How To Stay Friends with Your Ex In 5 Steps

Yes, you can achieve the impossible. 

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

Can you be friends with your ex? After fully mourning your breakup---listening to “We Can’t Be Friends” on repeat,” stuffing your face with Super Fudge Chunk ice cream and hoping your ex gets hit by the crosstown bus--- you may realize that you can (and actually want to be) friends.  You and your ex shared some great times, and if you were friends before the romance, there’s a possibility that you can remain on good terms. So how do you do it?

1. Embrace the Friendzone

You say, I’m just a friend…. The most important—and hardest-- part about being friends with an ex is accepting that you’re just a FRIEND. You’re no longer the girlfriend. You’ve been friendzoned. Your behavior and expectations need to reflect friendship, not “You’re my soul mate. I love you!”

2. Establish Boundaries 

Being a friend means having boundaries. No more late-night calls, going through your ex’s phone or sharing everything with each other. The TMI-rule is in full effect.

3. Don’t Have Sex

Friends don’t let friends have sex (with each other). This is a no-brainer but can be realllly hard. We get it. On those cold, lonely nights your ex starts looking more and more like Idris Elba. Intimacy is a slippery slope. Keep your clothes on and stay in your own bed.

4. Let Go of the Past 

Was your breakup messy? Did your ex leave you for a Beyonce look-a-like? It doesn’t matter. You can’t rehash past arguments or bring up old mistakes. Let go to move forward in the friendship. Check your ego and feelings at the door.

5. Be Happy for Your Ex

One way to truly know if you’ve let go of the past is to ask yourself: Am I happy for my ex? When your ex gets good news—a new job, apartment and yes, even a new relationship-- don’t hate, congratulate. And definitely don’t try to sneak a reconciliation when they find someone new. You know you’re on the road to a true friendship once you’re really and genuinely happy for each other.

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