The pain, the bitterness, and all the unwanted negativity that tags along. Breakups are hard — and not just because you lose a romantic partner, but because often, you lose a best friend as well.
And no matter how strong you are, that’s tough on just about anyone.
To have someone who you love, someone who knows you better than yourself become a stranger overnight is distressing — especially if the break up was unpleasant or nasty.
As the adage goes, though, time is the best healer, and if you’ve moved on after a while, there’s no reason why the two of you cannot forge a friendship again.
If you’re looking to do just that, here’s a little guide on how to go about it.
Don’t Rush Into It
The wounds have healed and the two of you have started speaking again — great. However, it’s important to realise that you won’t be BFFs right off the bat.
To begin with, start texting, or speaking on the phone.
There will be some form of discomfort and plenty of awkwardness at first, and the two of you will take some time to get over it, but it’s important that you don’t force the issue and let the comfort set in naturally.
Speaking to an old flame is quite the slippery slope, and so, it’s important to establish boundaries early on.
Utkarsh Ramwani, a 27-year-old banker, says, “It’s easy to slip up and give in to familiarity, but I’d suggest not doing that. It’ll only complicate things further and ensure you’re stuck in a limbo.”
Utkarsh also stresses that the boundaries have got to be both physical and emotional.
“You’ve got to ensure it’s completely platonic. No cheek kisses, no holding hands, and definitely no making out! Pro-tip? Meet them in public places like cafes or restaurants so that you don’t stand a chance of slipping up at all.”
Let the Past Stay in the Past
Sure, they were once the centre of your universe, but according to Shefali Kothwal, that’s all in the past.
“Don’t say things like ‘remember when we went here’ or ‘remember that time we did that’ when you’re out with them — especially if the wounds are still fresh. There’s nothing worse than the pangs nostalgia brings with it.”
Shefali, a 26-year-old who’s into sales, adds, “Don’t discuss your respective love lives with each other either.
“Just because you’re OK with knowing about her dating life, doesn’t mean she will be too. Unless they come and tell you, and you both are 100% OK with it, don’t pry and make things awkward, please!”
And Lastly, Have No Expectations
At the end of the day, the objective of this stressful exercise is simple — to remain friends and not discard an important person completely from your life.
However, there are two things you need to be mindful of.
For starters, chances are it might not work out at all. There’s a reason you two broke up, and if it’s causing more problems than it’s worth, cut it off.
Secondly, even if it is going fine as a platonic friendship, it’d be foolish to act entitled and expect or demand things from them.
Don’t get annoyed if they can’t make time for you, don’t expect them to accommodate you if you ‘miss’ them, and definitely don’t expect them to go on dates with you, or anything along those lines.
Remember, you’re a friend now, just like every other friend they have — and while you may have meant something to them before, as of this moment, they don’t owe you a thing.
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