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Breakups can shake your whole world up. The person who was once an ingrained part of your daily routine one day becomes a stranger, and the shift can be disorientating.

That’s why so many exes opt to “stay friends” after a breakup to cushion the blow. But this process takes time. Breakup expert Kate Galt told Elite Daily that if you want to transition into being friends with your ex, make sure the lines are very clear. One day you both will start seeing other people, and you don’t want feelings to linger and mess up the whole “friend” stage.

“When you decide to date again, it will just confuse all situations,” Galt explained. “It is too easy to slip back into your former relationship that ended for a reason.”

Also don’t breakup and think you all will be buddies the next day.

“If you rush too quickly, it’s obvious how you could slip back into old patterns and find yourself in the same red flag situations,” Galt said.

You also need to step away from sex completely. No need to turn a solid relationship into a messy gray area. You can lose respect for one another in the interim.

“It’s natural to want to continue having sex even though you’re broken up,” Galt explains.  “I find that to be trickier than cutting off the sex and just ‘hanging out.’”

But engaging in this form of behavior with your ex can create a larger issue.

“Backtracking from trying to be friends too fast might make the second breakup even more difficult to really cut off,” Galt recommends.

If you all are trying out friendship but the emotions are too high and you all are frequently quarreling, it’s okay to take some time off and try again later.

“If you are truly natural friends, give it a long time … and keep yourself centered to your future goals. As you move on with your life, and they do, too, there could be a situation that allows you to become friends again,” she explained. “It will take a lot of communication with your new lover and boundaries with your old lover.”

 

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