It is beyond hard staying friends with an ex, especially if you still having feelings for them. There will always be someone who tells you staying friends with an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend is a mistake, but ultimately it is your choice.
For those who want to give it a go, here are some ways to attempt to keep the friendship, while moving on at the same time.
Take Some Time Apart.
If you used to see your ex four days a week, cut it down. Space is important because it gives both people a chance to really review the relationship and what led to the break-up. It’s also important to take time apart because going from ‘lovey-dovey’ to ‘just friends’ isn’t an easy transition. It will take time to get used to.
Figure out your new ‘normal’.
Imagine what your life will look like without them being a big part in it and try to focus on the positives. Instead of getting upset at the thought of no longer being able to cuddle them, or no longer being able to ring them just for a five-minute chat, imagine all the things you can do now you have extra time. Did you always want to join the gym? Was there a club you wanted to join but your partner wasn’t so keen? Do them. Do all the things you couldn’t do while in your relationship.
Take Care Of Yourself.
It is proven that a break-up can lead to grief-like symptoms – you’ve lost an important person in your life. Try to remain sleeping and eating well, be kind to yourself and remember how amazing you are.
Let The Past Stay In The Past.
It may be tempting/easy to bring up issues from the relationship but don’t. It could ruin a potential friendship.
Think About Your Friendship Before The Relationship.
How did you two interact with each other before you slept together or expressed interest? This can help you get back to a previous friendship.
Pick Your Meet-ups Wisely.
Maybe at the start, avoid going to all the places that hold significant memories with your ex. That includes houses or anywhere that holds a bed. Avoiding alcohol may be smart, and even smarter would be going out with them in the company of a group of mutual friends.
Keep The Conversations Platonic.
Now you are no longer together, the conversations need to change. There is no doubt that if you are both trying to stay in each other lives, that you care about each other. But intimate and personal conversations and secrets is not the way forward for the friendship.
Be Prepared That They May Be Too Busy For You Or Start Dating Someone Else.
There is a high chance they may not make you their number one priority anymore – especially if they found the break-up hard. You will have to accept it, and even better, make sure you have other plans lined up too.
Dealing with an ex dating someone else is hard, and truthfully feels like shit if you still have feelings for them. That’s why you must really make sure a friendship with them is what you want and that you can handle it.
And one last hard truth – sometimes things just won’t work out, no matter how badly you want them to, and it sucks. Sometimes the issues that broke you up as a couple are going to be the same ones that keep you from being friends afterward.
Like some friendships and relationships, they are only meant to be for a certain amount time, to teach you an important life lesson.
This doesn’t mean that you did anything wrong or that your relationship and the friendship afterward wasn’t valid. It was just the moment, and that moment has passed, leaving you a wiser and better person for it.