Post-divorce: The Shift From Lovers To Friends

It is not always a positive decision to remain friends, post-split. However, for many couples, it's exactly what is in order. Whether you were married for 25 years or dated for only 5, the shift from lovers to friends is not always easy. The shift does not always happen at all, but with more and more couples dating for long periods of time versus getting married for life, breakups are also more commonplace in today's society. Whether you try to fight it, deny it or you fully embrace it, change is an inevitable part of life. One of the things that can change a lot in your life is the nature of your relationships.

Almost everyone has to date around and search for their soul mate before finding the one that will last. Along the way to true love, sometimes you meet people who can become a valuable part of your future, even if it is no longer romantically. While some breakups or divorces should be a final parting of the ways, others leave themselves open to the possibility of post-breakup friendship.

How exactly do you go from being lovers to being friends? It is best to bring this topic up during the breakup. Even those tempers may be flaring, both you and the other person have to agree as to whether this is the right course of action or not.

Time, communication and a mutual understanding of boundaries are essential components of good friends and lovers. But, bear in mind, since feelings can get hurt in a breakup or divorce, becoming friends right away may not be a realistic goal. Try to be patient if they show signs of uncertainty or want to delay becoming friends until further down the road. It is very common for the romantic aspect to end in a relationship, and a friendship to form again in the best interest of the family. Whatever your circumstances, if you are committed to the friendship, you can make it work.

It will not work if only one person is committed to being friends afterward. If they say no, or are not ready yet, really listen to them and respect their decision to move on without you. This may be the easiest and healthiest plan for them. However, if both former lovers are determined to become friends after their romantic relationship ends, this can be a beautiful thing which can blossom into a long term and meaningful friendship.

One of the benefits of having a friend who was once a lover is that they know you so incredibly well already. They know your likes, dislikes, preferences and secrets. In this sense, trust is already established. And, as you know, trust is a key component to a great friendship.

They already know about any problems or strife you have at work or with your health. And, having someone in your life who knows the intimate details of your own personal struggles can be very reassuring and helpful. Chances are they have already met your friends and family as well. This makes it easier to share joyous or tragic news with them, because they know the other players in your life. 

It is also quite possible that you two share a similar interest or hobby, which brought you together to begin with such as: playing guitar, shooting hoops or documentary films. It can be difficult to find new people to share these passions with. One of the best parts of transitioning from lovers to friends is that this common ground can still be shared and enjoyed with one another if you choose to remain friends.

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