- BE ON THE SAME PAGE
The number one factor in successfully being friends again with an ex —genuine friends —is to both be on the SAME page about where each other stands within the relationship. (NOT the sex-Ex contract!!!) Both parties need to understand that time spent together is nothing more than just two friends hanging out. There are NO UNDERLYING meanings to grabbing dinner, watching football games together, asking for advice, being invited to happy hour with the other’s friends, or hanging out with the family. It has to be treated at face value; because quite frankly, you’re not the only person (-queue Sam Smith’s I’m Not the Only One song) that’s doing the same things with him or her.
- ONLY BE FRIENDS IF THERE ARE NO MORE FEELINGS
The biggest issue with trying to be friends with an ex is existing feelings. Point blank. If there are any lingering emotions (whether blatant or subdued) of love, lust, bitterness, hate, or all of the above, then it is guaranteed that an attempt to be friends will be extremely short lived. Friendly banter that normally occurs between two friends will be taken personally and someone is sure to be offended. It’s a minefield waiting to be stepped on. So if you know that there is any hint of lingering emotions, BACK AWAY. Drop the idea like a hot potato! Wait until you’ve fully come to terms that it is finally over before even reconciling and considering a friendship.
- EXPECT FRIENDLY TEASING
Being friends means making fun of each other. Sarcastic humor geared towards one another is inevitable —especially when drinking. It doesn’t matter if you are a girl or a guy, you and your group of friends will have moments when you pull a joke on one another and not be offended. And if you are like me, sometimes that sharp tongue is just faster than your consciousness and you’re bound to make a witty retort that is bruising to his ego. And if your ex is anything like mine, his is probably 10 times worse and you will have to just take it with a grain of salt and laugh at both of your vexing habits and understand that all those idiotic times together were actually quite hilarious. And quite frankly, all the hurt and pain employed back then are now things under the bridge.
- BE A FRIEND, NOT AN ASSISTANT
A true friend means being there when they’re in trouble and is need of someone they can trust and talk to. However, this does not mean you will be at their every beck and call nor feel obligated to comfort them with flattery when they are in the wrong. If they are in the wrong, be truthful and helpful. There is nothing wrong with being there for an ex that has turned into one of your best friends, if not, at least a good friend. But be weary of them taking advantage of the situation. Maybe it’s intentional or maybe it’s not. Either way, keep a very distinctive line on the path to friendship and not veer towards the path to rekindling a romantic relationship.
- LEAVE THE PAST IN THE PAST
Self explanatory. How you are as friends NOW greatly differs from how you WERE as a couple. Just because it happened in the past, doesn’t mean it will happen in the future. Not all history repeats itself. So leave the past in the past and rid yourself of any expectations.
- THOU SHALT BE PLATONIC
Last but not least, the golden rule of being friends with your ex. No touching, no kissing, no cuddling. ZIP! (Think Ursula from Little Mermaid when she’s explaining to Ariel how to win Prince Eric’s heart but the complete opposite of her advice.)
SO REMEMBER –> FRIENDS, NOT FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS