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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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    Bridge-to-terabithia-poll

    Do You Have Friends of the Opposite Sex?

    • Yeah, lots.
    • Sure - one or two.
    • I have a BF/GF but all of my pals are the same gender as me.
    • No way!!!

    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    rainbowpoptart
    Yes, purely for the fact that you should not "hate" your sister (or anyone, for that matter).  I'm guessing by "get in trouble for her", you mean she does something wrong and the blame is all put on you? Yeah, little siblings tend to do that a lot. My brother did for the longest time, until my parents found out how much a liar he is. She, hopefully, will grow out of this eventually. Either that, or your parent[s]/guardian[s] will eventually see through her. You lose your friends to her? By this do you mean your friends want to hang out with her and they want you to tag along and you don't? Or do you mean your friends chose your sister over you? If it's the latter, then perhaps you shouldn't have ever referred to those people as friends. You'll find friends who'll prefer you over your sister, I'm sure of it. The only thing I can tell you to do is try to get along with your sister. Every group of siblings has their cats and dogs moment in life, but they grow out of it (most of the time; there are, of course, circumstances where it doesn't work out that way). Please be grateful for your sister, even if you two fight a lot. You never know how much you need something until it's gone.
    reply about 22 hours
    liddielover
    i hate my little sister because i get introuble for her and lose my friends to her.is that wrong?
    reply about 23 hours
    skylar245
    skylar245 posted in Friends:
    "rainbowpoptart" wrote: "skylar245" wrote: Teacher said to wait for the Bus Driver and the counselor, she just talks to me and doesn't tell The Princible Then maybe try telling the principal yourself, and you should also report that the driver, teacher, and counselor haven't done anything to help you. If that fails, tell another trusted adult, like your mother. I'm sure someone you're close to would do their best to get justice. This is a major problem and it's a shame no one's done anything to help. ​No one listens to me anyway but my friends
    reply 3 days
    rainbowpoptart
    rainbowpoptart posted in Friends:
    "skylar245" wrote:Teacher said to wait for the Bus Driver and the counselor, she just talks to me and doesn't tell The Princible Then maybe try telling the principal yourself, and you should also report that the driver, teacher, and counselor haven't done anything to help you. If that fails, tell another trusted adult, like your mother. I'm sure someone you're close to would do their best to get justice. This is a major problem and it's a shame no one's done anything to help.
    reply 3 days
    skylar245
    skylar245 posted in Friends:
    "rainbowpoptart" wrote: "skylar245" wrote: My bus driver does NOTHING about it EVEN IF HE SEE'S IT! he only wrote the two girls up but not the girl that hit me Then report them to a teacher or the school counselor. Behaviour like that is not acceptable in the slightest. ​Teacher said to wait for the Bus Driver and the counselor, she just talks to me and doesn't tell The Princible
    reply 3 days