How do you navigate the complicated waters of a post-break-up friendship? Yes, there are people who say that they were able to slip straight into a friendship after they broke up without missing a beat.There are also people who win the Mega-Millions lottery with a single ticket.Some don’t care about witnessing ex’s displays of affection with their new snugglebunny and for others, it’s pure unadulterated nightmare fuel.

That means that you’re going to relate differently to your ex too; things that you were cool sharing before can feel incredibly awkward or intrusive now that you’re not together any more.

It becomes part of that awkward “so, what are we supposed to say?

It’s tempting to assume that, seeing as you’ve been swapping bodily fluids before, that there’s no reason you can’t be as open with one another as you were before you broke up. Just because you were super close before doesn’t mean that you can maintain that same level of total disclosure that you had now that you’re no longer together.

Remember how I said you’re going to be a different person once you’ve broken up?

It takes time to relearn how to be on your own again, and the longer you were with them, the longer it’s going to take. Plus, getting over your ex helps avoid the annoying “reconnecting because you want to bang, not be friends” two-step.

You need to discover who you are now and how you’ve changed and grown. You need to let that pain out so you can let it go and it’s going to be almost impossible to do this while they’re still so present in your life. Lock down your social media and phone so that you’re not tempted to pick at those scabs. One of the most difficult parts of building and maintaining a friendship after you’ve broken up is adjusting to the difference in intimacy.

This isn’t a rhetorical question; it’s a legitimate issues that you’re going to have to address sooner rather than later.

In an ideal world, it would never be an issue, but there will always be people who rudely ignore the implied social contract that says that upon breaking up with us, our exes are obligated to live monastic existences far from anything remotely sexual.

One of the things that people tend to forget – especially in a long-term relationship – is that you develop new habits and routines that center around having your ex in your life.

Regardless of whether you lived together or lived apart, you will have into certain patterns that are dependent on working in tandem with another person. It’s easier and healthier to start a friendship when you’ve had the time and and distance to get some perspective on your old relationship.

Just because it’s theoretically possible doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen to you, and betting the farm that you’re the exception is a very good way to end up without a farm.