Being friends with someone you dated briefly and love(7 Do’s & Don’ts)

By: Naveen B

If you dated someone for a while, but for whatever reason, you don’t want to continue the romantic relationship with them and consider staying friends with them.

It can be awkward and difficult to find the right way to tell someone you just want to be friends without hurting them or insulting them or yourself.

Being friends with someone you dated briefly will be up to you. To begin with, you need to figure out what are your motivations.

Are you worried that one of you will fall back in love and forget about what happened? Or maybe you don’t want to hurt them and lose them completely from your life? 

Sometimes it can feel like if you just found the right way to say something, then everything would be okay; however, this isn’t necessarily true all of the time.

Sometimes no matter what you say, your friendship will never be the same again after that conversation. Sometimes friendships can evolve into something romantic, and that’s great.

But other times, you have to end things before the friendship gets too serious and you both get hurt.

If you like someone but just want to be friends, it can be hard to break it to them without hurting their feelings or causing drama in your group of friends.

If your motivations are clear, then here is some advice on how to stay friends with someone you used to date.

Before that let’s be clear,

Can you be friends with someone you used to date and love?

Can you be friends with someone you used to date and love Being friends with someone you dated briefly and love(7 Do's & Don'ts)

So, Can you be friends with someone you used to date and love? No. If at least one or both of the partners still have feelings and emotional attachment to each other it’s almost impossible to remain friends.

But. Yes, you can still be friends with someone you used to date or love – If both of the partners fall out of love and share no more connection, feelings, and attachments they once had.

In brief, you can never be friends with someone you have feelings for. Because friendship is entirely different from a romantic relationship.

Although, in very rare cases, there are chances to stay in contact with your ex.

But, it depends on the maturity level of each individual partner, self-awareness, control over each other’s emotions, and the boundaries they set not to involve themselves in any sort of emotional or intimate affairs.

As far as I am concerned, I would highly recommend not being friends with someone you dated briefly, as you would get hurt down the road.

Because there is always a sort of shared connection that will haunt you which makes you not move on.

And that also will affect your emotional health and your future relationships too. So, better hurt now than hurt yourself forever by cutting them off entirely if you still love them.

Recommended reading: How to tell someone you just want to be friends without hurting them?

Can you go from lovers to friends back to lovers?

Can you go from lovers to friends back to lovers Being friends with someone you dated briefly and love(7 Do's & Don'ts)

Can you go from lovers to friends back to lovers? Yes, absolutely, as long as both parties are willing to be honest and discuss their feelings while also giving each other space.

But sometimes closure is what’s needed even if it means that both parties need to completely let go of any romantic feelings they had for each other.

Also, remember that being in love doesn’t mean you can’t be friends; although it may take some time and effort (and possibly a few rough patches) before things are back to normal, it should be possible for these relationships to remain intact once people decide their future.

There will always be hurt feelings at first, but don’t forget that life goes on either way.

While taking your relationship from romance to platonic friendship isn’t without risks or hurt feelings (no matter how much time has passed), it can work out if everyone involved understands why it’s happening and everyone gives it a chance too.

Of course, part of allowing yourself to move forward means accepting where you stand at present — whether that place is back together or just friends.

Regardless of where your bond currently falls on the scale between romantic connections and purely platonic ones, be sure to allow yourself room for further change.

Also read: Can you be friends with someone you love?

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts on how to be friends with someone dated briefly that may help you to progress your relationship in a healthy way.

7 Do’s – Being friends with someone you love and dated briefly

being friends with someone you love Being friends with someone you dated briefly and love(7 Do's & Don'ts)

1. Take it slow and don’t try to rush into being friends immediately:

You were together for a while before realizing that it wasn’t right so remember how well you two knew each other beforehand; if there was anything wrong before dating don’t expect to solve it overnight.

Take things slowly, don’t dive headfirst into becoming best friends, and make sure that your intentions are never mixed up; simply having a friend is good enough.

When you do talk about what happened, be sincere about everything because chances are your ex-partner is still hurt by what went down. Listen to your intuition and proceed accordingly.

2. Give each other space:

By now, you understand that being friends with someone you dated briefly will not be a smooth ride and that arguments are inevitable but don’t drag these on for too long as they will eat up valuable friendship time.

If there is something bothering you about your ex give them feedback when it happens instead of holding onto it.

Make sure to respect their feelings, even if it means apologizing over and over again, even if everything wasn’t really your fault.

However, if you can’t get through to your partner or find out why they are so upset keep away from them at least until things get better; no one likes an angry friend or a nagging partner.

It is best to never argue with anyone in front of strangers but if things get out of hand try taking them somewhere private (for example: send them back home after meeting up for dinner) or just walk away from trouble spots altogether.

Also read: How to stay friends with someone you have feelings for?

3. Set necessary boundaries:

It’s okay to keep things strictly friendship-only even if your feelings tell you otherwise; if you think that having them in your life as a friend is too much, don’t make exceptions for them.

Also, be careful not to overthink or get jealous of other relationships in their lives – be happy for them and move on.

When it comes to setting rules between each other about how often to call or what info is okay to share set these early on (for example: send an email instead of calling).

So that there are no doubts about whether someone feels uncomfortable being around your ex or has serious issues with how long ago things ended between you two.

4. Keep your conversations casual:

This one’s especially difficult since most of us like to relive old memories. But sharing old stories helps you get re-involved in your history, which may have nothing to do with what you’re trying to achieve right now.

When you meet up to catch up, stay focused on maintaining a mindful conversation where both parties are engaged and interested instead of bringing out all sorts of sweet nothings; remember that being friends with someone you dated briefly requires neither intimacy nor romance.

Also read: How to stay friends with someone who rejected you?

5. Maintain your feelings and emotional attachment in control:

When staying friends with someone you love, there are chances that old flames between you both may reignite.

Although it can be quite difficult, it is important to remind yourself that being friends with someone you dated briefly will only work if one of two things happens: either a) you’re over them or b) they’re over you.

However, even though having feelings for each other is inevitable sometimes try not to dwell on it too much.

If every conversation somehow drifts back into remember when we did xyz territory keep reminding yourself that reminiscing isn’t always healthy (even if it feels nice sometimes). 

Be honest about what you want out of being friends with someone you dated briefly – do you really just want some closure or an opportunity to rekindle an old romance?

By setting reasonable expectations for these interactions, and making sure all parties involved understand them ahead of time, awkwardness surrounding spending time together should decrease exponentially.

6. Clarify your misunderstanding between each other:

If something went wrong during your brief relationship, don’t keep things bottled up; remember that being a good friend and even just a decent human being includes saying how it is and how you feel (just try to avoid overdoing it).

Also, at least make sure that they know when they hurt you so they don’t do it again; believe me, people are way more upset at themselves for hurting others than not doing enough or being hated in return.

However, if all your relationships start ending up as friendships then maybe think about why that is because sooner or later their feelings will get hurt too.

7. Know when to end your relationship and never look back:

Some people just don’t seem destined for being friends with someone they dated – no matter how hard they try.

This can cause a lot of hurt feelings, which is why it’s important that both parties are completely honest and open about their feelings instead of trying to ignore them or pretend things aren’t as bad as they seem.

Although it may be tempting not to speak up about issues for fear of hurting each other more, keep in mind that if you want true closure, ending it will make room for both of you in your lives eventually (and possibly even save a friendship from dying).

Acknowledge that sometimes goodbyes need to be final – especially if there isn’t a future ahead of getting together again.

Also read: How to maintain a friendship with someone you love?

7 Don’ts – Being friends with someone you dated briefly and attracted to

being friends with someone you dated and like Being friends with someone you dated briefly and love(7 Do's & Don'ts)

1. Don’t fall back in love:

Being friends with someone you dated briefly is fine but don’t expect it to lead to a romantic relationship or anything. You should keep things platonic. There are many ways that can help make sure that happens.

For example, by not spending too much time together, limiting contact, and being open about your feelings and what’s on your mind at all times.

Of course, these aren’t rules, and following them won’t ensure that you will never become romantically involved again; they will just help keep temptation out of sight and out of mind.

2. Don’t share too much information about your personal life:

Obviously, things will be different if you want to stay friends with someone you dated.

To have that happen make sure you never tell your ex about anything that is currently going on in your life or anything deeply personal (for example, health issues and big family dramas).

Stay away from sharing information that could negatively affect their relationships.

If they are able to continue talking and being friends with their significant other even after dumping them there is no reason why they should stop talking to you just because something negative happened between you two.

3. Don’t treat your ex as a close friend:

When things end there are just two options – avoid them completely or move on. Treating someone like their feelings don’t matter can seriously hurt them even after breaking up, more so if it happens because of some kind of betrayal.

If you decide to be friends with your ex try focusing on being very polite and respectful about everything but avoid doing what works for really close friends like hanging out every day or calling all the time unless they initiate it first.

This can put unnecessary pressure on both parties and might come off as insincere and fake (at least until they have earned it).

However, if any, real friendship blooms make sure that in order to keep it alive, neither one keeps holding back too much; making an effort is essential no matter how many years pass by.

Also read: How to tell someone you can’t be friends because you like them?

4. Don’t share information about your new significant other:

If you decide to start dating again don’t bring your dates to meet up with your ex even if they ask, at least not until there is something solid between both of you.

This can result in a lot of problems including, awkwardness from seeing how little your ex means to you and disappointing them by dating so soon after breaking things off (because for some people, it’s almost unacceptable).

Be careful around them, but don’t hold back on new experiences either.

Also, avoid giving in to their constant attempts to hook up again or constantly pining over them; all they will think is that they are more special than they really are and all that love wasn’t meant for them.

5. Don’t Avoid them completely:

You’re both adults and therefore might be tempted to completely avoid your ex after things don’t work out as expected.

However, for no reason at all, it could also mean a stronger friendship in which every previous flaw is forgiven.

As long as nothing bad has happened during your brief time together, there is no reason to keep pretending that they don’t exist; It can be tempting to just ignore your ex when they contact you but don’t.

It may take some time but give yourself at least a few weeks before deciding that being friends isn’t right.

This way, if it turns out it wasn’t meant to be, after all, it will have been for a reason and not because of mistakes on your part.

Plus, in case there is something wrong between you two make sure that after a few weeks apart you are able to re-establish contact properly instead of running from things or ignoring their messages or calls altogether.

When everything goes well, continue doing what worked for months prior – keep in touch regularly and meet up frequently but don’t see each other very often and never do anything beyond normal friend behavior.

Also read: How to be friends with someone you love? (Guide)

6. Don’t ask too many personal questions about their life:

It is perfectly normal to be curious and ask your ex where they stand these days, after all if things didn’t work out it’s better to know.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can show up unannounced at their home or call them at midnight just because of an emergency need. sometimes in order to move on people have to let go and see things from a distance.

When talking make sure not to ask them any personal questions related to their love life (unless they do it first) even if they are close enough friends.

After all, what happened in the past is history and nothing more should be done than adding some fun facts into conversations.

7. Don’t ignore their feelings:

Just because your relationship didn’t work out doesn’t mean that their feelings should. In order to being friends with someone you dated, make sure you find ways to acknowledge their pain, or else everything will fall apart.

If a misunderstanding happened, apologize even if it wasn’t really your fault; just being close can be scary at times, and knowing that they are cared for can sometimes be more than enough. 

Make them feel important even if deep down they know it isn’t entirely true; after all, friendship is a give-and-take game so if things don’t turn out exactly as expected try doing something nice for them instead.

Recommended reading: How to stop loving someone but stay friends?

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Experienced Psychology and philosophy Writer, self-help and relationship Coach and thought influencer. He has 7 years of experience in Personal development industry. His expertise as a self-help and relationship Coach has been highlighted through his articles in medium and substack to name a few. To be updated with his latest work, connect with him by following his social media accounts.

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