Breakups are obviously shitty and painfully heart-wrenching, but regardless of who ended the romantic relationship, the common dilemma that follows right after would be whether or not to stay friends after you two part ways.
Subjective to the circumstances and what led to the split, the both of you could choose to shut each other out of your lives forever, or turn those sour feelings and resentment into a healthy friendship.
You may still care for and love your ex, but what may seem completely acceptable to you can be detrimental and cause him even more heartache.
Although there isn’t a be-all-end-all guidebook to dealing with an ex after a breakup, there sure are ways you can be graceful about the entire thing, for his and your sake.
Give one another space – As much as you may want to stay in touch right after to make sure he’s okay, it may be best not to. You’ve spent a considerable amount of your lifetime with this important person who is suddenly now missing from your daily routine. Your lives are about to change drastically, so it’s rational to give each other time to grieve and learn to live a new life without each other. Take a step back, at least for a while.
Be sensible – Social media is ubiquitous and not only would you risk bumping into him on the streets, photos and even those he is tagged in, would pop up unknowingly. This can make the breakup exceptionally painful. Consider checking in on social media less often instead of scrolling through every time you whip out your smartphone, and try to be respectful to him by posting updates sensibly. Think about how he would feel, and vice versa when he does the same.
Avoid bad mouthing – You’d be leaning on friends and family for support during this difficult time, and that’s fine. You deserve to emotionally unload anyway. But while it’s comforting to know that your loved ones are there for you to vent to, it can be extremely tempting to scorn your ex-lover and let everything negative out. Stop belittling him and complaining about him. You’re allowing yourself to wallow in negativity and this will not help with moving on.
Clarify your motives – Once everything mellows down after some time and presumably, you both have somewhat recovered, you may want to initiate conversation. But bear in mind that this can be perceived as a bid at reviving the relationship. You may already be certain that you’re looking to get back together, or that friendship is all you’re after. Either ways, make your motives clear.
Don’t force it – You may want to remain friends after the breakup, but your ex may not or he may not be ready. Be sensitive about it, let him know and boast a friendly attitude to prove it. With that said, don’t force it on him as that can trigger more hurt between you both. You can maintain being publicly polite and when he is ready, he will accept the offer. If he never does, you’d get the message.