Relationships can be the most beautiful thing in the world, but when things like suspicion comes in and bickering starts, then the beauty of the relationship begins to wean off. It isn’t usually easy to rebuild struggling relationships but some lovers manage to rebuild theirs, while many take it to the table and split it in halves. Breakup experiences can be ugly and it could lead to some form of amnesia, especially when a hurt ex starts to think that nothing good ever came from the relationship.
At the point of the break-up, the ex-lovers would have to decide the nature of the association to maintain between them; an ex but still sexing relationship, on talking terms relationship, they could stay friends or choose to be parallel enemies. Primarily, the nature of the relationship would be determined by the cause of the breakup. However, I always recommend that exes should try to stay FRIENDS (if possible). Here are some tips to help you to stay friends with an ex:
- Be sure that it’s friendship you want
The early stages of breakups are usually the most confusing part. That’s the stage when you’re not sure whether the decision to breakup is right or it is simply a result of overreaction. You’d still find most people trying to convince themselves that the relationship can be fixed, some people struggle with the doubt of finding a new lover. So they’d keep a one leg in-one leg out relationship with their ex. You’d hear them say, ‘I’m with my ex until I find someone new.’ No!! That’s the first way of playing yourself. The proper thing to do is to first accept that something was wrong with the relationship. When you’re sure that it is beyond repair, settle for the option of friendship with your ex (depending on the kind of person, some people just won’t have it). In case the ‘become friends’ option isn’t working, take time apart. Use that time to structure a happy life without your ex – meet people, read, add new hobbies and anything else you find engaging and interesting. Be patient with the recovery process and at every stage, protect your happiness.
- Restore contact with your ex and be patient
After finding peace with the situation and putting life back in motion, restoring contact with your ex is a safe thing to do. But note that restoring contact with an ex is not as easy as making a new friend. You must understand that the situation is different. With an ex, it’s usually a situation of a love-turn-hurt that you’re trying to mend. Your ex might still have bad blood which might cause him/her to make bated actions and reactions. You should be tolerant and transactional but aware. It is good to try to mend fences but don’t crumble under the weight of it. Keep it cool and get your ex to come to terms that you’re better as friends.
- Agree to be friends but don’t flirt
When you’re meeting a new person, the line between being friendly and flirting is like a thin rope but with an ex, the line is even thinner, it is like a thread. So you two must agree to be FRIENDS, nothing more. Besties? No! – at least, not yet. Keep everything involving your ex in the friend zone. Make your chats and conversations light, don’t start to play the ‘boo’ role, remember you’re just a friend. It is possible that in the process, you’d find out that your ex has found a new love, yes, let it be. Don’t hate and don’t start to feel bad, remember you’ve moved on.
If you have to meet-up with your ex, make non-romantic plans. Meet at public places not home visits that’d end up in the bedroom. I won’t advice late night hangouts too or clubbing or alcohol sessions, especially when you don’t trust your ex to keep to the agreement of keeping it on friend’s level.
- Don’t start to create false hope
Oh he is sweet’, ‘she is beautiful beyond words’, ‘I can’t keep my composure around my ex’. These things won’t help, most times they even compound problems. You need to keep hold of your head in all of these, you need to be in control and look out for yourself and for your long-term happiness. Don’t switch to old patterns of frequent text or calls or visits to ‘usual’ hangout spot or perform the ‘boo’ rites. These things can be misleading. They can lead one to commit to an ex that is only waiting for another partner to move on with.
False hopes of recreating the love spark leads to unhealthy heartbreaks. Let it stick that you only owe each other friendship, it is safer that way. Don’t wait till you find out that the light at the end of the tunnel is the headlight of an oncoming train.
- Know when to pull out
This is the cover of the book, the polish to the wood and the garnishment on the food. Make conscious attempt at staying friends with your ex but don’t lose yourself in the process. Either of you two can start to develop false hope and become too attached, that’s the time to draw the line, especially when you’re not convinced re-dating that person is in your best interest. Don’t do it out of pity or out of being lonely. Don’t force the friendship. If things are going better than planned and you two have genuinely learnt lessons and you’re EQUALLY committed to making things work as it were or even better, making slow shifts towards reigniting the relationship is advisable but if not, friendship is fine but if your ex becomes too much to handle, block him/her. Friendship is not by force.
This article was written by Ibironke Oluwatobi. He tweets via: @ibironketweets