How to Be Friends with Your Ex might seem hard – and it can be. And sometimes it just won't work out. If you think it will, though, and you need some tips on how to be friends with your ex, then I've got your back. I promise you it can be done; I'm still friends with my high school sweetheart, and we had one of those breakups that becomes a legend in your hometown. Yeah. One of those. So from me, a girl who's been there, to you, a girl who wants to be, here's all you need to learn how to be friends with your ex!
1. Be Honest about How You Feel
In learning how to be friends with your ex, you have to be honest about how you feel – and so does your partner. If you still have feelings for each other, you have to decide if they're going to impede any attempts at friendship. It's worse if one of you is still in love and the other isn't.
2. Think about the Break up
Why did you guys break up? If he cheated on you or you lied to him about something, friendship might not be an option. After all, friends have to trust each other, and it's hard to trust someone when you've been betrayed like that. Even if the breakup was amicable, the reasons behind it might make friendship more difficult – or altogether impossible.
3. Stay Platonic
Of all the tips on how to be friends with your ex, this is the most important: just be friends. You can't keep messing with each other's emotions by going back and forth. Don't kiss, don't hook up, don't even hold hands, because then it turns your relationship into something it's not and offers the pretense of hope. Don't be friends with benefits, just be friends – period.
4. Take Time out
After a breakup, you need time to heal. Don't go thinking you can be besties right away. It's better to give yourself about two months to get over everything. That can also give you time to get over any unresolved feelings, which can later be beneficial to the friendship.
5. Don't Get Jealous
You two have broken up. You're not a couple anymore. If you want to learn how to be friends with your ex, you have to get over feeling jealous. He's moved on and presumably you have too. If he starts dating someone else, don't get mad and vengeful. Don't be That Girl. You don't have to be BFFs with his new girlfriend, but you do have to be respectful. That's what friends do, after all.
6. Know Why You Want to Be Friends
Why do you want to be friends? If it's because you genuinely like your ex, thinks he's a great person, and you feel like your life is richer with him in it, then go for it. If it's because you want to stay close to him because you still love him … not so much.
7. Set Boundaries
When you really want to know how to be friends with your ex, you have to be willing to set boundaries – especially emotional boundaries. For instance, if you're feeling conflicted about your friendship with him, don't actually go to him about it. To start out with, your friendship needs to be light and fluffy, otherwise you might get sucked back into a relationship again.
8. Don't Analyze
Finally, don't spend all your friendly time together analyzing what went wrong with your relationship. It's over, it's done, and it's not coming back right now. Take your friendship for what it is, meet on new, even footing, and just let things be.
I hope these tips have shown you have to be friends with your ex. Believe you me, learning how to be friends with your ex is hard. You have to balance a fine line, and if your feelings for your former partner are still strong, it may not work. Then again, sometimes your ex will be the best friend you ever had. If you already know how to be friends with your ex, share your own tips as well! And let me know – what does it feel like being friends with the person you used to date?
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