Many people believe that you simply can’t be friends with an ex-boyfriend, without realising that such a friendship is a test for emotional maturity for everyone involved. If you’re wondering how to stay friends with an ex, discover the most important rules for keeping things on track.
Before you embark on a friendship with an ex, it’s very important to analyze the reasons for it and to be prepared to set boundaries in this new phase of your relationship.
Be Honest about the Real Reasons You Want to Stay Friends
Probably the most important part of your future friendship with an ex is the reason why you want to have that kind of connection. The fact that you enjoy spending time with each other in a platonic way and you have at least one shared interest is the only good reason to stay friends with an ex. Bad reasons include everything from being lonely or feeling that the relationship might turn romantic again in the future to feeling bad for your ex or his insistence that you have to stay friends.
Choose Your Friends Wisely
When you’re thinking about how to stay friends with an ex, the way the relationship ended is a very important factor. If you feel like you were repeatedly and intentionally mistreated during your relationship, that’s not someone you should want to be friends with in the future.
Take Your Time
Sometimes friendships with exes blossom years after the relationship ended. Don’t be naive enough to think that you can be friends right away, not even if the relationship ended on a positive note, with a mutual decision to end. Let time heal your wounds and keep in touch every few months before you’re ready to move on to a closer friendship.
The healthiest type of friendship with an ex is platonic, and it only begins once both of you have moved on to another relationship. That’s why an important part of any guide to how to stay friends with an ex is avoiding flirting. If you flirt, you’re opening the door towards the type of romantic relationship you had. Even if it doesn’t affect you in any way, it might affect your ex boyfriend.
Don’t Try to Be Friends with Benefits
A no strings attached arrangement is much more complicated between two people who’ve been in a romantic relationship together. If you try to be friends with benefits, you’re constantly opening up the old wounds of the relationship and that might stop both of you from truly moving on with your lives.
See also: Absolute Worst Ways to Break Up With Someone
Forget about Your Sexual Relationship
Nobody can control their sexual fantasies, but when you’re wondering how to stay friends with an ex, the answer includes forgetting about the sexual past you shared. That means no kissing on the lips and no touches that would be inappropriate between platonic friends. Once you stop seeing your ex as a sexual being and you start to think of him more like a cousin, that’s when your friendship truly begins.
Don’t Complicate Things
Setting boundaries in your new friendship is important, and one of them should be not discussing your current relationships in detail. Even if he wants to hear about your intimate thoughts and feelings, keep them for your best friends which you haven’t been romantically involved with.
Try to Avoid Talking about the Old Relationship
One of the most important aspects when you’re wondering how to stay friends with an ex is to make sure that you don’t bond over the dead relationship. You don’t have to pretend it didn’t exist, but you shouldn’t reminisce about it too much.
More: How to Get Over A Guy You Can’t Be With
Don’t Avoid His New Partner
The best way of showing you’re really up to a real friendship is to meet his new lady and be friendly with her. That’s the right way to show your ex that you’re not sticking around because you still have feelings for him. Even if you get close with her, don’t discuss your former relationship too much, just let her know that you both had closure and you’re never getting back together.
Limit Contact on Social Media
Another important detail to consider when wondering how to stay friends with an ex is to keep some distance in social media. Don’t unfriend him, just simply remove him from your feed, especially right after the breakup.