There is nothing nice about breakups. Whether you’ve been together for years and have kids to think about or have been dating for just a few months, breaking up is never going to be easy. Telling someone who you once cared so much about that you no longer have those feelings can be soul-destroying, even if they feel the same way.
A lot of couples who break up for amicable reasons, such as falling out of love with one another, choose to stay friends. Or, at least, try to. The problem is that when you’re breaking up, staying friends with your ex isn’t exactly a straightforward task. However, by taking the right steps, it is possible. To stay friends with your ex, here’s what you need to do:
Be civil to each other
The most important thing, if you want to stay friends with your ex, is to be civil to each other. When you’ve just broken up and have all these pent up feelings of anger and hurt, that can be somewhat hard to do. However, try to think before you speak, to ensure that the two of you remain on good terms. Once something comes out of your mouth, you can’t take it back. So, no matter how upset or angry you feel, try to think before saying something that you may come to regret.
Don’t take your breakup to court
If you are married and are divorce or have been living together for years, breaking up can be incredibly complicated. There’s the question of who gets the house, the dog, the furniture, and even the kids – if you have any, that is. Because of this, a lot of marital breakups and civil law marriage breakdowns, end up in court. However, there are other options, such as mediation and couple’s therapy, for instance.
Take a break from each other
The chances are, if you’ve just broken up, you’re not ready to be around each other just yet. So take a break from each other for a set amount of time, so that you can both get on your feet and let the wounds heal. Anything from a month to six months can be a good amount of time – it just depends on how you feel. Once you are both happy to do so, meet up as friends and catch up. It may take time to be good friends, but if you work at it, you can get there.
Going from being a couple to friends isn’t going to be easy – there will be a lot of boundaries to navigate. So it’s a good idea to sit down and work out what boundaries each of you wants to set from the get-go. For instance, things like no turning up at each other’s houses unannounced and no getting too close to each other. You both need to be comfortable enough to tell each other when a boundary has been crossed and be able to deal with it like adults.
The long and the short of it is that it is possible to stay friends. However, in order to do so, it can take some time, and a little help from the professionals.