When your heart has been broken, there is no way in hell you can be sure of the emotions you will feel in the following weeks and months to come. It’s next to impossible to collect your thoughts properly and come to an immediate decision if you want to be friends or not, and that’s completely normal.
You’re going to have moments you lay in bed, hugging your pillow and bawling your eyes out. You will feel like you could never talk to him again, but deep down you still really want to. You try to convince yourself by saying things like “I’m done,” but you’re never really done in the beginning stages of a break up unless something went horribly wrong. Not all relationships can be saved, and that’s okay!
Even though you may not be together as a couple, a friendship is definitely manageable.
My secret to making a friendship work with an ex is: timing.
The saying “time heals all”, holds true to me and I am a firm believer in that.
When the wound is still fresh, every time you have contact with your ex, you almost get a false hope that something will spark again between you two. You overanalyze every single thing he does with you and you build yourself back up again, only to be let back down when nothing happens the way you imagined it. When they message you out of the blue, it causes your heart to drop. Understand, he’s probably missing you too, regardless of the fact he could have been the one who walked away while you were left envisioning your future together.
Stay civil until you understand where your friendship stands. Everyone moves on differently and the timing may be off for a while. Men don’t always think it takes us no time to get over them, and can jump the gun on a friendship too quickly. Don’t be afraid to distance yourself for the sake of your heart and mental sanity.
If you have an open enough relationship with each other where you can voice yourself openly and honestly, tell him you need your space before you can start talking to him as a friend again. He will understand and respect your wish. With that in mind, don’t expect for him to text you first because he will probably be waiting for you to be ready.
After you’ve had time to reflect on your relationship and see that it really wasn’t working, make baby steps. If you still care about him deeply, you rather have him as a friend if you can’t have him as a lover. Sometimes you enter relationships after just meeting each other and not having the opportunity to become friends first, which can be tricky, so you have to figure it out slowly. Don’t jump back into it and expect it not to be awkward.
When you’re in a place mentally to reconnect, post a few good selfies on Instagram and tweet positive things on Twitter to show him you’re in a good place too. You never know if he’s checking to see how you are. If you want to really show him you’re ready, send him a few goofy snaps, or shoot him that risky “hey” text. He’ll appreciate you coming to him to prove you want what he wants too.
The small talk, whether you’re talking in text or person, will always be uncomfortable and awkward because you know that’s not how you act around each other. It doesn’t feel natural. But once you get on a good topic or discuss something you two connected on, it’ll be like nothing ever changed and you feel a hope that you guys can make it work.
Social outings with your mutual friends won’t feel as awkward anymore, and your life will feel like it’s whole again. Sure you may not have the love of your life back, but you will have moved on too and looking to find someone who can love you better.
So when you’re laying in bed crying over him feeling distraught and unwanted, resist the urge to text him and see what he’s doing. Don’t go out of your way to see how he’s doing, and don’t creep his every move on social media. Relax and focus on yourself before you can worry about him. The beauty of time is that it’s different for everyone and it gives you the opportunity to repair and grow. The longer you take to heal, the better you will feel.
Featured image via laurenconrad.