Most breakups end with someone saying, ‘Maybe we’re better off as friends.’ But it’s also dangerous to attempt a friendship (in the truest sense of the word) too soon after the breakup. Both of you need space, to heal any anger or frustration that may have erupted in the last stages of the relationship, and also to regain some emotional distance from each other. It’s too easy to confuse nostalgia or even the habit of being together with love.
So how do you know you’re ready to be friends, and how do you make those steps towards friendship? Here are some tips.
Are you really over him?
What are your intentions for wanting to be friends? Do you still hope that hanging out will help rekindle the romance? Do you want an excuse to see him, and maybe convince him that you’re still the one? How would you feel if you started talking about someone else, or if he greeted you with a wave instead of a kiss? Would part of you be disappointed, even angry?
Are both of you ready to be friends?
Even if you’re okay, maybe he’s not. It’s not fair to force a friendship on someone—in fact, that wouldn’t be much of a friendship at all, if even one of you is just going through the motions. And even if you are both eager to stay friends, take it slowly. Talk over the phone before meeting up for coffee. Stick to light, neutral topics before having a heart to heart.
Build other friendships
For a long time, you and your ex were the center of each other’s lives. Passion was just part of it: you did things together, gave each other emotional support. Whenever you had a bad day, he was the first person you called.
While you can still be friends, for your sake and his, it may be best if you build your other relationships. This helps both of you stay ‘connected’ without becoming too clingy and needy. Hang out with other people, call up your sister or a co-worker if you have a problem. Find other activities or hobbies to fill the vacuum, too. If you used to watch a movie together every Saturday night, sign up for that art class you’ve always wanted to take, or enroll in your gym’s Zumba program. If you miss the romance, try dating other people. In other words, let your emotional needs be satisfied through other people and activities.
Photo from getmyexbackadvice.com