Just because it is over, doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch. After all, you did spend X amount of time with them and have put effort into making it work. It is an investment. There are many reasons to want to stay in touch, some not so healthy. If you want to creep on your ex, see what, and who, they are doing, then this article is not for you. For those who know that breaking up will cause a major rift between friends, family and all aspect of your life, keep on reading. This is a new age, one where we are followed by technology in which we can no longer turn a blind eye to things we do not want to deal with. So, it is time to grow up and put pride aside and make peace, when possible. 1) Ask yourself: Are They the Type of Friend You Need If you are happy to be out of a toxic or otherwise negative relationship, rejoice! For those whose relationships were not compatible, it is important to contemplate why. Was it you? Was it them? Was it out of both of your control? Will they be a positive impact on you as a friend? Consider these. 2) Put Yourself First You know that they will! It is important to not get sidetracked by others desires when reaching for your own. People are doing what is best for them, so you must too! Use #1 to filter through your friends, are they positive for you? Do they push you to be better? Do they inspire? Make choices that will make you better, not anyone else. Caring for others is important, but not when it comes at the price of your own happiness. 3) Keep Mediated Contact Mediated, aka text and or calls. While it is easier to talk on Facebook or Instagram, relying on social media can get messy fast. While it is a great way to stay connected to their daily lives, what happens when you/they post a picture with new lover? 4) Act Normal You have history, that is nothing to hide! If you see them in a store or any situation in which you would normally say hi, go for it! Maybe they will be uncomfortable or are caught off guard. They might have the time to catch up even if they wanted to, however, go for it. Don’t expect anything, just see how it goes. Worst case, it is not acknowledged and you go about your life knowing they definitely were not the right choice for you. There is no reason why you can not be adults about it. 5) Stop Gossiping Studies show that the more you talk about someone, the more present they are in your life and mind. Whether you are talking yourself into love or talking about their flaws, your mind may know the difference but your body does not. When seeing a loved one or even hearing about them, you can trigger dopamine, or the “feel-good” hormones you get while in love, even if you are not. This can be said for the opposite as well. Ever notice that the more you talk poorly about someone, the worse you end up feeling? Think positive, attract positive, stay positive. If you would like to read more about the research done on how gossip affects your perception read this Additionally, if you would like to read how love affects your brain, read this 6) Treat Yourself Use this time wisely. See friends, figure out who you are without your ex, be courageous, be you. You don’t need a partner to take yourself out to eat, see a movie or anything you want. If might not feel the same as it does with them, but for a lot of us, we think it is much better! Embrace the reality that is you doing you. Do what you want, when you want, with no obligation or sense of needing to wait on anyone. Welcome to freedom! 7) Give them space It is hard to come to terms with the fact that someone who was your everything, can only be a something. Being friends, especially good friends, can take a while. Personally for me, an average of a month to get things in a predictable manner. To make it comfortable, well, that may take some time. Luckily, we have plenty of it and by focusing on you and giving the process time to heal, it will just fall in your lap. 8) Practice Empathy While some breakups are clean, others are not so much. When learning to go back to being just friends with your ex, be understanding that they too are going through this. In their own way and perspective, they might need someone and more often than not, we do not know who to turn to aside from those who knows us best. So if your ex calls you upset and wants to talk, even if it is rehashing what was already said, it is important to give support. Even if you cannot be there for them, let them know that there is no shame in needing to feel safe. They aren’t reaching out to have you fix them or feel guilty, but to get closure by discussing the issues with the parties involved. We get caught up in the drama of “so and so called me drunk last night” instead of treating them like a friend. Instead it should be more of the lines of “so and so got drunk and felt they had no one to talk to, so they called me.” That shows a different side, doesn’t it? Better yet, don’t gossip about them at all. 9) Acknowledge Your Feelings You went through a break up, you are going to be upset and that’s okay! Whether or not your mind is over it, your body may still be addicted to their company, their chemical makeup and how they make you feel. Emotions are normal and important to feel them fully so that they do not become baggage for your subconscious and future relationships. 10) Trust in the Universe This person has been placed in your life for one reason or another. Good or bad, they are now a part of you and you must move forward. Time is not linear but it is how we perceive it. All we can do is learn and move on, carrying these experiences with us. Put your trust in whatever higher power you believe in and know that in the end, if you take care of yourself, you will attract those who are good for you.