Can An Ex Become A Friend?

After a breakup it’s very common for him to offer friendship so his routine is not disrupted. He may want a smooth transition into the next girl. Men are less comfortable being truly single. However, there are cases where he wants to be friends for real. How can you decide what his true motives are, and should you consider being his friend?….

Time heals all wounds?…..

When you go though a big breakup, give yourself a year of no contact. I know that sounds extreme, but you need to figure out how to live your new life. Ask yourself why you still want him in your life besides getting back together. The year of no contact can give you perspective on if he actually makes your world richer or not.

The two good things about becoming friends…..

  1. You don’t have to play games anymore- It’s sort of liberating to be able to text when you feel like it and not play hot and cold

2. It will feel good to take him off a pedestal- You will find a better fit for you

Are you cool with him having a new girlfriend?…..

Really think about this….You can’t have one conversation without him bringing her up. He might even treat her better than he treated you! This can be a huge slap in the face. You will watch him become a doting boyfriend who cherishes her when he sort of treated you as an afterthought. Even if you only see this play out on social media, it can be heart wrenching. When it’s rubbed in your face every time you hang out, it can be unbearable.

Do you have an active dating life?….

You can’t be friends with your ex if you aren’t actively dating and talking to new men. If you are lonely and feeling vulnerable, you will want to get back together. You figure you deserve to be with him since you stuck it out with him.

Are you trying to get revenge?…..

You should never have a revenge friendship. It’s not worth your time to make him jealous. He will be oblivious that you are doing revenge when you are being nice and spending time with him. He won’t register that as you being cruel and taunting him with what he could have had. He just views everything at face value. So stop trying to kill him with kindness or bring dates around him

Does he actually want to be friends or is he being selfish?…..

Some men like to keep women around as back ups. This type of guy is really confusing because he might swear he wants you in his life. Sometimes he is just using you so he doesn’t have to meet new women. Friends with benefits is not friends, and being friendly if you run into each other is not friends. Usually by friends he means he does not want drama or animosity if you end up in the same room

Were you originally friends?…..

This can change things. Starting out as good friends, then trying to date, and then going back to friends can work. Some male and female friendships can get a lot of outside pressure to date. It could have been an experiment gone wrong.

Bottom Line….

Being friends with an ex usually doesn’t pan out in your favor. You can’t have secret motives to win him back. Most men don’t value opposite sex relationships as much as women do. He might be a flaky second-tier friend rather than your bestie. Put focus on dating new men and have an active dating life. He could be asking you for dating advice or have a girlfriend. Do not become his friend just so he feels better about dumping you. He needs to feel the repercussions of his actions, not you just brushing it off and being the cool girl. Have standards, boundaries, and let him feel your absence.

How To Break Up With Someone

The dumper gets a bad rap. You will get zero sympathy from anyone if you tell them you ended things. No “he sucks” bar crawl and a wine and ice cream night from your girlfriends. You unfortunately might get a mild, “oh wow, so sorry” text. However, you are probably pretty bummed, too, and it wasn’t an easy decision to make. (I am speaking of a non-toxic relationship where he wasn’t abusive. If this is the case, take necessary help and get out safely)….How do you break up with someone with class and what are the pre-steps to a break up?….

Think of the reasons you want to break up…..

Women are the pros and cons queens. She has spoken to her best friend, consulted the therapist, and has even gone to a psychic. So, this is probably a given for most women, but really think of the real reasons you want out. Is it because your morals and values don’t line up? Do you not share the same vision of the future? Is he giving you too many red flags? Sometimes, it’s best to have a long discussion before you pull the trigger. He might be withholding info or he is giving you the wrong impression. Either way, have a long conversation and bring up what has been bothering you.

Are you wanting out because of fear?…..

Some people panic after the honeymoon phase is over. It’s when things start to level out and you spend more time watching Netflix than elaborate dates. Three to six months is the first check-in for people typically. Although if you tend to only have three-month relationships, it’s something to examine. It could be unfamiliar to you to have a long-term relationship and you are spiraling. Your impulse might be to run and cut it off.

Take some time apart….

You don’t have to take an official break, but pull back a little. If you have been seeing each other everyday and spend every night together, you might need breathing room. This is why it’s a smarter idea to pace it from the beginning. Start slow, then build. It’s easy to get swept away in the moment and be excited that you finally found someone to commit. If this is happening, recalibrate yourself and put things back into perspective. Spend more time with friends, work, hobbies. Put your life back together and have him be a piece, not the whole pie.

Talk about the relationship and plans for the future….

Most women fear bringing up the future, especially if he has not brought anything up. Really get a feel of how serious it is going. Yes, wait it out a bit, but after a certain time clarify how he views the relationship. He might view it as casually hanging out, when you thought it was leading to marriage. It’s better to break up a year later, rather than being dragged along for four plus.

The compliment sandwich….

If you have discussed, gotten info, and seen that he refuses to change, then it’s time to end things. Do so with the “compliment sandwich.” Start with a compliment, state the issue, then end with a compliment. See how he reacts and if he is willing to fix it or let the relationship go. When a woman is in the process of breaking up, usually she wants room for him to fix it. When a man is breaking up, it is usually a final decision. See where he is at. He might have also thought about ending it, or is totally blindsided and wants to fight for the relationship.

Give him space….

Don’t do the whole, “let’s stay friends!” Give him space and allow him and you to get over it. Don’t let him keep texting you everyday and stay in your life. Tell him that you will be blocking him on the phone and through social media for at least three months to give each other time to heal. Do not play with his emotions by sending him “miss you” texts late at night. Be very decisive and not wishy-washy with his emotions. You will feel dumpers remorse, so be firm with blocking or deleting his number.

You know what’s best for you….

After dumping someone, the question of why you rejected someone who cared for you will come up. The older you get the harder it is to justify a breakup. Most people view a relationship that didn’t lead to marriage as a failure. You will feel an empty void and a disruption to your routine. Make sure to get busy and pick up more hobbies, get back into your friend circle, focus on getting a promotion. If you haven’t already seen a therapist, do so. It was a heartbreaking decision to end something. In therapy, you might discover traditional relationships do not work for you, or you need more time to get to more healthy mindset. Either way, find out what you need going forward.

Bottom Line….

Breakups are hard for both people. The dumper usually does not get the support from others since it was her decision to end things. It’s never an easy call to make. Before you get into a hasty breakup, remember to open up communication and get to the bottom of issues. Examine if you are acting out of fear or projecting. Give yourself and him breathing room while slowing down the pace. Most problems can be fixed by getting on the same page and getting clarification. If there is no saving it, then cleanly end it with no late night “miss you” texts. Rebuild your new life and grow to be better for the next relationship or to discover if traditional relationships are the best fit for you.

Closure

Getting dumped out of the blue can make any person go into an anxiety spiral….. “Is it something I said?” “Did he meet someone else?’’ The worrying will take over your life. The reality is that even when some questions are answered, it’s hard to feel satisfied. More than likely, he will give a kind generic answer, “There is just something missing.” To be honest, one thing that didn’t work in one relationship might be the secret formula in the next relationship.

Should we ask for closure?…..

Obviously, it depends on the situation. If he left you at the altar, I think it would be fair to get an explanation. Usually, it’s not out of the blue. There will be distance and a change in the wind. You will feel it.

Is it easier to move on if we don’t know the answers?….

If you have the mantra of “oh well, his loss,” it will help you move forward easier. I am speaking mainly of casual dating. It does get more complicated if you are in a serious exclusive relationship. If you have a break up after a four-year relationship, sometimes you will try to find ways to hate him so you can conclude he is a horrible person. It is infuriating to get a generic, “it’s not you, it’s me” answer. Closure is really about having the last fight and wanting him to be an asshole so you can rally with your girlfriends. Sometimes, that is the way to move forward, although it may sting.

Can we be prepared before a break up happens?….

I do think there will be signs that the end is near. Out-of-the-blue really doesn’t happen too often. Here are some signs a breakup is approaching:

  1. He texts you less – If communication has taken a back seat, look out.
  2. He is always busy – Sure work could have gotten more busy or he has a deadline, but it’s the best excuse to avoid someone.
  3. He is thinking about relocating – Any guy who tries to soften the breakup with wanting to do long-distance has been thinking about this plan for a while
  4. The vibe is off – You will just sort of know something is up. Trust your gut.
  5. He is talking more and more about her – It’s just odd that he talks his new “friend” a lot and out of nowhere…..
  6. He is putting obstacles in front of you to not move forward – he might prefer living with multiple roommates rather than with you.

It’s run its course…

Relationships can simply run out of steam. It doesn’t mean that the relationship was a failure if it only lasted a few years. Maybe your early-20s is completely different from your late-20s. Not everyone grows at the same rate. You might find yourself wanting a breakup for no real reason. Those are the hardest breakups since there is technically nothing wrong.

The only closure should be not having an enemy….

This, of course, depends on what caused the breakup. If he cheated or stole money from you, etc., you don’t have to be cool with him. If it was a case that it was a normal relationship that fizzled, then there is no point in having him as an enemy. The closure in that case might be to have the understanding that you are cool with each other and there is no bad blood.

Bottom Line…..

Break ups are hard and sometimes just unfair…. It’s heartbreaking to find out he broke up with you for such a dumb reason. Mainly it’s because the relationship has run its course or he met someone else. The worst you can do is blame yourself and think you are undateable. Hearing an insulting reason why he wants out will stick with you. Yes, you should evaluate yourself and how you can do better for the next relationship. If all your relationships in your life (friends, family , co -workers ) are strained, you need to take a step back and make some changes. You do need some self-awareness. However, if you really did nothing, then it might have been as simple as he didn’t like cats and you do. Truthfully, there is no fair explanation. Sit with the fact that you won’t get the full truth. Get your own closure. You just need to tell yourself that it wasn’t the right match.

Sunk Cost Fallacy: learning when to walk away in dating

A lot of us will stay in a sub-par relationship or dating situation that we think works. In business, sunk cost fallacy is “a greater tendency to continue an endeavor once an investment in money, effort, or time has been made.” Meaning, decisions are being made by emotions. To make a clearer example, let’s say you just bought a house and you find a problem. So, you put money in to fix it, but then a few months later, another problem arrises, and another…. You might think, “Well, I have come this far. I can’t give up now.” And you end up spending more time and more money to keep fixing problems and not admitting it was a bad investment from the start. The New York Times article, “Sometimes You Have To Quit To Get Ahead,” by Stephanie Lee, talks about the sunk cost theory and how our ego gets in the way of what’s truly best for us.

How does this come back to dating?…

This happens a lot in a breakup situation or a situationship. Some casual relationships can last up to a decade with no end in sight. Or a breakup turns into breakup sex, which then turns you into the side-chick when he gets into a new relationship. Yet, the mind has decided, “I’ve come this far; I’ve invested; I will be rewarded for sticking it out.”

Our brain thinks, “But what are the alternatives?”….

Our brain thinks a lot in black-and-white. If we think we should stay in a bad relationship or non-relationship, the alternative thought is, “Well, I don’t want to be alone.” It’s very all-or-nothing. “If I break up, I will be alone forever with six cats.”

This way of thinking is the opposite of thinking abundantly about dating….

When we are in a scarcity mindset, we think there are not enough men to go around. All the good ones are taken, so we should hold tight to what is good enough.

A breakup is a breakup….

When a guy breaks up, accept that it is over. So many times, I would stick around on the sidelines hoping that he would call me to bat if his new relationship didn’t work out. If he saw what a great listener and great friend I was, then he would come back to me and dump her. A guy who ended up breaking my heart just wanted a summer fling. I couldn’t accept the breakup, so I kept holding on and stuck around as his friend. Four years later and after many nights of crying in my car…nothing came out of it, not even friendship.

So what can we do?…

It might seem dramatic to delete a number or block on socials. But it’s crucial to really get it though your head that it’s over. You can make a graceful exit and wish him well, then disconnect. Even if it’s a casual situation, you can’t give him the opportunity to rope you back in as an option. If he has broken up with you, he made his choice not to be with you.

I advise from the beginning to go into a casual situation with one foot out the door…

Once you realize it’s just casual, it can be over at anytime. This happened to my roommate in college. Her casual guy claimed he was afraid of commitment, yet he broke up with her because he became exclusive with someone. This is very common in a casual relationship. He will lean into the oh-I-am-too-damaged-to-commit narrative. Every man is willing to commit to the right woman.

This isn’t about landing a man….

The sunk cost fallacy is about getting deep into a situation that isn’t working and feeling trapped. Even if you love being casual and continue dating, are your needs being met?

Not dismissing that breakups are hard…

Yes, it hurts to get dumped, but holding on for dear life will extend the pain. As the book, “The Rules,” say, him wanting you to be his friend after a breakup is a demotion. Don’t accept the downgrade, you have real friends who care about you.

Bottom Line….

Time and investment does not always equal a reward. It’s more about working smarter, not harder. Does the situation serve you, or are you just happy to sit at the table? My biggest regret in the four-year waste of time was that I didn’t exit gracefully and with dignity. The power balance shifted to when HE wanted to hang out. I begged for his attention and affection, but never got it. It’s no surprise that we aren’t even friends because the word “friend” was just a bargaining chip to feed his ego. It’s always better to get out too early than too late. You will never get that time back. Think abundantly! There are plenty of great men around who are a much better fit.