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Opinion: How To Break Up With Someone You Love And Stay Friends

Friends may come and go, but for many of us, the former is not the case. Finding out that you have to break up with someone who has been your best friend for years can be one of the hardest things a person can do. Whether it's because your relationship has run its course or because you're no longer on the same page, breaking up always involves hard decisions that need to be made. It's easy to say things like, "I love you" or "it's been the best of times and the worst of times," but are those really the right things to say? I know that saying goodbye is never an easy situation, but you can actually learn some valuable lessons from saying goodbye to your best friend.

Here are some tips to help make breaking up with a friend easier:

1. Do not try to end a relationship with your friend if you are about to dump him/her. Do not use your break up as an excuse to dump her/him. Think of this break-up as the end of a friendship, not the end of a relationship.

2. Break up in person, do not do it through text, email or over the phone. Even though it's painful in person, doing it this way will make your emotional recovery much easier.

3. While you are breaking up with your friend, try to stay as calm and composed as possible. Let your friend know that it's not the end of the world, everything will be okay and that you care about them.

4. Do not insult or make fun of the person you are breaking up with. It makes it easier for both parties to get over their breakup if there is no negative feelings between the two people involved in the breakup.

5. Do not look at your friend during the entire break-up process. If you feel the need to look at him/her, it will only make you feel sadder about the situation.

6. Do not explain everything to your friend. If you do, your friend may want more explanation and if that happens, you may have to keep explaining it again and again.

7. Do not follow-up with any explanations or condolences in person or over the phone/text message after breaking up with your friend.

8. If the two of you have any mutual friends, do not tell them about your breakup. This will make it harder on your friend, and they will become upset and uncomfortable.

9. Do not spend a lot of time with your friend after breaking up with him/her. This may cause both of you to realize that you miss each other and may want to get back together again.

10. Do not show your friend any physical affection after the breakup. This will make it harder for both of you to recover from the break up.

11. It takes about 6 weeks to get over a breakup, so do not try to contact your friend during this time period unless it is necessary.

12. When you feel that the 6 weeks has gone by, consider contacting your friend without any expectations of getting back together again.

13. If you do decide to get back together, try to get back together in a civilized manner, such as over the phone.

14. Do not date or start dating someone your friend doesn't like or does not approve of. This can cause problems between all parties involved if your friend is still upset about the breakup.

15. If after time has gone by and you are still having trouble getting over the breakup, consider going into therapy with your friend if he/she will agree to this.

16. If you do end up getting back together, don't get too excited or look to fast for a commitment until you have both been in a relationship for at least a year.

17. While in the relationship, make sure that you still remain friends with your friend. There are times when we become so wrapped up in our relationships that we forget about our friendships. You should not allow this to happen to you and your friend if you want to stay close friends after the break-up period is complete.

18. Let your friend know if you are considering leaving the relationship or if you might want to end it before the relationship ends.

19. Do not cancel a plan with your friend immediately after the breakup. This will make him/her feel insecure and anxious about seeing you again and may cause them to change their mind about getting back together with you later on.

20. If you use your break up as an excuse to avoid your friend while you are getting over the breakup, it will only make them feel worse about the relationship.

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