(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)


LET GO OF ANY ROMANTIC FEELINGS.

michelle_ogie_regine_2.jpgThis needs to be true if you're single. It needs to be doubly true if you are now with someone else, as Michelle is. Otherwise, any genuinely friendly feelings you have toward your ex and his new girl will be tainted by either jealousy or a sort of dog-in-the-manger (if I can't have him, why should anyone else) sort of resentment.

If you think you may still be in love with your ex, stay well enough away for the meantime. It's not just masochistic on your part, but it will cause a great deal of awkwardness with your ex and perhaps some resentment from your ex's girl, which can ruin any hope of friendship later on, after you have let go.


MAKE THE EFFORT TO GET TO KNOW HER.

Find out who she is as a person, like you would with any friend. Share your interests, and get to know hers. Don't think of her as your replacement or someone you have to get to know in order to be friends with your ex--it doesn't matter whether that's the truth or not. If you can stick to your perception of her as a potential new friend (or at least friendly acquaintance), that will both consciously and subconsciously affect your words and actions. This, in turn, will give you a better chance of forging a genuine friendship between you.


NEVER OFFER TO KISS-AND-TELL.

Not only is kissing and telling rude (think TMI) to anyone else, but it's especially unfair to your ex and his new girlfriend or wife. For one thing, telling on your ex's high and low points will make you seem pushy and indiscreet, not to mention make your ex anything from sheepish to awkward to downright embarrassed. It is also a terrible cheat to the other woman: you are robbing her the chance to find out about her new guy's goofiness, strengths, and faults for herself.


WHEN ASKED FOR ADVICE, TEMPER HELP WITH DISCRETION.

If you've gotten to the point where your ex's girlfriend is comfortable enough to ask you for advice, you'll find you have a very fine line to walk. On one hand, as a friend, you want to give helpful advice, but on the other hand, you don't want to be indiscreet--after all, what happened between you and your ex is your business, and it's his place to share this with his new girlfriend or wife (or not).

Try to give her the advice you would give any girlfriend in her situation, without your insider knowledge of what it's like to be in a relationship with this particular guy. Consider your understanding of his character as a friend rather than as an ex.


GIVE THEM--AND YOURSELF--SPACE AND TIME.

If your breakup or their getting together is a new thing, you may want to hold off on the friendly overtures. It frequently takes a few months for new couples to get secure enough with each other to meet each other's exes (even friendly ones) without having it turn into a potential minefield; in some cases, this can extend to a year or more.

The point is that you want to give you and your ex time to let go--not just of your romantic feelings, as we've already mentioned, but also of any lingering resentment or hurt. You also want enough time and space to start thinking of each other as friends rather than exes. If this never happens, then it's better to make a clean break rather than pursue a friendship that could be colored by negative feelings. It's fortunate for Michelle, Ogie, and Regine that they all get along, but it's just a fact of life and a consequence of the nature of some relationships that this sort of closeness isn't always possible or even wanted.


(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)
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