“Can you stay friends with an ex?” is a question that almost every girl has asked herself with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in hand. Whether you did the breaking up you were the break up-ee, it can be difficult to recover from the end of a relationship. While situations may vary, if you can manage to come out on top after a breakup friendship is a definite possibility. Just look at Taylor Swift and Joe Jonas! He may be dating Gigi Hadid now but they’re still all besties.
Although your situation might be a little bit different from Taylor’s (luckily no celebrity gossip websites will be picking apart your every move), here’s some solid advice to keep a healthy friendship (or even acquaintanceship) with your ex after the breakup. If you can follow these simple tips your breakup recovery will feel (relatively) quick and painless.
Be honest (without bashing each other).
If your significant other has disappointed you, address that without speaking recklessly. Most importantly, talk about your problems in person. Texting can misconstrue a message. In this situation, it benefits both of you to be the grown up. Walk away on good terms and with mutual respect. After all, if you dated then you obviously respected each other at some point. There’s no reason to lose that once it’s over.
Don’t gossip with your friends (or his).
Privacy is key to deflecting drama. The more your friends are involved with the intimate details of your relationship, the easier it will be for them to heighten the heartbreak. Lean on them for support but make sure to listen to yourself, too. This rule applies for social media, because no matter how tempting it is, do not bash your ex-boyfriend on Twitter. There is a good chance that everyone will know exactly who you’re subtweeting.
Give each other space.
Resist stalking on Instagram, Twitter, or even LinkedIn. Gradually hang out with each other in casual group settings so that both of you are comfortable. Take the time to focus on yourself. Feelings are hurt on both sides, which means that the issue won’t magically fix itself overnight. Break-ups are a part of growing pains. With time, the break-up will feel less intense but don’t rush the process by rebounding. A rebound is unfair to the person entering the relationship with you because you’re using them to mend your hurt feelings from your ex.
Reflect on what you learned from the relationship.
There is always a lesson to learn. Focus on how you can better yourself so that you’re a little wiser than before. This will put your feelings into perspective and let you accept your ex-boyfriend for his mistakes without hating him…completely.
I know break-ups are almost always hard but if you remember these tips it will hopefully ease the conflict that could arise. Sooner or later, you two could discuss the past without hurt feelings. By staying friends, you’ll have way less baggage when it comes time for your next relationship.