A lot of people told me that it couldn’t be done. I was always discouraged by so many people to do what I did. They always say that you should never stay friends with an ex. They are always telling you that you can’t stay friends with your ex. You are always told that this is only going to be a recipe for disaster and that you are only bringing pain into your life. However, I didn’t let any of that kind of talk faze me. I gave it a shot. And it was quite an experience.
Here are a few lessons that I was able to pick up as a result of my experience:
1. It’s Not For Everybody
Know that staying friends with an ex isn’t something that all people are going to be built for. And if it isn’t for you, then that’s okay. You shouldn’t be trying to force the issue here.
2. Staying Friends Doesn’t Mean Staying Close
You have to know that just because you stay friends with an ex doesn’t mean that the two of you have to hang out every single weekend. You can stay friends without necessarily staying close. You don’t have to be maintaining close ties of communication with one another. You can keep it civil.
3. Expect Them to Date Someone New
They are going to start dating other people. And as a friend, you have to be supportive of them. You have to respect the fact that they are exploring romantic opportunities that no longer involve you. You have to be able to let them do their own thing. You can’t stop them from being in intimate relationships with other people.
4. It’s Possible That the Relationship Could Still Come to an End
It’s still very much possible that the relationship is going to come to an end. You have to keep in mind that just because you have the best intentions with your relationship, the two of you could still “break up” as friends. And you have to be ready for that. You have to be able to prepare yourself for the pain of losing them again.
5. Being Friends with Benefits is Out of the Question
There is no way that you can stay friends with benefits with someone you used to be in an intimate relationship with. There is just too much emotional baggage there for the two of you to be able to keep things purely physical. You know that emotions are going to come back into play here. There’s no way that you can keep things physical.
6. Don’t Hold On to Hopes of Getting Back Together
You shouldn’t be holding on to hopes of the two of you getting back together. You should be looking to stay friends just because you want to remain friends. If you’re clinging on to the hopes of getting back together with your ex, then it’s not a good idea for you to be trying to stay friends with them. The expectations are just going to be inherently different.
7. Follow Your Heart
Always try to follow your heart. You have to make sure that you only listen to your instincts and your intuition. Sure, a lot of people might be telling you that it’s the wrong idea. People might be advising you against it. However, you have to make sure that you don’t allow yourself to get talked out of what you genuinely believe is the right thing to do.
8. You Aren’t Going to Be the Same People
You have to anticipate the fact that you’re not going to be the same people anymore. There are going to be certain jokes that you used to laugh about which won’t be funny anymore. There will be specific topics that you won’t be comfortable with talking about anymore. You’re just going to have to accept that the dynamics of your relationship are going to change.
9. Don’t Be Afraid of Ending Things
If at any point throughout the relationship, you start to feel uncomfortable with the whole situation, you shouldn’t be afraid to keep up with it. You are under no obligation to stay friends with an ex. This is not something that you have to force yourself with. You don’t have to stick with this decision just because you’ve made it.
10. If You Need to Heal First, Take That Time
Just because you are interested in staying friends with an ex after a breakup doesn’t mean that you have to jump into the friendship right away. You should still make it a point to consider your individual needs first. If you feel like you need to take some time to heal first, then you should assume that time. You don’t have to rush into anything.