Let’s face it—break-ups are hard no matter what age you are or how long you dated. It might feel like you will never be able to let go of that person, heal your broken heart, move on and find someone else. This is why many people hold onto the hope that they can be “friends” with their ex.

One of the biggest problems with trying to be “just friends” is that it can keep one person in limbo—usually the person who was broken up with. It is not fair to the one who still has feelings to be friends, because he or she might stay hooked into the relationship and be prevented from moving on. This is not healthy for either of you.

How long or how involved was the relationship? How long ago did you date? These are other things to consider. If you just went out a month then maybe it’s no big deal, but if the words “I love you” were exchanged it’s another matter. It’s also a time to think of future partners too. It’s often very uncomfortable for a new mate to accept this “friend.” It can breed suspicion on one or the other part. And if this ex still harbors feelings, they might sabotage whether knowingly or unknowingly. Is this something you want to risk?

That being said, you might still want to be friends with your ex. However, many use the “just friends” concept as a manipulative tool to win the other back, to continue the same committed relationship benefits such as sleeping together, because they aren’t 100% sure that they want this relationship to end but they still want to date other people, or because they feel lonely and want to continue to do the same things together.

Calling, e-mailing, texting, IMing, etc. are prime examples of communication tools that can be abused and can cause more harm than good.

That being said, the phone is not your friend right now. I suggest not contacting your ex if you just want attention, are in need of affection, or because you are lonely. And most certainly do not drunk dial. Only contact the ex if you have a specific issue to discuss—something that is of importance to you both. Otherwise you risk only more heartache.

If you are having difficulty moving on and healing, then I suggest DISTANCE. When I say distance I mean giving yourself some time away from the other person to heal. This is how we grow and change.

Write a list of all of the things you can do instead of contacting your ex. Examples are: go shopping, to a movie, exercise, write, study, learn more about yourself, go to a friend’s house, or go out with them, prepare for a nice meal for yourself, do a makeover, get my book “Break-Up Emergency” and do all of the exercises in that book. They help and provide instant relief!

If you are supposed to be friends or lovers again it will happen naturally—eventually. If, and when, both of you are in a better place where you have gratitude and love, feel free to be friends (but please be honest with yourself). Don’t rush it.

“If you love somebody, let them go.

If they return, they were always yours.

If they don’t, they never were.”

– Anonymous