I am friends with my ex. I would even go as far to say that we’re semi “good friends” at this point.
If you’re reading this and thinking I am absolutely insane, then you are likely not near the point of friendship with your ex partner. Sometimes there is a lot to get through before friendship with someone you used to love, and sometimes it is simply not possible. It has been a year since I ended things with this guy I am talking about, and that amount of time has been essential in going forth with this friendship.
I believe that your ex can be a wonderful friend to have if the circumstances are right. They know a ridiculous amount of information about you (both the good and the seriously ugly) or perhaps you have even been at a point to where you thought that they knew you better than you knew yourself. However, there are things you need to know about pursuing a friendship with someone you once used to love before you go ahead and take this step.
The Steps to Friendship with Your Ex Boyfriend
1. You both need to be on the same page. You knew this was coming, which is why it’s the first point. This is important. If you’re not on the same page about why you are pursuing this friendship, it won’t work. I promise.
2. There needs to be a time frame in which you are not friends. This is where I am going to echo your mother and say that only time heals your heart and all that junk that you don’t want to hear but it’s really true. Do not trick yourself into thinking you can be friends right away, the wounds are too fresh. Let it scab and heal, and do not pursue a friendship until that scab becomes a faint scar.
3. Do not expect to have the same connection. You are not what you used to be, so don’t hold on to that. As friends, you do not kiss, hug for more than seven seconds or talk on the phone for extended periods of time. You are friends now, and you act this way. If you are expecting anything more, you are not ready.
4. You cannot force it. If one of you is clearly not at this stage, do not touch friendship with a ten foot pole. It will happen naturally when it happens. It will happen seamlessly, and you’ll be talking with this person suddenly wondering when you became friends again.
5. Forgiveness needs to take place. Usually at the end of a romantic relationship, at least one person needs to be forgiven. Maybe it’s yourself you need to forgive. Resentment isn’t warm and fuzzy, so try your best to get this out of your heart before you start a friendship.
6. Be understanding. This person may get into a relationship and his/her new partner does not like the fact that they have contact with an ex. In a friendship, you care about the well-being of the person. If they need to let you go or get distance, let them. If they don’t answer your text for four days, don’t resent them. They have a life and you do too. Be understanding of that, and again, don’t force it.
7. It’s best to skip the new love life info. You’re still human. Thinking of your ex loving someone else can still be painful even if the relationship wasn’t meant to work out, so I’d say it’s best to skip the information on who they are currently dating/if they have any crushes aside from Selena Gomez.
If you are aware of all of these things and feel you’re ready to pursue a friendship with your ex, I am stoked for you. However, just because I am friends with my ex doesn’t mean you need to be. I spent over three years loving this person, and I simply could not imagine a world where I don’t care about his existence to some extent. There are ways to go about it, and even more ways to not go about it. Do what you feel is best, but don’t put pressure on it. It will happen if it’s meant to.
More About the Author
Lauren is a twenty something woman who absolutely loathes writing in third person. She lives in the beautiful city of San Francisco and works as a youth director/social media producer at a church called Canvas. Highly sensitive (and proud), Lauren typically writes about relationships, feelings, and faith. For a high-five or smile, you can find her running around the streets of San Francisco most likely shivering with a iced soy vanilla coffee in hand.