Maybe it is the time to say goodbye to your current relationships. It has gone long enough and he/she decided that you just aren’t the one he/she is looking for or that the love has faded. You have shared many beautiful memories, cry and laugh together. All those experiences? It’s time to bag them and lock them away for good. But somewhere along the way of parting, you both decided that continue starting as friends is a bright idea. More broken promises? Who knows?
How to be friends with an ex? If you so decided that being friends with an ex is the way to go, here are some rules you should understand before further pursuing your decision.
How to Be Friends with an Ex: 7 Basic Rules You Need to Know
Ask yourself, do you really still want to be friends with your ex? You might still be grieving, this prospect that you might still have a chance to still together sounds the right path to take. But is it really? Mull over it, sit with it, have a discussion with your friends, most importantly, be honest to yourself.
What is your objective? That the spark might start and he/she will accept your love once again? Did he/she break your heart and you just wanted revenge once he/she falls for you again? Do you just want those beautiful moments you had to hopefully last a little longer? If it’s for your own selfish gains, then you aren’t just over him/her yet.
Establishing friendship before recovering from an unrequited love will only make things much worse for you. You continue to love him/her while he/she continues to deny and appreciate your advancement.
There is no way anyone could just break up and had a nice cup of coffee together as friends right on the next day, week or even month. You need distance, physical and mental, and tons of it. Get your own single life back on track, sort them out as you won’t include this one person that was essentially your whole life for a long time anymore.
Cry, heal, mourn and analyze your mistake. This will be a long torturous process which you will have to get through anyhow. Learn how to live a life again, how to be happy as yourself without your ex. Accept that it did not work when you once date and it will not work again now. Maybe after that, you could start considering friendship.
Give the time for yourself and your ex to get over and hopefully move on from the dead relationship. The longer apart, the faster you will eventually take to be ready for back to friends phase. How long will it take? Two months? Two years? Go with your gut feelings. The right time will come only when both of you are ready. Let the flame you hold for each other fizzle out before you start getting on being friends.
Seek Out a Love Life
Meet people, start finding your new potential love interest. It’s not a friendship if you are just waiting for your ex to hopefully fall for you again. That will never happen. Respect the decision for the breakup and avoid discussing any of your current love life with your ex. You are not trying to out jealous and out hurt each other, but rather trying your best to heal the wound. Maybe once the feeling is true that you guys could come back and have a lovely discussion. But for now, just stick to caring about yourself and try to not hurt others out of spite.
Set Clear Emotional Boundaries
Never go to your ex for your emotional pillar anymore. He/she is no longer the shoulder for you to cry on. The friendship should be kept simple, with minimal emotional investments. Keep the things you do with him/her light. Talk about common interest you guys had, the things brought you guys as friends in the first place.
Abandon All Attraction
Feelings should strictly be that of friends, not sexual. Probably the hardest one to conquer especially if you once attracter to him/her by his/her looks and even worse if you get intimate with him/her. The continual sexual attraction for your ex while trying to remain as friends will only bring you down further. If you could help it, avoid befriending your ex till you truly have no feelings for him/her anymore.
There is no friendship if the feelings for each other are not fully platonic. You will still get jealous over other people your ex had intimate contact with, but you should never flirt, try to hold hands, cuddle, kiss and especially no sex. Attraction is fine in itself but as long as you don’t try to push your luck, you will be alright.
Accept One-Sided Bitterness
If you have the question, "How to be friends with an ex?", then there is something you have to face: Expect betterment and resentment towards another. Often breakups are one-sided and that is just the way it goes. One still loves the other while the other has lost all interest. Your ex could be feigning friendship, but probably just out of pity.
With bitterness comes jealousy. You will never be truly happy for your ex who had fallen for another. If you feel a need for revenge, then it’s probably best for you to distance yourself from your ex for longer.