Is it possible to stay friends with your ex?
By Esther Muchene
4 months ago | 3 min read
Rarely do people successfully manage to maintain a healthy, friendly relationship with their ex especially if it ended in bad terms. There are usually so many feelings involved which always seem to complicate things further.
Yes, it’s definitely tough to be friends with an ex but it’s not impossible.
You might have been friends with them prior to dating, which can motivate you to maintain a friendship with them even though things didn’t work out romantically.
While it may not sound appealing, there are many reasons why you would be interested in being buddies however you will need some tips on how to do it the right way:
- Forgive each other completely
Breakups bring a lot of mental and emotional stress for both parties. It’s hard to watch a relationship die after thinking that your ex was the one you would have spent the rest of your life with.
Some underlying reasons could be infidelity, lack of commitment and dozens of other reasons that leave a residue of bitterness for years.
For you to build a healthy, resentment-free friendship, you both need to heal and most importantly, forgive.
- Avoid bad mouthing
It’s very tempting to justify why you were right when a breakup happens. It’s important that you talk to someone about how you are feeling but it’s not wise to start exposing all your issues to each other.
If you do, your friends will hate them forever and one day your ex will find out what you were saying behind their back which will only destroy the friendship.
This is why you should avoid gossiping about them at all costs. No matter how dirty they did you do not employ character assassination tactics which always turn out badly.
- Reach out at the right time
Timing is very, very important if you want this to work out. This is especially crucial if you have only recently broken up.
From your side, you might assume that you are both on the same page about being friends but often, that is not the case.
You should probably give each other space so that you both have enough time to think things through because trying too hard too soon can backfire on you.
- Talk about boundaries
A mistake people make when they are trying to start a fresh with an ex is not setting proper boundaries.
As awkward as it may seem, you need to have that uncomfortable discussion about what the expiations are and how you plan to proceed without stepping on each other’s toes.
You should both communicate openly to avoid any problems especially when you both start dating new partners.
- Know when to let go
Choosing to be friends with your ex doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be close. At some point you have to be honest with yourselves if it’s just not possible then maybe maintain a ‘friendship from a distance’.
This can happen when you notice that either one of you is holding on to some bitter feelings or that there are some expectations of a rekindled romance.
It’s okay if things are getting too complicated to be besties so you can either completely cut ties or check on each other once in a while instead of forcing issues.
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