How to maintain a friendship with someone you love? (10 Tips)

Maintaining friendships with ex-lovers or with someone you love can be tricky, and in many cases, it’s best to avoid them entirely.

But if you’re determined to remain friends, there are ways you can do it without creating problems between the two of you or jeopardizing your new relationship with your current partner.

There is a lot of pain in love relationships. When people get together, they hope to stay together forever, but either because of rejection or due to break up or for any other reasons, they hope that they will still be friends forever.

That’s a lot of expectations for any relationship.

In fact, research indicates that 30 percent of people don’t remain friends with an ex-partner. If you want to improve your odds of remaining friends with someone you have feelings for, after breaking up or separating, there are some specific strategies you can use.

Recommended reading: Can you be friends with someone you love? (Guide)

This can reduce conflict and increase compassion so that both people feel less blame for what happened in their relationship and are more willing to forgive each other for hurts in their past relationship.

Keep these tips in mind when thinking about how to maintain a friendship with someone you love.

How to maintain a friendship with someone you love?

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So, how to maintain a friendship with someone you love? You might not even realize it, but you’re already doing a lot of things right when it comes to maintaining a friendship with your romantic partner.

However, if both people are interested in keeping up their relationship long-term, there are a few other strategies that can keep your bond strong.

Keep the conversation open If you have issues or concerns that aren’t being addressed by talking about problems as they arise, then make sure there’s room for more regular interactions too.

This could mean setting aside time each week to chat and catch up on everything important, whether or not anything is bothering either person at that moment.

You could also take part in occasional brainstorming moments where there’s no pressure to come up with immediate solutions — just a chance for each person to vent and get clarity on their thoughts and feelings without judgment from the other person.

Be flexible. Be prepared to compromise sometimes because every relationship will go through ups and downs. Be available whenever your friend needs any emotional support but don’t get attached to them.

Related: 10 Steps on how to stop loving someone but stay friends

And be mindful of how your actions affect everyone else involved too; if you’re dating other people, remember that try not to bring up any personal matters, especially the things which involve emotions, love, and dating.

Set your boundaries very standard if you really want to maintain a friendship with someone you love. Even though you may love him/her, that doesn’t give you permission to cross certain boundaries.

Everyone has different ideas of what constitutes an appropriate level of physical affection during a romantic friendship. Find out early on if touching makes your partner uncomfortable so neither one ever has to feel awkward around one another again.

Also agree upon what type of displays of affection are okay and which ones won’t fly with one another, including sitting next to each other on public transportation (so hands-off), pecking cheeks (okay), and more than casual kissing (not okay).

Avoid tempting situations Just because these relationships become emotionally intimate doesn’t necessarily mean physical intimacy should follow quickly after.

Many couples find themselves tempted since it’s easier once trust is established between two people who care about each other deeply enough.

Related: How to tell someone you have feelings for them?

Watch out for warning signs that indicate unmet expectations or potential areas of conflict are looming down the road. There may be times when neither one of you wants to lose a good friend, but some friendships just shouldn’t develop into romance.

If you sense trouble is ahead and your heart leads you to feel otherwise, act on those instincts even if it means parting ways instead of seeing where things lead down a potentially treacherous path. Here are some tips on how to maintain a friendship with someone you love.

Tips to maintain a friendship with someone you love

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1. Know how to communicate and Maintain Good Communication:

Being able to talk it out can go a long way toward repairing relationships that might be struggling – both friendships among acquaintances and familial relationships alike.

In some cases, just having a good old-fashioned heart-to-heart about what went wrong and why things are uncomfortable now will be enough to at least identify some of your problems so that you can start addressing them.

For others, talking it out means sitting down with others who know both parties involved in order to get their perspective on what happened.

Finding outside input on your interactions can help provide a valuable perspective that may not have come up had either person simply talked it through alone.

Whether or not you’re going it alone or involving another third party, choosing neutral territories like coffee shops and libraries for casual discussions is always preferable to trying to hash things out at home where there’s an emotionally charged environment.

2. Set aside time together or be consistent in your friendship:

Just because people don’t want to live together doesn’t mean they’re no longer friends.

Once you’ve worked out what’s bothering one party or both parties, set a date every month (or even once every two months) to hang out together and catch up.

You don’t need to plan anything formal—all it takes is dropping by their place of work one afternoon or inviting them over for lunch without offering any warning first (this helps take pressure off both people).

If no one’s gotten married yet, making plans for double dates with their significant other also helps keep mutual friends involved in building those bridges back up again as well.

Also read: 21 Psychological tricks to get someone to like you

3. Don’t let pride get in the way:

Unless you’re certain that seeing each other won’t upset either person too much, try not to make judgments about what type of friend they are before reaching out to apologize.

If you were wrong or if something really did happen while they weren’t looking, accept your part in whatever broke your bond before feeling shame and beating yourself up over it.

Similarly, if something serious did happen between you two (for example, maybe taking sides against each other during a divorce), ask yourself if pushing away a friend right now could cause more harm than good considering everything else going on in their life right now.

4. Maintain each other’s boundaries and set clear rules:

Though your feelings tend to fade away as people age, awkwardness and communication issues usually start young.

That’s why it’s important to maintain your boundaries early on in a relationship and then reevaluate them from time to time after you’ve become comfortable with each other.

It may sound cold, but part of being a great friend involves knowing how to say no in terms that aren’t aggressive or judgmental.

If your friend is turning to you for emotional support way too often, it’s okay to be there for them in their difficult times but don’t get attached to them emotionally.

If you think your friendship is not working out and your feelings are increasing for them if you spend more time with them.

So, it’s better to reevaluate your condition and either back up quickly or set up clear boundaries and talk it out to each other to maintain some clear rules to be distant with each other.

Also read: How to get someone to like you? (complete guide)

5. Respect Their Choices and decisions:

If your friend has made it clear that they don’t want to talk about something or are going through a rough time, don’t push them. Accept their decision and respect it, which shows that you care about what they are going through.

If you do meet them in person, act normal and be kind to them despite your situation. People appreciate it when others respect their wishes and follow their lead on things that matter to them personally. 

6. Be honest with each other:

If you both are struggling with your feelings, express them openly and be honest with each other about what steps have to be taken in order to maintain a friendship with your loved one can be difficult at times.

Everyone gets moody and selfish at some point or another, and your loved one is no exception. As good as it feels to confide in them, they may not always offer you sympathy or helpful advice. 

But they are still worth keeping around, as they may give you insights into yourself that you never knew existed.

Do your best to avoid confrontation or major disagreements when possible. Compromise whenever you can for a happy relationship.

If there are things about their behavior that bother you, talk about them calmly and rationally instead of falling into an all-out war of words.

7. Encourage them and support their goals: 

You must love them and their happiness is paramount, show patience and consideration.

If your friend’s feeling down, don’t wait for them to approach you to be there for them. be open to giving opinions that they might not want to hear or asking questions that they may not want to answer.

A genuine friendship has its ups and downs.

put yourself in your friend’s shoes sometimes. If you’re too overwhelmed with your own problems, listen to your friend venting about theirs.

It can give you perspective on what’s truly important in your life so far and what can wait till another day when things seem less challenging.

8. Give each other space from time to time:

If you do decide to remain close friends with someone you love, remember that it’s never a good idea to be around each other constantly or exclusively.

When you’re in love with someone, you may want to spend every moment of your day with that person. Unfortunately, you can’t — and neither can he or she. To save your friendship, respect each other’s time together.

For instance, if you both went out one night and it got late, agree to text before going to bed (and actually send it!).

Keep communication open through phone calls or texting throughout the day. While it’s wonderful to be close with your loved one, don’t forget how important friends are too!

9. Accept change:

Friendships change, whether it’s due to falling out of touch or due to personal and professional changes that affect your shared interests.

These shifts happen, and you never know when it’ll happen until you notice a shift in communication.

Not being around each other as often anymore doesn’t mean that a friendship has to end or fall apart completely, but sometimes a shift in priorities necessitates a transition period while both people figure out what their new boundaries should be.

It’s easier to deal with these changes ahead of time than to let them put a strain on your relationship and deal with strained feelings after everything goes wrong.

10. Be realistic and know when to move on:

Know that every relationship doesn’t last forever, especially a friendship with someone you have feelings for.

In the first place, you should not even rekindle with them and maintain any form of relationship.

It’s better for your mental health and emotions especially if you are a sensitive person who takes everything very personally. So keep all these things in your mind and behave accordingly. Good luck.

Recommended reading: How to tell if someone doesn’t like you?

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Naveen Bommakanti

Naveen is Experienced Psychology and philosophy Writer, self-help and relationship Coach and thought influencer. He has 7 years of experience in Personal development industry.

Naveen’s expertise as a self-help and relationship Coach has been highlighted through his articles in medium and substack to name a few.

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