Breakups suck no matter how you twist it. Whether the relationship came to an end due to distance, difference, or just because it flat out wasn’t working anymore, learning to say goodbye can be really tough. However, just because the relationship could no longer continue with your names drawn inside a heart sketched on your notebook, it doesn’t mean the friendship has to be over.
1. Take your time
Firstly, after a breakup you need to think about your needs above those of the new friendship. Do you need time? Some space? A good cry with your best friend? Maybe you just need to go for a run and sweat it out. Whatever it may be, you need to come first! For some people, jumping right back into being friends and immediately mending the relationship is most important, but for others, taking a step back and gaining some perspective is also good. Do what’s right for the sake of you.
2. Re-establish boundaries
Now that you’ve decided you don’t want to lose this person in your life, even if it means reforming the dynamic of your relationship, you have to be continually honest with yourself. More likely than not, even after a few months have past, you’re not going to want to comfort your ex about their new significant other, and neither will they. Boundaries will have to be redefined and at first that could be a bit confusing. Wait it out, communicate your feelings and make sure you’re both on the same page. Plus, it might even be nicer if you’re not farting in front of each other anymore!
3. Stay social media friendly
As time moves on, so will the both of you. With the enterprise that is the digital age, it might be best to avoid posting about your new crush or the cute boy that you’re hanging out with now. Seeing your ex with a new babe isn’t desirable in the first place, and for the sake of their feelings and potentially your own, keep it to yourself (at least for now). There will come a time and place for all the cute postings and daily updates of your new lover.
4. Remember they are JUST your friend
Remember the difference between being together and being just friends. If you’re having an awful day and need someone to talk to, I’m sure they will be there to pick up the phone. But relying on this person also reestablishes a sense of comfortability and dependence that you guys no longer have. Somewhere in between there has to be a drawn line. Don’t get me wrong, if you have wonderful news and know they’d be delighted, feel free to share! Don’t avoid casual conversations and talking occasionally! Just be sure that being friends doesn’t gradually revert back to practically being together; there is a reason you broke up.
5. Accept your emotions, don’t fight them
Know it’s okay to not always be okay. Getting over your ex while simultaneously trying to remain friends is not, by any means, an easy task. Days will come when all you want is a big hug and to be back where you were. There will, however, also be days when you realize how strong and beautiful and wonderful you are alone. Take it all in stride, it will get easier, and with all the work you’ve put into keeping it up, you’ll get to keep a lifelong friend.
Being alone isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but sometimes it’s the best decision. Do what you need to do to heal and recover and it will all work out as it’s supposed to. If you two are meant to be friends, then it will happen, even if it takes some time. Plus, before you know it, you might be taken by surprise by a completely new cutie!
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Courtney is a freshman at LSU but is originally from Phoenix, Arizona. She is double majoring in journalism and political science and is clueless as to where she will end up, but is hopeful for the future. In addition, she enjoys photos of derpy dogs, rainy weather, coffee and writing.