Navigating the Tricky Terrain of Being Friends with an Ex: Setting Boundaries and Maintaining a Healthy Friendship


Setting Boundaries for Being Friends with an Ex

Being friends with an ex is a tricky situation. There are so many factors to consider, and it can be difficult to navigate the complex emotions and expectations that come with this scenario.

But fear not, we are here to help! In this article, we’ll be discussing the best ways to set boundaries for being friends with an ex.

Dealing with Lingering Feelings

The first step in maintaining a healthy friendship with your ex is to address any lingering feelings you may have. If you still feel pain or anger towards your ex, it’s important to vent out your emotions in a healthy manner.

This could be through journaling, talking to a close friend or therapist, or engaging in physical activities like working out. By acknowledging and working through your feelings, you can move towards a state of emotional balance and clarity.

Working on Self-Confidence

Another important aspect of being friends with an ex is working on your self-confidence. It’s easy to question oneself in this kind of situation and ask yourself “why did we break up?”

or “what’s wrong with me?”. But the truth is, it’s perfectly normal for relationships to end, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with you.

By focusing on improving your self-esteem and realizing your own self-worth, you can avoid falling into the trap of questioning yourself and your actions.

Having Closure

In order to move forward with a healthy friendship, it’s essential to have closure on your past relationship. This could mean having a thoughtful conversation with your ex where you both express your feelings and agree to move on from the past.

It’s important to remove any lingering feelings or attachments to your ex, so that you can move forward with a clear and open mind.

Unspoken Boundaries for Being Friends with an Ex

Now that we’ve talked about some of the key aspects of setting boundaries with an ex, let’s discuss some of the unspoken boundaries that should be followed to maintain a healthy friendship.

Not Publishing Posts about Your Ex on Social Media

This is an obvious one, but it’s worth repeating. Posting about your ex on social media can be misconstrued and can lead to further hurt or jealousy.

It’s important to keep your social media posts about your ex to a minimum, or better yet, avoid posting about them altogether.

Not Stalking Them Online

It’s tempting to keep tabs on your ex online, but this can lead to a slippery slope of jealousy and bitterness. Respecting each other’s privacy by not stalking each other on social media or other online platforms is essential for a healthy friendship.

Respecting Each Other’s Privacy

Privacy is a major aspect of any successful friendship, and the same goes for being friends with an ex. It’s important to respect each other’s boundaries and give each other space when needed.

Not Comparing Previous Relationship to Future Relationships

Comparing your past relationship to future relationships can be a major source of disappointment and resentment. It’s important to respect each other’s choices and not bring up past issues when moving forward.

Showing Respect to Their New Partner

If your ex has moved on to a new partner, it’s important to show respect towards their new relationship. This means not gossiping about their partner, or trying to sabotage their new relationship out of jealousy.

Not Trying to Bring Up the Past

Reliving the past is never a good idea when trying to be friends with an ex. It’s important to avoid bringing up old issues or fights, and instead focus on positive and light topics.

Talking about Positive and Light Topics

Talking about positive and light topics is key to maintaining a healthy friendship with an ex. This means avoiding sensitive topics that could trigger negative emotions, and instead focusing on happy topics like hobbies, mutual interests, or travel.

Not Talking about Your Past Relationship with Their New Partner

While it’s important to be open and honest with your ex, it’s important to avoid discussing your past relationship with their new partner. This can be uncomfortable and awkward, and can lead to unnecessary drama.

Not Giving Unsolicited Love Advice

Giving unsolicited love advice can be hurtful and offensive, especially if your ex is in a new relationship. It’s important to respect their choices and only offer advice or insight when asked.

Not Sharing Private Details about Your Life after the Breakup

Sharing private details about your life after the breakup can be uncomfortable and awkward for your ex. It’s important to respect each other’s boundaries and only share personal information when appropriate.

Avoiding Contacting Each Other Unless Needed

It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to contact your ex for every little thing, but it’s important to avoid this in order to respect each other’s space and boundaries. It’s important to only contact each other when necessary, and to avoid contact when it’s not needed.

Hanging Out with Others Instead of Alone

Hanging out with a group of friends is a great way to avoid feeling pressured or awkward when spending time with your ex. It’s important to maintain a healthy social life and to avoid putting yourself in situations that could lead to discomfort or drama.

Throwing Out Your Ex’s Possessions

Getting rid of your ex’s possessions is an important step in moving forward and healing. It’s important to do this in a respectful and considerate manner, by either returning their possessions or donating them to charity.

Not Flirting or Touching

Flirting or touching can be misconstrued and can lead to tension or awkwardness. It’s important to avoid this at all costs, and to maintain a respectful distance from your ex.

Talking about Your New Partners at the Right Moment

If you or your ex have moved on to new partners, it’s important to address this in a sensitive and appropriate way. This could mean discussing boundaries around talking about your new partners, or avoiding the topic altogether until everyone is comfortable.

How to Be Friends with Your Ex

Having Good Intentions

The beginning to any successful friendship is having good intentions. If you still care about your ex’s happiness and well-being, then you have the foundation for a potentially strong friendship.

You both need to make sure that the friendship is not based on negative motivations like jealousy, manipulation, or trying to get back together. When both of you have good intentions, the friendship has a positive start.

Being Honest

Honesty is key to any thriving relationship, and this holds true for a friendship with an ex. It’s important to communicate openly and honestly about uncomfortable topics that may arise regarding your past relationship.

When you start developing the friendship, open communication from both sides is critical. It might be uncomfortable, but setting the conversation out in the open will give you room to move forward.

By being honest about your feelings and motives, you show respect towards your ex.

Having Patience

A friendship with an ex takes a great deal of patience and understanding. It takes time to build a new kind of relationship with your ex, which means that you both need to be patient as you rediscover each other in a new way.

It is important to understand that the dynamic now is different from the romantic relationship you once shared. Both of you have to go through a learning process to develop a new kind of friendship.

Letting Go of Your Past

When you are friends with your ex, it’s important to leave any fights or arguments in the past. Holding on to grudges or resentments towards your ex will only sabotage your friendship.

If you still have wounds from your past relationship, it’s important to work on them and try to let them go. When both parties come to the table with a clean slate, there is space for growth and development.

Having Respect

Respecting each other’s boundaries and communication is essential in any successful friendship, but it’s especially important when it comes to being friends with your ex. Respect allows for the space necessary to heal and grow.

Respecting each other’s boundaries means giving each other space, whether it’s physical, emotional, or mental. By respecting boundaries, both of you are setting the foundation to a friendship where communication is open and safe.

Enjoying the Friendship

The most important part of being friends with your ex is enjoying the friendship. While your past may have been serious, your friendship should be enjoyable and light-hearted.

By doing fun and exciting activities together, you can rediscover the reasons why you enjoyed each other’s company in the first place. It is important not to get too serious and treat the friendship with a lighter attitude.

Keep in mind that you are good friends enjoying each other’s company and nothing more. It is important to keep in mind that not all relationships may be able to be transformed into a friendship.

Sometimes, the best choice is to not have any ties with each other, but if both parties think that the friendship is possible and beneficial, it can work. Take things one step at a time and don’t rush the process.

A friendship needs nurturing and development, so take all the time you need to develop the friendship and let it grow gradually.


Being friends with your ex is possible if both parties keep good intentions, are honest, have patience, respect each other’s boundaries, and most importantly, enjoy each other’s company. It takes work and effort, but with the right mindset, you can develop a strong, fulfilling, and enjoyable friendship with your ex.

Remember to respect each other’s communication, boundaries, and to keep things light-hearted while still having a good time together. In conclusion, setting boundaries for being friends with an ex is essential for maintaining a healthy and fulfilling friendship.

It’s important to address any lingering emotions and help build self-confidence to avoid questioning oneself. Having closure and setting unspoken boundaries such as respecting each other’s privacy, not comparing previous relationships to future ones, and not stalking your ex online are crucial for a successful and healthy friendship.

By following these guidelines and having good intentions, being honest, having patience, and enjoying the friendship, you can develop a strong and fulfilling connection with your ex. Remember, a successful friendship takes work and time, so be patient and enjoy the journey.

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