So you want to stay friends with your ex…
When you and a long-time love part ways, it can be hard to imagine life without him. That’s why some exes choose to be friends again, but beware: doing so isn’t always an easy or wise idea. Read on for tips on reconnecting with an old flame—and advice on whether you should even do it at all.
1. Figure out why you want to be friends with him. For many people, it’s hard to be friends with an ex, and they decide it’s best to cut ties completely. For others, it can be easier, but you have to decide why you want to stay friends with him. Perhaps you and your ex have been friends since childhood and it’s just not possible to not have him in your life. Once you figure out if being friends is an option, then you can start taking the steps to make it happen.
2. Make sure you’re on good terms. If your breakup ended badly and you still hold some anger towards your ex, hold off reaching out again until you’ve accepted that you’ve broken up and have forgiven him for anything he may have done. This will allow you to get back in touch with him because you want him in your life, and not because you want to hold anything over his head. If forgiveness isn’t an option, then it may be best you stay away.
3. Ensure you don’t have any residual feelings. Whether you’ve broken-up on bad terms or amicably, don’t seek his friendship while you’re still pining for him. You may be seeking him out because it’s weird not seeing him every day or because you hope to get back together, and that is the last thing you should let yourself believe. Work on yourself and accept your new solo status; once you’re truly over him, only then should you reach out.
4. Start off slow. When you both agree to pursue a friendship again, don’t jump in with both feet: this means not calling him or seeing him every day. He may be busy with other things—or even trying to move on with a new love—and you should do the same. Try a coffee meet-up every few weeks or checking in via Facebook every once in awhile; this will allow you to remain in touch, giving you both time to decide what the ground rules of your new relationship should be.
5. Remember the good, not the bad. Once a friendship has been established, remember that you’re no longer a couple. You can reminisce about funny events from your past (like the time he accidentally locked himself out of your apartment), but don’t bring up any dark times from your relationship, like a serious fight you once had. There’s no reason for any of that to come up; it may just lead to another row and the end of your newfound friendship.