Relationships don’t always work out, and you might fall out of love with your partner, or you might just drift apart with time. If you part ways amicably, then there’s no harm in staying friends with each other. However, if you choose to stay friends with ex, it’s important to know a few rules about setting boundaries with them, so that things don’t get confusing and complicated later.
Trying to be friends with an ex can be a slippery slope to navigate through, but it’s surely not impossible. As long as you know how to set boundaries with your ex, you can continue to have a healthy rapport with them. Now the million-dollar question is how to set boundaries with an ex, and how to stay friends after a breakup. Let’s find that out!
Being Friends With Ex: 8 Rules That Won’t Complicate Things
1. Never ever try to flirt with each other.
This is a strict no-no, and you need to remember this at all times. There’s a reason why you guys broke up with each other in the first place, so flirting while you are friends is just going to complicate things further. Try to avoid even harmless flirting, because you never know how your ex might interpret it.
When you have decided to be friends with ex, flirting can ignite old feelings and that can be tricky to navigate. As it is, transitioning from romantic partners to buddies can be a bit awkward, and if you add flirting to the mix, it just makes everything messier and more confusing.
2. Practice giving each other some space.
Just because you have chosen to remain friends, that doesn’t mean you need to hang out together all the time. Both of you have just come out of a relationship with each other, and that’s why it’s crucial to have some space and distance. Hang out with your family and friends instead and take some time to heal from the breakup.
Also, try to avoid constantly texting and calling each other, and take some time for yourself. Don’t stalk them on social media either, because you are “curious” about what they are up to. Having and taking some space after a breakup is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
3. Don’t think too much about their love life.
If you are trying to be friends with ex you still have feelings for, then this is the one thing you should take really seriously. Setting boundaries with an ex can be tricky as it is, and on top of that, if you constantly think about who they are seeing, what they are doing, and who they are dating, it’s going to hurt you more and drive you crazy.
It can be awkward and uncomfortable for your ex too if you’re being too curious and involved in their love life. If it has been a few years since you’ve broken up, then asking them about their love life is fine, but otherwise, if it’s fairly recent, it’s really not appropriate. Also, if they are in a relationship, it’s not fair to their current partner too.
4. Any sort of physical intimacy is an absolute no-go.
This is an obvious one, isn’t it? Breaking up with your partner and then sleeping with them a few days later is not a very good idea. Yes, you might be feeling alone and sad, and your ex might seem like the safest bet, but jumping into bed with them is not the right decision. Ever. In a million years.
The moment you bring sex into the equation, you are making it messy and complicated. Because if one of you catches feelings for the other, but they don’t feel the same, then it will be Destination Heartbreak all over again. Also, when you get involved physically, it just blurs the boundaries that you are trying so hard to set.
5. Sort yourself out emotionally.
Going through a breakup can take a lot out of you emotionally, and the process of moving on can be a rough path to be on. Before you decide to be friends with your ex, it’s important for you to be in an emotionally healthy place, otherwise, you are just going to feel hurt over and over again.
You need to heal the emotional wounds and deal with your heartbreak before you are ready to be friends with the person you loved. You can do this with the help of therapy or by taking some much-needed space from your ex-partner. Reading self-help books can be helpful too. Do whatever you need to do to feel confident, strong, and happy.
6. Don’t be available for them all the time.
One of the most important boundaries for being friends with an ex is this. Being friends with them doesn’t mean being available for them 24×7, and if you do this, they might take advantage of you. Maybe it feels a bit difficult and alien to not talk to them often like you used to before, but you need to make sure you are not overly available for them.
Not only does this look desperate, but it also makes it harder for you to move on. If you are always there whenever they need you, they might think that you have nothing better to do, and treat you like a joke. They might take advantage of your pure intentions, and end up hurting you even more.
7. Let go of negative feelings and grudges.
The only way you can hope to move on from the relationship and be friends with your ex is by letting go of the past and all the pain associated with it. Holding onto grudges will only hurt you more, and will always prevent you from living a happy and content life. If you think it’s possible for you to be good friends with your ex, then you really need to do this.
Whatever differences you might have had with them, make peace with all of it and focus on the future ahead. No human is perfect, and forgive them and yourself for all the mistakes you both made; making mistakes doesn’t make you terrible people, it just makes you human. Let bygones be bygones so that your heart can be at peace.
8. Don’t let the haters get to you.
Of course, there are going to be haters if you decide to be friends with your ex. People are generally very judgemental when it comes to stuff like this, and you are definitely going to be bombarded with a lot of opinions. Most people would discourage you from being friends with your ex, and some might even question your integrity and dignity.
But you know what? Just shut them out. If deep down in your heart, you know you are doing the right thing, then just do it. It’s your life, it was your relationship, and only you know what’s the best decision for you. If you think that you and your ex can have a beautiful friendship, then so be it.
Trying to be friends with ex can be a challenging thing, but if you keep these reminders in mind, the transition will definitely be smooth. Being friends with an ex is not an abnormal thing. For some people, it doesn’t work, but for some, it does. If you belong to the second category, then good for you!
Want to know more about whether can you be friends with an ex or not? Check this video out below!