Maybe We’re Not Meant For Each Other, And Maybe That's Okay

13 Things I Learned From Staying Friends With An Ex

1. Just because someone means a lot to you, it doesn’t mean you have to keep them in your world. Sometimes you have to let them go so you can both grow into better people.

2. When you see the person you used to have a close, intimate relationship with every single day, it is hard to find the strength to get over them. It is hard to shake them from your mind.

3. Even if your friendship ends, your happy memories together are never going to go away.

4. Never let guilt trips work on you. If you are not comfortable staying friends, then say the words. Tell the truth. Do not play pretend because you feel bad about leaving them behind.

5. Do not stay friends in the hopes you are going to get back together. If your feelings for them are still strong and your intentions are clouded, then you are going to end up hurting your heart even more.

6. Staying friends does not have to mean hanging out every weekend. You can text them happy birthday and invite them out on special occasions, so they are still in your life but aren’t your entire life.

7. Do not fool yourself into believing staying friends with your ex is taking the high road. You are allowed to cut contact. You are allowed to distance yourself. You should do what is best for your own mental health instead of trying to be a good ex-girlfriend. Take care of yourself first because he is no longer your main priority.

8. Before deciding to hang out as friends, ask yourself if you can stomach seeing him with another girl — or even casually mentioning another girl in conversation. If you are going to be jealous and start fights (or cry yourself to sleep every night) then you should probably not stay too close together.

9. If you are going to stay friends, then stay friends. Act like friends. Do not make out whenever you get drunk. Do not sleep together when you’re bored and lonely. Do not blur the lines.

10. Even though you want to continue your friendship, your relationship is never going to be the same. You might not joke around the way you used to. You might not get back the person you were missing. They might act completely different around you now.

11. A lot of people are going to be shocked you still hang out with your exes. They are going to tell you it’s a bad idea, that someone is bound to get hurt. You can ignore them, you can make your own decisions, but exes should not stay friends is a cliche for a reason.

12. It hurts to say goodbye to someone you love. But staying friends might not give you the closure you need. It might prolong the pain you feel instead.

13You do not have to stay friends with your ex — at least, not right now. If you want to merge paths in the future, you can reunite. But right now, while you are both in the process of healing, it is probably for the best to stop talking. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Holly is the author of Severe(d): A Creepy Poetry Collection.

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