Breaking up is hard. In most cases, it involves ugly crying, ice-cream binges, rage black-outs, excessive drinking, the whole emotionally gut-wrenching package. To dull the pain, you and your former SO decide to stay friends, even though you both know it won't happen.
How do you go from spooning to the friendly, one-armed hug; from cute nicknames to plain old first names; from whispering sweet nothings in their ear to the brief nod of mere acknowledgement? Seems like a daunting prospect, huh?
Also read: 5 ways to get him/her to break-up with you
Turns out though, you can actually be friends with your ex, and it's not the herculean task you thought it was. While the chances of you becoming best buds with them, the tips below could at least help you get to that warm, cordial place that most people never seem to achieve.
1 Space is Ace
Give each other enough time to get over the break up, pick up the pieces and pull yourself together. The only way you'll be able to reach the friendship stage is once you're over them; by constantly staying in touch while you're still licking your wounds will only cause tension between you and him/her. Give each other a wide berth for a while.
Says Manas Katty, 25, "My ex and I had a terrible break up. She told me that she wanted some time off from me and I made sure I gave it to her; didn't call or text for almost a year. It really helped us put things in perspective. We'd both grown up enough to realize that our issues were quite petty. Today, we're good friends and can laugh about the stupid fights we used to have."
2 Don't pester their friends about what your ex is upto
If you were together for a while, chances are you've become buddies with their friends, and vice versa. After you break up, it's natural that friends will distance themselves from you, at least for a while. So avoid calling and pestering them about who/what your former boyfriend/girlfriend is doing, whether or not they want to get back together etc. This might put off his/her chums who will in turn influence their decision about the potential friendship.
3 Avoid social media like the plague
When you break up, you might want to buzz, tweet or post your pain to the entire world. By putting up emo blogs or posts about your split, or bad-mouthing your ex on social media, you'll come across as petty, immature and essentially non-friend material. Your every hope of ever being friends with your ex will die a horrible death courtesy your inability to keep your personal life private.
"I was really mad at my ex after we broke up and posted horrible things about him on Facebook. Later, I realized how childish I had been and called him to apologize and salvage our friendship. He called me narcissistic and childish, said he never wanted to speak to me again,' says Ritika, 23.
4 Learn to be happy for them
It's pretty hard to be happy for the person that caused you emotional pain but the second you feel happy or proud when your ex gets engaged or that promotion he/she is waiting for, you're ready to be friends with them for real.
5 Don't push it
Once you've sown the seeds of friendship, don't bombard your ex with phone calls, emails and texts. Instead of seeming nonchalant and cool, you'll come off as needy, pushy and aggressive. Let the friendship take its own course.