No matter how many people may tell you it’s a bad idea, being friends with your ex is possible…

We’ve all been there – in that weird zone after a break-up where someone says, “I really want us to stay friends”, or “I value our friendship too much to let sex get in the way of that”, or “Your friendship means so much to me – let’s not let this break-up ruin that”.

And after you get through the original feelings of “That’s bull, I hate your guts and will probably ask my best friend to accidentally hit you with her car”, you might realise that you do actually appreciate and miss the friendship you had with your ex.

But is being friends with your ex even possible?

If you follow these nine rules, you and your ex can start over, let go of the past and turn your break-up into a lasting friendship:

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1. Take some time away from your ex

Let the anger and hurt you might feel over the break-up subside and once you’re in a good place again, reach out to rekindle the friendship.

2. Make sure to hang out with mutual friends, not alone

Especially at first, hanging out alone will feel too intimate. If you hang out with other friends, things will definitely be less awkward since you will have other people to fall back on. If you happen to end up spending time alone, try to fill that time with activities that can distract you from getting all lovey-dovey like you normally would have.

3. Be up front about your feelings

Be clear that nothing sexual or romantic is going to happen between the two of you. If you’re both on the same page about your expectations of this new kind of relationship, you’ll both be happier.

4. Remember the things that you loved about them when you were a couple

And then let those things inform what you love about them as a friend.

5. No drunk texting

You’re drunk, lonely, and really just want someone to come cuddle you, and make you feel good about yourself. You convince yourself that one little text won’t hurt, right? Wrong! The next thing you know, it’s morning and you find them in your bed.

Just don’t do it.

6. Don’t talk badly about them

Once you’ve decided to commit to this friendship, you’ve given up the right to badmouth them to your friends. If something they’re doing is really bothering you, tell them directly, like you would with any other friend.

7. Don’t flirt with them or try to win them back

You both decided to try to be friends, don’t turn around and hit on them. One or both of you will undoubtedly end up hurt, so it just isn’t worth it.

8. Don’t rub new significant others in their face

You would hate it if they did that to you, so don’t do it to them. Feel free to date new people, to fall in love, even to eventually introduce your new bae to your ex; just don’t try to make your ex jealous.

9. Be honest with yourself

If you realise that you still aren’t over your ex or the break-up, maybe you need more time or space. And if this friendship truly isn’t working, maybe it’s time to let it go forever. No matter how much it hurts, you are the most important person in your own life, so make sure that you’re happy.

No matter how many people may tell you that it’s a bad idea, being friends with your ex is possible. Nobody knows you better than yourself – if you think you can do it, you can. Just make sure to follow these nine rules, and you’ll have yourself a successful friendship.