Monday, April 21, 2014

How To Be Friends With Your Ex

As soon as couples break up, one of them always says: "Can we still be friends?" And the other person thinks: "Hell no." But says: "Yeah. Sure."

It IS possible to have a long-lasting, mutually enjoyable relationship with your ex. I am happy to say that I have managed to remain friends with almost all of my exes.

One of the main keys to remaining friends with your ex is to:


Don't think that you can cuss someone out and tell them all about how horrible they are, show up at their job, call their friends or family, toss their stuff, act all crazy, and then turnaround and be besties next week. Be gracious during a break up, whether you do the breaking or not.

What SHOULD you do after a break up? Here's a few pointers...

1. Calm Your Inner Crazy
That means you don't act crazy and mean and hateful during or after the breakup. Don't rip up or toss their stuff don't withhold their stuff. Dont tear up or burn your pics together. Don't stalk them. Don't stalk their social media. Basically, do NOT go Lifetime movie on them.

2. Go Silent
Give each other time and space. That means that you don't text, email, write letters, or call your ex a bunch of times after the breakup. Stop finding excuses to connect.

3. Grieve
There are five stages of grief:
- denial and isolation
- anger
- bargaining
- depression
- anger
I think there is one more stage not included in this list: Forgiveness. You might be going through all stages in one day. Or it could take months. Give yourself and your ex time.

4. Get Busy
Women, this is your time to reconnect with your friends you didn't have time for when you were consumed in love with your man. It's also a great time to take a class or join a gym like you've been wanting to but never had time to.

When women break up, they cry in their Ben & Jerry's for a month. When guys break up, they call their guy friends and are out looking for women the next day! Whether you are crying in your Ben and Jerry's or hooking up with Ben and Jerry or Karen and Kelly, get out there and live your best life!!! And use protection.

5. We Have Children
If you have children together you will be in each other's lives for the rest of your lives. For the best interest of your children, you MUST develop a civil, open, honest relationship with your co-parent. I'm not saying you have to be their friend. I'm saying that you must get to a point where you can talk to your co-parent without yelling, without getting emotional, without jumping right back into old communication patterns. I'm saying that you have to stop referring to your ex by a derogatory name/term with your friends and family. Trust me, your kids are hearing that. Lay the ground work with your new partners immediately - they are not permitted to bash your ex. That's your prerogative only. Also, tell your new partners that your ex is YOUR ex and that because you have a child(ren) with this person, it is important for you to treat your ex with RESPECT and that your new partner should not confuse respect for love or a desire to rekindle anything. Keep ALL communication with your ex about your child(ren). You have nothing to talk about other than your child(ren)'s medical, educational, emotional, educational, spiritual needs. Not the leaky roof, not the car, not your mutual friends, not the past.


In maybe six months or a year or more, touch base and see how they are doing. Regardless of who breaks up with whom, the end of a relationship is a loss. There is a grieving process. One party may have started that process before the relationship officially ended. Either way, time is needed to heal the wounds from that relationship and to MOVE ON. This is not a "how to get my ex back" post. This is how to MOVE ON and start a NEW friendship with a former love.

You also need to respect that some people do not ever want a friendship with an ex. And be honest. Was your relationship based on sex? If so, there may have never actually been a relationship in the first place. In that case, move on because there wasn't a base of friendship to start.

Examine your motives for a friendship. Are you trying to get back together? Keep tabs on them? Are you trying to make sure those months or years together were not wasted or get answers? You may never get closure or the answers you want to hear. Are you trying to get a booty call?

What to Say
When you do touch base, keep it light. Don't walk down memory lane or rehash old wounds at first, if ever. Talk about the current. Take it slow. Talk about the things you like in common. Be genuinely happy for the other person if they are in a relationship. Respect that relationship and back off if necessary.

Move Forward
The key to being friends with your ex is to move forward. Don't live in the past. Don't expect to rekindle old love. Respect each other's new life. Remember that remaining friends is a bonus.

Booty Calls
A final word about booty calls. If you truly want to be friends with your ex then the booty calls cannot happen. Just don't go there. Keep the conversation clean. Stay away from any comments, touching, locations that might cause intimacy. Booty calls plus friends are just a recipe for disaster. And by disaster, I mean pain for one or both of you. It will not end well. 

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