People generally struggle with is maintaining a healthy relationship with their ex.
This is because regardless of what happened between you both, you inevitably learned a lot about life together. Whether you like your ex or not, you are inextricably tied.
A relationship with your ex is especially important if you have a child together.
(The only reason to completely sever ties with your ex is if they were abusive, physically or mentally.)
When to stay friends with an ex:
• You share a child and you/your partner aren’t mentally/physically abusive
• You and your ex have taken time to process and accept the end of the romantic relationship.
• You both understand why it happened.
• Your relationship with each other is emotionally charged
• You both have fully separate, independent, private lives
• You are both happy dating other people, and genuinly want that for each other, too.
Below are some tips on how to maintain a healthy friendship with your ex:
1. Have a no-contact break
A lot of people don’t know what the correct course of action is to take, and ask others ‘My ex wants to be friends, what do I do?’
Trying to become friends immediately following a breakup will almost always result in the opposite outcome.
Giving each other a break (including social media stalking break) will give you both time to work on your feelings and address any issues you are having within yourselves.
Additionally, it also gives you time to forgive your partner for anything that they might have done to you that led to your relationship ending (and vice versa).
If you can be friends with your ex and refrain from bringing up past issues, that’s great!
Friendship is especially important if you work with your ex or have a child together. If you and your ex have kids together you will be connected for life. Putting the kids first will help you keep your priorities straight.
2. Have clear boundaries
Set proper boundaries with your ex.
Take some time to evaluate your current relationship with your ex.
Do you still have unhealthy tendencies? What are your true motives for each other? Why do you want to be friends?
Have an open conversation with your ex, and make moves towards having the healthiest relationships you can. Having them on the same page will prevent destructive events from occurring.
Setting boundaries is a two-way street. You’ll have boundaries and so will your ex.
In order to make the friendship work, you will both have to respect each other’s rules. Decide what’s off-limits to talk about.
3. Don’t belittle or threaten them
If your ex-partner has decided they don’t want to be with you anymore, then you need to respect their decision and be delicate.
Having a mature and respectful relationship with your ex is healthy for you, for them and for your current relationship.
A lot of people trash-talk about their ex’s to their friends and family. Don’t do it. This will decrease your chances of maintaining a healthy post-breakup relationship with your ex.
Additionally, you shouldn’t try to pursue a friendship with them because you think that it will weaken their defenses and result in you being able to seduce them back into a relationship with you.
Respect your ex’s decision and understand that they do not want to be with you anymore. The sooner you learn to respect your partner’s decision, the faster you can get on to maintaining a healthy relationship.
4. Respect their new partner
Your ex will probably one day meet someone new and end up in a new relationship. When you see them around pleasant, make small talk – make some effort.
Respect their boundaries as well – if their new partner is not comfortable with the both of you going out alone together (for obvious reasons), then don’t.
5. Cherish priceless memories together
Even if you aren’t romantically interested in each other anymore, you still spent a good chunk of your lives together and learned a lot about the world in each other’s company.
These priceless moments and learnings will make you a better person if you allow them to. And the respect that you hold for the person who taught you those lessons will form the foundation of a friendship that will endure through time, heartbreak, healing, and the changing seasons of life
It would be a big waste if you were to allow a break-up to destroy all of these memories and the bond that you have forged with your ex-partner.
Break-ups can get messy, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t maintain ties with your ex-partner and pursue a friendship.