Dear Harlan, How do I maintain a deep friendship that involved several discussions about very emotional, closely-held issues after the relationship ends? We both agreed I was more emotionally vested and the one in love, and she elected to end the romantic relationship because she doesn’t see herself falling in love with me. But she still wants the friendship. This all went down this past Wednesday, and I’m not comfortable dealing with the romantic rejection while maintaining the friendship we had. I don’t know how to say that without coming off as immature or resentful about the hurt I’m dealing with. Help. Still Hurting
Dear Still Hurting, Immature would be tweeting your ex’s most embarrassing secrets under the user name @ExSecrets while acting like she’s your best friend. Mature would be admitting that you’re hurt, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and expressing the truth. It’s hard to hate or attack a man who is willing to be vulnerable and speak the truth. Tell her that it’s just too painful for you to be friends with her at this point in your life. There might be a time in the future, but for now, you need to regain a sense of self and independence. Explain that having her in your life keeps you looking in the past — and that’s not you want for your future. Call it self-care. If she gets upset, hateful or resentful, appreciate that it’s because she doesn’t want to lose you. But she knows how to get you back — she can date you.
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