No one likes going through a breakup: it’s a terrible phase that’s most likely filled with crying and binge-eating calorie-filled treats. You’re emotional, and little things, such as songs or places, can trigger the worst emotional breakdowns because you remember a certain person.
With all the emotions that you have to wrestle with, it seems as if staying friends with your ex is not an option.
Let’s be honest: being friends with your ex, at any point, is difficult. There is a reason you guys broke up and it will keep coming back every time you talk. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be mature about it and move on.
If you think that your ex still deserves a spot in your life (in another way), there is no stopping you. It can be challenging, but not entirely impossible. Here are the commandments every Modern Filipina should heed when it comes to friendships with the ex:
1. Thou shall give yourself time to heal.
Breakups happen for a reason and that reason broke both of you emotionally. It’s painful and it needs time to heal.
A part of you might be eager to see your ex again; you crave for his presence, even if it means you guys will just be friends. This is not a good idea because you might still be emotionally dependent on each other. Give yourself time to mend before considering friendship.
2. Thou shall move on.
Before you can strike a friendship with your ex, move on first. Do not seek friendship when the breakup is still fresh–you’re just going to end up with a confusing mess of emotions. Allow yourself to grieve and sort your feelings; this way, you gain better insight about the breakup, about the two of you, and about yourself.
Focus on other things instead, such as your hobbies or your favorites. Distract yourself for a while and get your mind off the separation.
3. Thou shall let everything oo
Your mantra should be the same as Elsa in Frozen: “Let it go.”
It doesn’t matter if your breakup was messy or not; what matters is that you forget the past and keep moving forward. Nothing good comes out of bringing up unnecessary memories or holding grudges against him. You will most likely become bitter and be frustrated with everything that happened. If you wish to be in each other’s lives, it’s time to bury the hatchet and let all the old fights die.
4. Thou shall learn to be happy for him
One way to determine if you’ve really let go is by simply asking yourself this question: “Am I happy for him?” When he receives a promotion or meets someone new, can you fully support him?
Friendships thrive when both parties share the joy of one another. Sure, it’s hard to be happy for the guy who once broke your heart, but remember: you want him back in your life in terms of friendship. As a friend, you should learn to be happy for him.
5. Thou shall establish firm boundaries.
Keep in mind that your new relationship with your ex is of a friendship, not a romantic one. On some occasions, it’s tempting to fall back to your old ways: flirty texting, hanging out, and watching a movie without the group. Continuing these practices is a recipe for disaster and if you really want a healthy friendship, it’s best to set boundaries.
This means no more late-night calls, going through each other’s social media accounts, or sharing everything with one another. While these boundaries are restrictive, it protects you and your ex from further harm and confusion.
Just because things ended between the two of you, that doesn’t mean you sever all ties. Gaining a friend in your ex is not a bad thing; in fact, it can be beneficial since you add another person who knows you better in your circle of friends. Just be sure that you’re fully ready to take this step. If you need time to heal, then it would be better if you do that on your own first before plunging into the seas of friendship with your ex.
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Ashley is an awkward potato in love with words, Kpop, and corgis. She spends her free time dancing like one of those balloon things you see in malls.