Can I Remain Friends with My Ex?

Is it possible to remains friends with an ex? Sure, but it will require a careful and objective approach to the situation. Of course, being objective about a person with whom you used to share the most intimate parts of yourself can be a daunting task for some. This difficulty may be exacerbated if the relationship ended badly—in which case it may be impossible. However, if you truly feel that a friendship with your ex is worth the effort, then by all means go for it! Here are a few tips to get through the tightrope act of transitioning from girlfriend to friend.

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Rule 1: Give yourself a grace period. Creating a “no contact” period between the time you break things off with your former lover and the time you decide to embark on your quest for a friendship is necessary. Regardless of how cordial, mutual, or inevitable your breakup may have been, the fact of the matter is your ex was an important person in your life at some point and not having him there in that capacity can be jarring. You need this time to mourn and accept the end of the relationship.

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Rule 2: Assess your feelings. Once you’ve gone though the grace period and have concluded that you want to pursue a friendship with your ex, you have to ask yourself why you want this friendship?  Be honest about your intentions. Make sure you’re not pursing this with the dream of a potential reunion. He may never want to be in a relationship with you again, and you have to understand and accept this as fact.

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Rule 3: Assess his feelings. Reconsider if friendship with him is the right option if you know he still harbors strong feelings for you. Don’t give him a false sense of hope by stringing him along with a friendship when you know he yearns for more. This may sound counterproductive, but if you care enough to want him as your friend, then delay your friendship with him until you are completely sure that’s all he truly desires.

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Rule 4:  Keep is strictly platonic. Do not, I repeat, do not continue or maintain a sexual relationship with him. The idea of a “friends with benefits” situation is nearly impossible if it involves your ex. It’s hard enough to maintain a platonic relationship with an ex. Sex is always accompanied by feelings not matter how hard you try to avoid them. If rules 2 or 3 apply to either of you, then rule 4 must be followed as well.

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Rule 5: Keep outings to a minimum. So, you’ve followed rules 1 through 4 to a T, and you’re now deep in the infant stages of your friendship. Don’t ruin any progress by still engaging in activities that can be considered “couple-like.” Frequent dinner dates and hang out sessions may bring on the potential for mixed signals and compromising situations to occur. Sure you may be enjoying your ex’s company, but friendships come with far less expectations than relationships. Just because you’re doing well as friends doesn’t mean you will do well as a reconciled couple. Remember: there was a reason you two broke up in the first place.

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Rule 6: Create boundaries. Since this friendship has risen from the ashes of something that was once romantic, you have to recognize that this will not be your typical, run-of-the-mill friendship. Be careful not to discuss with your ex your newfound freedom and its accompanying love life. Neither of you may not have deep feelings for each other anymore, but even the tiniest of feelings may spawn jealousy which could lead to confused feelings and awkward conversations. This friendship is supposed to add value to your life, not create stress.  Do not assume you two are cool enough to discuss how well last night’s date went.

Just like in a relationship, a good friendship requires effort, trust, mutual respect and honesty. Following these rules won’t ensure that a friendship will happen between you and your ex. However, if you can keep these few tips in mind, there’s a strong change you’ll be able to turn your failed romantic relationship into a budding friendship that could last for many years to come.

Tamara Jenkins is a real Jersey girl. She’s independent, opinionated, and loves her sports. When she’s not watching her favorite teams, she’s reading, practicing yoga or working on a few books she hopes will get published one day. She also may or may not be training for a 5k race. With a belief that life is what you make of it, Tamara doesn’t merely want to survive life; she wants to live it.

A Circle for Success

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In the article, “Be The Star of Your Own Life,” we encouraged you to make yourself the leading lady in your life for 2014.  Now that we are halfway through the second month of the New Year, I would like to revisit one of the points made in our life star article:

  • Encouraging Relationships – It is important to have relationships that push you to better yourself.  Remember, “Birds of a feather flock together” (Be The Star of Your Own Life). 

The women in the last article expressed a strong belief in the value of social relationships that inspire and support you in your life’s aspirations.  The well-known quote “No Man is an Island,” is based on the concept that “human beings don’t thrive when isolated from others.” Nevertheless, you must keep in mind that the key element is picking the right people to create your “Circle for Success.”

Art Enthusiast and Mentor Deborah Charles, 61, who has done everything from Modeling to orchestrating successful art exhibits in honor of her late husband, photographer and author Roland Charles, accredits some of her biggest achievements to her circle of supportive friends. “I’ve been blessed with people, who no matter what I’m involved in they support it,” said Charles.   One of Charles’ life goals is to serve her needs and the needs of others, with such an honorable but challenging endeavor, one must be discerning in the choice of the company they keep.

“…Observe and listen…learn how they would be meaningful to your life,” explained Charles, on her methods for choosing beneficial relationships.  In addition, Charles said those in her social circle have a spirit of gratefulness, a willingness to share their friends, and have similar interest. For her,  the icing on the cake is “people who will speak up for you. ”

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If putting yourself out there to meet new people is a little intimidating, you might join an organized group such as clubs based on your interests or cultural group.  For instance, just last month sororities were celebrating the anniversaries of their organizations, and pictures of women united by their sorority affiliation were all over social media. Who you are is a great place to start when deciding which groups you might want to join.

Middle school english teacher, Aquyla Walker, 32, who is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Inc., says being a member of the prestigious sorority offers a sisterhood with women of high stature. “I am surrounded by women (who) already have achievements,” said Walker. Sororities are known to be networks of educated women, who work towards the betterment of the community and its members.   Being affiliated with such organizations puts you in the environment of upward mobility. “It is the best…I have received jobs because my resume says Delt Sigma Theta Inc,” exclaimed Walker. In addition, Walker says her social circle outside of Delta, is composed of dreamers and visionaries, who are in constant pursuit of their goals. “I believe in having a network of mentors… my friends are people who say, ‘No you [got to] do it’.”

Equally important to the meet, greet, and be-friending process, the golden rule to maintaining positive relationships, is to stay connected.  In an age of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, we have to remember a little face to face time can go a long way. Make the time to nurture your relationships, so in turn they too can nurture you.

Written By Ricki Jae. Morris: “Since of Style Need Not Make Sense,” is her motto.  This Southern Cali Girl is not opposed to standing out in the name of Fashion & Art. As a mother of a 4-year old daughter, she strives to set an example of “Success with Class,” by always being a lady and staying true to self.  In her spare time, Ricki Jae. Blogs about Fashion Designers and Events.

Friends… Ones you can depend on…

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When you’re three years old your best friend ends up being whoever stays in the sandbox with you the longest. When you’re old enough to play sports your bff turns out to be whoever you have the most in common with. In high school, friendships stem from cliches and popularity – while some experience the luxury of maintaining relationships over the years, others enter a stage in life that leads them in the opposite direction of their pervious pack. Although seventy-two percent of Americans attend a university in their home state, college isn’t the time to play Drakes “No New Friends,” chances are that you won’t go to school with your bff”s so making new friends is a must – and probably the only way to avoid a miserable existence. Following undergrad, life changes drastically, some find themselves in long-term relationships, others make strides toward marriage via cohabitation or by deciding to bring a precious little something new into the world. The rest of us either find a job, if we’re lucky one that will lead down a warranted career path, while some of us pursue advanced degrees, making ourselves, and mom and pop proud. All in all each of us travel a different road, and interestingly enough that road can angle you in a different direction then that of those you once called friends.

So, what makes a friend I ask you Lovelies? Is a friend someone who is always there when you need them, answers your 1am call? The person you give your house keys to just in case you lock yourself out? The person who makes you laugh when all you want to do is cry, who understands certain things your significant other probably never will, perhaps your soul-mate in this life and the next?

Loyalty, integrity, responsibility, love and kindness, are all components of a lasting friendship – what kind of friendship would you want other then a lasting one? Loyalty implies, in layman terms, someone who is constantly committed. A friendship is  a relationship, so putting forth some form of effort is necessary. Integrity marks the level of honesty and support that can be found between two people – without which deception, jealousy and judgment may occur. Responsibility is an interesting one, while the actions of others are not your responsibility, as a friend it is your responsibility to provide guidance when appropriate. Love, a word so often abused, should be present. Now I know it might seem a bit corny to say you love your friends but if the feeling can be mutual then why not? Love creates a safe haven, where you know that no matter what I do, I know this person has my best interest at heart – it is quite possibly the most important component of a friendship. Kindness. This might sound strange but it is possible for someone to love you and not like you. This most often occurs in relationships between spouses and  siblings, but a longstanding friendship can conjure up this feeling as well. It’s simple you have to like each other, sometimes we hold on to old ideas or feelings and act as though they can be used to substance a relationship, but in reality they can not. People change,they grow older, wiser, and at different rates – realistically there are only two options, you can grow together or go your separate ways deducing your friendship to an acquaintance, which is okay too.

On the bright side you can always make new friends! There are billions of people in the world, many of whom are open to meeting new and interesting people, building connections and establishing dependable circles – it’s never too late! Even if you have a core group of friends there is nothing wrong with expanding your circle. Life is a roller-caster, you have ups and downs, you won some, you loss some and people (friends) get on and off the ride, but as long as you know who you are and have an idea of what you want, you will always gravitate to likeminded people, and those people will be the ones who count!

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Love ya!

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