Everyone always has an idea about whether or not you can be friends with an ex.
The truth is, it’s all about what you want and are truly capable of doing.
Some people do need to cut out any and all intimate partners they’ve ever had while others are capable of creating amazing friendships with their exes. Here are ways to decide if you can or can't be friends with your ex:
1. Make Your Own Rules
I hate when people tell me what I can and can’t handle. We are all completely unique and different, so what may be weird and uncomfortable to others could be totally fine to you.
It may be true for some that they can’t have any contact with an ex because it will hurt them to do so. It could even seriously delay the healing process.
While others feel they don’t want to throw away a person to whom they connect just because it didn’t work out romantically, the truth is, you get to decide for yourself what works.
2. Every Situation Is Different
Just like every person is different, so is every situation. You might be able to be friends with one of your exes while another ex feels wrong or toxic to have in your life.
I find that the rockier the relationship, the harder it is to remain friends afterward. If the relationship ended pretty amicably but you just didn’t work out romantically, it’s usually an easier adjustment into friendship.
3. Be Honest
This might be the trickiest one. We often tell ourselves we are fine with something when we aren’t.
Try your hardest to be honest with yourself when evaluating whether or not you can truly be friends with your ex.
If it’s just too painful, you should let the person go for now. Sometimes, he or she will re-enter your life when you are ready and capable of a real friendship with him or her.
It’s also super important to be honest with your ex. If you tell him or her you’re over the relationship and you’re not, it could lead to a lot of pain down the road.
4. Give A Grace Period
It would be really hard to go from being in an intimate relationship with someone to being “just friends.”
There needs to be a transition time when you both can shift your mindsets from partner to friend.
That doesn’t mean you can’t see your ex at all during that period, but at least know he or she won't be a true “friend” until you’ve truly accepted the fact that you two no longer have a future.
5. Allow Time To Mourn
Whether or not you decide to be friends with your ex, it’s really important that you give yourself time to mourn the loss of the relationship.
Losing a boyfriend or girlfriend often feels like a death, and it’s important to respect the grieving process and allow yourself to feel the loss.
So, even if the two of you are still talking, remember that you still need to give yourself the space to cry and get over it.
6. Be Sensitive
Just because the two of you are no longer an item doesn’t mean you should immediately act like all those romantic feelings have vanished.
Respect that you are both still mourning and don’t try to hurt the other by pretending you’re immediately over him or her or by making him or her jealous.
Let your ex know you still care by not rubbing it in his or her face that you are moving on.