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How to Break Up with Someone but Stay Friends

By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Break Up with Someone but Stay Friends

Anyone can end a relationship but it takes a great effort to stay friends. In fact, it's impossible for the majority of people. The more intense the relationship, the more difficult it can be to stay friends. However, despite the obstacles, a long-life friendship can flourish following a romantic relationship. This OneHowTo article gives you some tips as to how to break up with someone but stay friends.

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Ending the relationship

Do the right thing and end the relationship face-to-face. When you do this, make sure you have enough time for a long conversation. Don't be afraid to show your emotions but stand firm, hesitation will make the situation worse. Let your ex determine when the conversation is over, although this can take a long time.

If you have to blame someone, blame yourself. Don't point your finger elsewhere. If you break up with your partner because they were cheating on you, don't blame them, especially if you want to stay friends. Say something like: "I feel insecure all the time, and I need some time alone to restore my confidence."

Express yourself honestly. You should appreciate that ending a relationship without given any reasons can cause hurt. Let them know why you don't want to continue with him/her and thoroughly explain yourself. If your reasons may cause hurt (like saying "I never loved you"), make sure that you keep them general and don't be specific. For example, say something like this: "I feel disconnected from the world and the people around me, and I want to reconnect with them." Allow them to get angry. It's logical, it hurts. Don't try to tell them they're wrong to feel that way. They'll get over it with time.

Be sympathetic with your feelings and allow them to tell you all the reasons why you're wrong. You have to be humble, not proud. Don't look happy about what you're doing and try to be compassionate.

How to Break Up with Someone but Stay Friends - Ending the relationship

The transition between love and friendship

When you break up with your partner, you have to be prepared for a bad relationship for the first few weeks. It is normal to feel upset and for them to have no desire to see you or talk to you, so it is best to not pressure them and give them the time they need to see you as a friend. It is important that you learn to treat your ex with respect and independence so you can change the way they see you.

Get ready for a long and arduous process. Making the transition may take months or years, depending on the intensity of your relationship. It is therefore advisable to keep communication lines open at all times. Allow them to call you if they need to talk. It is also important to stay in contact but respect the decision of your ex-partner if he/she tells you they need a bit of time. It might be possible that they don't want to hear from you at the beginning, so avoid any calls, emails or text messages if they don't want to. After some time there will be no problem in talking with them, but it might be awkward at the beginning.

Avoid dating someone else for a while. This step is necessary for the future of your friendship. Otherwise, the other party may assume the worst. If you absolutely must start a new relationship, try to ensure your ex does not find out.

Avoid going to places where you are likely to come across your ex. Try to stay away from parties and meet-ups with friends you share in common. This will make things difficult and will possibly be a setback in their healing process.

Finally, don't refer to the other party as your ex any longer, they're now a friend. This helps to free your mind and place that person in the right place in your life.

How to Break Up with Someone but Stay Friends - The transition between love and friendship

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