Figuring out how to be friends with your ex-girlfriend is the only thing harder than figuring out how to deal with the breakup. Many people want to stay friends with their exes because they have such a connection to their ex after sharing their life’s most intimate details with them. Learning how to separate your past relationship from your new found friendship can be tricky.
- Determine you and your ex-girlfriend are both thinking of the same kind of friendship. Make sure that you both want the same kind of friendship. Saying, “I still want to be friends” when breaking up is a very common phrase to say. You need to determine the kind of friendship that you and your ex-girlfriend both want to have. And yes you both must agree on the kind of friendship as well! Are you going to keep in touch online, visit each other often, or are you just going to be kind in public settings?
- Agree that your past hurt is to be left in your past. Sometimes it is hard to be friends with your ex-girlfriend because one of you may have a grudge with the other from your failed relationship. If you couldn’t make your relationship work then how can you make a friendship work dwelling on the failed relationship? Talk to your ex-girlfriend and make sure you both agree that your friendship means enough to leave old heartaches in the past.
- Realize that certain privileges are gone. No matter who ended the relationship you have lost your right to care about who she talks to, what she does, and most importantly who she dates! As a friend you can try to express your concern if you think she is making a bad choice, but she doesn’t have to listen to you or take your word for more than any other average friend of hers any longer. According to Life Script, the hardest part of breaking up is realizing that you won’t be involved in your ex’s daily life anymore.” Can you handle that realization?
- Draw lines and stick to them firmly! Just like your past heartaches anything from your past as a couple should not be relived as a friendship. This does not mean that you cannot continue to go to the same places together, it just means that you cannot do it in the same manner. Being friends with your ex-girlfriend means that you can now treat her like one of the guys or a random friend. Don’t pay for her drinks, her dinner, her movies, or her shopping any longer. You are just another friend of hers and you need to make sure she respects that. Also this means if you agree on friendship, those friends with benefit thoughts need to exit your mind quickly.
- Find it within yourself to forget what you had. Learning how to be friends with your ex-girlfriend means that you need to learn how to let bygones be bygones. You ended your relationship because clearly one or both of you were not happy. Now that you are choosing to be friends with your ex that does not mean it is now safe to continue the parts of your relationship you enjoyed but treat her like a friend the rest of the time.
Most importantly you need to be sure your actions are telling your ex-girlfriend that you are only friends. If you were the one to end the relationship as well as the one who chose to be friends some girls may take that as a sign that you aren’t over them. Becoming friends with your ex-girlfriend quickly after breaking up could be a very slippery slope. Step carefully, and be cautious that you are not crossing the line back into a relationship with your ex-girlfriend.