Saying no to that ex who wants to remain friends!
It’s happened, the dreaded line has been said post- break up. “I still want to be friends”.
Now the reason for asking is either harmless or harmful. There is no in between.
|A genuine desire to stay in contact.||Emotional support|
|Benefits, ie- money, gifts, power etc|
Occasionally there is that rare desire to stay in contact. The harmless request, the ability to stalk each other occasionally on Facebook or Instagram just to check in. Then comes the harmful reasons for emotional support, beneficial gains, maintaining a civil relationship and unresolved relationship
As tempting as it is to maintain a ‘friendship’ with someone you had deep connections and many happy memories with. There is a downside of focussing on the positive side to a relationship, it creates a red filter on the relationship. Those red flags will look like normal flags.
Whilst these reasons for an ex wanting to remain friends post break up are perfectly reasonable in their own way. That is fine, everyone grieves differently. If they affected your ability to provide a suitable amount of self care in your life then your first consideration is to say NO. This is one of the most advanced and challenging parts of self care, the ability to say no. Especially when it is said to someone that you may still have a deep connection with. Everyone is capable of knowing what is good for them. The trick is to aim for it. We don’t always do what is right but we know what we should be doing. Saying no is not selfish nor is it inconsiderate.
However, letting go is hard but it is the key to post break up self care. It is painful dealing with someone that you love, being angry with you. Sometimes seeing the person you used to love can be hard. Yet, if these people create toxic relationships with you then it is perfectly acceptable to say no.
Below are 6 steps to not go back;
Acknowledge the loss,
because you are experiencing a loss. You were together for a reason, whether it was shared friends, a similar sense of humour, a deep emotional connection. It is perfectly acceptable for you to honour this loss. You will have plenty of people telling you how horrible they were to you or how you are better off. However, they aren’t in your shoes and how you feel loss to a breakup is an individual reaction.
So feel the loss in it’s whole entirely. You will feel better off.
Ride the waves of grief,
of this loss. That commitment and companionship you had together, remember i. Feeling the grief for this loss is acceptable. It is different for everyone, so if you want to cry for a month, you go ahead. Be kind to yourself though. These feelings should be met without judgement and self criticism.
This self compassion for yourself is key.
Experience the longing.
There is always that period post break up where the desire to speak to your ex kicks in. However, this is just the longing for what was lost. This will always happen, there is no way around it. The pull is powerful and painful all at once. The key is to recognise and understand that this will happen. So when you get that feeling of texting them. You know that this is an urge for soothing and for healing.
So acknowledge it, feel it and then notact on it. This need to soothe your pain will ease. Emotions come and go, so be patient and kind. The feeling will pass.
Be here, now.
Be mindful on how you are feeling. Take stock of the present, are you comfortable? Too warm, too cold? Have you eaten enough? Just anchor yourself in this moment, when your emotions are storming around you, and soothe the pain. Anchor yourself and then focus on breathing. As I said earlier tolerate these feelings and desires. Take stock in what you feel and immerse yourself in them.
You will find with time that these will ease .
Avoiding alcohol or other drugs,
will place you in better stead for your decision making progress. Anything which affects and influences your actions will take you 6 steps back and in a potentially worse places from when you started. Having a friend who is keen to stay by your side and keep you from sending something which you will regret later-like contacting your ex.
Breaking up is not easy. You are giving up that commitment, security and comfort which comes with having a deep connection with someone special. You lose all of that when you break up, the dreams you shared with your ex. As well as those happy memories you made together. Even if you can’t just get over an ex all at once, that is not a bad thing. You are human. An individual who reacts to painful situations differently to all your friends and family. At some point you will succeed, and this very painful experience will be something of the past, which you can look back on a happier and peaceful time.