Yes, breaking up is hard to do. If you had it your way, you and your ex would end up more like Bruce and Demi than Jon and Kate. So how do you transition your relationship from romance to friendship? Here are five tips to help you stay friends with your ex.
Give it time
Even when a relationship ends on the best terms, it still takes time to adjust. Give yourself an adequate “mourning period” to move through the strong emotions that usually accompany a breakup. When you find yourself thinking about your ex fondly and remembering the good times you had, you’re probably ready to have a healthy friendship.
Be honest about your motives
You may be saying you want to be friends with your ex but hoping for something more. By all means, do not try to establish a “friendship” with your former partner if your hidden intention is to try to get back together. That’s not fair to you or to your ex. If you’re still having the desire to rekindle the relationship, you should either give yourself more time to get over the breakup, or be honest with your ex about your desire to reunite.
Read about Becoming BFFs with your ex >>
Don’t force the issue
Friendship is a two-way street. If you’re the only one who wants to work on a friendship, take our advice and walk away. There are a lot of reasons why your ex may not want to be friends. Maybe he’s still getting over the breakup and needs more time. Or it could be that he’s in a new relationship and the other person doesn’t feel comfortable having you in the picture.
Check out A broken heart: When it’s time to reach out for help >>
Put the past behind you
A successful relationship requires a solid foundation. If you and your ex share a rocky past, you’ll need to gain closure to get the friendship off to a good start. Be frank in dealing with unresolved issues. Apologize for any mistakes or poor judgment and have an open discussion about the future. If you both want to put the past behind you and enjoy each others’ company, give it a shot.
Take the “ex” out of sex
As tempting as it may be, do not fall into the trap of having “ex sex.” Clearly-defined boundaries are the only way you can maintain a true friendship with your former lover. Remember that your relationship ended for a reason. If you’re afraid that spending time together is going to lead to a lapse in judgment, then don’t do it. Think of your future happiness and avoid prolonging an unhealthy relationship.
Life v. Fiction
Want more about love and exes? Check out a great read in the SheKnows Book Lounge: Spring Fever by bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews, a new book about one woman who believes she’s over her ex-husband only to find that maybe, just maybe she wants him back. Head to our new SheKnows Book Lounge now.