A lot of relationships end with “Let’s stay friends”, even though neither really wants that. It’s perfectly normal to take some time and process the relationship before you can have a different connection to your ex.
Even if you really think you and your ex-boyfriend are highly compatible as friends, you should still take some time apart. Here are the signs you’re not ready to be friends with your ex, and trying to force a friendship will only lead to more emotional complications.
1. You’re Keeping a Lot of Mementos Around
Getting rid of everything that reminds you of your ex isn’t always healthy after a breakup, but neither is keeping everything around. You don’t have to give up the gifts you love, but it is time to put the pictures of the two of you away for a while. Don’t destroy them, just give them a break, and any other mementos that only have emotional value connected to the relationship that ended should also be out of sight.
2. You Think There’s Still a Chance of Getting Back Together
One of the biggest signs you’re not ready to be friends with your ex, your hopes for rekindling the relationship are keeping you stuck. Even if you didn’t want to break up, you have to accept that’s how things turned out and let it go. When you’re still hoping for a reconciliation, you should be keeping your distance, not trying to be his friend.
3. You’re CyberStalking Him
It’s one still to still keep him in your feed and take a look at his posts from time to time, but if you absolutely have to read anything he puts out online, you might have an issue letting go. When you start getting angry when you see him flirting with other women, mute him from your Facebook and Twitter feeds for a while.
4. You Still Want to Have Sex with Him
Transitioning from a relationship to a friends with benefits arrangements doesn’t make you friends. When you still want to have sex with him, or you’re actually still doing it, that’s one of the major signs you’re not ready to be friends with your ex. The sex has to stop, and both of you have to move on, before there’s any chance of an actual friendship.
See also: 10 Good Reasons to Date a Nerd
5. You Didn’t Have Enough Time Not Being Friends
Some people can quickly and easily transition from a romantic connection to a platonic friendship, but they’re the exception to the rule. For most, plenty of space and time is needed after a breakup until you’re actually ready to be friends with your ex. Once you stop pining for the good times and forgive him for the bad, you might be ready to be buddies.
6. He’s Still Your Gold Standard
Comparing every guy to him is also one of the signs you’re not ready to be friends with your ex. That’s why for most people, deciding they hate their ex is the easiest way of going forward. You don’t have to do that, but be objective and accept that the relationship ended for good reasons, and you weren’t that compatible if you’re not together anymore.
7. You Have Trouble Sticking to New Boundaries
If you feel like texting him at 2AM to share an inside joke, that’s not a friendship. Setting up new boundaries is important, and that means that you don’t feel the need to share everything with him. Regaining your autonomy after a relationship, and stopping relying on him for most of your emotional needs is a step you have to take.
8. You Don’t Meet Anyone You Like
You might think you’re ready to date again, and you’re sure you’re not comparing every guy you meet to your ex. However, all the good ones are taken, and nobody gives you butterflies. Even if you don’t want to accept it, that’s also one of the signs you’re not ready to be friends with your ex. Once you finally get a new crush, you’ll be on your way.
9. You Don’t Want to See Him Happy
If the thought of him getting engaged or finding someone he loves more than you brings up more negative emotions than positive, put the friendship on hold.
10. You Still Talk About Him Too Much
Talking about him to everyone, or about how great it feels to be single again, not that he’s finally out of your life are ways of keeping him in your life. Accept that as one of the signs you’re not ready to be friends with your ex.