Ex BF, or BFF: Staying friends after a breakup

fighting couple

Breakups are tough, and moving on from the ex boyfriend is harder than a dude watching Meghan Fox YouTube clips. No matter what, after an awful breakup, a mutual breakup, or an amicable one, it’s always difficult to move on. Because not only are we losing a boyfriend, we are losing a best friend.

He was the one who I constantly texted, snap chatted and hung out with every day. I would begin my morning with him and end my evening next to him. And though one aspect of the relationship I miss are the things that happen behind closed doors—or even just being wrapped in his arms—his friendship is what I miss the most.

He knew my family troubles, my embarrassing moments, my past mistakes and my future aspirations. He knew all the weird things about me and still managed to make me feel normal. He gave me advice, and listened to me talk about stupid shit like my entire schedule for the day or my obsession with my dog. #LilyBear

And I was there for him, just as much.

90% of my stories seemed to involve him, and the other 10% I wanted to share with him.

boy bff

And then all of a sudden, there was silence. A part of my daily routine—being with him—was ripped away unexpectedly, and penciled into my new schedule was a perpetual loneliness that consumed my world.

The end of our relationship was inevitable, but I didn’t think our friendship would come to a screeching stop as well.

Why is it that when we break up with a boy, we have to lose him too?

BFs to BFFs

It’s true that we should keep our distance after a relationship. If we continued to talk constantly, I’d never be able to fully move forward. But why did the friendship have to disappear too?

Lets get something straight. Things don’t have to be awkward between exes. Yes, you’ve most likely seen each other’s b-day suits, but why should that change the fact that at one point in your relationship, you truly cared for each other?

We may not be IN love with one another anymore, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still love each other.

And if someone did something shitty to cause the breakup, like cheating or being too controlling or lying, even this doesn’t mean you have to hate each other. Because once again, at one point, you cared so deeply for each other that every other person of the opposite sex was blurred and distorted. Literally, I felt like every guy who talked to me at a bar had a vagina. #NotInterested #ButYouCanBuyMeADrink

bobby pin pic

Life is too short to hold grudges. Yes, maybe the guy was a shit head, but you can learn from this so that your next relationship, whomever it may be with, is stronger and healthier.

Ladies, we are strong and smart and capable of anything, so when you go through a breakup, (and I know it’s easier said than done) we should take the high road.

Don’t avoid a party because you know he’s going to be there—the break up shouldn’t ruin your fun. But at the same time, don’t intentionally make out with another dude in front of him to make him jealous or to get back at him for dumping you.

Be polite and ladylike and your best version of yourself. Give him a hug and tell him it’s good to see him, because things may have ended in a rocky way, but in the end, it’s always nice to see an old friend.

As for breakups that ended mutually or amicably, there is no reason why a friendship cannot still thrive.

spongebob patrick quote

Shoot him a text now and then to see how he’s doing. How are classes? How’s the fam? Because you DO still care, and that’s not a bad thing. I know for me, all I want is to see him healthy and happy, but I want to witness it first hand—not just over social media or by word of mouth.

A friendship with the ex IS a possibility. But just like any type of relationship, we have to put in a little effort in order to make it work.

A few cautionary tips:

1. Don’t do friends with benefits. The physical stuff will make it hard to move on, and even if at the time it feels good (inside you) you wont feel good about it afterwards. If you do the dirty and feelings come up, and then he doesn’t text you the next day, you might be angry, but you aren’t together now, and you must accept that he doesn’t have that sort of obligation towards you anymore.
2. Remember personal space. Just with any friendship, you have your space and your friend has his/hers. You can hang out and talk, but it shouldn’t be as frequent as when you were dating. Once a week or once a month is all you need for a nice catch up sesh with an old bestie.
3. Only begin your friendship when you are ready. If you dive into trying to be friends right away, you’ll probably still maintain the feelings you had for him when you were dating and secretly hope to rekindle the flame. It’s unhealthy to think like that, because you shouldn’t ever assume you might get back together. This is why you shouldn’t rush the mourning period. (As Lorelei from Gilmore Girls taught me, it’s important to wallow). Once you have accepted the breakup, and actually understand that it’s over, you can move forward with the friendship that you missed so much.

wallow image

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