How to Save the Friendship After a Romantic Relationship Breaks Up


When a couple breaks up, it doesn’t have to be the end of the line as far as any communication or friendship. While some couples stop communicating entirely, others manage to emerge on the “other side,” eventually learning how to communicate with each other as friends. If children or other family members are involved, this is the best possible outcome after a relationship ends.

As you realize your relationship with your romantic partner is troubled, you are likely to think of different scenarios. First, you may think of how to correct the issues pulling the two of you apart, so you can work on the relationship. Next you may think of just allowing the relationship to continue on as it has been – after all, “any” relationship is better than none. Finally, you force yourself to look at the possibility that your relationship is ending, probably for good.


Ideally, when you and your former romantic partner broke up, a part of your discussion centered around your regard for him as a person. Leading from this, let him know you want to continue on as friends, when the initial pain has lessened. Immediately after a breakup, it is not the time to call and say, “Hey, let’s go out and grab a bite.”

1. Nurture yourself

Give yourself time every day for an activity you like. Spend time with people who have a positive point of view.

2. Give your ex time

If he is still hurting and indicates that talking with you, let alone spending time together, is still painful, respect his wishes.

3. Keep the lines of communication open

You and your ex will eventually be able to face the prospect of talking with each other without feeling anger or recrimination.

4. Move slowly

It took time to build into a romantic relationship and it will take time to establish a platonic relationship.

5. Examine your past relationship

It may be that you and your ex are only suited for being friends. Don’t make the same mistake in a future relationship.

6. Move on

Your breakup happened for a reason. Once the grief has resolved, look forward.

7. Remind each other a future is still ahead of you

Learn to cheer each other’s successes, both professionally and romantically.

8. Form new friendships with others

Look to clubs, your church or synagogue, a volunteer group or a class you’re interested in. Your ex should be one person in that new network.

It is painful to go through a breakup. You and your former partner both feel as if you failed, and you now have so much spare time on your hands. If your romantic relationship was essentially healthy and the breakup wasn’t bitter, you and your ex can evolve into a new friendship – one that does not involve romance.