I’m here to tell you a home truth: You do not have to be friends with your ex. Look, I get it, I really do: After a break up, it is so, so tempting to try to be friends with the person you were dating. You might feel this way for a lot of reasons. Regardless of whether you were the dump-er or the dump-ee, the idea of suddenly going from seeing someone all the time to not seeing him or her at all is simply unimaginable. Or maybe you were friends before you dated, so you feel like you should be able to go back to that. Or you think that, if you could just hang out once in a while, the break-up wouldn’t feel quite so terrible. Or maybe your ex is going through a rough time, so you feel like you should be supportive. But, regardless of your motivation, sometimes being friends with an ex simply isn’t possible, and trying to force that relationship to happen can make the break up worse, creating more bitterness and anger and keeping you from truly moving on.