Friendship after love is possible

"Conscious unpairing" - Staying friends after a breakup: is that possible?

Breakups hurt. Naturally a little more for those who are left than for those who leave, but normally none of those involved leave it cold. In addition to the grief that the common path has come to an end, there is anger or disappointment on the one hand, and feelings of guilt or a guilty conscience on the other. It is not uncommon for the phrase: "We can stay friends."

Stay friends or break off contact?

Statistics from the online portal Statista on the relationship with the ex-partner show that the friendship offer is not always meant as cheap consolation: At least one fifth of those surveyed are good friends with the ex. However, in a survey carried out by the online dating service eDarling, more than 60 percent of the participants stated that they would completely break off contact on social media after breaking up. A fifth even delete the phone number of the ex-girlfriend.

Conscious uncoupling: Consciously experiencing a separation

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay singer Chris Martin announced their split in March 2014. This message would have remained one of many and would have been quickly forgotten - had it not been for a term largely unknown in couple psychology: Conscious Uncoupling.

“Conscious uncoupling means consciously separating and being in harmony with yourself. It is one-on-one coaching that helps you deal with a breakup well for yourself, that is, consciously and mindfully, ”explains Annette Oschmann. The Essen resident is a mediator and coach for the procedure developed and certified by the American marriage therapist Katherine Woodward Thomas.

First the perfect couple, then the perfect separation: Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow and US singer Chris Martin made Conscious Uncoupling popular. Source: Britta Pedersen / Jose Coelho / dpa

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Relationship out: Is the contact with the ex good for me?

With Conscious Uncoupling, however, the goal is not necessarily to get along well with the ex afterwards. “Conscious uncoupling doesn't mean friendship at any cost,” she clarifies. There are certainly constellations in which there is preferably no longer any contact. “You should go completely separate ways if the other person is not good for me - for example with personality disorders such as narcissism.” In addition, infidelity in the relationship is a reason. "If a partner has cheated and that led to the separation, the contact is very painful and hurtful, at least at the beginning, and often also humiliating."

Above all, according to Oschmann, it is about finding one's own inner peace again. “Those who are back with themselves have clarity and can decide what kind of interaction they want to maintain. That can be friendship, that can be relaxed, friendly interaction, but that can also be no more contact. Everything is possible, nothing is neccesary."

Divorce: For the good of the children renounce the war of the roses

Till Kramer, who has been a specialist lawyer for family law in Hanover for almost 17 years, knows how difficult it can be to deal with each other in the event of a separation. “Most of the time, in the course of a divorce, conflicts arise about the children, the gain, the maintenance. When feelings such as hurt pride, anger, disappointment or revenge are involved, the emotions can boil up. ”Nevertheless, he rarely experiences the classic war of the roses in his office: more than half of his clients, Kramer estimates, manage in the end, Treat your ex-partner politely and sensibly. In order for this to succeed, the couple are well advised to put the well-being of their children at the center of every single decision. “This means that a lot of things that are typically argued about arise automatically.” In addition, the family lawyer would like more empathy from many of his clients. "Often there is a lack of willingness to listen to the other side in peace."

Less potential for conflict through a marriage contract

One means that drastically reduces the potential for conflict in the event of a divorce is the marriage contract. “It is still an infinitesimally small proportion of couples who opt for it. But when it comes to separation, the people concerned are happy to have clarified the most important things in advance. ”Especially for entrepreneurs and self-employed, explains Kramer, a marriage contract is recommended.

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It is not so rare, says the family lawyer, that clients sit with him, but actually hope to be able to save the marriage after all. About every tenth couple, he estimates, will be reconciled in the course of the legally prescribed year of separation. The proportion is probably even higher among unmarried couples. A study by the polling institute YouGov showed: After all, two out of five respondents have dared to revive their relationship.

Having sex with your ex can make you more heartbroken

According to this, every fourth person has already tried the famous “sex with the ex”, and according to Statista, around 2 percent of those who split up still have something to do on a regular basis. Conscious uncoupling coach Annette Oschmann is skeptical. “Sex with the ex is usually not a good idea. Because often one suffers more than the other. For a conscious separation, I recommend that you first keep your physical distance, so no hugs or friendship kisses. Once the separation has been dealt with, it all comes naturally again. "

Those who want their ex back, according to Oschmann, are still in need emotionally and have not overcome the separation. Friendship is only possible when that succeeds. “But if it turns out that the other person also wants more - great! Then there can be a conscious restart: Conscious Recoupling. "

Read also: When the Heart Breaks: How Lovesickness Can Make You Sick

By RND / Juliane Moghimi