Sometimes your boyfriend/girlfriend turns into your best friend and it’s hard to let that go after the relationship ends. We often want to stay friends with our exes and keep enjoying the friendship that we’ve built together. It is possible to stay friends after breaking up if you keep these few things in mind:
· Give it time. Don’t expect to break up on Monday and be best friends on Tuesday. It takes time after breaking up before you are ready to be friends. Give yourself lots of time to heal from the breakup before you try hanging out as friends. If you jump from being partners to being friends too fast it can be difficult to separate the two and you can end up feeling hurt and confused.
· Don’t talk about relationships. Normally friends are able to talk about anything together, but in this case there are certain topics that should remain off limits. One such topic is new relationships. Even if you are just friends now, it can be really hard to hear each other talk about new people that you’re dating. Find another friend to talk to about your new relationship.
· Set clear boundaries. You will know what you need to do in order to feel comfortable in the friendship and you should set clear boundaries in order to make that happen. Maybe you don’t want to spend too much time together or maybe you want to keep conversations about your romantic relationship off limits. Whatever it takes to make the friendship a success is worth laying out and discussing.
· Do different things. If you always did Friday nights at the movies when you were a couple, make sure to change your routine and do something different now. Watch out for falling back into the same routine as when you were a couple. Unless you are planning on getting back together, it can be emotionally confusing to do all the same stuff that you did as a couple when you are trying to just be friends. Help to make it clear that you have a different relationship now by doing different things together.
· Hang out in groups. Especially at first, you’ll want to spend time in groups instead of being alone together. This helps to keep the vibe causal and fun, and keeps it clear that you two are not a couple anymore.
· Forget old fights. Don’t rehash all the details of old fights and issues now that you are friends. Leave the struggles of your romantic relationship in the past.
· Don’t play games. Your friendship will never work if you are playing games and trying to make each other jealous or pretending that you have a new partner, etc. There is bound to be some hurt leftover from your breakup, but don’t deal with it by playing petty mind games.
· Understand your intentions. Look at why you really want to be friends. If you truly just like each other and admire each other and want to be friends, that’s great. But be careful if you have other underlying intentions, like wanting to get back together or to win them back.