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You Shouldn't Force a Friendship with Your ExIn a recent article on Huffington Post, contributor Brittany Wong took a look at the five things you need to consider when befriending your ex. Often times, couples who file for divorce feel the need to stay friends “for the kids,” but that may not necessarily be the best course of action. Wong states that spending time not being friends first and pausing to analyze how the relationship ended, are two things a couple must do before moving forward. But the one item that really stood out to us was this:

Don’t Force A Friendship

“You might be down to continue your weekend World of Warcraft PvP battles and taco truck runs a few months into the split, but your ex may not feel the same way,” Wong writes. “Broach the topic of friendship sensitively, and respect your ex’s decision if he or she admits they’re not ready to be close again.”

If this is something you want following the divorce papers but are uncertain of how to proceed, one Redditor suggested the following: “Instead of ending it with a ‘can we be friends?’ it should be more of a door left open: ‘I’d still like to be friends. I’ll be around if you want to, too.’ It’s less of an obligation/pressure and more of a gentle offer.”

By emphasizing that there is no obligation to continue the relationship, you essentially make it easier for your ex to deal with their emotions. They realize you’re not pressuring them to get out of their comfort zone, and when they’ve come to terms with the end of the relationship, reconnecting (or not) will feel like a more natural decision.

In Summary

Staying friends isn’t always the best course of action when it comes to dealing with your ex after the divorce forms are final. As Wong points out, much will depend on how the relationship ended and whether or not you’ve given it appropriate time to decompress. It’s also important that you realize a friendship will be something you have to work at in order to get it right. But with time, energy, and support, you can get there.

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