Breaking up with someone is far from fun, and it can be even more painful and uncomfortable if you end up trying to avoid your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend at all costs. The only way to prevent it from happening? Try to stay friends… or at least stay friendly enough to keep yourself from fantasizing your former significant other’s death. It may be incredibly difficult, but it’s not impossible.
The first thing you have to do is distance yourself. Everyone needs some space after a big adjustment happens, and experiencing a breakup is no exception. Truth is, after you breakup with your boyfriend or girlfriend, things won’t be the same between you…and it probably never will. So you can’t force yourself to smile and joke about Game of Thrones like nothing’s changed – you’ll just drive yourself crazy. Take some time to yourself to process the breakup, and chances are that you’ll be more likely to face your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend in person without experiencing the urge to flip a table and/or go cry in a corner. The amount of time it’ll take for this to happen will differ for each person, but only you are going to know when you’re emotionally ready. If your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend is already an established member within your group of friends, this step’s going to be a bit tougher to accomplish. But if your friends truly care about you, they’ll understand if you ask them to spend time with you without your ex.
Next, try to figure out who you are on your own, without your boyfriend or girlfriend. This is especially true for someone getting out of a long-term relationship. When you’re with someone for so long, sometimes it’s easy to forget who you are without that other person constantly by your side. So rediscover yourself! Go see a movie on your own (it’s actually more fun than it sounds), treat yourself to a spa day – the possibilities are endless. The goal is to realize that you’re capable of functioning – even thriving – without your ex.
When you think you’re finally ready to see your ex in person, make sure you interact with them in a group setting. This way, if there are still any awkward feelings between you, you won’t be forced to deal with them right away. If you happen to be left alone with your ex for a couple of seconds, one of your other friends is bound to jump in and make interacting with him or her a lot easier.
But eventually, you will have to talk with your ex alone, one-on-one. So take a deep breath, swallow your pride, remind yourself that staying friends is easier and much less emotionally draining than hating him or her forever, and schedule a lunch date. Hopefully your ex will feel the same way that you do, and the two of you can try to build a friendship.
Are you friends with any of your exes?
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