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The Best Ways to Break Up With Your Boyfriend and Still Be Friends

by Stacey Elkins

No matter the circumstances, breaking up is never easy. Your intimate relationship is ending, but you still like him as a person and want to move forward as friends. It is possible to continue a friendship after a breakup, but both you and your ex have to let go of any intimate feelings for the other first.

Mutual Breakup

If the breakup was mutual, the chances of remaining friends is greater. If only one of you wanted to break up, it can be hard for the other to be strictly friends, as long as emotions are still involved. Being friends with an ex-partner is easier for someone who is not feeling hurt or is feeling minimal hurt about the end of the relationship.

Take a Break From Each Other

If you or your ex is heartbroken by your breakup, eliminating all contact for a period of time can provide the space to heal and decide if a friendship is possible, suggests Columbia Health's "Go Ask Alice!" advice column. If one of you still has feelings for the other, spending time together can prevent or slow the healing process. If you or your ex is still holding onto the past, moving forward can be difficult if you continue to see each other. Once you both have moved on with your lives, friendship is a possibility.

Commitment to Friendship

To move forward as friends, both you and your ex-boyfriend have to desire a friendship. Determine if being friends will meet both of your needs and if being friends is best for your well-being. If both of you are committed to being friends and are emotionally healthy, you can move forward with a friendship. If you and your ex-boyfriend were friends prior to becoming intimate, it will make the transition back to friends easier, notes psychologist Brent Mattingly.

Alternative Motives

You and your ex-boyfriend need to examine your motives for wanting to remain friends. While one of you may think your relationship is purely platonic, the other may be holding out hope of reigniting the sparks. As long as one of you is harboring a desire to get back together, moving forward as friends is not feasible. Ensure that friendship alone is clearly what you both want.

About the Author

Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.

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