What To Do Before & After A Breakup If Your Goal Is Being Friends With An Ex

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What To Do Before & After A Breakup If Your Goal Is Being Friends With An Ex

You might have heard many "rules" and ideas about whether being friends with an ex is possible.

The truth is that it’s a personal decision you need to make on a case-by-case basis.

Friendships one of the most important relationships in our lives. And when a friendship turns into a relationship, it can change your whole dynamic.

Dealing with a breakup is never easy. But, if you've had a healthy relationship with an ex, you can learn what to do after a breakup to move on — without losing your ex in the process.

RELATED: 5 Steps You Need To Take If You Want To Be Friends With Your Ex

If you want to your ex to remain your friend, even after your romance is over, there are some steps to take in order to ensure the friendship survives.

What to do in a relationship to stay friends if you break up

1. Develop a true friendship

Studies show that couples who were friends before they became intimate have a better chance of remaining as buddies after a breakup.

No matter how you connected, your relationship will be stronger if it's based on more than just physical attraction.

2. Retain your own identity

Enjoy doing things together as a couple but cultivate your existing support network and pursue your own interests.

That way, you'll be more resilient in adapting to fluctuations in your romantic life.

3. Hold yourself accountable

Be honest about your actions that contribute to the decline of any relationship.

A realistic perspective will help you recognize patterns of behavior that you can improve on and make you less vulnerable to blaming the other person for everything.

4. Work out issues between yourselves

Seek advice and support from family and friends but avoid bad-mouthing your partner.

If you deal with your conflicts directly, your loved ones will have less reason to view your partner in a negative light and create obstacles.

5. Establish valid sources of self-esteem

Learn to appreciate yourself in a stable and sensible fashion.

Value and respect yourself as an individual so you avoid becoming overly dependent on your partner.

Many things can happen in a relationship. So when you've decided it was time to break up, getting over a breakup while maintaining a friendship may seem intimidating and impossible.

RELATED: Yes, It Is Possible To Stay Friends With Your Ex

What to do after a breakup to stay friends with an ex

1. Separate amicably

Get off to a good start on being friends with your ex by handling the breakup with mutual respect and consideration.

Talk out your differences instead of withdrawing from each other or saying hurtful things.

2. Make your intentions clear

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If you want to stay in touch, be clear about whether you want to get back together or maintain a platonic relationship.

It will help you both to avoid painful misunderstandings.

3. Give yourselves time to cool off

Even when you part on good terms, you'll probably need some time to yourself before you are ready to communicate with your ex.

Take a breather so you have time to reflect and plan for your future.

4. Think before you become intimate

Having sex with an ex-girlfriend or boyfriend is always a delicate issue.

It may work out for some people but think carefully about whether the immediate pleasure justifies the potential regrets.

5. Set boundaries

Decide what you are comfortable with. If you and your ex are at ease with discussing personal matters, you both may benefit from talking with someone who knows you so well.

Otherwise, you may want to keep your contacts cordial but more superficial.

6. Meet new people

Give yourself the opportunity to find new friends and romances.

Sign up for an adult education class or throw a party.

7. Plan ahead for how you’ll handle new love interests

It's always challenging when either of you finds a new partner.

Think ahead so you'll be ready to adapt as your circumstances change.

8. Learn from experience

Welcome every relationship as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the world around you. Take satisfaction in your personal growth instead of viewing breaking up as a failure.

Now that you know what to do after a breakup, you can begin your recovery without the loss of a friendship with your ex.

Continued friendship with your ex could be very beneficial for you or it could cause you grief. Make your decision by carefully reflecting upon your true feelings.

Whatever you decide, clarify your intentions and treat each other with compassion so you can feel good about whatever your future holds.

Healthy relationships don't have to deteriorate because you're no longer romantically involved. But, when you take these important steps, your friendship can stay as strong as ever.

RELATED: It's Not Impossible! 3 Ways To Turn Your Former Flame Into A Friend

Moira Hutchison is a Mindfulness Coach, Energy Healer, and Hypnotherapist at Wellness With Moira. Contact her for information about how coaching can get you motivated and unstuck in your life.