So You Want to Be Friends With Your Ex?

April 29, 2022

Not all break-ups end in pain and gnashing of teeth. Sometimes, people have realised that dating doesn’t work for them, so they move on to a different kind of relationship: a friendship. Here’s what to expect when you want to become friends with your ex. 

You may cry a lot 

A lot of their current actions or inactions may cause you pain, especially if you still have strong romantic feelings towards them. You’d have memories of who they are and what they’re going to be. You’ll see their growth in real time and you’ll remember you no longer play the same part like you once did and you have to support them in a different way, going forward. It may bring tears to your eyes, but crying isn’t a bad thing.

Separate the person you once knew from the person you now know

The person that was dating you and the person you’re trying to be friends with may not be the same. They probably picked your calls at midnight because they were in love with you back then. That may change and you need to respect that. Humans change when the relationship capacity changes. 

RELATED: QUIZ: What Do Your Exes Really Think About You? 

Prepare for awkwardness

It will be awkward. You may cringe a couple of times and will probably forget how to talk to them. You may slip up and call them a former pet name and fall into an awkward silence. But it’ll pass eventually and you’ll be alright. 

Create healthy boundaries 

Protect your peace and your space. Make sure to let them know the ways and capacites you can be available for them. It’s easy to blur the lines for someone you were once in love with, so stand your ground. 

Make peace with yourself 

You can’t successfully be friends with them if you’re still holding on to things that may never be. Free yourself from the expectation of getting back together and enjoy this new phase.

RELATED: I’m Tired of Being Your Supportive Friend, I Want More

Jealousy will come but how you navigate it is what matters

They’ll most likely date someone else. You’ll see them do things both of you had once planned with their new partner(s). You’ll also see them do things for their new partner that they swore they’d never do. It’s okay to feel some jealousy, but you need to understand that you’re no longer in their life in that capacity. Feel your feelings, but don’t do anything rash. 

Give it time 

Don’t rush into the friendship. It may take a while for it to finally work out well, so don’t rush it. You may have hiccups today and fights tomorrow, but if you’re deliberate about the friendship, it’ll most likely work out. 

RELATED: 11 Nigerians Share Their Worst Relationship Breakup Stories


Zikoko is launching a new series where we explore those friendships, familial and romantic relationships that are no longer sailing. 

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

April 1, 2020

A few days ago, a clip of media personality, Toke Makinwa saying that every woman should own at least one sex toy went viral on social media, and a lot of men were legitimately distraught by the idea. The debate it spawned revealed just how little people (read: men) seem to know about the usefulness […]

February 21, 2020

Depending on the kind of person you are, your relationship with your exes could be great or really toxic. This quiz will tell you how your exes feel about you. Do they think you’re the one that got away or the worst mistake they’ve ever made? Take to find out:

Watch

Now on Zikoko

May 21, 2022

The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 27-year-old man who masturbated for the first time when he was 22. He talks about the transition from saving himself for marriage to just enjoying sex, and why he never considered masturbation till he started having sex.

Recommended Quizzes

February 26, 2020

Are you all set for marriage, or are you still figuring it out? Well, if you’re curious to know the answer, then this is the quiz for you. All you have to do is create your own ideal Nollywood wedding film, and we’ll tell you if you’re ready to say “I do”. Go ahead:

November 7, 2019

These days, everyone is always talking about how much sex they’re getting, or how little sex they’re getting, or how disgusting sex is etc. There’s just so much talk about sex, it’s almost impossible to know who’s lying and who’s telling the truth. In anticipation of our new series about the sex lives of young […]

how much of an ajebutter
February 12, 2020

Are you an ajebutter or not? Well, if you’ve gone through life blissfully unaware of its harshness, then you probably are. Now, we want to know just how high you rank on that ajebutter scale, using your food preferences as a (very accurate) measure. Take to find out:

November 25, 2019

We already guessed how many people you’ve slept with, and y’all were out here denying the truth. Anyway, we won’t hold that against you. This time, however, we’ve created a quiz that predicts who you’ll sleep with next — so you can either prepare or try (unsuccessfully) to prevent it. So, take and see:

More from Ships

May 21, 2022

The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 27-year-old man who masturbated for the first time when he was 22. He talks about the transition from saving himself for marriage to just enjoying sex, and why he never considered masturbation till he started having sex.

May 17, 2022

Breadcrumbing is the unfair practice of giving just enough attention and affection to someone who cares about you to keep them interested. We rounded up a list of things to look out for in a potential love interest to avoid being breadcrumbed.

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X