How to Be Friends After a Breakup

by Contributor

When making the painful transition away from a romantic relationship, what you might miss most is your ex-partner's friendship. After all, the person probably knew you better than any other during the time you were together. If the relationship was long-term, you and your partner likely shared some important life events. Staying friends after a breakup is difficult; but if you can manage it, rewarding.

Give yourself plenty of time before you even consider trying to befriend your ex. Seeing each other too soon will be painful; or even worse, you could slip back into your old habit of seeing your ex frequently. Taking time out is the most important part of building a healthy friendship after a breakup.

Be honest about your feelings for an ex. If you can meet him without hostility, or wishing the two of you were still together, it might be time to initiate a friendship.

Make a friendly call to your ex. Choose a time when you are in a good mood and pick up the phone. If it is a bad time for her, end the conversation and try later. You want to let go of the stressful associations you may have had about speaking to one another.

See your ex in the company of others the first time you meet as friends. If you have mutual friends, go out as a group. If not, try an unromantic meal together. Lunch discussions are far less intense than conversations over a long dinner.

Talk about the weather, jobs, family and other things of general interest in your lives. If the two of you have really accepted friendship, then there is no need to rehash emotional issues.

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Tip

  • The more you understand how to relate to people of the opposite sex outside the context of a romantic relationship, the better your chances of staying friends after a breakup.

Warning

  • Staying friends after a breakup isn't for everybody. Though popular culture likes to portray it as the civilized thing to do, the reality is that the highly complicated nature of romance makes friendship difficult. If the relationship was abusive, then under no circumstances should you feel pressured to be friends with your ex.