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Need help transitioning from boyfriends to friends


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My boyfriend and I split up this past weekend. It was a mutual decision and we're on good terms. I think I made a post about it in my blog. I won't get into the details.

But I need some tips on how to go from boyfriends to friends. I love him dearly still, and care for him deeply. I don't want that to change, I just need to not be attracted to him anymore I guess... lol. Any ideas?

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I haven’t been on the dating/now friend’s scene for decades, but I’d say to not see each other unless with other friends for a while. It’ll take time to get to know the “just friends” side, and being with a group sounds safer, emotionally. 

I cant remember if I had replied to your blog, but I did read it. Very sorry that it didn’t work out, wishing you strength to carry on. 

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try not to deny your attraction to him. you are still going to feel things for him, regardless of whether you can say them out loud or not. don't beat yourself up for it. it takes a good long time for that to fade. what i found necessary was not to deny my attraction, but control it.

when i had a "i think i prefer us being friends" conversation with someone i was sort of dating, the first thing i did was kibosh any daydreaming, wishful thinking, playlist-making, all that stuff you do when you're in love. i'd shake my head or distract myself if those thoughts came creeping in. i did not allow myself to reminisce over the romantic moments, or wish that there could be more. it's hard to describe, but i sort of sat down with my attraction to this person and said, "look, we have to play by the rules now. none of this sappy shit." that attraction still existed, but i sort of compartmentalized it and put it away.

i was in a similar situation where i had to go very quickly from being romantic with someone to just being friends, because we had been friends for years and hung out all the time. the romantic stuff was sort of like, "well, we get along and i could imagine myself living with you one day -- shall we try this out?" sort of an interlude in our friendship. that made it easier, i think, because i already knew how to just be friends with this person. you might have a harder time, because as i remember, you met on a dating app? your context for him has never not been romantic. you really are having to build a new relationship with him, which is hard. and it sucks.

it helped me to think that the ball was in the other person's court. she was the one who preferred us being friends, and i figured that by that rule, it'll be up to her if she ever wants to be more than friends (i hate the term "more than friends", but it is useful here). it makes my role easier to conceptualize -- i do not get to initiate romantic stuff. that's up to her. i like rules and laws, so putting one in place helped me feel less like i was losing something, and more like i was just following the new rules.

i don't know if that helps. i'm a bit robotic when it comes to relationships. i hope you are able to find some closure.

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So hard. 

The way that it worked with my two past romantic relationships where we are still friends (one I was engaged to and one I dated for about 1.5 years, roughly) was that we had an absolute split.  There was no communication, no in-person meetup, etc.  I can't remember who re-initiated contact or how we decided to start speaking again.   I'm sorry, I know that would be more useful.  I just don't remember the specifics.

One of them I'm still largely in a text-based communication with.  The other took me and sat with me during my dermatology appointment this morning and has attended most medical things with me over the past two years or so.  So there's a range of what post-break-up relationships can look like.

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8 hours ago, Rabbit37 said:

I haven’t been on the dating/now friend’s scene for decades, but I’d say to not see each other unless with other friends for a while. It’ll take time to get to know the “just friends” side, and being with a group sounds safer, emotionally. 

I cant remember if I had replied to your blog, but I did read it. Very sorry that it didn’t work out, wishing you strength to carry on. 

That sounds very scary to me. I don't know if I can do that. If it helps I'll give it a shot...

Thank you!

8 hours ago, echolocation said:

try not to deny your attraction to him. you are still going to feel things for him, regardless of whether you can say them out loud or not. don't beat yourself up for it. it takes a good long time for that to fade. what i found necessary was not to deny my attraction, but control it.

when i had a "i think i prefer us being friends" conversation with someone i was sort of dating, the first thing i did was kibosh any daydreaming, wishful thinking, playlist-making, all that stuff you do when you're in love. i'd shake my head or distract myself if those thoughts came creeping in. i did not allow myself to reminisce over the romantic moments, or wish that there could be more. it's hard to describe, but i sort of sat down with my attraction to this person and said, "look, we have to play by the rules now. none of this sappy shit." that attraction still existed, but i sort of compartmentalized it and put it away.

i was in a similar situation where i had to go very quickly from being romantic with someone to just being friends, because we had been friends for years and hung out all the time. the romantic stuff was sort of like, "well, we get along and i could imagine myself living with you one day -- shall we try this out?" sort of an interlude in our friendship. that made it easier, i think, because i already knew how to just be friends with this person. you might have a harder time, because as i remember, you met on a dating app? your context for him has never not been romantic. you really are having to build a new relationship with him, which is hard. and it sucks.

it helped me to think that the ball was in the other person's court. she was the one who preferred us being friends, and i figured that by that rule, it'll be up to her if she ever wants to be more than friends (i hate the term "more than friends", but it is useful here). it makes my role easier to conceptualize -- i do not get to initiate romantic stuff. that's up to her. i like rules and laws, so putting one in place helped me feel less like i was losing something, and more like i was just following the new rules.

i don't know if that helps. i'm a bit robotic when it comes to relationships. i hope you are able to find some closure.

That will be very difficult for me, but if it will work, I will try to do it.

I think what you said about building a new relationship with him since all I've known him for is a romantic relationship makes a lot of sense, and I think I can really build from there. The last few months of our relationship was really more like a very close friendship where we pee with the door open in front of each other and kiss each other goodbye and goodnight. I suppose that would need to stop.

That's what I did romantic stuff-wise. I put the ball in his court and let him be the one to initialize things, which he never did after a certain point. I told him I did that because I didn't want to make him uncomfortable, and he thanked me.

Thank you very much.

8 hours ago, dancesintherain said:

So hard. 

The way that it worked with my two past romantic relationships where we are still friends (one I was engaged to and one I dated for about 1.5 years, roughly) was that we had an absolute split.  There was no communication, no in-person meetup, etc.  I can't remember who re-initiated contact or how we decided to start speaking again.   I'm sorry, I know that would be more useful.  I just don't remember the specifics.

One of them I'm still largely in a text-based communication with.  The other took me and sat with me during my dermatology appointment this morning and has attended most medical things with me over the past two years or so.  So there's a range of what post-break-up relationships can look like.

Oh my, that too sounds very scary to me. I don't know if I could handle absolutely no contact with him.

I appreciate everyone's input and insight! It means the world to me.

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