Beliefnet
Make Your Relationship Work

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While a good handful of relationships end in flames, there’s those that end with a mutual agreement to move on from each other.  In some cases both parties recognize that they don’t belong together and decide they may be better just as friends. This brings up the age old question: After all is said and done, is it possible to still be friends with an ex?  By defining what is and isn’t appropriate, we’re going to try to get you past that awkward stage and into the comfortable friend zone .

DO: Give Yourself Some Space

Out of all of our tips this is the most important “DO”.  It will provide you the strength to follow the rest of the rules.  Upon the initial break-up, don’t try to be chummy right away; it just won’t work.  Every piece of your relationship will be so fresh in your mind that you’ll have a difficult time sitting next to them without giving them a kiss, or trying to hold their hand.  Save yourself the twist of the knife and give yourself time to get over them.  The more time you dedicate to recreating your life post-break up, the more of a chance you’ll have at remaining friends.  Distance yourself, and politely turn down their attempts to see you.   Focus on YOU right now and don’t worry about them!  They’ll still be there when you’re done finding your way.

DON’T: Feel Hurt When They Move On Too

While it’s most likely a bad idea to talk about the new relationship with your ex, don’t be hurt when you find out they’ve started dating somebody else.  Remember that there were good reasons that you two broke up, it was not a spur of the moment decision. Don’t draw conclusions or start a nasty rumor about their new person; keep your opinions to yourself.  If you share the same group of friends, don’t try to alienate them because that will drive away the friendship you’ve been working at.  Suck it up, and take one for the team!  Who knows, you might even like their new interest! (Crazy, I know.)  It seems to work for Bruce Willis and Demi Moore!

DO: Keep Them Posted

Just because you two stopped having sex doesn’t mean that you stopped caring for each other.  In fact,  maintaining a friendship shows that you’re both mature enough to acknowledge the qualities you liked about each other from day one.  When the time is right, hang out with them again!  The best way would most likely be in a group of mutual friends, and then as you get more comfortable with each other in the friend zone you can move on to hanging out alone.  Just be yourself, and remember why you liked them as a person to begin with.  When you have exciting news in your life don’t be afraid to share it with them:  they’ll appreciate that you still value what they have to say.

DON’T: Make A Move

Make sure you never make a move on them.  I repeat: DO. NOT. HIT. ON. THEM! It’s one thing to be friendly, but you don’t want things to fall back into a bitter relationship again. Even if you do get back together the chances of it working out are slim to none.  Never forget that the two of you broke up for a reason, and that reason didn’t just go away because you’re friends again.  Not to mention, the second break-up is usually even messier than the first one and will kill any chance at friendship…if their ever was one.  So do yourself a favor and accept the friendship for what it is…a friendship. There’s other fish in the sea. So grab a pole, some bait, and start fishin’!

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