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Thread: Advice please - "Staying friends"

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    #1

    Advice please - "Staying friends"

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    Hey all. I never really was a regular here, and I've been flat out avoiding it for the past few months. But now I need advice.
    I broke up with ex-DB 3 months ago after three years, most of that time spent long distance (navy). It was the culmination of a lot of things for me. I felt a lack of meaningful communication that he did not understand and therefore could not give me. I felt like I was fighting so hard to push myself to be better, to learn new things, to be passionate about things I cared about, and he prefers the calmer life and relaxation. What that felt like, though, was a lack of support in the ambitions I held, and I grew tired of trying to encourage the both of us. I stopped being drawn to him, intimately, intellectually, and in my gut instincts. So I ended it. We decided to try to remain friends, because we've known each other for so long.
    We've been texting/emailing every now and then ever since, and it's been pretty calm and civil. But a couple weeks ago, we agreed to skype for the first time since the breakup. It was fine, nothing too exciting. But I was absolutely torn up about it for a couple of days afterward. I cried for the first time after the breakup, huge, sobbing, uncontrollable hours of crying. I do not even know what exactly it is; I do not want to get back together, but I still miss him so much. And I feel so guilty.
    The problem now is that he wants to see me when he comes home for Christmas. I have no idea what to do. I honestly just don't know if I'm ready to see him. I know that the choice to end our relationship was the right choice, and I'm afraid that seeing him will loosen my grip on that decision. Or at least drive me crazy for the next month. But I feel like I owe it to him to try- I didn't and don't want to hurt him, and I feel like telling him I can't see him will be terrible.
    So what do I do? Do I see him, do I tell him no? Have any of you been able to maintain friendship after a relationship so serious? I'm lost.
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    #2
    Personally I believe friendship with exes is possible, but first you have to take some time apart to get over each other. It's really hard to cultivate a platonic friendship when there's still lingering feelings and pain from the romantic relationship left over. I completely understand how it would be hard to see him and talk to him after ending the relationship. It's not uncommon to feel guilty, even though you know the decision to end the relationship was the correct one, that doesn't mean that you're not going to miss spending time with him and miss what you had together.

    What I would do is to tell him that if you two are going to be friends, that you need some time apart to heal and move past the romantic aspect of the relationship before you can be able to handle a friendship. It may sound harsh, but you really don't owe him anything. You two are not together anymore and he doesn't have any claim over your time and whether you see him or not.

    And honestly, he will probably be hurt. What will make it easiest on both of you would just be very matter of fact and firm. He may sense that you feel like you could waver in your decision and he may be seeking to leverage that guilt to convince you to get back together with him. I don't say that to make him sound evil and manipulative, he may not even do it consciously, but breakups are really hard and it's natural to want someone back. Don't let him get you caught up in having to justify your decision, or answer his questions, or give him "closure." He will have to find those answers on his own, but as long as he can engage you then he probably will because at least you're interacting with him.

    I can really sense the hurt and confusion in your post and I just want to tell you we are here for you. I hope both of you can heal and move forward quickly.
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Tojai;9747891[B
    ]Personally I believe friendship with exes is possible, but first you have to take some time apart to get over each other. It's really hard to cultivate a platonic friendship when there's still lingering feelings and pain from the romantic relationship left over.[/B] I completely understand how it would be hard to see him and talk to him after ending the relationship. It's not uncommon to feel guilty, even though you know the decision to end the relationship was the correct one, that doesn't mean that you're not going to miss spending time with him and miss what you had together.

    What I would do is to tell him that if you two are going to be friends, that you need some time apart to heal and move past the romantic aspect of the relationship before you can be able to handle a friendship. It may sound harsh, but you really don't owe him anything. You two are not together anymore and he doesn't have any claim over your time and whether you see him or not.

    And honestly, he will probably be hurt. What will make it easiest on both of you would just be very matter of fact and firm. He may sense that you feel like you could waver in your decision and he may be seeking to leverage that guilt to convince you to get back together with him. I don't say that to make him sound evil and manipulative, he may not even do it consciously, but breakups are really hard and it's natural to want someone back. Don't let him get you caught up in having to justify your decision, or answer his questions, or give him "closure." He will have to find those answers on his own, but as long as he can engage you then he probably will because at least you're interacting with him.

    I can really sense the hurt and confusion in your post and I just want to tell you we are here for you. I hope both of you can heal and move forward quickly.
    especially with the bolded. When my ex and I broke up we tried to be friends but there were just too many feelings between us still. It wasn't until years later we were able to get to that point. Just explain to him that you want to one day but you just aren't ready right now. Break ups are hard.
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    #4
    Well the friendship thing can work too but maybe not right after a break up .And if you decide to see him act as friend without giving him confusing signals .
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    #5
    I am really really great friends with an ex that I dated when I was 19/20. It took years and years though. I broke up with him because I just didn't see our relationship going any further, he was a great guy, just not right for me. We tried to be friends right away, but there were too many feelings involved still, and it took up until about a year for us to sit down one day and talk and we have been great friends ever since. So it CAN happen, and I really wanted it to happen, because he is such a GOOD person, and I wanted him in my life.

    So I guess what I am trying to say is, give it time. Don't force it. No matter how things ended, there will be hurt feelings, there will still be a lot of love. Personally, I wouldn't see him. You will be put in a position where he may want to get back together, you may be pressured into giving it another go, even though it's not right, and you have to go through all the emotions all over again. You have to really try to romantically attach yourself, and that will take some time.
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    #6
    Ive always believed that you date at least one person before you try to be friends again with an ex.
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    #7
    Like others, I believe that if a friendship has any chance, there needs to be time, distance, healing, and perspective first.

    I'd tell him that while you want to have a friendship eventually, things are still raw and healing, and that you don't think seeing him is a good idea. I'd also back off on the skype and really on all communications for a while.
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Guynavywife View Post
    Ive always believed that you date at least one person before you try to be friends again with an ex.
    I think that's a pretty good marker to set to be sure you've moved on.

    Also picture your ex with someone new and all that entails - going on dates, doing cutsey things they used to do with you, kissing, etc .etc. ... if the idea of your ex moving on still bothers/hurts you, you're probably not ready for a friendship yet because they will eventually move on and have someone new in their life.
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    #9
    Thank you all for the advice, I appreciate it so much, it's more helpful than you know. This conversation is going to happen soon, I'm sure... Wish me luck

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