Categories: Friendships

5 Ways To Keep Your Friendship With Your Ex

Breaking up is in fact, hard to do. However, just because you won’t be dating anymore, doesn’t mean it’s the end of spending time together. Here are are five ways to keep your friendship with your ex alive and well post heartbreak.

   1. Boundaries

If you want to have a platonic relationship with your ex, the very first thing you need to set are boundaries. To use a series of examples, no more sleeping in the same bed, no more cuddling, no more hand holding, in some cases given the level of attraction, no more hugs. The friendship might eventually evolve to a place where physical touching is comfortable, but when it’s still fresh, my advice is refrain from as much physical contact as possible.

A big thing to remember is that you can’t reminisce with your ex about dating. If you and them are joking around and having a laugh, you might feel compelled to say something to the effect of “hey remember when we were in love and dating?” Hear me out. You really don’t want to be doing that. Being friends is less complicated than dating. Don;t fall into the trap of “oh we worked really good as friends now, let’s take another crack at it.”

Which isn’t to imply that your romance can’t be rekindled after a friendship, but that shouldn’t be your sole motivating factor. If it is, you aren’t actually keeping your friendship with your ex, you are pretending to be friends so that you can become romantic with each other again. Which is dishonest. And nobody deserves to be lied to, even if your motives are not dastardly in nature.

     2. Communication

Keeping your friendship with an ex is a task not dissimilar to Prometheus pushing his boulder. The thing about Prometheus though, he wasn’t a big talker. If you want to be friends with an ex. Be friends. Talk about thing’s, talk about everything in fact! Understand that there is more to your partner than romance. There will always be time for more laughs and smiles, and communication is a big part of that.

Another good thing about talking about things is, let’s say that you (or your ex) aren’t entirely over one another. Voicing this can open a dialogue and you bot can hopefully come to a mutually beneficial conclusion. This obviously helps maintain the friendship part of friendship with your ex.

3. Give it time

You have to give each other some space after the break up. Spending as much time together as you did when you were in the relationship can make the process of “getting over it” more difficult. You both need time to process and accept that the relationship is done before you can move on to the next chapter of your life as friends. Only when you (and your former partner) have come to terms with it and moved on emotionally can you become energized through each other through friendship. Making  friendship with your ex much simpler. 

This applies to harboring negative feelings as well, you can’t stew in quiet misery while presenting as an accepting and mature friend. Because then all you are doing is silently waiting for an opportunity to bring up what negative feeling you are harboring. If there is an ounce of “Man it was really unfair when they did this or “Wow I cannot believe they never apologized for that” than you are not ready for a friendship with your ex.

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4.  Establish New Patterns Of Interaction

When you and your ex were together, I do not think it’s too much of a stretch to think that you two probably texted each other all of the time. So much so that after the breakup, you found yourself attempting to keep that contact happening. This applies to calls as well. Maybe you had a rough day at work, maybe you got a promotion and you’re nervous, whatever it is, your ex was there to talk with you.

But now your dynamic has changed. You and your ex need to have a conversation about what your levels of communication will be now that romance has been removed, and what you’re dynamic will consist of moving forward.

Put simply, you can’t go home again. You can maybe find a new cafe together though. I think I read somewhere that Boston has some really nice coffee shops. You can check them out together even! Great way to keep your friendship with an ex.

5. Make Sure You Aren’t Trying To Replace Romance With Platonic

As I said at the beginning, breaking up is hard to do. You might realize just how accustom you’ve become to constant communication with your ex, and now that it’s over, you need to fill that void. But alas! You realize that right now you don’t have very many close friends, so in your desperation you turn to your ex. This isn’t a great starting point because it’s born out of necessity. 

Make sure you and your partner have taken the time to get over each other, you don’t want to fall back into that hole just because it’s convenient and comfortable. Take the liberty of time for yourself, and if you come to the conclusion that you do actually want this person in your life as JUST a friend, then more power to you and let the chips fall where they may. Key word is keep your FRIENDSHIP with your ex, not hang out and convince each other to date again.

And that’s the end all of you beautiful people. As usual, this list is not the end all be all way to behave with your ex, it’s more of friendly suggestions that I personally have found useful. Relationships are hard, breaking up is harder, but there’s usually room after the end for still being in each other’s lives. And honestly, you never know what might happen with you two if you hang out in just a platonic sense. It’s not over till it is in fact over.

Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a fledgling, (but passionate) journalist and photographer for Society 19 and Marker. What began as a hobby is now a driving force for a new career path. He lives and continues to write non-stop in Boston. His first article was published in 2022 by Society 19. Reach out to him today.

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