The river between lovers and exes is wide, and for good reason.
When someone breaks up with an ex and gets over the pain of the break up, one of the most common things they want to do is understand how to be friends with an ex again.
It’s understandable. Of course, a huge void is created in your heart after your lover vacated the premises.
And somewhere inside, you want to fill all that space again with whatever you can salvage out of that dead relationship.
[Read: How to get over a broken heart in 15 steps]
How to be friends with an ex
Trying to be friends with an ex is similar to a monkey trying a poke a tiger’s butt with a stick. It’s insulting, annoying and at times, can even have disastrous consequences.
Before you try to be friends with your ex, you need to ask yourself if there’s a good reason to be friends after all that you guys have been through.
Really, what can you get out of a relationship that’s never going to attain its former glory?
But nevertheless, if you really want to know how to be friends with an ex, use these steps to help you achieve a stable friendship with your old flame.
Take a break after the break up
How deeply were both of you in love, and what were the circumstances under which you broke up? As long as it’s mutual, it’s a good setting for a friendship. But if you dumped your ex for someone else, would your ex forgive you easily and be prepared to be friends?
Whatever may be the case, let the dust settle after the break up. During this time, both of you have to stay out of each other’s lives. You don’t try to contact each other or make calls to ask if either of you are out of tissue wipes. Stay out of each other’s ways and try to fill the emptiness with other activities. Don’t disrespect your ex or bitch about them if you intend to stay as friends.
[Read: How to get over an ex girlfriend]
[Read: How to get over an ex boyfriend]
Reconnect through a social network
The first few weeks or months of a break up can be hard for both of you. If you feel like you lost a special friend who’s important beyond sex, then perhaps the best way to reconnect with your ex is by using a social network.
Don’t chat your ex up, or post a public message on their wall. Send a private message and a friend invitation (if you guys have cut each other off), and explain that you may have ended the relationship, but you still value your ex as a special friend. Make it clear that you’re not trying to reignite any old love memories, but just intend to start a fresh relationship as friends who can be there for each other.
Send a pleasant message and keep your fingers crossed. It’s the easiest way to reconnect with an ex subtly without twisting their arm to make a decision. You don’t have to meet or call each other over the phone just yet. For starters, get used to the fact that both of you are just friends. [Read: Signs your ex is thinking about you]
Fall in love with someone else
Now this isn’t a necessary step, but it can prevent both of you from running back into each other’s arms. This could be a rebound relationship or a hope for true romance, but the important aspect is that all the sexual and love parts of your brain are occupied by the infatuation you have for someone else. It makes it a lot easier to see each other eye to eye when you remember that someone else’s hands are going to slip into your pants when you get back home. [Read: The good side of rebound relationships]
Start a platonic relationship
This is like walking on a landmine. The first few meetings between exes always are. You may want to be friends but all both of you need is a lonely street or the backseat of a car to change your relationship status in an instant. So are you ready to take a chance on being friends with an ex?
Once you’re both able to pull off a friendly conversation via a social network, and even braved a chance on speaking over the phone, it’s time to meet face to face. For starters, you could meet with common friends or you could catch up for a coffee, not to reminiscence about your broken romance, but to talk about the option of becoming friends.
Even if you’re ready to be just friends and you find that your ex is trying to get touchy feely, be firm and let your horny hopeful ex know that you just want to stay friends.
Introduce your ex to your new lover
If you want to be friends with an ex, both of you have to be comfortable with each other and the dating lives that come with it.
On the other hand, your new lover may not be very comfortable to know that you’re reconnecting with your ex and trying a shot at being friends. By introducing each other, you can make your partner feel secure and at the same time, let your ex know that you’re completely off limits. [Read: How to overcome insecurities in love]
There will be awkwardness
If you want to know how to be friends with an ex, you need to know how to deal with the awkwardness associated with this fragile relationship. Both of you have to understand that you may be two perfect individuals who are just terribly imperfect for each other.
Even if both of you do become friends after a while, you can’t really be best friends. And you don’t have to be best friends anyways.
If both of you are able to get along with each other without trying to get back or get into a fight, it’s still a perfect start. There will always be a hint of awkwardness in the air, you’ll just have to learn to deal with it if you want to be friends with an ex.
Having an ex as a friend definitely brings with it its own share of temptations. You may be in a perfect relationship with someone else, but the second things get bad in your present relationship, you may feel like jumping into your friendly ex’s arms for some comforting and loving.
One of you may still have suppressed feelings for the other and use the friendship to try and bring each other closer, which can only lead to a new confusion and you’ll go from wondering how to be friends with an ex to how to get rid of a friend who’s an ex.
And finally, avoid all temptations to have an affair with an ex. Having an affair with someone you’ve been intimate with earlier is really simple, after all. You’d know how to push the right sexual buttons and get your ex into bed in no time. So if you want to be friends with an ex, learn to avoid all forms of temptations however strong the resurgence of feelings may be. [Read: Getting back with an ex for sex]
Don’t talk about old memories
Your old relationship may be special, but you’re trying to start a new relationship as friends now. Talking about your favorite hangout as a couple or the anniversary that never will be is not going to help either of you. Completely stop talking about your old relationship and all those special memories associated with it. It won’t help you. It won’t help your ex. And it definitely won’t help your fragile friendship.
[Read: Old love letters and love memories]
Do you still want to be friends with an ex?
You know, they call them exes for a reason. You may know how to be friends with an ex and have a successful friendship, but at the end of the day, is it really worth the effort? It’s always so much easier to just reconnect as friends on Facebook and meet occasionally when common friends meet up or bump into each other and wave a pleasant hello when you meet at a wedding.
[Read: The bad side of googling an ex]
But all said and done, the decision is yours. Use these tips on how to be friends with an ex with caution. It may seem like a warm thought, but the pain and effort can far outweigh the happiness this relationship can bring into your life.
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