The transition from an ex to a friend is never easy. After all the person you’re trying to be friends with meant so much to you at some point in life. However if you decide after it is over that the ex in question still means a lot to you and you would still want that person in your life as a friend, then there are a few things you should keep in mind...
1. Make sure you let enough time pass before you make him a friend
Breakups are not easy. Transitioning to a phase where your once partner is now just another person in your life is hard. Allow yourself enough space and time before you decide you want him back in your life as a friend. Give yourself room to let go of any old feelings that might come back once you start hanging out again.
2. Don’t think of the break up as a temporary phase
If you go into the friendship thinking that the two of you will soon get back together, it obviously will not last very long. If you want to get back, be clear about that. Don’t confuse being friends with an ex and trying to win him back. If he isn’t looking at it from the same perspective, it will only hurt you.
3. Understand why it ended in the first place
Try and understand why the two of you are not together and why it won’t work out. You tried but couldn’t make it work. Maybe the two of you are too different as people to be in a happy relationship. But there definitely is chemistry and you obviously get along at some level. Therefore you could be great friends if you gave it a shot!
4. Accept the pain that comes along with a breakup
If you broke up with him, he is likely to have complicated feelings. Be there for him, but try and understand if he needs some emotional space from you for some time. Similarly if he broke up or it was mutual, you need some time to heal too. Accept the pain and allow yourself to heal before you think of becoming friends.
5. Try not to call him your “ex” all the time
Yes, we know that's what he is. But referring to him as an ex all the time will make it harder for you to be friends. Call him instead by his name or refer to him as a friend when talking about him or introducing him to someone. The way you refer to people can make a huge difference to how you perceive them as well.
6. Allow him to move on
Don’t get all jealous, overly emotional or clingy when you see him show interest in someone else. We know it's not easy. But if befriending him is a decision you have made, you have to know that he will eventually find someone he will be interested in. As will you. It won’t be easy seeing him be with someone else, but the best way to be his friend is to allow him to fall in love again!
7. Create space for others in your heart
Not on purpose or forcefully. But when you do find someone you click with, don’t get stuck thinking about your ex. Allow this new person to charm you and let him be charmed by you! Knowing that the both of you have made room in your hearts for others will only make you better friends in time.
8. Don’t behave like his girlfriend
The bond you share might just be as strong, but you share a different relationship now. Therefore pass acting like his girlfriend. All the things you would say or do as a girlfriend is not something you should continue doing as a friend. Create that difference in your head first and then implement it!
9. Go into it with a positive mindset and attitude
Look at it as a positive thing. Think of it as a friendship that will benefit both of you and last forever. Think of it as something that will make both of you better people and help you grow. Who knows, it might actually come true!
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Published on Sep 30, 2015