You invest so much into a relationship, you would think it shouldn't all go to waste after a break up. After all, you have become true confidants, intimate partners, at times the most loyal of friends, why should you have to lose it all? Maybe something can be salvaged. When the emotional attachment is strong, it is almost impossible to be friends immediately after the fact. The pain is bad enough, without it being pushed under your nose everyday. So, if at all, how can to lovers become... just friends? You need:
1. Time - each individual needs time to move on an re-establish themselves as... an individual. One needs to put the past behind them and feel as if they have moved on to another chapter in their lives. If one person is still in love and wants the relationship to continue, time must separate the two, until that person realizes that he or she is moving on in life without the other as a special, intimate companion.
2. Discipline - There will likely be some attraction left, at least for one of the former partners. There is also likely to be some of that special comfort, that only an intimate committed couple should know. A couple who wants to just be friends really needs to be discipline with each other, especially at the beginning of the friendship. They should probably limit: how much time they spend together, how long should phone calls last, what kind of questions are asked, whether they can have any physical contact (we mean hugs and kisses). If the former couple sets some boundaries, a friendship can build slowly and be built on same foundation upon which a traditional friendship is based. The friendship can then develop on a different platform and not just be based on former intimacy.
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3. Communication, Understanding and Patience - Often people want to be friends, but they enter into the friendship based on: guilt, loneliness, or hope for the romance to be rekindled. All of these feelings will likely cause a post-relationship friendship to be grounds for more pain. Each individual needs to be honest with the other and with themselves concerning their motives. You need to communicate, understand each others feelings. You may need to let more time to pass. True empathy is difficult, but necessary to assist in this process. If you realize that, despite your best intentions, it is more harmful than good to your "ex" to be... just friends, you need to step away.
You can be friends, but you can never have what you had before: an intimate relationship. If you can truly separate the two and give it time, a loyal friendship can result from a difficult break up.
P.S. - Courtesy of Metrodate.com
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