Is being friends with your ex even possible? I mean, you’ve seen each other naked many, many times. You’ve opened up to each other about some weird stuff. And you once didn’t know how you could live without him. I’m still pretty much trying to figure out the real answer to that question, but I’d like to think that, yeah, sometimes you can be friends with your ex.
But let me be clear: being friends with your ex is usually really hard and can only be done in certain circumstances. I’ve watched couples try the friend thing, only to end up in this weird hooking up relationship that made both people miserable. Or one of them couldn’t handle it and the jealousy and hurt feelings destroyed any kind of friendship they could ever have. But I’ve also watched couples who totally rock at being friends after they break up – and I’ve even done it myself. So here are some tips on how you can be friends with your ex. Because, let’s face it, they were a big part of your life for a reason – it isn’t always necessary to completely push them away.
1. Honestly consider whether or not it’s worth being friends with the guy. Because let’s face it, it’s not going to be that easy. For example, if you guys dated for a few months and things ended really horribly, but you just can’t get over him, this is not a reason to be friends. Being friends doesn’t mean it’s going to lead to you guys getting back together. I’ve seen so many girls, and been one of those girls, who have agreed to be friends with an ex just because we’re kind of hoping they’ll change their minds and go back to dating us. If that’s why you want to be friends, or if you think that’s why he wants to be friends, run away, fast.
2. Give yourselves a little time. You can’t try the friend thing immediately after breaking up — it just won’t work. The feelings are too fresh and neither of you are going to be able to handle it. You need to give each other a little bit of space. No matter how hard it is, don’t talk for a few weeks. Get over each other on your own without the booty calls and the unnecessary fighting. Those things just make the situation messy and awkward, and only lead to hurt feelings. You have to be over your romantic feelings for each other before you can try a platonic friendship, or it’s just not going to work.
3. When you do decide to be friendly with each other, you still shouldn’t rush things. I know this person was probably like your best friend while you were going out, so it’s easy to want them around all the time. But don’t quickly jump into talking and hanging out as friends 24/7 — all that’s going to do is make it easier for both of you to fall back into the same pattern you were used to when you were dating. Hang out in groups of mutual friends at first, because if you settle down in your room to watch a movie together, I can guarantee you’re probably not going to watch that movie.
4. It’s probably not the best idea to over-share. Start out by calling him once in a while to chat about random things and avoid any topic that might make either of you emotional — like, it’s not a good idea to let him know about your crazy drunk hook-up, just to prove that you don’t have feelings for him anymore. If you guys feel comfortable talking about other boyfriends/girlfriends/hook-up buddies, then go for it. But if not, just avoid the topic a little bit.
5. Don’t discuss your old relationship. Now that you guys are buddies, it might seem like the perfect time to bring up the reason you broke up and analyze it. Um, don’t. It’s only going to bring up crappy feelings and probably lead to a fight. The breakup happened and it’s done, and you two have both moved on, so there’s really no reason to continue to try to prove your point.
Just remember, being friends with an ex-boyfriend can be kind of hard. Your relationship probably won’t ever be the same as it once was, and it can be weird to adjust to that. But sometimes you guys can end up having a totally amazing friendship, and it’s so worth it.
Have you gone from ex-ship to friendship? Tell us below!