How to break up amicably
1. The Breakup
Be calm but caring
If you want to break up and remain, friends, one of the most important things you can do is during the Break-Up itself. You need to show that you still care about the person, that you haven’t become enemies, even though you no longer can maintain a relationship. You need to do this as calmly as possible. The most painful memories are often created during the heated drama of a breakup. If you can avoid that drama, your chance to remain friends will be much better. And likewise, if the other person is breaking up with you, and you still want to be friends in the future, try to remain as calm as possible but still show you care.
It’s very important that you don’t criticize the other person during The Break-Up. Don’t make them look like they’re a bad person or that they’re guilty of doing something wrong against you. While it’s natural to try to decide who’s at fault when their relationship fails or who is more guilty, that is a loser’s game and it guarantees you’re going to have hard feelings one way or the other. Just assume that the relationship has no guilty party and no perfect fix, then you will be in better shape for friendship.
Share your reasons and values
As you’re breaking up it’s very helpful to share your thoughts and your feelings about why the relationship is not working out and why you’re better off separated. It’s also very important to listen to the other person’s viewpoint- their thoughts and the reasons about why this relationship is not working. Don’t leave the other person wondering why you broke up because that will haunt them for a long time and hinder a future friendship.
Everyone needs closure on the important events of their lives. While not everyone will succeed, it’s important to have a clear a break in the relationship rather than weeks or even months of going back and forth about it whether you are a couple or not. That leads to a lot of fear uncertainty and doubt. Sometimes a couple ends up in a very destructive cycle of breakups and reunions so that the relationship never ends and never evolves. Once you know the relationship is no longer working, it’s healthier for both of you to cleanly the relationship but remain as friends.
2. The Aftermath
Avoiding each other
After a breakup, it’s very helpful to have a period of time where you are not seeing each other regularly, especially if you’re you have been living together or in close contact every day. Just take a break, maybe stay with some friends and find a place of your own if you’ve been living together. But you need a chance to get away from constantly seeing the other person and then you able to more successfully transition into a different kind of relationship or friendship. A separation will give both of you time to allow your past relationship to fade before trying to forge a new one.
Friends forgive each other. Every relationship has lots of disagreement and conflict, even the healthy ones. If you want to become friends, you need to forgive the other person for everything that they’ve done that bothers you, even if they don’t ask for forgiveness. Whenever the trouble with that person comes to mind, just immediately forgive them. Let go of all their faults. Hopefully, the other person will do the same and they will forgive you.
The cliche says that time heals all wounds. That is true in a relationship. Once you have forgiven each other and recovered from your past hurts, then you can build a relationship with that person again. But if you try to go back to a relationship or even attempt friendship too early, you may go back into a bad relationship or a very uncomfortable, failing friendship. So make sure that you’ve had time and opportunity to heal in your relationship before trying to begin a friendship with the same person.
From Denial to Acceptance
In terms of facing death, we go through five phases: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Many go through the same steps in the death of a relationship. At first, we deny that there’s a problem. And then we go through anger with the other person, ourselves and sometimes many others. Then comes bargaining to find ways to make the relationship work, regardless of the cost. Sometimes the bargaining is just within our minds after the relationship is over. This may be followed by depression as we see all the negative effects of losing the relationship and no hope of fixing it. But finally, over time, we can move to acceptance of the breakup. Only after accepting the end of the relationship can we find true friendship with the person.
3. Moving on
It’s very important to give yourself time- the key word here is patience. You may want to quickly move into a friendship with your former flame but they may not be ready. They may need to take a lot of time before they can transition into a friendship. But a true friend will be patient and give them the time they need to be ready for this new kind of relationship. Be very careful that you don’t fall back into the habits you had before, such as drinking to excess together or sex. Trying to create a “friends with benefits” situation is too soon is sure to end badly.
It can be very difficult to fully let go of the old relationship, especially if we have any bad habits such as trying to control or to manipulate the other person. All of the negative things that we’ve done to control the relationship including lying and deceit and many kinds of false words- those are things we have to completely let go of. In the same way. the person we had a relationship with has to be willing to let go of all the negative control methods that they’ve used on you before you can truly be friends with them.
Seeing other people
One of the real tests of ending a relationship and beginning a friendship is when they start seeing other people. It can be very challenging to watch the person you used to date, going out with someone else, living together, or even getting married. If you can learn to accept them in these other relationships and accept the other people that they have a relationship with, then you can truly build a friendship and vice versa. But don’t be surprised if these new people in the relationship are suspicious of your intentions. That is part of the baggage of being friends with your ex.
Trusting someone new
Another challenge of being friends with your ex is that you need to learn to love and trust someone else. If you can build a healthy relationship with someone new and truly trust them, then, you will not try to force your ex to fulfill those needs that they used to fulfill. Once you have the new person it’s much easier for you to be friends with your old flame. But of course, your new flame may not appreciate that you have maintained a friendship with your ex and ask you to decide between them.
4. Can you be friends with an ex?
Sometimes, never is best
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to be friends with an ex. Sometimes, your hurts are too deep and sometimes your feelings are too powerful to completely let go of your ex. while maintaining a friendship, for one or both of you. Moreover, there are some people there just not good together and so they can’t even be friends. They’re better off apart than they are together in a toxic relationship.
Never say never
But we always have hope that we can maintain a relationship with our old flame, that we can become friends again. And it is possible, if both of you are willing to pay the price to let go of the past and create a better, but more platonic relationship. Sometimes, people, whom you would think that you could never get back together as friends with show you that yes it is possible. But of course, it’s also possible, though rarely beneficial end up with the old relationship, going through a cycle of getting together and breaking up again and again. You have to decide is all that pain worth it.
One of the keys to being friends with your ex is to focus on the things you have in common, that means maintaining fellowship. Opposites attract, yet that is also what can doom the relationship. So focus on the things that you share in common, the things that both of you like. Do them with not as a couple but with other friends, so that you can form a social group and you have less pressure to create a bond again.
If you still and truly love the person, even after you break up, then you will want what is best for them. In this kind of love, you sacrifice what you want for their benefit. And that means that you do what you can to help them, even though you don’t get any obvious benefit out of it. That is the true test of friendship- one who helps another at their own cost. And if they sacrificially love you, then they’ll help you when you need it even though you no longer have that original relationship. And that is a friendship that is worth more than many relationships.