Trying to maintain a friendship, let alone a civil relationship, with an ex is like walking on eggshells. What are the boundaries? How friendly can you be until you become that stalker ex-girlfriend? These guidelines aren’t exactly written down in Breakups for Dummies, so this slippery slope of a friendship must be journeyed cautiously. Here are a few potential potholes along the friendship road, and how to navigate them:
Text or call- Safe and casual
Mail a card- Hello, the 1800s called and they want their sentimental gestures back.
Show up at their house with a surprise gift- In no universe is that okay. Besides why waste your money on a gift when you could be buying yourself wine or new shoes?
Making casual conversation at a party- As long as you aren’t stumbling, or a babbling brook of drunken emotions, go for it.
Inviting them to a party- Dangerous move, especially if they end up bringing a date, or worse- their new girlfriend
Inviting them to your wedding- For the sake of all parties involved, don’t do this. It didn’t end well in How I Met Your Mother, and it probably wouldn’t work well for you.
Catching up after a hiatus
Go out to lunch or coffee- Don’t people have to eat? Why not together? The simple act of getting food is safe because even if your ex ends up a bore or a dodged bullet, at least you’ll have good food to appease one part of your life. Just don’t make the mistake of assuming they’ll still pay for you. Trust me, it’s an awkward moment when they don’t.
Go out for drinks- We all know the saying, “a drunk mind speaks a sober heart.” If your heart is still attached to your ex, and this saying applies to you, then drinks are definitely a no-go. Save yourself the money and embarrassment.
Go back to a place you guys had memories- This will either be uncomfortable, depressing, or both for you and your ex. It’s revisiting the past relationship rather than looking ahead to your potential future of a friendship.
The only way a friendship with an ex can work is if there are no feelings still being dragged along. No resentment, anger, romantic love, or anything; just the feeling of a completely platonic state. Unlike energy, your love is not recycled. It is destroyed, and shall cease to exist. But that doesn’t mean you two can’t be two souls who care about the well being of each other’s lives. With time, some taking longer than others, a friendship can be reached.