For those who choose to stay friends with their ex the journey can be paved with sexual tension and jealousy, but it can also be paved with mutual respect and adoration. Just because you two don't want to stay together doesn't mean you have to be enemies. Here are 15 tips to make sure your potentially harmful friendship with your ex remains healthier than your relationship was!
Whether things will work out with you and your ex down the line, the fact is that you're trying to be friends right now. Don't approach your friendship thinking you've made a mistake with breaking up in the first place, all those emotions will just get in the way and cloud your judgement when it comes to interacting with them.
Even though it won't be easy, if they begin to date someone else you must give up those feelings of jealousy you may have. The hardest part of breaking up is knowing you no longer have someone's heart, but the healthiest way to be their friend is to watch them love again.
When you first break up with someone you'll be tempted to say the meanest things that pop into your mind or cry in front of them like you just watched an episode of Dogs With Jobs. However, all this emotional vomiting may make it impossible to be friends when you're ready. Do everyone a favor and cut up their pictures in the privacy of your own home so they don't think you're a bitter mess.
When you're friends with someone you can't get upset with them for not texting you back, or deciding to go out with their pals instead of coming over to watch a movie. All the things that used to bother you about dating them you're not allowed to be upset about because, you know, you're not dating.
If you're the one who ended the relationship, chances are your ex will have complex emotions about that. Be there for them as much as you can be, but understand that they'll need emotional space from you for a bit before they're ready to jump back into hanging out with you all the time.
You know what friendships are great for? Being genuinely happy when another friend is in a great place or is making positive changes in their life. So even though you may want to see your ex get fat and sad without you, support them when they're overjoyed.
Don't hang out in some romantic wine bar when you're trying to be friends with your ex. Keep it stress free and completely platonic by going bowling or going to a farmers market, that way neither of you will feel like you're on a date. Above all, enjoy each other's company, that is the whole point of being friends with someone, right?
Nothing puts a road block in building a friendship with an ex than picking on everything they did wrong during your time together. If you're both choosing to be in each other's lives in a different context, it's time to bury all the old fights that caused you two to stop seeing each other romantically.
Being open about what is OK and not OK in your new friendship will keep things from being confusing. Establish that you won't make out when you're drunk or that you won't talk about new relationships with each other until the time is right. That way you won't misread signs they're sending you and you won't be likely to cross the line.
As easy as it may be to attempt to be friends with benefits with your ex, chances are it will only ruin your friendship. When you begin to cross the lines you both have established, pretty soon you find yourself back in the relationship you wanted out of in the first place.
Above all, understand that it will take time and there will be moments where it is painful. When you accept an ex back into your life as a friend it will take some adjusting before you're comfortable with your new role in their life. Be patient with each other and honest when it is challenging. If someone is worth being in your life, they'll give you all the time and flexibility you need.