Can You Really Be Friends With Your Ex? 8 Rules To Follow

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Breakups happen. You lose the person you love, you either feel brilliant for the first few weeks or you wallow in despair and misery. Either way, at some point down the line, you're going to miss your ex, and more than likely, they miss you too. You'll crave the comfort of their company and miss seeing their name light up your phone screen. You wait to see if they'll text and you're holding yourself back from contacting them.

You might start to think, what if I could still have them in my life, even as a friend? Could I actually be friends with my ex? If you feel enough time has passed from the breakup and you could actually maintain a friendship of some sort with your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, then there is a possibility that being friends with them could work.

However, you have to be very sure that you don't fall back into having feelings for them and hoping that they do too. You need to be very sure on the boundaries of the friendship and so, here are 8 rules on how to be friends with your ex.

1. Set Clear Boundaries

Let your ex know straight away that if you're going to keep a friendship, that's all it's going to be. You were both obviously attracted to each other to start with and chances are, the attraction is still there. You or your ex might still want more than friendship so state very clearly that you're only willing to be friends if they don't try anything else. If your ex is being flirty over text just tell them nicely, but firmly, that you think the flirting should stop if you have any chance of maintaining a friendship.

2. Ask Yourself If This Is What You Really Want

Do you really want to be 'friends' with your ex or is this your way of possibly getting back together with them? Remember that the relationship broke up for a reason and it will only end up breaking up again if you get back together after being friends, so don't lie to yourself and say that you want to be friends if really you're just trying to get them back. Make sure you're being friends with your ex for the right reasons.

3. Be Careful They're Not Leading You On

If your ex broke up with you and a month later they're back saying they miss you and want to hang out and 'be friends,' you need to be very careful they're not just trying to either A) sleep with you or B) lead you to think they want a relationship again, because they probably just want to sleep with you. Even if it was them that broke up with you, they're going to get lonely and probably miss the comfort of your relationship, and instead of trying to find someone new and start dating someone else, you're the easier option for them. So be very clear on their intentions and it's fine to be skeptical as to why they want to be friends.

4. Don't Sleep With Your Ex

Don't do it, ever. You'll hate yourself in the morning, you'll feel empty and regretful and it'll only end in more heartbreak. If you end up meeting up with your ex and one thing leads to another, have the strength to walk away and stand strong in your feelings of just wanting to be friends. You might think, 'oh this is great, my ex wants me back and we can be happy again,' no. They want you back for the night because it's the easiest option. Don't fall for it and you're so much better than just being someone to sleep with. Move on and don't let your ex string you along and play with your emotions.

5. Don't Keep Texting Them

Don't start texting your ex every day again and if they're texting you a lot, don't be too eager to reply. If you fall back into the habits of your old relationship, you're opening the door to them coming back into your life and it's letting them have the benefits of a relationship without the commitment of the actual relationship. It's fine to keep in touch with your ex partner and check in on how they're doing but being too friendly and texting all the time will give them hope that you're interested in more than just friends.

6. Don't Feel Sorry For Your Ex

You might agree to meet up with your ex if you're feeling sorry for them because they seem lonely or upset after the breakup, but that's just the good in you seeing the best in them. Realise that they don't need your pity and they'll be just fine whether you 'be friends' with them or not. They'll move on to someone new eventually but they just miss you at the moment. Don't fall back into old habits just because you want them to be happy and don't like seeing them sad.

7. Meet Them In A Public Place

If you do meet up with your ex, make sure it's to do something fun in public like the cinema, a gig or and activity centre. Don't agree to meet them at their house or let them come round to yours, because it could lead to a lot more than being friends and if they suggest to meet you somewhere private like their house, then their intentions are pretty clear. Keep socializing with your ex to a limited time and meet somewhere where you can leave and go home afterwards. Drive to meet them to avoid having a drink, which can lead to all sorts. (No alcohol is best, trust me.)

8. Don't Give Loyalty To Them

You might feel guilty about talking to new people or going on dating apps if you're still in touch with your ex but you can't put your life on hold for someone who doesn't want to make you a priority in theirs. Even if you're talking to your ex, still date other people or show interest in others, you don't have any loyalty to this person who broke up with you and you shouldn't hold off in case something happens with your ex again, because it won't, and if it does, it won't last. Put yourself first and start living your own life. Move on and focus on yourself and your own future. The right person is out there for you, and it's not your ex.

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11 Ways To Heal After A Traumatic Breakup

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The healing process after a bad breakup can be a long and winding journey. Healing won't happen overnight and the road to recovery can be long but that doesn't mean it has to be painful. It will take time to return to a state of your former self and you won't, in fact, return to the person you were before, for you've undergone great hardship and hurt that you will heal and come back stronger than before. If you can get through this, you can get through anything.

Healing is what your mind and soul needs after a breakup, for it's been broken and damaged to a point where it needs rest to recover and mend. Common feelings after a breakup include emptiness, feelings of worthlessness, rejection, depression, anxiety, and regret. You will go through periods of feeling ok and able to continue with life and suddenly it will all hit you and you'll feel unable to cope. These feelings come in waves and that is part of the healing process.

1. Grieve

Understand and accept your circumstances and give yourself time to grieve the loss of the person in your life. Even if getting out of the relationship was a blessing and your ex was having a negative effect on your life, you will still feel a great sense of loss because you were so attached to that person. Let yourself mourn and come to terms with the loss of companionship. Grieving is the first step in healing after heartbreak.

2. Talk about it

The best way to work through difficult feelings is to speak openly about how you're feeling to family members, friends or a counselor. Call your parents and have a long talk about what you're going through and be very honest about the things you're dealing with. Speak about the good parts, the bad parts, what really happened and went wrong and how you'll move forward from this. If you have even one or two understanding friends who you can open up to, meet them and get their advice and speak to them about the breakup. 

Most of your friends will probably have been through a bad break up themselves and will be able to give tips on how they dealt with getting over it. If you have no one to talk to, contact a counselor who can listen to your problems and offer advice on how to heal from this relationship ending. Counselling is an extremely effective and normal way to get over a breakup.

3. Understand the reasons why it ended

The shock of a sudden breakup can be overwhelming and unbearable at times. We often beat ourselves up and blame ourselves for the relationship going wrong and in the weeks after the breakup, you'll find yourself going over everything you could have done better to save it. The reality is, the relationship couldn't be saved and it needed to end. Do not blame yourself for it ending, it was not your fault. Both people need to be happy for a relationship to work and ask yourself deep down, were you really happy? 

Think of the pros and cons of the relationship. Think of what your ex-partner did that may have contributed to it ending and think about all the little things that added up to reach the point of a breakup. It's not on you, it's not your fault and this is no indication that you're not worthy enough of a relationship.

4. Accept that it's over

After a break up it's natural to hold out hope that the other person may get back in touch and reach out to you to reconnect. It's better to end all contact completely because even if they do reach out to say hello or see if you're ok, it's giving you false hope that they may want to get back together or still want you in their life, when really, they're probably just a bit lonely and seeing if they can keep you there as an option. Staying friends is possible after a breakup but you have to be very clear that the romantic side of the relationship is over and that they could well be moving on to someone else, so don't hold yourself back by waiting for them when they're probably not waiting for you.

5. Dealing with feelings of rejection

When someone breaks up with you, it's natural to have intense feelings of rejection and it hurts so much to have someone you love tell you they don't want to be with you anymore. We feel not good enough, not fun or pretty enough and a whole other list of things that are 'not enough.' One of the most important ways to heal from a breakup is to realise that you are enough. You are enough for anyone, but your ex just simply didn't connect with you on a level they wanted. 

We constantly ask ourselves 'Why?' after a breakup; why did they do this, how could they do this, why did they not want to be with me? You must realise that they were not the right person for you and the person you're meant to be with will make you feel so special and loved and won't make you question your self-worth. During the healing process, you will get your confidence back and raise your self-esteem. You don't need him or her in your life and you'll soon realise that being pushed out of his was the best thing to ever happen to you.

6. Start planning your future immediately

Your life has probably turned upside down and the plans you had with your partner have now vanished. Maybe you'd planned to go traveling together or booked a holiday, or you'd made plans with friends for the near future. The shock of not having any of those plans anymore can be very hard to deal with and it can be hard to accept that those plans are no more. The only way to move forward is to replace those plans with plans of your own and start filling up your calendar with things you've always wanted to do. Did you want to go travelling by yourself but kept putting it off? Did you want to change careers but stayed in a job you hated for the convenience of being in the relationship? 

Replan your life immediately and start planning your next steps right now. This will keep you busy and stop you thinking about what should have happened with your ex and rather about what you're going to do moving forward.

7. Remove visual reminders of them

You might want to hold on to pictures or mementos of your ex in the hope they may come back and you might rekindle something but by doing this you're only holding on to a false hope that the relationship may come back together. Your ex does not want to be with you and so you shouldn't hold out hope for them, as hard as it may be. Get rid of anything that reminds you of things you did together. Delete any pictures you have of the two of you if it's too painful; throw out any little gifts or keepsakes from dates. Having a clear out will help you to move on to the next stage of your life without your ex.

8. Don't wait for them to get back in touch

Sometimes after a relationship breakup, you might be waiting for them to reach out and tell you they regret their decision and want to see you again. Realistically if they do reach out, they're probably just lonely and want to keep you as an option. Most times they might just want to get involved with you sexually again and don't miss you as a person. Don't wait to move on with your life for someone who's already left it. The relationship ended for a reason and you have to remember they will move on with someone else once they've stopped grieving too. Don't wait for someone who wouldn't wait for you.

9. Read affirmations

Sometimes all you need to rewire your thinking are some positive affirmations. Some of my favourite affirmations to heal after a breakup are: 'Sometimes things need to fall apart for better things to fall together.' 'What's meant for you won't pass you.' 'You are exactly where you're meant to be at this moment.’

10. Rebuild your self esteem

Your self-confidence can take a huge blow after a break up and someone telling us they don't want to be with us can hugely impact our self-esteem. You have to realise that the problem was not with you but lies with them and if your ex-partner has said anything to lower your self esteem you must understand that it is their own insecurities that they have projected on to you. You are amazing, strong and confident and you can do anything you want and be anything you wish to be. Building your self esteem back up can take time but being independent and doing things by yourself without your ex will improve your confidence so much.

11. Focus your time and energy on things that make you happy

Staying busy after a breakup is extremely important to make sure your mind doesn't wander to an unhappy place. Put your time into hobbies that you maybe stopped doing because you were in the relationship and focus your energy on things that make you happy. You can also start a new hobby to take your mind off of the breakup, like taking up an instrument, learning to cook, enrolling in a part-time class, going to yoga, working out more or anything that will keep you busy and release happy endorphins. Keep a good routine and get up early and get enough sleep. Care for yourself and work on you.

These are my 11 best tips on how to move on from your ex after a breakup and be happy again. 

Read: How to deal with being ghosted by your ex

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Emotional Eating: Signs and How To Take Control

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'Emotional eating is when people use food as a way to deal with feelings instead of to satisfy hunger.'

'Emotional eating is eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness, and loneliness. Major life events or, more commonly, the hassles of daily life can trigger negative emotions that lead to emotional eating.'

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Eating On Autopilot

I'm guilty of emotional eating as I'm sure a lot of people are. When I'm feeling down, I eat. When I'm feeling depressed I turn to food. It's something I've done as a coping mechanism for as long as I remember but I've found ways to manage my comfort eating so that it doesn't take control of me. Emotional eating can lead to binge eating and it's not based on hunger. A lot of the time when you're bingeing you end up 'blind eating' where you often won't remember what exactly you've eaten, it's almost like you've gone on autopilot.

You find that you can't sit down to watch TV without having something to eat in your hand. Eating becomes a hobby and a pastime and before you know it you've consumed so many calories without meaning to and you don't even feel full.

Food As A Coping Mechanism 

For most people, food is more than just a source of fuel. We go out to restaurants to indulge in delicious food, we get excited about what we're going to eat when we get home from work and love the thought of cooking up a delicious meal or dessert. It's normal to see food as something to indulge in now and again but it's a problem when you can't live without knowing you have access to comfort food. 

Food can be like a comfort blanket. As long as you know you have access to it, you feel calm and it can relieve stress when you eat. When I've had a stressful day at work I just want to come home and binge on lots of food. I've gotten used to food as a stress reliever and you need to unfamiliarize yourself with treating food as a coping mechanism.

Part of beating emotional eating is retraining your brain to find other coping mechanisms for stress and emotional eating and to no longer feel the need to turn to food as a coping aid.

How To Overcome Emotional Eating

Is there an alternative to food that can fix how I'm feeling? Think of other ways you can soothe the comfort you're trying to fix. Instead of filling the void with food, try an alternative like taking a long hot bath and reading a book, meditating or yoga, chatting with friends or family about your day, or finding a project to work on, like blogging!

Change what you're eating. A good way to phase out your comfort eating is to change what you're eating to healthier choices, such as hummus and carrot sticks instead of crisps, olives and tomatoes instead of fried foods, and fruit salad instead of sugary foods. Eat mindfully and find foods that you still love the taste of that are much better for you thank the usual comfort junk foods.

Get to the root of what's causing the emotional eating. Are you dealing with something that has caused your emotional eating? Has an emotional event triggered your emotional eating and gotten you into bad habits? Often mental health issues like depression will lead to emotional eating and the best way to take control of this is by speaking with a counselor. Have a chat with your doctor about starting some counseling sessions and you'll get back on track with your eating habits. You can also talk to a counselor online with BetterHelp, a confidential online counseling service.

Exercise. As much as you don't want to hear it, exercise has been one of the best ways to battle my emotional eating. I feel healthier in my mind and body after 30 minutes of exercise just a few times a week and it makes me want to not eat as much and actually take pride in my body and willpower. I don't exercise to lose lots of weight, but to feel more energetic and happier in myself, so give it a try and spend the time you would be eating by working out and getting a sweat on.

Speak to a licensed counselor online now with BetterHelp, where you can start talking to someone straight away.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Go To Counseling

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Counseling is a great way to recover from emotional and psychological problems including low moods, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and addictions. Counseling is very common and something you should definitely consider if you're going through a hard time at the minute. 

You can try counseling online with Betterhelp which is a counseling service you can text or talk to a counselor online.

Simply speaking to someone who has an unbiased opinion and doesn't know you is such a great help in itself. A counselor will have no judgment towards you or your circumstances and simply wants to help you overcome the difficulties you're facing. It can be hard to open up to family and friends when you're going through a hard time, due to not wanting them to judge you or fear of them not understanding, and that's why talking to a counselor is a great way to open up completely about how you're feeling.

2. Counseling is a safe environment to speak about anything

Everything you say in a counseling session is completely confidential between you and your therapist, providing it won't cause harm to yourself or others. Counseling is a safe way to talk about anything you're feeling with a trusted person who wants to help you find the answers within yourself. Sometimes all you need is a safe space to talk about your feelings in a trusted environment, and counseling sessions provide that.

3. You become a lot more in control of your feelings

During your counseling session, you will learn techniques in which you can control your feelings and change your behavioral patterns to avoid falling into bad routines with your health, physically and mentally. Some of these techniques include CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy), humanistic counseling, and integrative counseling. You'll learn how to better express and manage your emotions and improve your self-esteem and communication skills.

4. You learn that it's OK to talk about things

A lot of us find ourselves too proud to open up about problems we're facing and actually admit that we need help. You'll find that through counseling you'll realize the benefits of actually speaking openly with your family and friends about issues in your life and that we should all encourage each other to talk openly about how we're feeling. Most of the time we bottle things up until it gets to a point that our emotions become so negative and start affecting our daily lives. Talking about how you're feeling is extremely healthy and you'll want to do it more when you start going to counseling.

5. There's nothing to be ashamed of by going to counseling

You're not seen as weak by going to counseling. It's not a sign that you've given up the fight and have given in to needing help. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of by seeking counseling and a huge number of people see counselors on a daily basis for any range of problems. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength and trusting someone who wants to help you. There's a stigma attached to counseling and it's often seen as a last resort but it's incredibly common and should be used and encouraged a lot more.

If you're scared to make the first move in going to counseling, you can talk to a licensed counselor online with Betterhelp.

6. It helps you cope with life a lot better

Counseling will give you a new outlook on life and help you deal with your problems so much better. Your counselor will help you find the answers you're looking for and provide guidance on improving your life. Sometimes life can all become just too much to deal with on our own and that's why counselors are there to give you that guidance and reassurance that you need. Counseling provides relief from issues you're facing and increased management of emotions.

7. There is counseling for every issue

Counseling isn't for specific people or problems, anyone can go to counseling no matter how big or small your problem, you will not be judged for seeking help from a counselor. Common reasons for going to counseling include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, stress, addictions, grief, relationship issues, breakups, career or finance issues, trauma, and many other things. Even if you think your problem isn't important enough to go to counseling, there are people wanting to help you with anything at all that you need help working through and talk therapy is extremely helpful for everyone.

8. It's extremely important to look after yourself

Self-care should be a priority in everyone's' lives and we often put everyone before ourselves and let our mental health go unseen to. It's important to put your mental health first and make looking after yourself a priority. We often shove our own problems to the back of our minds and hope they'll go away on their own, but by doing this it makes the issues worse and it's important to address them by speaking to someone.

9. Find a counselor that's right for you

All counselors are different and have different approaches and if you try out counseling and don't feel completely comfortable with your counselor, you can change counselors and find one you're happy with so they can help you to become your best self. Counselors want you to become better and there are no hard feelings if you need to change counselor.

10. The hardest part is making the call, it all gets better from there

Picking up the phone and ringing a counseling service, contacting a counselor online or making an appointment with your doctor to get referred to counseling is usually the hardest part for most people. The initial fear of what will happen when you go to counseling will soon disappear when you step into that counseling session and begin to let yourself open up. You will immediately start to see great results from your counseling sessions and your therapist will help you make a plan to get through your problems straight away.

Speak to someone online now with Betterhelp, an affordable counseling service you can access from anywhere at any time and get talking to a licensed counselor today.

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Why You Should Start A Blog

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When I started my blog thethoughtjournal.com last year, I never imagined the success I would have with it. I make a good monthly income from my blog, I've launched a course to help others bloggers make a high-income blog and I'm able to work from anywhere in the world. If you're considering starting a blog then this is why you need to start a blog today.

Starting a blog is so easy, you can get started within the next hour. I recommend Bluehost for hosting your blog and using Wordpress with the Genesis theme. Most bloggers use these tools for self-hosting and it's important to set your blog up professionally from the start.

1. You can create a business from blogging

You can write about just about anything and be able to make a business from your blog. If you're interested in a certain subject, chances are other people are googling it thousands of times per day too and your blog could be at the top of those search results! If you have a service to offer that can solve a solution to someone's problems, then you can make a business from it. Whether you want to write about cooking, gardening, sailing, relationships, marketing or even blogging, you can start up a business with your blog in no time.

2. Blogging is a great creative outlet

Blogging for me is like a form of therapy. I can write anything I want and open up about anything I'm passionate about on my blog. There's nothing better than being able to have your own space on the internet to create whatever you want and help others while doing so. Whether you love to write or you've never written before, blogging can be a fun way to express your opinions and make your voice heard while having the creative freedom to do so.

3. You can make good money from blogging

Blogging isn't all about making money and I don't recommend that you start a blog purely to make money, because you have to be passionate about what you're writing about to make it succeed. However, I make a very good income from my blog and my income started increasing only a few months after starting my blog. Ways to make money from blogging are ads, affiliate marketing, sponsorships and creating digital products to sell online.

I created a course that I sell called Pinterest Millionaire where I break down my exact strategy to getting millions of views from Pinterest, which is my main traffic referral. A great course I bought was the Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing course, which hugely increased my income after taking the course and implementing affiliate marketing strategies in my blog. Affiliate marketing is one of the main ways I make money from my blog along with traffic, so I'd highly recommend checking out those two courses.

You can read how Michelle Schroeder-Gardner who created the Making Sense Of Affiliate course makes $100,00 per month from her blog here.

4. You can work from anywhere in the world

I know so many bloggers who travel full time while working from their laptops in gorgeous locations around the world and you really can work from anywhere with a blog. You're not tied down to 9-5 working hours and you can travel while you work and have the freedom to work from anywhere. If you've ever wanted to work from home then blogging is the perfect way to start.

5. You can write about literally anything

No matter what you're interested in, no matter how cooky or strange, people will want to read it. The best way to have a successful blog is to pick a niche, so say you wanted to be a fitness blogger, instead of covering all aspects of fitness, narrow down your niche to say staying fit as a mom or if you wanted to be a money blogger you could focus on personal finance. You want to find a profitable niche that will get you a loyal readership.

6. Create opportunities for your existing business

If you already have a business and want to expand it, having a blog for your business is a great way to promote your services. You can reach a much bigger audience and get a lot more customers by blogging for your business. You can become an expert in your field and open many doors for your business by writing blog posts that are relevant and engaging to your customers.

If you're able to offer a service with your blog, you can increase your earnings by thousands. I created a service with my blog by making my online course 'Pinterest Millionaire' that shows you how to go viral with your blog on Pinterest and get huge traffic referrals. I'm able to provide a solution for other people's problems and you can do the same with your blogging business.

You can build an email list to send weekly or monthly updates to your customers to promote new blog posts, offers or products you're selling. I use ConvertKit as my email list builder and it's the easiest and most affordable email marketing platform for bloggers. Having a blog for your business will increase your reputation and earnings massively and makes you look a lot more professional and helps you stand out from competitors.

7. You'll inspire others and meet amazing people

Your writing will inspire so many other people and once you start getting comments on your blog from readers your hard work will really pay off. Your readers will be so interested in what you're writing about and you'll influence them to go out and do great things themselves. You can change people's lives from blogging, even in the smallest ways. Blogging is a very rewarding career and you'll meet many other like-minded people through starting a blog.

If these aren't enough reasons to start a blog today then I don't know what is! Blogging has changed my life and has opened up so many doors for me. I'm so thankful that I decided to just go for it and start my blog because I've never looked back and it's only getting better. If you want to create amazing opportunities for yourself then you should definitely start a blog using Bluehost and start your blogging journey now!

Once you have at least 25,000 page views per month, you can join bigger Ad paying sites like Mediavine who pay much more than Google, but you need high amounts of traffic to join them first. My main way of getting views to my blog is Pinterest so don't forget to check out my Pinterest Millionaire course to see how I refer thousands of readers daily to my blog.

Good luck on your blogging journey! Emily x

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