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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!
  • 20 Comments

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    Dear Dish-It in the forums

    donteatcarrots
    donteatcarrots posted in Friends:
    This is a really weird situation... Maybe she's feeling sorry for you?
    reply about 7 hours
    AnneS12
    AnneS12 posted in Family Issues:
    Well That is your choice who you want to stay with.Nobody can force you about it.When your parents see a family<a data-cke-saved-href=" lawyer, then he will ask you whom do you want to stay with and jury will decide.So dont worry .
    reply 1 day
    worldqweencc
    worldqweencc posted in Friends:
    I'm not quiet sure what's a real friend and what's a fake one anymore. I know when there's a friend who's only a school friend rather than an 'outside' friend as well, but at the same time it makes me so confused. Here's my story: There's a girl named Xian. We had a unique way of becoming friends ... but it clicked. For the whole year I've been trying to keep in contact with her ... but she's not very willing to try and put in any effort to stay in contact with me. Her personality is beyond sweet, and her skills at art are even better. If she was to have an award, it would be a giant trophy with her face plastered on it and big bold letters listing 'Nicest Girl In The World!' ... Its just ... she lied to me.  I was all about this friendship. I was ... i'll admit ... sort of a lost puppy following around her owner.  So, I got her this T-Shirt she really wanted for her birthday, and not long her birthday was mine, April First. I was expecting at least a letter, or maybe even something cheap. It didn't really matter to me.  But on my birthday she didn't even come to school. Nor when she got back did she ever say sorry, or give me any be-lated gift of any sort.  That should have been my first clue. Even my mother started catching on. My second clue was she even told me she was oblivious and wasn't good at keeping in contact. I thought she was joking. How could a friendship so sweet be tossed out just like that? My third one was near the end of school, one of her friends in elementary was bragging about the plushies she got from Xian. Apparently she had four from her.  Xian had originally told me it was AGAINST her religion to give out gifts to other people. I knew she wasn't lying about her religion in general, because I met her mom on a field trip and she was quiet ... different. But I didn't understand why Xian had gotten so many small plushies for her, and yet not a single small stamp for me? My last clue was the last day of school. She didn't even try to say good-bye or even hang out with me for that matter. I know what you're thinking. "Girl, you've gotta be kidding me if you can't see that she has no intention of being your friend!" But this girl was the nicest to me. She stood next to me during harsh times, and comforted me when I was down. She told me I was important.  And you don't get many friends to do those special things to you. It was rare to have a friend make me feel so tall and worthy.  ... So ... I can't understand ... why'd she do all that .... and suddenly ... just ... walk away ...
    reply 2 days
    catsandpizza
    catsandpizza posted in Style:
    American Apparel croptop, Juicy Couture velvet sweatpants and Uggs
    reply 2 days
    Heyyyyy_
    Heyyyyy_ posted in Friends:
    "donteatcarrots" wrote:I dunno, looks like something more than being friends is going on here. It's probably best to ask her face-to-face though, before jumping to conclusions. ^^^
    reply 2 days

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