Pardon my French, but “why the hell not?”. You may wanna break up with your boo, but keep them as a friend too. That’s quite normal and may I add, healthy. You are way more mature than my friends in College.
If one of my friends would run into their exes it basically turned into WW3. Don’t stress about it, girl. There are actually a lot of ways to break off a romantic relationship with someone and still stay friends. After all, you two were friends before dating, (hopefully).
Number one tip in the world of breaking up is to be as honest as possible, but don’t blame them either. If you are super transparent of why you are breaking up with them but don’t attack them, there is a much better chance that you two can remain friends after the breakup.
Now this doesn’t mean that as long as you’re honest, you can throw them a curveball. That never works for anyone. Maybe try hinting that you’re not happy, or talk with them a lot about it before doing the actual breaking up.
This will help them overcome the initial shock of the situation and soon they will be agreeing with you, that maybe ending the romantic part of the relationship is the best thing to do. Trust me, there’s no way a couple is going to function if both people are not on the same boat.
All the precautions in the world can’t prevent your future ex from feeling angry, rejected, depressed, and maybe even confused. Deal with it! Accept it and he/she has the right to feel this way. Even if you explain your reasons and they understand them, the emotional part of their brain will still react as it would to any other loss.
Give them the space to feel these feelings and process them. Make yourself available if they need to talk or ask more questions. They will be thanking you for it later.
By all that is holy in this world, if you break up with someone, have the guts to do it in person. Do not do this over Facebook, via text message, or even a phone call. Arrange a time to meet in person and tell them to their face. They will see you as a more authentic and trustworthy person if you do it that way rather than just hearing a voice over the phone saying “it’s over”.
If you manage to stay friends with your ex-boo, you will have a much easier post-breakup life. Not only will you have a friend who knows you inside and out, you will be able to discover new aspects of them that you never knew before.
Maybe while you were dating, you felt weird talking about your unicorn collection, because you totally have one, but as friends you can show them and even joke around about it. And your partner can be as geeky and politically incorrect as a friend, and not think about hiding all his quirks to impress you.
Try these tips, and see if you can salvage the friendship part of your relationship. It’s not easy at all, and really depends on how the relationship was and who broke up with who and why, but it’s still feasible.
Maybe it won’t work at first, even, but just be patient and give them space if that’s what they need. It could take five years, or 3 months, but in the end you will have an irreplaceable friend. The reality is that if you both decide this isn’t working, but you still respect your mate and he/she feels the same for you, then you both probably can stay friends. Just remember to establish a few rules of behavior post break up:
- Would you let him/her know you’re dating someone else?
- Would you want to know if they are seeing someone new?
- How much of their new “happy” life without you do you want to know, or dare to hear about?
- How often can you two hang out?
- Will you have “friends with benefits” rights or will you two have a clean sexless relationship?