The breakup is over, but now you are in that limbo wondering whether this person is really completely out of your life. Sometimes there will be a guy that you will think is much too important to just completely cut out of your life. So the natural question then becomes how to be friends with an ex?
There are many things that will show you if you are ready to be friends with your ex. Here are the steps you should make sure to take note if you are looking to be friends with an ex:
1) First and foremost, you must realize that not all exes are created equal. You need to decide if it is possible to hold on to him as a friend. Think about the following statements:
a) The sexual chemistry is gone.
So even when you had a couple of drinks with him, there was no inkling of wanting to kiss, to hold hands, or to sleep with him. It is not as simple as thinking "sleep with him or no?" Did you feel any urge to even get close to him? -> Do not fool yourself thinking that I wanted to get close to him because he is my friend.
b) I feel nothing when he mentions another conquest or love interest.
Do you feel weird any time he mentions that hot girl or that new girl he might be into; or worse, the new girlfriend he has?
c) Our relationship, by the end, started to feel more like a family relationship.
Even when you were together did it feel more like you enjoyed his company, but were not jumping his bones every time you saw him?
d) I could care less what he did Wednesday or any other day.
Do you still care about him but don't really care what he does in his daily life? I mean would you honestly care what your friend is doing every day? Doubtful.
e) This is not the second time we are trying that.
Have you broken up with him before and tried being friends before only for it to bring up some romantic feelings? Three times is the charm is not the right mentality in this case.
Once you have thought about those statements, and you feel that you and your potential friend has passed, then I advise you to take the next few steps.
2) Let enough time pass
This is an absolute MUST -> there are many rules being thrown out there, but what I would like to say is that the time should be enough for you to picture him with another girl, and be feel nothing. Do not say that you are ok with it, but rather aim for feeling NOTHING.
3) Hangout in social gatherings and not alone
If you are looking to see him alone, then are you not essentially replacing your old relationship with a more platonic version of it? That is not how it works. There is no compromising on this. You should accept that friendships and relationships are completely different.
4) Become friends with the new girl in his life
There might be another girl in his life. Help him get the new girl, or he already has her, then try to befriend her. This will aid the friendship, in general, but also prove to you and him that there are no lingering romantic feelings.
5) Be brutally honest with each other
Do not try to sugar code things, or try to play angles. Ask yourself, would you do that with another guy friend? You should tell him what you want (a friendship), but also be honest and say if either one of us feels like it is becoming too blurred we should be allowed to admit it and cut bait.
6) Do not talk about or think about the past
Do not reminisce even about good times, because that might lead to you thinking about why you fell for each other in the first place.
7) Become his bro
No cutesy stuff or late night texts (no smileys) , etc -> you both must make it clear that there is no chance of looking at each other as cute girl or cute guy. The boat has sailed, and now you want to try a platonic almost asexual friends.
8) Do not unfriend your exes but at the same time unsubscribe them from your feed
This also to give yourself space. There might be a hint of temptation to fall into old habits, and you must make sure that danger is extinguished completely.
9) Still put in the effort -> ask about their parents, or their job -> say happy bday, etc
Make sure that he still will feel like he is someone you care about. There are bound to be moments of "does she/he even care about me." Friends still care about each other so do not be afraid to let him know he has a caring friend.
10) Do not judge their new relationships or hook-up styles
Anything you say will risk you seeming catty. Do not take that risk. Just avoid this issue, since it is no longer something that concerns you.
11) Simply and nonchalantly ask whether he wants to hang out with some friends
Do NOT ask him to hang out with you. You must make it clear there will be others, and that this is just a casual encounter. If he passes, do not press. Let it go, because it may not be meant to be (or the right time to make it be).