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Dear Dish-It: Can I Be Friends With My Ex?

Dear Dish-It,

I was dating my best friend for about a week when she said I was too much like a brother to her and got her friend to dump me for her over the phone. The next day she asked one of my closest friends out. Now she barely talks to me – she won’t even sign the cast I had to have put on my hand! I’m trying to make things go back to normal but it doesn’t seem to be working. What should I do?

Broken


Dear Broken,


It seems like what you’re asking me is how to stay friends with your ex-girlfriend – something that isn’t always possible. Here are some tips you can try in order to be friends with an ex.


Make sure you're over them.

Even if you're going to be the best of friends, you both still need some time to collect yourself after breaking up.


Make sure your intentions are good.

Being "friends" with an ex just to torment them or to prevent them from dating other people doesn't help anyone in the long run. In fact, it makes you look really bad.


Check in on them.

Send a friendly text message or call them on their birthday. Ask them how things are going. Find out what's new in their life and how they've changed since you dated. Be supportive of their individuality.

Let them know that you feel positive about them as a person and that you'd like to be friends with them – real friends.

If you were there for them as a boyfriend, you can be there for them as a friend, too.


Tell them that you think they're great and that, for the most part, you wouldn't change a thing about them.

(Well, unless they're doing something really mean or stupid.) An ego boost can help mend some of the leftover wounds from the breakup.


Avoid romantic topics – and the temptation to flirt – especially when you're starting the friendship.

This can be tricky if you have been involved with someone romantically, but you can do it if you stay focused. You don't want to lead the other person on, and you certainly don't want them to lead you on either.


At first, keep your conversations and meetings short and, if possible, fun.

Remind them just how great you are to hang out with. However, set limits for how often you'll talk to them and hang out with them.


Keep working toward your own goals. Don't fall back into negative old patterns from the relationship.

Develop your own interests and encourage your ex to do the same.


If your ex doesn't seem interested in a friendship, you need to respect their wishes. It may be a possibility in the future but, for now, focus on your other friends.


Also, if your ex is not treating you with the same respect you expect of any other friend, it's not a good time to pursue a friendship with them.


More tips:

  • Tell a good friend about your efforts to be friends with your ex and ask them to look out for you. (Hopefully you won't need to ask!)
  • Be friendly, kind and consistent with your ex. Remind them often that you're glad they're a part of your life.
  • Don't blow them off to hang out with your new crush. In general, be aware that they might still be feeling a bit sensitive about some aspect of the breakup and feel weird about you seeing other people.
  • It's quite possible that your ex may not be up for a friendship. Be forgiving and move on if this is the case.

  • So, ya gotta burnin' question? Need some love directions? Thinkin' 'bout stuff like depression, sex,how ya feel 'bout YOURSELF (that's called "self-esteem"), boyfriends, girlfriends, losin' old friends, bullyin' or peer pressure, but too scared to ask the parents? Don't be scared to Dish-It here. Send all of your questions to deardish@kidzworld.com But 'member, if ya hang out in Chat with other Kidzworld members who know ya by your 'username', ya might wanna use a secret nickname when ya write in. That way no one'll ever know it's you. And, just in case ya don't know, Dish-It gets a lotta letters everyday, and she can't answer 'em all. So keep checkin' the column cuz she's prob'ly answerin' somethin' very similar to your question while you're out doin' somethin' else. K? And Thanks! Ya keep her outta trouble. Oh! And if ya've got words of wisdom you wanna share,We'll dish 'em up, too.




    More Dish-It Advice:

  • It Really Hurt My Friend
  • How Do I Know If He Likes Me?
  • My BFF’s Ex Likes Me
  • I Cry Over Him
  • More Great Advice from Dish-It!
  • 23 Comments

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    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    drowning
    drowning posted in Friends:
    Did something happen between you two in the past? If so, I feel like she might have some unresolved issues with you that you need to discuss with her. And, time doesn't always mean a lot. I've gotten closer to someone before compared to someone whom I had known for 8 years.
    reply about 13 hours
    country_girl19
    country_girl19 posted in Friends:
    Dear Dish-it,                          Me and my friend just started talking again, and it seems like she regrets it. She'll leave me for the people she has only known for a couple of months, when I've been friends with her for a year. Also, she gets annoyed with me, and I don't know what to do.
    reply about 13 hours
    drowning
    drowning posted in Family Issues:
    I'll be honest, I don't think that it's very fair that you're placing so much blame on your mother. Cancer is very hard to heal in any animal or person. She may of been able to help one spot, but that doesn't mean that she was going to be able to heal the rest. There's a slim chance that they could of made it through, but it's probably for the best that she put him down. Cancer is a painful thing to go through for dogs and humans alike. It would of been worse to push it. As for the depression, I understand where you're coming from with it. It's a difficult thing to go through and it makes things hard to do. I've struggled with things in the past and sometimes still do, so take my word on this: Eat. What. You. Can. Don't starve yourself. Don't binge. Don't do anything. Keep eating. Your health matters too. You need to find things to do, like hobbies (drawing, reading, writing, ect.) and spend time with friends when you can. At least talk to your friends, don't push them away. They're there for you, even when they might not know how to be. Don't be ashamed to cry, it's perfectly fine too. It's a better alternative of getting things out than a lot of things you could be doing. Do not, under any circumstances, start cutting. Take it from someone who's dealt with it on a personal level in several ways, do not start it. It is not something you "won't get addicted too" and it will not be a "one time thing." Do not try it. Do not start it. Do not try to find "softer" alternatives to cutting. Self-harm is not a fixer, it does not help anything. It isn't something to be ashamed of. It's a personal issue along with mental illness. But it is a very big deal. "And to go and kill him like that instead of getting him help?" There isn't always a place to help. Sometimes it won't do the things we wish it would.
    reply about 20 hours
    RavenClawRaina
    My dog, Loki, was old and had cancer. He was 14. My mom healed one of his cancer spots but not even a month later, she put him down. He had life in him. He played like a puppy. If she healed one spot, why couldnt she heal the rest? He could have lived right? He was like my little brother, I loved him like one. He was family. Every since he passed, Ive been depressed. Losing weight and not wanting to go out and hangout with friends. Me and my mom get into fights more. At some points, I hate her for what she did. I dont dare tell anyone about my depression and I cry every night until 3:30 am. I have considered cutting but I dont want anyone to judge me. Im not going to but I just want someone to understand what his loss did to my heart. Ive had him since i was a baby. He was my best friend. And to go and kill him like that instead of getting him help? I was mad. Can anyone relate? Can someone help me? ( im not going to a therapist btw ) UGH WHAT DO I DO?!  
    reply about 23 hours
    Pokemonlegends05
    Sometimes Video Games can Cheer you up as well. Happy, Vibrant Games: New Super Mario Bros. U Pokemon Shuffle Any of the Mario Party games. Minecraft Super Mario 3d world (Wow, a ton of Mario games :p) Jak and Daxter Super Mario 64 These are useful for making this :e into this  =(
    reply 6 days