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My best guy friend is also my ex high school sweetheart. It was not a pretty breakup — any of the times we split. But somehow, from the ashes of the scorched earth, we did it. We turned our romance into a bromance for the ages. I'd like to say that I was the emotionally mature party who resurrected the relationship but, nah. If I'm honest, it was totally him who taught me how to stay friends after a breakupand I will always be grateful for that.
I can't even imagine not having him by my side now. My ex and I had a ton of things in common, and we had a lot of fun together. It would be a shame to lose that from your life just because you don't want to make out any more, right? However, Gordon warns if you do still secretly have residual feelings, then consider putting the brakes on rekindling a friendship. Nobody wants to lose someone who uplifted them or added value to their lives in ways that weren't just sexual.
While it might feel like you'll never be able to be friends again especially right after a breakuphaving a genuine and fulfilling friendship with an ex can often be possible, as long you do it for the right reasons. If you want to have any hope of rekindling a friendship with your ex, the most important thing to do is make sure your breakup is as clean as possible, since that can help make the healing process go more smoothly. That means trying to avoid talking badly about them, getting into ugly fights, or saying hurtful things you might not mean.
This is essential, says Gordon. In many cases, some hurt feelings are unavoidable, but there are ways to help mitigate the worst of it. If you want to heal and be friends with your ex in the near future, Gordon says it's best to disengage on social media. It's unhealthy, and muting them on social media will help. While you have the option to delete or block them completely from — and if that's what feels right, don't be afraid to do it — you can also take a softer approach by muting them. After all, nobody needs the stress of watching an ex move on, but straight-up blocking them on social media might be the kind of clean break you're not willing to make at the moment.
In the aftermath of a breakup, no one could blame you for wanting to scorch some virtual Ready for a friend a lover after, but there are options to soften that approach in the hopes of a friendlier future. Instead, muting them saves you both the front row to their post-you life, and the awkwardness of sending them a friend request later when you're ready to be buds.
This one is just as if not more important as the clean break. Spend some "quality time apart" and take some time to heal and move on. Perhaps the romantic relationship didn't work out, but if you started as friends, it might work to go back to being just friends. It's always amazing when that day arrives that your feelings, once so strong, have suddenly up and gone. That's a that you're free to rekindle a friendship with your former flame. Just be prepared, when you do reach out, that your ex may need a bit more time to get there, too. Before you decide to make first contact, Gordon says to make sure to take a beat and really get honest with yourself.
Why are you doing this? Is it just a sincere desire to be platonic friends with your ex, or are you secretly hoping that sparks will fly again? If it's the latter, then hit pause, because you might need more time.
Anything less than total realness with yourself is a recipe for heartbreak. So, the time has come: You've done some reflecting, and you feel ready to enter the friend zone. If that's the case, plan your first hang carefully, says Gordon. It's important to set a platonic and positive tone.
When you hang out, Gordon suggests "keeping it light. When you see your ex for the first time, you may feel a strong desire to rehash the past and process the breakup. Chances are, you're different people apart than you were when you were together.
When a person is newly single, they often re-discover who they are, figure out who they are without a partner, and discover new hobbies and interest. In other words, even though you have a past, remember that you're forming a new friendship and starting fresh, so treat it like you would any new friendship. If you want to make your ex your friend, treat them like one. Either way, it's not great, so make sure to keep the boundaries crystal clear by always treating them like you would any platonic friend.
If that resonates, then give yourself some more time to heal before restarting the friendship. However, even if you know you're ready, seeing them with a new partner for the first time can still be a little impactful. Go easy on yourself. Try not to beat yourself up and say you should've waited longer. At the end of the day, their life is separate from yours now, and they are allowed to move on.
This is why it's good to have a jealousy game plan ready, since it's possible to feel an unexpected twinge of pain when you see them with someone new on their arm. Remember: There's a reason you two are no longer together.
Try to focus on being happy for your friend rather than side-eying your ex. Bonus tip: Stay out of their new relationship. If you really want to maintain a friendship, keep your opinions on who they date to yourself. Yes, they've probably seen you naked and you used to draw little hearts with your finger on their back while they slept. Just me? But the sooner you decide to start thinking of them as a friend instead of an ex, the sooner you'll start to feel that way, too.
Gordon suggests focusing on really getting to know who your ex is as a person. Be supportive of who they are without you.
And make sure to introduce them to new people as just your friend. At the end of the day, it all comes down to time, respect, kindness, and a determination not to make it weird. It might be hard at first, but with a little time and a whole lot of patience, you can do it.
This article was originally published on By Rachel Shatto. Updated: Sep. Originally Published: Sep. Search Close.Ready for a friend a lover after
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The Evolution of the Desire to Stay Friends With Your Ex