In all love matters personal emotions are involved and 2 people. Answering love questions is tricky. Because the way I handle things might differ from the way you handle things.
Many people advice on YouTube and websites and love matters and breakups are the most googled questions, so I guess we are all a bit puzzled every now and then by the hardship and/or magic of falling in and out of love.
Even I sometimes search the internet, just to find comfort in the idea that I’m not the only one struggling
When dating in the Philippines as a non-Filipino you come to realize that after a breakup Filipinos want to stay friends with you, no matter what. After months they keep popping up in your messenger or send you SMS to check in and see how you are.
Dealing with a breakup in a strange culture is even more confusing than dealing with heartache in your own safe cultural boundaries among friends. But in the end it is all about the same: you need to heal in order to move on.
Things that come to mind when answering the question of staying friends with your ex, for one of my readers, are:
can you handle the memories?
will there be a learning curve from all the experience?
will you heal your broken heart when you stay friends?
will you not hold on to an illusion?
can you handle it when your ex is moving on?
and maybe most important:
Why do you want to stay friends?
Most breakups are not friendly, two people dealing with a bunch of emotions. it can heat up a lot when being confronted with each other.
Staying friends with your ex can be a nice thought right after the breakup but after a few days when things start to become more clearer and you work yourself through the stages of the breakup and disillusion, it might not be such a good idea after all.
Unless the breakup up was in mutual agreement and there are no hard feelings towards each other, staying friends with your ex from day one is a hard one.
Are there children involved then maybe you have no choice than to deal with your ex on a regular base, but in this article, I focus on couples that have no kids.
To stay friends with your ex asks a certain level of mature behavior that is hard to master. Many of us struggle with emotions like guilt and anger. After a breakup, one might feel betrayed and hurt. Even if you are the one initiating the breakup.
All those emotions need to settle down. And that takes time. Both of you need to learn from the experience, heal emotions and regain a new daily structure. The moment you are nog checking your phone every 15 minutes anymore and the moment you do not cry over favorite songs and colors and familiar places, that is the day you might consider to become friends again.
But read closely: might consider……it is not a must. It is completely healthy not to want to be friends with your ex. After all, he or she is an ex for a reason. And that reason might still count.
Search your heart why you want to stay friends with your ex?
Follow this checklist to help you find the reason why you should not stay in touch with your ex:
do you still love them in a romantic matter?
do you have a hard time letting go?
are you still hurting from the breakup?
do you seek revenge?
do you have low self-esteem?
do you have little friends and a poor social life?
do you want to get your ex back?
If you answer any of these questions with a ‘yes’, then do not stay friends with your ex. Not now, not in the near future. Maybe someday, sometime you run into each other and then you can check this list again and consider it. But for now: love yourself, be strong and move on.
Only if you are both in agreement on the staying in touch, understand that you have to deal with emotions and you might need some space every now and then, only if you both accept fully that one is about to move on, and only if the relationship was ended in a mature, agreeable matter, only then you can be true platonic friends.
In all other cases please do not stay friends. You only end up hurting each other more
Maybe someday, sometime, after a decent period of time, you might consider contacting your ex and see how they are doing, and then maybe a friendship can grow.
I have that experience, I really broke a guy’s heart a few years ago back in the Netherlands. he was so way ahead of me on matters like marriage and living together that I felt smothered. And his insecurity was killing. So I broke up with him. Feeling all sad about it for he was a genuinely nice guy to hang out with.
After a few years, I believe it was 2 years at least, I contacted him, because I was about to leave the Netherlands and we picked up the friendship and had a few good months exploring the country and doing fun things together. The friendship as we had before we became lovers was totally back and we both agreed on us not being a good couple.
We were able to share about our feelings without getting upset and we were able to tell each other what we learned and most important: we were able to laugh about certain episodes, that would have been way too painful in the weeks or months after the breakup.
Give yourself time to heal, to move on, love yourself enough and have enough self-esteem to walk away from a time in your life that hurt you beyond belief. And give it time.
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Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.