Being able to move on after a breakup when you have to see your ex can be a tricky one to handle. Ultimately, it’s all about boundaries.
First of all, it’s about establishing a neutral ground where you and your ex can interact and communicate in a way that is as simple and easy for you both as possible. Of course, there are going to be mixed feelings there and perhaps urges to be emotional on some occasions where you see each other. But if you can both agree to keep any of the emotions, feelings and breakup drama out of the place or circumstance where you need to interact, it helps to keep the atmosphere calm, steady and alleviate stress.
Then it’s about dealing with the task at hand. If you work together, you agree that all communication is work related and that there’s no communication outside of that. If it’s because you have kids, you keep the peace, for your children’s sake, speak when necessary (to make arrangements and so on) and always put their interests and feelings first.
When you know you have to stay in contact because of shared obligations, also know that there’s a difference between being friendly and being friends. Just because you have to see your ex, it doesn’t mean you automatically have to be friends with them – or at least yet. It isn’t an all or nothing thing and this is why establishing boundaries is crucial.
True friendship means two people care about each other’s well-being and have one another’s best interest at heart. By the time many relationships end though, it’s often questionable whether both people involved can genuinely offer this kind of care and support for each other. It’s a high expectation to be friends with someone who hurt you. Plus, it sets you up to continue being hurt. But choosing to just be friendly, polite and detached means you can at least take that step back that you need, to heal without feeling like you owe your ex anything.
The more you time you invest in putting your own self-care and healing first, spending time around people who love you and make you feel good and doing the things you love to do, even whilst you have to see your ex, it will get easier.