You just got out of a relationship with your best friend, and as hard as the break up was, you can’t picture her not in your life. So, you try and be friends, but ‘man’ is that hard! How are you expected to go from lip smacking lovers to high fivin’ friends? I’m no expert, but I’ve recently been in this boat – trying to figure out to keep my ex in my life without loosing my mind at the same time. Love is a tricky game, and can be increasingly so the longer you’ve been invested with someone. So here are a few tips to help you navigate making an old flame into a new friend.
1- Take the space you need. If you still love them more than a friend then take some space. Space is NEEDED. Neeeeeded. When you aren’t able to hurt each other, you’ll know it’s time to be friends. Space and time will help you learn and grow as a person with out them.
2-Don’t bring up the past. What’s done is done. FORGIVE them, and most importantly forgive yourself. Let go of all the regrets you may have. Being a best friend is the start to a new relationship and it will never thrive if the old stuff is always brought to the forefront, especially if it’s the negative.
3- Be rational. (Easier said then done, when you see her kissing some new chick.) Try not to let your emotions get the best of you. Keep it civil in the beginning, name calling and playing the blame game can go down hill real fast! Don’t do things to get back or spite them- Trust me.. It’s a nasty cycle.
4- Do NOT ask her questions about her daily life or if she’s seeing anyone (It WILL drive you crazy). However, be open and honest from the beginning, but only if it involves their feelings. If you both agree that your lives are better with one another in them, you’ll also both have to come to terms with the fact that it won’t always be easy. Even when its tough and may not be news your ex wants to hear, always practice honesty. Especially as new people come into your lives and you start to date. Honesty is key in any friendship.
5- Don’t question yourself on what you did wrong or what you could have done better. Learn from the relationship and grow! Use this break up to FOCUS ON YOURSELF. Figure out who you are, what you need, and how you can be better in your next relationship. Thank them for loving you because you are amazing, you just weren’t right for them.
6- Set some ground rules together. Boundaries are KEY! Try to respect one another’s wishes. I.e. Fight the urge to send sweet text messages or use old pet names.
7- If you live with them- MOVE out. Trust me, living with an ex is never good. #dontgetcaughtwearingherclothes
8- DO not get drunk with them. Duh. But it had to be said. Especially double nay nay if there is attraction still there; it will only lead to naked bodies on the kitchen floor. Which yes you want, but it won’t end well.
9- Let time between you settle before you start hanging out with the same crew. There’s nothing worse than seeing your ex get hit on by someone you know.
10-Realize and accept that your relationship now won’t be the same. It will turn into a different kind of love and connection. If you truly want the best for one another then you’ll develop a bond and a friendship that was way more meaningful and important to you then your previous relationship was. Be warned this will require Eff loads of selfless love and patience with one another. But you will both be better for prioritizing your happiness.
It take a lot of maturity to be friend an ex. Some think it’s juvenile even unrealistic, but I truly believe that if the earth shattering connection was once there then you’ll be able to be friends with your ex again. The magnetic pole the two of you had wont just go away. Dig deep and find out what you learned from them, and what lessons you can walk away with.
All of this is much easier said than done. Most people struggle with holding boundaries with ex’s and the success rate of being or staying best friends is rare. If you love them and you want them in your life, then make it a priority. Just because the love has faded doesn’t mean they still can’t enrich your life. It’s going to be hard, but over time, hopefully you’ll be able to talk to them over a glass of wine about your next crush. Remember, remaining friends is not for everyone. Really think about what you want and make sure you both are on the same page. Communication is key.