Moving on isn’t always about forgetting

We’ve all been there at least once, and for some, a lot more than that. In some cases it is inevitable and other times quite unexpected. Sometimes we’ve been the victims and sometimes the executioners. Now and then it is mutual, other times it is not, but instead a messy and complicated affair. This unfortunate part of life is what we refer to as a breakup.

To add to the pain and heartache of something already challenging, wondering what to do when interacting with our exes still remains a part of daily life immediately following the breakup can be the biggest challenge. During a relationship, we tend to draw close ties with our companions, which can often lead to the crossing of paths later on.

Imagine yourself after a messy breakup with a former boyfriend or girlfriend and still having to constantly see them. We often surround ourselves with the same friends, classes and even jobs in order to spend more time together. And while this may seem like a good idea prior to the breakup, the aftermath proves to be quite the contrary. Being so close can often make moving on tough to say the least, and there are times when turning back proves to be a more desirable path.

Facing the issue of being “just friends” and acting like everything is “normal” is a bittersweet transition just following a breakup. And because most relationships end with strings attached, both parties finding remaining “just friends” to be a less than desirable situation. However, moving beyond the emotional distress of the breakup and being able to maintain friendship can be the more rewarding option post-breakup.

This may be easier said than done, but if both parties are committed to working through the tough times, the light at the end of the tunnel will eventually appear in closer view given time. After all, we date those with whom we feel a spark and appreciate in our lives, so why should every breakup end in the complete separation of two friends?

Scheduling movie nights and coffee, which were once considered dates, are hard to label after a breakup but also essential in maintaining the friendship. Though we want to remain friends with our former lovers, the passion is gone and date nights have now turned into just “hanging out”. This friendship is beneficial, because after some relationships, completely forgetting that one special person proves to be an even bigger problem.

While hanging out should still be part of the “just friends” routine, it is important for both parties to separate. However, this should be done slowly, as if weaning yourself off of a bad habit, which is a category that some our exes fall into. Defining the fine line between being a couple and “just friends” is vital, because in some cases, still hanging out can result in the reuniting of two former lovers. Knowing your boundaries and remembering why the relationship ended in the first place will insure that mixed feelings do not result in getting back together.

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It is hard to write a generalized form of advice for all who have gone through or who are going through a breakup. Every relationship is different, just as every person is. With that, go with the flow. Find what works best with you and your former, whether it is being “just friends” or not speaking at all. From there, you’re on the road to recovery, whether you can find the balance in being just friends or forgetting your ties altogether.

Have a messy breakup story? Recently dumped and don’t know where to start? Send your thoughts to [email protected]