Unless you’ve been completely off-line since last Friday afternoon, surely you’ve heard about Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez’s split after seven years of marriage. It’s also been announced that despite the separation, the pair will still be working and traveling together later this year to film “¡Q’Viva! The Chosen” — their first television endeavor, which debuts in 2012. The two A-Listers will roam Latin America looking for undiscovered talent (think a Latin “American Idol”). “They’re both committed to ¡Q’viva! and will work on it as planned,” said a spokesman for XIX Entertainment. “The show goes on!”
Wow. When the press release about the pending Lopez-Anthony divorce said the couple had come to “an amicable conclusion on all matters,” I assumed it was standard PR talk, and despite such, I’d soon be reading about their messy divorce in the tabloids. I’m surprised, and even better, proud, to hear that this will not be the case. And so we’re clear, I’m well aware that money and press, in addition to concern for the well-being of their twins, are likely strong motivating factors for their good nature and continued business ventures.  
But in thinking about the example that Lopez and Anthony are setting, I wondered how many of us could remain friendly with an ex after a split. Full disclosure: to my knowledge, I’m not on bad terms with anyone that I’ve been in a relationship with, but I also don’t communicate with any of them either in any significant way. I did a casual survey on Twitter (@abelleinbk) and you were split equally on whether being friends with an ex was even a good idea, much less if it would actually work.
The yeses thought being friends could work — if the relationship ended well, enough time had passed after the break up, the romantic feelings were gone for both parties, and most importantly, if the couple had been actual friends, not just lovers before or while in the relationship. “You can only be friends w/an ex if both parties are completely over the past,” one of you wrote, “If not, it can be very annoying.”
The nos didn’t think the best of intentions or time passed mattered. They saw being friends with an ex akin to playing with fire. “Too much room for error,” said one reply. “Somebody’s bound to cross the line of ‘friendship’.” Another tweeter agreed, “that (sexual) chemistry can be a dangerous thing to play with if you’re trying to move on.”
Me? I think it’s possible for some, but not really plausible for the majority, which is why I applaud Lopez and Anthony for doing what most of us cannot.
Would you be friends with an ex? Are you?
Demetria L. Lucas is the Relationships Editor at ESSENCE and the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter: @abelleinbk for info about her upcoming book signing in Washington, DC on July 23.

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