares her thoughts on Susanna Reid and her ex-partner Dominic Cotton’s ‘blended’ situation
Susanna Reid’s ex Dom Cotton has moved in just 12 minutes down the road from her, with his girlfriend, who happens to be a good friend of hers.
Sounds like a nightmare situation for most people – however, there are a lucky few who can form a genuine friendship with their exes.
Susanna and Dom split in 2014 and have managed to remain good friends ever since.
Their amicable break-up has meant that their three children have been able to deal with huge changes to their family life without the added stress of parental conflict.
Friends or foes?
The question of whether you should stay friends with an ex-partner always splits opinion.
It’s different for every couple and is an individual decision based on lots of different factors.
For example, trust is vital in any relationship, so if your break-up was caused by something that ruins that trust, such as cheating, then it’s unlikely that
a friendship would happen.
If your relationship was toxic in any way then, in my opinion, it’s best to cut all ties.
Staying on friendly terms will only allow for further control or manipulation to take place, which is definitely not a healthy dynamic for a friendship.
Award-winning dating blogger Eve Greenow has this advice: ‘If you’ve just broken up and you’ve decided to remain friends, it’s still best to give each other some space for a few months to properly get over the relationship, without temptation or bringing up feelings.’
Setting an example
If your break-up was amicable, remaining on friendly terms can have some fabulous benefits.
In the early days it can help to numb the pain of your split, regardless of whether it was mutual or not, and can help you to move on naturally without too much emotional upset.
It’s also great if you share mutual friends – too many times I’ve seen couples fighting over who gets to stay friends with whom.
All this does is make everyone feel awkward, and it involves third parties who would really rather just be left out of it.
Being friends with your ex is also great if there are children involved.
You may no longer be together, but you can still set a good example of what relationships should be like.
How you and your partner interact will set a template for your kids as to what makes a healthy relationship.
Sometimes, space is needed
Throughout their break-up they remained friendly, and now they count one another as good friends.
They demonstrate emotional maturity at every step, so much so that they welcome any new partners with open arms, take joint family trips and spend holidays together.
Hugh Grant and Liz Hurley are another example, with Hugh even being godfather to Liz’s son, Damian.
If you want to remain friends with an ex, then remember to have a little break from one another first – this will give you the chance to reflect on your relationship in peace.