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HOW TO STAY FRIENDS WITH YOUR EX & HOW TO KNOW IF IT’S A BAD IDEA

It's tricky...

First things first, I am not a relationship expert or a therapist. But, when it comes to my friends and even acquaintances, my publicly broken heart has dubbed me the advice giver for breakups everywhere. So, I am going to tell you what I would tell my friends, and hopefully try and tell myself when entering the illusionary world of “we’re just friends.

The number one thing you have to ask yourself constantly, even if it seems mean and selfish, is what is good for me? This is your answer. This is your true north in the year after a break-up, this is your Yoda. You have to take care of you. Forget should, forget could, forget the gaping lonely hole that is your life. Do the right thing even if it’s the hard thing.

How to tell if being friends is bad for you right now:

  1. After you hang out you feel like you’ve emotionally regressed
  2. You want to lick their face the entire time you’re with them
  3. The idea of them meeting someone new makes you want to crawl in a hole
  4. When you get home, you spend at least twenty-five minutes on their Instagram and/or you then spend another our recounting out every word that was spoken between the two of you

The really important test is the first one. Getting over someone is something that happens in steps and stages. If you see them and feel suddenly three stages ago, then you are not ready.

Keep in mind you may never be ready, and although it is sad, some relationships are best left in the past to ensure you can have a healthy future.

So, that brings us to how to be friends, that is if you’re ready or if you are going to entirely ignore my advice above. I am of this category, I ignored what was good for me because the thought of him not being in my life was more anguishing than stunting my personal growth. This was a mistake and it took me twice as long to be ok than it would have otherwise. What I should have done (and what you should do if this sounds familiar) is tell them you can’t be friends — yet. Tell them you need six months of space to find a proper place for them in your life, because it is important to you to be friends. If they are worth a friendship, and it’s worth keeping them around, then six months is nothing. Six months will give you something good to catch up on. You’re at least giving yourself a head start.

How to be friends means learning what friends do. Friends do not sleep together. Friends do not treat each other like a partner and then withhold the intimacy that makes you partners. Friends do not intentionally hurt one another or try and make one another jealous with someone super-hot and new.

My rules on being friends with my ex:
Note: this also applies if you are either the dumper or dumpee. It is often just as hard to leave someone you love when you know it’s not right as it is to be the person left. Both parties must take care of their hearts.

  1. Choose safe spaces to start with: coffee, the park, breakfast — not inside your or their home.
  2. I stay very aware of physical proximity. If they are growing close or the night is growing late, then excuse yourself and go home alone.
  3. I don’t get drunk when you’re alone together.
  4. I won’t talk about my new relationship, I have friends who I can do that with and talking with them feels icky and unfair to my new guy.
  5. Know what topics are the cornerstone to your friendship banter, and they might even be the same ones, that’s ok. We talk mostly about creative projects and dogs.
  6. You must let go of your expectations. A friendly role can be a removed one, and that is okay. You have to consider you might not be the only one who needs space and time to move on.

One last thing to consider- you might never be friends. And that might not be your choice. Friendship is a two way street, as was your romantic relationship, so if you’re both not feeling it, then you have to let go. Move on. Be friends with people who want to be your friends, or who won’t treat you unfairly. You can’t control their feelings, and one of the great graces we acquire in growing older is knowing when we have to let things go.

I am multi-genre writer specializing in travel, ad-copy, and nonfiction prose. A recent graduate with my MFA I am spending my new found time rambling around the world, practicing yoga, and searching for the best salad ever.

9 comments on “HOW TO STAY FRIENDS WITH YOUR EX & HOW TO KNOW IF IT’S A BAD IDEA

  1. Started my dating life pretty late and the first guy I dated always made me feel inferior to him so I walked away. It’s been four years and every time he tries to approach me to be friends I realize I backtrack on my healing process so I decline the friendship but recently I accepted thinking he had good intentions. Turns out he talks about the past and how he still has desires for me blah, blah. He has a Girlfriend so I asked him not to contact me again but that really opened up pandora box because i still love him even though he never seems to value me. I know I have to get away from him and I’m upset that he would do that to his girlfriend. He says she is very open minded and knows about it BUT after I refuse him he post pictures of them together and it breaks my heart.

    Like

  2. nauszikaa

    Hello everyone!
    If you have few min plz read it, and if its possible give me some advice.
    I’ve been together with my ex for 4 years. We lived together, get engaged. Everything was fine, i thought he loves me, i loved him. But then he told me he needs visa to stay in UK. I was deep in love. So i helped him as I’m european citizen. We had a really good time, made pic, memories. I thought his is a real love, i find my other half. I find him on dating sites since 2016, we get over it, was a hard time, but i forgive him. Last year when he received his visa, things getting changed. He get home late every night. He hide his phone, no kiss, no cuddles, always just shout at me. I was feel like a piece of s**t. And then i told him i expecting a baby, he said is can not be possible because he know how need to use his d***. But we will talk about it after he get home from work. I was wait for him but he did not come since. I try to call him, msg no answer all night. On the same night i had miscarriage. (13 weeks)
    Next day he called me to tell me he only was with me because of his visa. He left a lot debt on me. Now I’m on my own to pay rent and bills. He called me to ask to do not call home office, and don’t brake his life, he want it to stay in UK. I don’t know what is a best to do. He brake my heart, broke me to pieces. I cant forgive him, but still love him.
    Why? What shall i do now?

    Thanks to read it.

    Like

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