After reading dozens of requests for this Ask Lauren topic in my LaurenConrad.com inbox, I finally decided to tell all of you my thoughts about being friends with your ex. It’s a tricky situation, which is why so many people seek advice when they begin to enter the friend zone. To be honest, the “friends with an ex” situation can only be judged on a case-by-case basis. Every relationship begins and ends differently, so things are rarely black and white. That said, it’s always ideal to remain friendly with people from your past even if things didn't work out romantically.
In order to decide whether you can be friends with your ex, there are a few guidelines to consider. Here they are…
1. You have to truly want to be "friends" with your ex.
This means that you both understand the romantic relationship is done. No kissing. No "one glass of wine too many" phone calls. No flaunting new love interests in front of each other. No funny business! Strictly buddies.
2. You have to forgive each other for whatever ended the relationship.
No hostility can remain for you both to have a healthy friendship. If the end of the relationship was one you can forgive and forget, you must do it before becoming friends (if not, see #5).
3. You must support each other in future relationships.
Your ex-boyfriend finding a new love interest is inevitable, and you have to be okay with it. Jealous behavior is just going to complicate things and send mixed messages. In order to be a good friend you must genuinely want what is best for each other and respect new relationships.
4. Consider a cool off period.
Often times we make the jump from being the boyfriend/girlfriend to the friend much too quickly. Obviously this person was important to you, but when you don't take the time to heal and separate your lives, the roles you play become confusing. In order to move on from one another, you need to take some time to do exactly that.
5. Accept that sometimes being "friends" simply isn't going to happen.
You can't force a friendship, especially if the break up was one-sided or too hurtful to forgive. It’s important to respect your ex's way of moving on and sometimes that means not seeing each other for a while.
I hope this helped all of you ladies who messaged me about how to become friends with an ex. Also, if you aren’t quite at this point yet but you’re going through a breakup, be sure to read my guide on how to survive a breakup.
What topic would you like to see me cover in my next Ask Lauren post?
Sound off in the comments below!
P.S. A big thank you to Carrie Beth Taylor for the lovely illustration for this post!