Oh, humans. We’re so silly. We take situations which fail over and over again, and yet we think, yes, I shall be the person to finally succeed! I will accomplish this with no pain or awkwardness! I am the Chosen One!
Right. Such an unfortunate aspect of the human condition that we all think we are so special. Realistically, attempting to be friends with an ex is a highly sensitive mission if you choose to accept it. So, I’m assuming you are reading this because you are thinking about it or have tried it before…
You MUST give it some time. There is, in my opinion, absolutely no way you can be friends with an ex right after a breakup. One of you is in total denial in this situation, because in almost every breakup there is someone who still loves the other person. Of course if this is you, you want to stay “friends”. You are clinging on to some hope that you will be able to rekindle the relationship and make it work out differently. Meanwhile, the person who ended it is fine because he or she has no pesky romantic feelings to worry about. Even worse, it may be a friendship motivated out of pity or guilt on his or her end. I’m sure that is what you are looking for, right? The opportunity to become even more of a doormat to the person who crushed your soul in the first place? Ideal. I am usually this doormat who just cannot seem to let go of someone…even if I was the one who dumped him. I’m sure that doesn’t confuse the hell out of him and leave him resenting me and clinging on to his feelings.
Do yourself a favor, whichever side you are on. Do not talk to your ex. This means: Do not call. Do not text. Do not email. Do not tweet. Do not spend all your waking hours at the places you know that s/he frequents. Do not sit in your car outside his/her place of residence, sobbing and staring at the window. Absolutely. No. Communication. Whatsoever. You must unfriend, you must block, you must prevent yourself from seeing any mention of this person. It is impossible to move on otherwise. Trust me, as a semi-professional clinger and stalker, I know.
It is definitely easier to stay friends if neither of you is seeing anyone else – and that means not dating, not screwing, not going out for coffee with coworkers who aren’t hideous trolls. The thought of this “friends with exes” scenario is actually giving me a headache because it is just so much work! Someone will end up with hurt feelings, guaranteed.
Most of the time, if you give the breakup enough space and time, you realize that person really isn’t essential to your life. You can fill in the gaps with other people more easily than you think. This is why you have to remember: always stay close with your friends no matter how well the relationship is going at the time! Chicks before dicks.