How to break up well when you still have to see them

Conventional wisdom tells us that the only thing to do after a break up is to sever ties completely with your other half. But when most of us meet our partners through friends, work and school, how is this even possible? Sometimes it isn’t.

It takes two to make a break up as mature and painless as possible. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin were universally mocked for their desire to ‘consciously uncouple’, but the idea is good. If you both decide to on a few ground rules to save your (platonic) relationship, you are off to a good start.

Don’t complain about them to all your friends.

Sure, have a session where you get out all your anger with your best mate, but in the larger circle of acquaintances, be polite. Everyone else will appreciate it and it will minimise drama. High drama means someone’s going to be cut out of social gatherings and nobody wants that.

Don’t be obvious about your next fling.

There is nothing worse than trying to be friends with your ex and then seeing them chat up someone else. That level of comfortability takes time. And if you’re trying to make them jealous, that’s even worse – everyone knows what you are doing, and nobody will be comfortable with the situation.

Remember the things you like about them.

Good romantic communication could lead to a valuable platonic relationship down the road, so try to focus on the things you have in common. You may find yourself with a great friend in a few years.

Respect their advice.

If you had a good relationship, they can be the best source of advice for new relationships! They can be honest about how you react to situations and what they think you desire in a partner. Listen to them – it might help. Probably not now, but with time.

Breaking up is never going to be painless, but it can be better. Maybe in a few years you will both be having a drink and laughing about how ridiculous it was that you used to date!

By Eva Gabriel

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