Anon asks: Last night my boyfriend of two years said it’s over. We’re both mid-late 20s and I thought he was the one, but he came clean and said he’d become less invested in the relationship than me. We both love each other dearly and spent last night crying and laughing about all the good times. More than anything we both want to be friends in the future — any tips on how to get through and remain pals?
Hey, gidday mate. I’ve been through a few of those, “But I thought this one was the one,” situations and the end is never easy. So first things first I’m sorry for what you’re dealing with. Now, let’s talk how to stay friends with an ex.
My rule for getting through the breakup and remaining friends is to cut contact and give each other some solid breathing room. Don’t attempt a friendship straight away, don’t try and hangout like you did when you were together (only without the romantic bits), and don’t text/chat on the phone/stalk his social media accounts etc etc. Oh and don’t keep having sex.
If you’re anything like me, I know what you’re thinking: “No but we’re different, we still really care about each other, maybe we can still go for dinner on Friday night…”
And, if you’re anything like me, you’ll go for dinner on Friday night and then get super upset when you realize that the guy you thought was The One is not going home with you like the good old days. Or you’ll get even more upset when he does go home with you then wakes up the next morning and says, “This doesn’t change anything.”
Basically, don’t do any of the above until you can ensure with complete certainty that you can sit down with him for a cup of coffee and not feel any trace of jealousy or longing or sadness or resentment or angst no matter what he has to say for himself.
You’ll know when you’re ready. Until that moment, leave it alone.
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