I broke up with my boyfriend over a month ago. I did not contact him since then because I wanted to focus on healing my emotion and move on. However, I just want to be friends with him and talk to him sometimes. After 5 weeks with no contact, I texted him but got no response (my message was about how I want to keep in contact but don’t expect anything from him) but he did not reply to me. I know that we still have feelings for each other but I seriously don’t want to get back with him, but I respect him and want to keep in contact with him. I don’t know what to do next. Help!
Having a successful friendship with a former partner is one of the most difficult and ultimately unlikely paths to try and walk. In the vast majority of cases, the end of the relationship damages things so badly that it cannot be recovered to any extent worth having. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but you’ve got your work more than cut out for you.
Once you cross the line from friends to intimate partners, there is no going back. You can’t forget those private moments you share, or the deep knowledge you gain of the other person. After you break up, it is those same things that make you feel vulnerable, and often why an after-friendship never works. You know too much about one another, and the reason things ended is impossible to repair outside the realm of “more than friends.”
Furthermore, greater problems arise when one of you starts dating another person. While the friendship may survive for a bit after you break up, once one of you finds a new love, the “it’s really over” pain will be the nail in the coffin. Not to mention how awkward things can be if you introduce your new guy to your ex!
We all want things to be totally fine and have a great friend, because so much is already invested in the relationship and so many secrets have been shared. When you lose “your person,” you feel alone and lost, and most of us will do anything to get that back quickly!
So what can you do next? Wait. As much as it sucks, that’s really your only option. You’ve extended the olive branch of peace out to him, and if he decides he feels similarly, the next move is his. If you continue to try and force a friendship, it will only drive you further apart. Keep focusing on yourself and your healing process, and perhaps in time, you two can find a way to friendship.
Joel Freimark has done a lot in life and seen even more. From last minute international travel to bizarre places to writing award winning books, he’s here to bring his wisdom to all your problems. He hosts a weekly advice series on Youtube and a music series also on YouTube. No question is too outrageous or personal, so go ahead and fire away! Follow him on Twitter.
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