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How To Be Friends After Breaking Up (7 Tips)

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After breaking up, most ex-couples think about being friends.

The overwhelming fear of loss and change creates an enticing argument to hold onto what little normalcy remains.

Straight off the bat, I have to be honest with you that it isn’t a good idea to be friends after breaking up.

You need time, space and distance to heal from the breakup, adjust your plans for the future and create a new routine for yourself that isn’t a direct reminder of the past.

The reason you need these things is because it hurts like hell during the first couple of weeks or months after breaking up.

You can’t navigate all that pain and discomfort while trying to create a new friendship with your ex, who may or may not be considerate of your feelings during this time.

Be that as it may, I can also see a world in which two people who once cared about each other as partners can help each other move on from a breakup.

It’s idealistic and possible, even if it isn’t probable.

There are a select few people who are capable of pulling it off.

I just so happened to know some of these people and I took it upon myself to nag them until they divulged some of their best tips on how to be friends after breaking up.

You need to read this article: She just wants to be friends but keeps texting me

7 Tips On How To Be Friends With Your Ex

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1. Only be friends after parting for some time.

It is impossible to transition from lovers to friends in a short amount of time. 

Your mind and body are unable to cope with such rapid change.

You need time to accept the breakup and adjust to being friends. 

Months or years’ worth of habits, expectations and behaviors require a significant amount of time and effort to be changed.

If you would like a step-by-step explanation on how to get an ex back or to re-attract someone who lost interest, grab a copy of my ebook called Reconcile. I put this guide together for serious students of the game who want to cut through the fluff and get results in their love life. Click Here To Check It Out! 

The quickest, simplest and most effective way to rewire your brain is to remove all access to or exposure to a certain habit or behavior, experience the withdrawals and then introduce something else later on.

It’s the same with relationships.

You need to give your mind, heart and body an opportunity to process the breakup so that it can let go of the habits, routines, expectations and feelings associated with that relationship.

When you have learned how to cope with the massive change associated with a breakup and have detached yourself from being with your ex, then you can try to be friends.

I’ve tried doing things the other way and it didn’t work. 

You’re too susceptible to old ways. 

Feeding those emotions and attachments becomes an impossible task to avoid. 

I believe space is the greatest tool for couples who break up but want to remain friends in the future. 

Knowing that you will be in contact again in time can provide comfort and peace of mind while you work on accepting the breakup. 

It can be really helpful to have your ex’s support and care through a breakup, provided that you both are on the same page about not being together.

2. Agree to new boundaries and stick to them.

After a breakup, being friends with an ex requires you to change everything.

You can’t rely on old boundaries to build a new friendship.

You’ll find yourself back where you started, or worse, in a friendship while having romantic feelings for your ex.

Boundaries provide the parameters within which you can be around each other without endangering the friendship or leaning into an area that is not platonic.

Without boundaries, misunderstandings and arguments are bound to happen.

If your ex is involved with someone else or vice versa, it is unhealthy and disrespectful to treat each other like old lovers rather than new friends.

Furthermore, the probability of falling into a situationship that has no future is ridiculously high without boundaries.

You’ll never quite move on from your ex nor will you really get back together with your ex.

It’s a strange place to be that leads to further rejection or disappointment in the future.

Change the way you text and talk to each other.

You need to read this article: How to stop loving someone but stay friends

3. Meet in a group setting. 

To avoid temptation, to prevent awkward conversations or situations and to create a new friendly vibe with your ex, it’s a good idea to meet with other people.

If you have mutual friends, they could help facilitate group hangouts that make it easier for you and your ex to be friends after breaking up.

Recently, a friend of mine decided to meet his ex after months of distance to hang out as friends. 

It was obvious to me that this was a bad idea.

Since that “hangout”, they text all the time, she calls him and they talk to each other like a pseudo-couple. 

They’re almost a year into a breakup and they’ve reverted back into a situationship.

The issues that led to the breakup cannot be resolved and yet they have trapped themselves in a situationship under the pretense of friendship.

Had they just not met, it would have been easier to move on and detach further, but they’ve undone months of hard work in one single meeting.

4. Avoid all forms of intimacy with each other.

You simply cannot create a new friendship with your ex by doing the same things you did in a relationship with them.

You can’t lose weight with the same nutritional and exercise plan that made you fat.

A platonic friendship should be devoid of romantic gestures and behaviors. 

Being physically or emotionally intimate with your ex is a surefire way to ruin the possibility of having a friendship after breaking up. 

Do not touch your ex or get involved in deeply emotional conversations with him or her.

If you truly want to be friends, keep things light, fun and platonic.

Until a firm foundation of friendship has been established, you should not be focusing on being super vulnerable and open with your ex as a friend.

You need to read this article: Why does my ex want to be friends?

5. Don’t force a friendship. 

If friendship isn’t working and there’s too much history between the two of you, let it go.

Most couples cannot be friends after breaking up.

It’s just the risk we take by being involved with someone on a romantic and intimate basis.

There’s no set amount of time that I can give you to adequately predict when the two of you will emotionally or romantically detach from each other.

If you try to create a friendship vibe while you’re still hung up on or upset with your ex, or vice versa, it is going to manifest in resentment, disagreements, bitterness and fights.

Either more time is needed or the two of you are not capable of being just friends with each other.

6. Keep a healthy distance from each other.

Distance makes the heart grow fonder until it doesn’t. Then, detachment takes place, specifically romantic detachment.

The ties that connect you as a couple are gradually worn away until they snap, the attachment you had to a future with your ex fades away and the routine you lived with your ex changes.

It’s an extremely uncomfortable experience but a necessary one.

When this process begins and gains momentum, it becomes easier to decide if you can be friends with your ex or not.

The need for closeness and intimacy with that person diminishes and you’re left with more clarity on how you feel, what happened between the two of you and whether you can be friends after breaking up.

At that point, if you decide to be friends, space continues to be a necessary factor.

You can’t spend all your time with your ex as a friend because that becomes a numbing agent for your emotional wounds.

Furthermore, time spent with your ex can fill a void that is necessary to experience because ordinarily, you would fill that void with self-development, acts of service to your loved ones and the pursuit of romantic love with someone else.

All that takes a backseat when you fail to keep your distance from your ex, even as friends.

You need to read this article: Why your avoidant ex wants to be friends

7. Stay out of each other’s love lives. 

It’s strange when someone is close friends with an ex and plans to date or marry someone else.

Not only is it unfair to their new partner, but it’s also unfair to their ex and to themselves.

I would not be comfortable with my future partner sharing details of our relationship with an ex who is a friend.

It’s weird and inappropriate.

Also, as much as you may want your ex to be happy and find new love, it’s not enjoyable to watch someone move on from you.

For peace of mind and simplicity, opt to separate your friendship from your love life.

You need to read this article: Should you be friends with someone who dumped you?

Why You Shouldn’t Be Friends With Your Ex

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Jealousy is the number one reason why it’s painful and tormenting to be friends with your ex.

More often than not, breakups are not amicable. 

One person wants the breakup more than the other. 

Sometimes, they may not want to break up at all.

But, they can’t force their partner to remain in the relationship. They have no choice but to accept it.

It hurts to see your ex find someone else. 

When they are in the process of dating other people, you have to watch them choose someone else in real-time.

How could you not experience some degree of jealousy?

Even if you agree to never speak about each other’s love life, you’ll notice when your ex is involved with someone else.

Watching them distance themselves from you will be a telltale sign of that. 

You’d start to wonder about them, who they’re meeting and what they are doing.

Your own mind will create many reasons for you to feel jealous. 

We can agree that the person who didn’t want the breakup hasn’t lost any significant attraction, interest or romantic love for their ex. 

It will cause you a great deal of pain and suffering to try to be friends with your ex while holding onto these feelings.

It’s torture and unfair to help someone move on from you through friendship.

A lot of the time, an ex who ended the relationship wants to be friends with you to enjoy the comfort of having you in their life without being involved with you.

Perhaps, they feel guilt or remorse for ending the relationship and they assume that being friends with you is the right thing to do. 

As for the ex who didn’t want the breakup, he or she only agrees to be friends out of fear of loss.

Their entire world has been turned upside down with the breakup and they are desperately latching onto whatever they can.

In some cases, they’re hoping that the road to reconciliation is through friendship.

In all of these scenarios, there’s really no genuine foundation for a friendship.

The underlying motivation is not conducive to true friendship.

Eventually, it’s going to fail but not after ongoing stress, frustration, jealousy and pain.

You need to read this article: Do guys really want to be friends after breaking up?

Final Thoughts

Breakups are difficult to deal with and I don’t think that you should be judging yourself harshly for how you feel during this time.

If you want to be friends and genuinely believe that it’s something that could work for you, then, by all means, use the tips in this article to cultivate a healthy friendship with your ex.

But, more than anything, be a friend to yourself right now.

You deserve as much of your own love, kindness, compassion and care during this time.

Invest as much time into taking care of yourself while you experience all your emotions from this breakup.

I promise you that good times will come again and you will thrive in time.

With that being said, I hope this article on how to be friends after breaking up was thought-provoking and helpful to you. If you would like my help with a relationship issue, feel free to check out my services page for more information on my email coaching package.

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