Is It Possible to Stay Friends With an Ex? Here’s a Handy Checklist!

Two people standing next to each other and looking at one another.

So, the relationship’s over but you’re not quite ready to let go of the person just yet. It’s totally understandable, given all of the memories you have together. But is it possible to stay friends with an ex? Take a look at this checklist to make sure you’re ready…

Let’s check if it's possible to stay friends with an ex:

The breakup

Are you over the breakup itself?

Woman sitting on a couch and thinking to herself.
If it was rife with heartbreak and trauma, you’re going to need space to really process your feelings. You might decide that friendship isn’t what you want after all.

Moving on

Will it crush you when they do?

This is a major one. You will both eventually move on and it’s perfectly normal to have some weird feelings when they start a relationship or fling with someone new. Can you handle it without falling apart?

Time apart

Did you take some real time apart first?

Woman looking out the window

Take as much time as you need to repair the platonic emotional connection; don’t try to jump into friendship right off the bat. Instead, agree on some time of no contact where you can lick your wounds, feel your feelings, and cry it all out.

Bargaining

Are you just taking what you can get?

If you didn’t want this relationship to end, holding desperately onto a friendship isn’t healthy behavior. You deserve so much more than that! Give yourself space to make a decision.

Closure

Are you hoping the friendship will bring closure?

Man and woman sitting outside talking and laughing.

It’s not good for either of you to rehash the past over and over again. You’re only ready to stay friends with an ex when you have truly moved past everything and genuinely want to be nothing more than friends.

Read more on our new article: Is It Possible to Stay Friends With an Ex?

Stacey Garratt

Stacey Garratt

Stacey Garratt is a writer on sex and relationships with a special focus on online culture, bisexuality, and non-monogamy. Her award-winning work has been featured in the New York Times, Buzzfeed, and American Public Media. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

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