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I want to get over a guy I dated, but he is also my best friend, and I donít want to lose him.

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I want to get over a guy I dated, but he is also my best friend, and I donít want to lose him. What should I do?óMuah, 16, online


Shayna Answers:

Dear Muah,

Many couples who are close friends before their relationship face this situation after they break up. Your fears that your relationship is going to change are founded.

Accepting this change may be the key to maintaining your friendship.
Sometimes defining a relationship as “best friends” or “just friends” can be a clever way to resist changing your behavior. For example, you may not be physically affectionate or emotional with just “a friend,” but the rules can become skewed when it comes to best friends of the opposite sex. Because you don’t want to lose your ex’s friendship, maybe you’re rationalizing your behavior because you think you have to.

Just because you’re no longer dating doesn’t mean you’ll never be friends again. However, in order to be able to accomplish this in a healthy way, you need to take a breathing period. During this time, concentrate on limiting your communication with your ex, building your platonic friendships, and evaluating what went wrong in your last relationship. Be honest with yourself in admitting what you did wrong, in addition to identifying what your ex did wrong.

You will find that in time, you will be less hurt, angry, and confused about your relationship. Then you can start rebuilding a friendship with your ex. Beware, it prob-ably won’t be the same as it was originally, and that’s OK.

Since you are still talking to your ex, ask him to meet you in a neutral place, not at either of your homes. Tell him that you think it’s necessary to not be as close for a little while. Emphasize that you really like his friendship, but in order to be able to move on from your dating relationship, you need to cut back on the amount of communication you have with him.

The change doesn’t have to be immediate, but gradually start spending more time with same-sex friends and less time with him. Also, make an effort to share your most important emotional moments with a female friend. Sharing highlights or news from your day builds intimacy, so resist doing this with your ex.

It’s definitely going to be difficult for you to pull back in this relationship so you can move on, but if you don’t, you’ll not only get stuck on your ex, you’ll compromise your future relationships.

How? your emotional “best friend” connection with your ex may intimidate a new boyfriend, and it will ultimately rob him of the closeness that should be reserved for him. You’ll also find yourself comparing and maybe even faulting future boyfriends for not measuring up to your ex. This could end up hurting you and someone else.

Proverbs 18:24 describes a friend who sticks closer than a brother. You may feel that your ex fits this description. But for your own healing, don’t be afraid to lose your ex’s friendship. As long as you are praying for healing and direction in your decisions regarding this situation, God won’t steer you in the wrong direction.



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