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Maintaining a Healthy Relationship with Your Ex

Relationships are usually a welcome break from monotony in an otherwise routine life. But, unless you’re exceptionally lucky, you’ll experience more than a few breakups. There are few things more trying than losing a person you care about, and a breakup can bring out everyone’s worst behavior. We can become distant, obsessive, or angry at the other person for many different reasons. Too often we commit to being resentful or belligerent, but this isn’t the way to move forward. After a failed breakup, sometimes the best thing to do is develop a different kind of relationship with your ex.

Reasons to Maintain A Relationship After Breaking Up

Consider the amount of time you might have spent with your former partner. Years of your life were invested, and the loss of their love is painful. But walking away from that big of investment leaves everyone feeling lost from the relationship. Lost time becomes truly lost when two individual give up on each other completely, and it shows a lack of maturity when two people who genuinely enjoy each other’s company fail to remain at least cordial with one another. It is part of our growth as human beings to be able to nurture and maintain relationships even when we may feel slighted, or upset with the circumstances. Lastly, as long as the time spent in the relationship created quality memories, there’s no reason to stop spending time with someone you enjoy.

Accepting A New Dynamic

The hardest part of attempting a friendly relationship with your ex-lover is changing the dynamic. Both parties have to realize the new circumstances as friends or acquaintances, and create a new bond based on that. You don’t have to forget old feelings; it would be a tall task to simply forget spending a large amount of time with another person romantically. But being tactful, and understanding what is appropriate in your new dynamic is crucial to having a healthy relationship post-breakup. Approach the relationship with practicality, and focus on why you enjoy being around this person rather than what your relationship was like.

Choosing the Right Environment

Romantic activities and settings likely won’t be appropriate as a setting for those formerly involved. More relaxed settings like lunch dates, or competitive affairs like arcades can create a relaxed atmosphere to ease post-relationship tensions. Including others in the activity can also help in the early stages to acclimate both parties to the new relationship. Avoid romantic or sensual settings unless everyone is on board with a more physical relationship, or trying to reconnect. However, both of these approaches have the potential to be unhealthy and unproductive. Unless unresolved feelings and second chances are in play, it might be best to avoid a dinner for two.

When This Doesn’t Apply

Maintaining a friendship post breakup can be extremely worthwhile. However, there are some situations where the best thing to do is to move on from a person. Leave toxic or abusive relationships behind as it is never a good decision to allow yourself to be hurt. This may also be a poor decision when the other person was unfaithful, at least initially, as that can be a difficult situation to get over. Depending on your partners ideals, some research published by Oakland University suggests that they may be interested in you for selfish reasons. In these cases, it is perfectly acceptable to remove a person from your life to help with emotional recovery.

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