I have been sating a woman for just over three years and I think it’s time we split up, yet I can’t seem to get myself to that point. We’ve been on and off for the last year and it never gets any better. We talked about kids at one point, we live together, and it’s really frustrating to see so much effort go to waste, but I know it’d be best if we just went our seperate ways. How do I go about ending something like this and still remaining friends?
You don’t…at least not right away. “Let’s be friends” isn’t meant to be immediate, yet so many people believe it’s the best course of action, when it’s actually the worst. You won’t be friends for awhile and it’s a good idea to get used to that. The reason it won’t work? Intimacy. It’s like taking vanilla and sugar out of ice cream and expecting it to taste the same. It doesn’t. You just have frozen cream.
The best rule of thumb is to let things settle for a month or 6. Spend time with other friends (if you have them) or make new ones (if you don’t), and get yourself back on track before expecting a friendship from someone you once dated. If you try too soon, it’s too easy to get sucked into the friends with benefits thing and that’ll just ruin everything. I don’t know of a single person who successfully worked the friends with benefits thing without it blowing up in their face in the long run. Close that door of intimacy and make sure enough time has passed to keep it that way.
Again, let things cool, avoid friends with benefits, and get yourself back on track. You’ll be amazed at what great friends your exes can be if you just give it time to settle and close the doors that need closing.