ERP 062: “Just Friends” Is It Really Possible?
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Can you simply have a friendship when you have romantic and/or sexual potential with someone?
Is it a good idea to stay friends with an ex-significant other?
Having a platonic friendship with someone with whom you have romantic potential, sexual attraction, or history with can be complicated for sure. However, it is not impossible.
4 Keys To Developing A Healthy Friendship (With Someone Other Than Your Significant Other):
Be sure to listen to the episode to hear stories, examples, and more tips.
1. Know what your intention is and what the purpose is for the friendship.
- What is your intention for the friendship? What do you want to experience within the friendship?
- What is the purpose of the friendship?
- Sometimes, we maintain friendships for reasons we are not totally aware of, especially when we stay friends with an ex-significant other. For example, we want to feel needed, we want the attention, or we don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings.
- Here is an article on Psychology Today “The 10 Worst Reasons To Stay Friends With Your Ex” by Dr. Juliana Breines.
2. Be sensitive to the quality of the friendship.
- How does your friend treat you?
- Ho do you treat your friend?
- Do you want the same things in relationship?
- What kind of relationship are you developing (i.e. do you have candle lit dinners together)?
- Is it a mismatch (i.e. do either one of you want more than just friendship)?
3. Be honest about what you are feeling and sensing.
- Are you being honest with yourself about what you are getting out of the friendship?
- Does your friendship fulfill a need of yours? If so, what is it?
- If you are in a committed relationship, do you include your partner in the friendship to some degree?
- Would you do and say the same things with your friend, if your partner were around?
- Are you hiding, withholding, or omitting aspects of your friendship from your significant other? (If you are avoiding conflict or feeling fearful of your partner’s reaction, you may want to get support in how to create a safe, secure connection in your relationship, while maintaining what is authentic to you. This can be difficult to negotiate at times.)
4. Be clear about your boundaries.
- What are you comfortable with in a friendship?
- What are you okay with and what are you not okay with?
- Relating back to point #1 “Know what your intention is and what the purpose is for the friendship.” Is your behavior in alignment with your intention and purpose?
- Are your boundaries getting blurred?
- Are you behaving in ways that you feel good about?
Developing a platonic friendship with someone you have potential or history with is complicated, but it is not impossible. It does require choosing a friend with similar friendship goals, as well as having some sensitivity, awareness, and ability to communicate your boundaries clearly.
Click on this link to access the transcript for this episode: ERP 062 Just Friends. Is It Really Possible.
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