You know you've said it, or have had it said to you, in the midst of a break-up: "Let's just be friends."
Most of the time, it's a fairly empty statement, a way to mitigate the blow of the "it's over" for both parties. But once in a blue moon, you really do mean it: let's be friends.
The progression from friendship to romance is a natural one. But what about the reverse?
Can you really successfully downgrade from lovers to friends?
It's a question I asked myself as my boyfriend and I became exes over a lively dinner, at the end of which we decided we didn't want to lose each other — we'd carry on as friends, genuine friends, best friends. It's not that we don't like each other, we agreed, it's that we just can't be a couple.
In looking at other real world couples I know, my theory is yes, it's possible to recast your romantic relationship as a friendship. For a myriad of reasons, you weren't right together as a couple, but you just have too much in common, or too much fun together or know each other too well that to blindly wander the earth apart would be silly. There's just a few things to consider as you start the transition and a few safety measures worth taking if you want to avoid what you have managed to avoid up to that point in the relationship — real heartbreak.
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