How to Stay Friends with an Ex

Alexa Johnson

An ex is an ex for a reason. But what happens when you are in the same classes, are part of the same friend group or simply can’t bear living without them? While difficult, remaining friends with an ex is possible. You just have to set some ground rules.

Rule #1: Take a time out – You can’t just end your relationship one night and wake up expecting to start a friendship. Things that break need time to mend. Since you can’t completely cut off contact if you’re in the same class, sit on the other side of the room for a few weeks. Rumor has it you should wait half the time you spent in the relationship.

Rule #2: Avoid alone time together – Anytime you hang out with your ex it should be in a group setting. You’re trying to keep your new friendship platonic, remember! If either of you still has that glimmer of hope that things could still work, it’ll be extremely difficult to chill. Doing something just the two of you could bring back old memories or feelings. Worse, it could bring back old memories or feelings in just you.

Rule #3: Stop social media stalking – You can ‘unfriend’ each other online, or if that seems too harsh, change your settings so your ex’s life isn’t popping up all over your newsfeed on the regular. The last thing you want to do is become obsessed with stalking their profile to see if they are in a new relationship (and if they are, you shouldn’t worry about it… because you’re friends now…).

Rule #4: Act like a friend – Sounds obvious, but do it! Acting like a true friend prohibits any flirting, kissing, handholding, late-night texting etc. Only talk about things that friends would talk about – like, books and puppies and the weather – and avoid analyzing your past relationship together.

Rule #5: Seek out new love – Once your mourning period is over, stop worrying so much about maintaining the friendship with your ex and get back out there! Don’t we all hate it when our ex is the first one to find a new lover? Of course it’s not a race to see who can move on the quickest, but spare yourself the agony of seeing your ex with a new beau for the first time by investing your feelings in your own new (and better) relationship.

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