4 Things to Seriously Consider Before Saying ‘Let’s Just Be Friends’

Oct 26, 2016

Let us get one thing straight: Breaking up is hard. Having your heart broken is even harder. It is a filthy business filled with heartache, tears and possibly resentment. We have all been there; either we were the ones to have our hearts broken or we were the ones to do the breaking up, and it does not make it any easier being the one responsible for another person’s pain.

This is why we often revert to the polite LJBF phrase in order to try as much as possible to avoid social embarrassment, hurt feelings and ensuring you do not end up with a stalker on your hands – let’s just say social media stalking does not count.

If you have been in this situation you probably know how this uncomfortable dilemma unfolds. But if you have not been there, and are contemplating the possibility of letting the person you are dating or are in a relationship with down easily; here are a few things you need to consider before uttering this dreaded phrase, “Let’s just be friends.”

1 Disintegration of the friendship foundation

Many of you were friends before you started dating and found yourself falling in love with each other. Nonetheless, once you find that things are not working out between the two of you and you let him know that you want to be “just friends,” you have to realize that things will possibly never be the same again.

After all, too much water has run under the bridge and despite your effort to let him down easily, his ego will most likely be bruised and if he loved you – he will be hurt. It is unfortunate to see the friendship dissolve, but if the two of you were not meant to be as a couple you have to say something and be honest about it.

You do not have to be cruel, but you do owe him the decency of being open about why you feel it did not work. Do not hang onto something that no longer has the possibility to grow into something better and stronger; something that no longer has a potential and a future.

If you hold on in order to save the friendship you will murder any chance of salvaging all the good aspects of the relationship. The relationship will turn into something more unpleasant and toxic for the both of you and you will start resenting each other.

You have to decide how important this person is for you and how much you care about him. Is he important enough for you to try and stay friends? Do you care enough about him to allow him to find happiness somewhere else?

2 Dynamic change

The likelihood of you two returning to your previous status of being as thick as thieves is fairly slim. You were friends, then you dated – possibly went the distance, and now it has ended. As I mentioned in the previous section, too much has happened in the period between when you first crossed the bridge from being friends to that of boyfriend and girlfriend.

Once you feel that flutter of butterflies and see each other in the new light of love – a love that has a different dynamic than the love of friendship, things change – you change. You now make memories as a couple, learning to use your friendship as the groundwork to a romantic relationship.

You decided to trust this person with your heart, so now you automatically start trusting this person with your hopes and dreams, your doubts and fears – you start trusting them with your past. When you do decide to break up, those moments spent together; all the important talks you had, they stay with you – and it is moving on from that which is the hardest.

Read also – 3 Reasons That Will Persuade You to Unfollow Your Ex Now

If you want to remain friends, both of you will have to find a way to safely tuck those memories in a faraway room in your mind and start to re-think how you will interact with each other from now on without remembering all the intimate moments. You will also have to reconsider your body language and how you act around each other.

Studies have shown that women have a remarkable ability to sense when two people have previously been in a romantic relationship with each other by the way they greet and talk to each other – either they have a disregard for personal space due to the intimate way they dealt with each other when they were involved, or they awkwardly look in different directions and pretend the other person simply does not exist.

3 There is no off switch to this thing called love

Emotions are not something that can easily be controlled, especially when it comes to love. If you tell the person you only want to be just friends, chances are he will try and convince you to give your relationship another chance. He will try and do everything in his power to get you back.

If you hang out as friends it might send him mixed signals and give him false hope. He might even subtly start moving things in that direction. This is not only a danger zone for him but also for you – it might be too easy to just fall back into the routine of things, throwing all the reasons of why it did not work out into the wind, which ultimately brings you back to square one.

It is great that you still want to be a part of his life, to be a source of support whenever he needs it, but it might be a better idea to let things cool down first before you get involved in his life again. It is the worst possible feeling to be hung up on someone who does not feel the same way about you, by letting things cool down you give him the opportunity to get over you and move on.

4 The green-eyed monster

The both of you will most likely move on to dating other people, which in turn may lead to bruised egos, hurt feelings, jealousy and yes, resentment. Be mindful of the fact that moving on can stir these feelings in him and depending on how fast you decide to move on, he might even suspect foul play.

This is another reason you will benefit from a sensible cooling off period; it is needed for the both of you two to allow your separation to sink in and take root. Respect him enough not to want to hurt him any more than he already is. Once you start dating other people, make sure that both of you are in a space that grades you ready for the next phase in the “ex-lovers-turned-friends” saga.

Do not for one moment think that you are exempt of these feelings because you were the one who did the breaking up – no, you once marked your territory and now someone else is moving in and marking it as theirs.

However, you have to remember that he is your ex for a reason. You may experience these feelings and that is fine, but you have no right to do so openly and deny him the opportunity to have love again and be happy.

Becoming friends after dating is extremely hard, but it is not impossible. Make yourself aware of all the things that follow this type of break-up and then handle it accordingly. Be aware that turning from lovers into friends does not happen overnight and emotions cannot simply be switched on and off.

Read also – To The Girl Who Wants to Let Go of a Lost Dream

There is no definite way to ensure that you two will survive the breakup and become friends, in two of my previous relationships this was not the case. It takes work and if you do not put in the right type of effort, it will not happen.

In conclusion, before you say ‘let’s just be friends’ consider how much you really want this person to still be a part of your life – whether you will want to take on all the risks involved and if the both of you are emotionally mature enough to handle it. It is only then that you will be able to recoup any hope of a relationship and start with a new perspective towards building a renewed version of friendship.