Not many people maintain a relationship after a split, but Amber Rose and Wiz Khalifa celebrated their love (and divorce) in a strip club – proof that it can be done
Breakups are tough. They involve a lot of hurt feelings and hard conversations. You don’t get to use their Netflix account anymore. It’s agonising. But worst of all is feeling like you’re losing a friend, someone you’ve loved and grown with and shared some of the most beautiful and difficult days of your life with. It truly sucks an absolutely colossal quantity of balls. But what if I was to tell you that a break up doesn’t mean you can’t be friends anymore? You’re probably screaming right now. You’re throwing things across the room. “WHAAAAT!!” You’re yelling. “She’s crazy! It can’t be true! Harold come in here! Haaaaaaarold!” Well, it is true. And no, I’ve not lost it. It’s absolutely not impossible to be friends with your ex, despite that article that said it might make you a psychopath. That was nutso. Who would publish that? Oh shit, we did. Uhhhhhhhh anyway. Here’s how to be friends with your ex!!!
RECOGNISE THAT NOT ALL YOUR EXES CAN BE YOUR FRIENDS
It just doesn’t work like that. Sometimes you date people who are not in any way friend-compatible and trying to be friends with them after the break-up is like putting a little chefs hat on your dog and asking him to whip you up an omelette. He’s going to look adorable, sure, but you’re never getting that omelette. Dogs don’t have thumbs and not all your exes can be your friend. Let’s just get that part out of the way.
IT’S A SLOW PROCESS
Even the most rational and determined exes run into problems when trying to be friends after the break-up. People rush into these things, overestimating how quickly they can switch modes, how easy they’ll find it to remove all the romance and just keep the good and friendly parts running smoothly. Being friends with your ex is often a case of gutting things and building them up from the ground. That’s a lot of work and both of you need to ask yourself if it’s worth it or if that time would be better spent working on yourself or meditating or learning dolphin trivia or whatever.
YOU HAVE TO ACTUALLY ACT LIKE FRIENDS
If you’re still flirting, or hooking up when you’re drunk, or getting jealous like you’re together then you’re not friends. I REPEAT: YOU ARE NOT FRIENDS. You know what me and my friends do? We make friendship bracelets. We get drunk and talk shit. We don’t dry hump and drunk text each other dick pics. It’s just not the done thing.
BOTH OF YOU NEED TO BE ON BOARD
It’s no use being like “This is my close personal friend Froderick. We dated for a while but now we’re just the best of pals!!!!”. Meanwhile, Froderick is wearing a locket of your hair and telling people he’ll never love again. It’s a dead-end. It boils down to this: they’re not your friend if they’re still trying to date you. They’re not your friend if they still resent you for what happened. They’re not your friend if they’ve only agreed to stay friends to keep you in their life. They’re not your friend if it’s painful for them. That’s something else, something kind of sad and nameless and definitely not where either of you want to be. If you can sense the other person is still gooey in the heart about you then you need to be kind and fair and the friendship plans on hold until their heart is a more manageable texture and they’re fully over you.
“It’s no use being like ‘This is my close personal friend Froderick. We dated for a while but now we’re just the best of pals!!!!’ Meanwhile, Froderick is wearing a locket of your hair and telling people he’ll never love again”
BE PREPARED FOR PEOPLE TO DOUBT IT
My best friend and I dated for 9 months about five years ago. There’s been nothing romantic ever since, we’ve both happily dated other people and it’s all totally platonic and supportive. And yet people still ask “Okay but you’ll probably get back together right?” It’s pretty boring having to keep explaining to people that no, that won’t happen. And I know that because the people we’ve grown to be aren’t people that romantically suit one another. What we’ve built is a relationship that only functions as long as we’re friends, as long as we’re supporting each other with no sexy ulterior motive. SO JUST BACK OFF ASKING OKAY GRANDMA.
YOU’LL PROBABLY NEED TO REASSURE THE PEOPLE YOU BOTH DATE AFTERWARDS
I’m obviously not going to date anyone who tells me I can’t be friends with my friends, whether that includes my exes or not. But it wouldn’t be out of line for them to have some questions about how the whole thing works. So be open to explaining it. After that, it’s just a matter of trust and maturity. If you and your ex are legitimately friends then any rational person will see that and shrug and say “Oi oi alright treacle no dramas sound as a pound” or however it is people are talking nowadays. Listen, I don’t go outside but you know what I’m saying.
So that’s it. Some exes can be friends, it just takes work and patience. Hooking up with your ex doesn’t make you friends. People will probably always be sceptical about it, but that’s fine. Also, dogs can’t be chefs.