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Should You Stay Friends With Your Ex?

13/06/2011 11:11 | Updated 22 May 2015

Pippa Middleton's done it. Liz Hurley's done it. Sadie Frost's done it. And even Kerry Katona has managed it, although it has taken her seven years to get round to it.

But could you stay friends with your ex?

And more to the point, should you?

Well unless you've just been through a horribly acrimonious break-up I think it makes perfect sense to stay on good terms.

After all, if you've spent months – or years – of your life with someone, you're unlikely to stop caring about each other just because you've stopped sharing a bed. And, family members aside, it's hard to find anyone who knows and understands you better than an ex.

If you've had children together then it's even more important to get on.

Perhaps that's why Kerry Katona has finally decided to put the heartache of her 2004 split with ex-husband Brian MacFadden behind her. She's reportedly asked him to come on a family holiday to celebrate their daughter Molly's 10th birthday in August. Just last year she said: "I'll always love Brian."

Then there's Sadie Frost and Jude Law: pioneers of the celebrity divorce-cation. They've enjoyed family holidays in Brazil and Las Vegas since they divorced in 2003, and have continued to spend Christmas together.

Last year Sadie said: "We're continuing to have a very close friendship and I'm here to support him as a friend. That won't stop. He's a wonderful person and I'll stand by him forever. For all the silliness and difficulties, we've always really cared for each other and we're both a hundred per cent committed to the kids and doing the right thing by them."

And let's not forget Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew. Last month Sarah was hypnotised for a US reality show and confessed that she and Andrew both wish they'd never got divorced.

And that's where it all gets a bit murky, isn't it?

Because there's a very good chance that staying close to your ex could ruin your chances of being happy with someone else.

Liz Hurley, who is currently dating Australian cricketer Shane Warne, has admitted that she and Hugh Grant, who is godfather to her son Damien, still talk about the possibility of ending up together.

She said: "We've often said, if all else fails, we'll end up living together like Darby and Joan."

She turned to Hugh when her marriage to Arun Nayar hit the rocks, and he's the one who cheered her up when she had to deal with reports that Shane had cheated on her with other women.

It makes you wonder how any other man can hope to compete with Hugh, who Liz still calls her "number one".

And now that Facebook has made it easier than ever for us to track down our first loves, keep tabs on our exes and find out exactly what happened to the one who got away, staying friends with your ex could spell disaster for your love life.

It's all too easy to look at the past through rose-tinted glasses and remember how happy you were with the man who didn't expect you to wash his socks. And if your memories of your time together consist mainly of exotic holidays and fun nights out, then you might start to feel that your current relationship doesn't match up and, before you know it, you'll be obsessing over what might have been.

So although I believe there's a lot to be said for staying friends with your ex – I'm good mates with a couple of mine, a couple of others, not so much – I think it's wise to maintain a respectful distance, especially if you're both in relationships.

And that means no beach holidays.

Because while Liz, Kerry and Sadie might make it look like a good idea, I can't help but notice that they haven't been especially lucky in love since they split with Hugh, Brian and Jude.

And you've got to wonder whether they're genuinely content to be just good friends or just biding their time and waiting for their happily ever after.

If that's the case, they could be waiting a very long time...

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