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That's puzzling!

Can I be friends with my ex?

Kaynaat and Ahaan broke up last week. Ahaan got a message from her saying she still wants to be friends with him. Is this even possible, he thought. Can you just be friends with someone you once loved? We look into Ahaan’s problem in this week’s That’s Puzzling. Here are a few tips if you want to consider being friends with your ex! 

Give it time:  If you have just broken up recently, it’s a good idea to give your ex and yourself some time to get over each other before you even consider being friends. Break-ups happen for a reason, and both of you will need time to heal and get over any anger or disappointment you have. There are no real guidelines as to how long you should wait until you get in touch with your ex again, but six months seems like a reasonable period. But rather wait a bit longer than try to jump at an attempt too early. And remember: you can’t force friendship. Sometimes a breakup is so painful there’s no realistic chance of ever being friends – that’s something only you can judge.

Also, don’t forget to check out this awesome video on this topic: 

Remember it’s not a real relationship anymore: You need to realize that you are no longer in a relationship, so don’t treat your friendship the same way as the relationship. That means no flirting, no cuddling, and no late-night cute text messages. Because that will make it much more difficult to keep clear boundaries and rules. It’s all too easy to fall back into old patterns with your ex. This is especially dangerous if you’re in a new relationship.

Try it, it may be worth it: Chances are you spent a good chunk of your time with your ex. You share the same interests, friends and hobbies. You have a lot in common and that’s a great starting point for a friendship. So if you parted amicably or you think you can get over the reasons for your break-up, trying to be friends can be very rewarding. But be picky, too. If you know that the differences between you while dating were too big, the same might happen in a friendship. It’s not worth getting hurt twice!

Don’t get jealous: Let’s face it when you see your ex with a new partner it always hurts a bit. But you are only truly over an ex when you can be happy for them. That includes being happy when they have a new partner. Nobody wants you to be over the moon of course, but if you are feeling very jealous, it may be a sign that you are not really over your ex and maybe there are some feelings left. And if that’s the case, being friends might not be the best idea.

Include your new partner: If one of you (or both) has started dating, it is a good idea to include your new partner/s when you meet your ex (now friend).  That doesn’t mean your new partner should be right next to you every time you talk to or see your ex. But a major reason for jealousy is your partner still being cosy with their ex. So if you are still friends with your ex, it’s a good idea to be honest about it with your new partner. Tell them that you are just friends, share your plans of meeting your ex, and maybe introduce them. Doing all this will save you, your ex and your new partner a lot of headaches and maybe even fights.

No intimacy: Well, you can get intimate with the ex. But just remember that it can get very awkward! If neither of you is in a relationship, it might seem like a good idea – you know each other, you know what the other likes, and so on. But this might complicate your friendship. Even if you’re sure of your feelings, can you be sure that your ex doesn’t get his or her hopes up again? And if either of you is in a relationship, it will be cheating with your new partner So before you get too cosy, consider the consequences!

Photo: Shutterstock/cheapbooks/Persons in the photo are models and their names have been changed. 

Do you have anything on your mind? Share with us in the comment box below. Remember not to put any personal information in the comment box.

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