Lessons Learned From a 2-Week Business Trip With My Ex: Redefining Friendship Dynamics

In Self Love and Sweat THE PODCAST’s latest episode, I’m glad to have discussed something we all can relate to. This episode unfolds different settings that offer a compelling narrative that challenges preconceived notions about post-breakup dynamics. Can you be friends with your ex? If so, what is our first step? How do we set boundaries? Let us talk more about that in this blog… keep reading!

Timestamps to help you navigate this episode:
0:00 Intro
0:20 FREE Self Love & Sweat MONTHLY Calendar
10:00 Friends With Your Ex: Navigating Post-Breakup Relationships
11:00 Sponsor: Snap Supplements 25% OFF using code LUNDEN25
16:31 Establishing Boundaries and Communication Guidelines
21:08 From Lovers to Friends: Exploring the Dynamics of Post-Breakup Friendships


The Ex-Friend Zone: Can You Stay Friends After Breaking Up?

This episode is pretty much centred on diving deep into the whole friendship and reconciliation thing with an ex. There are ups and downs to this especially when things get a bit stressful. With enough communication, one of the lessons learned is that mindfulness is a game changer. Being honest and understanding our conversations had the power to spark some serious growth in post-breakup friendships.

Friends With Your Ex: Navigating Post-Breakup Relationships

This wasn’t just about going from one place to another; it was like flipping a mental switch. At first, I wasn’t sure about staying friends with exes, but this whole experience shook things up. The episode showed that personal growth is possible. It was like rewriting the rulebook on being friends with an ex and giving societal norms a run for their money.

Individuals Seeking to Rebuild Relationships and Redefine Roles

Also getting real about co-parenting and talking about the nitty-gritty of navigating shared responsibilities with an ex. There are those delicate balances when personal and professional life get all tangled up. The big idea? Communication isn’t just for staying pals; it’s the secret sauce for turning ex-relationships into successful collaborations.

Lessons in Love, Friendship, and Personal Growth

The episode encapsulated more than a physical relocation; it was a symbolic journey of self-discovery and resilience. It talked about an adventure of a profound exploration of love, friendship, and personal growth. It served as a powerful reminder that beliefs about relationships are not set in stone; they can be reshaped through experience and an open heart.

Full transcript Episode 152: 

Lunden Souza: 

Welcome to Self Love and Sweat The Podcast, the place where you’ll get inspired to live your life unapologetically, embrace your perfect imperfections, break down barriers and do what sets your soul on fire. I’m your host, Lunden Souza. Hey, have you grabbed your free Self Love and Sweat monthly calendar yet? This calendar is so amazing. It comes right in your inbox every single month to help you have a little nugget of wisdom, a sweaty workout, a mindset activity, just a little something, something to help keep you focused and motivated and keep that momentum towards your goals. So every day, when you get this calendar, you’ll see a link that you can click that will lead to a podcast episode or a workout or something that will be very powerful and quick to read. And then you’ll also see, on the top left corner of every single day, there’s a little check box in the calendar and what that is is that’s for your one thing. You can choose one thing every month, or it can be the same, something that you want to implement and make this something that you can easily implement, like daily meditation or getting a certain amount of steps or water, for example, and staying hydrated and even taking your supplements. This can be something if you want to get more regular doing a particular habit and routine. You can choose what that check box means. So if you want your Self Love and Sweat free monthly calendar delivered right to your inbox every month on the first of the month, go to lifelikelunden.com/calendar. Fill out the form really quickly and you will have your calendar in your inbox within a few short minutes. That’s lifelikelunden L- I- F-E-L-I-K- E- L- U- N-D- E- N dot com forward slash calendar. Go get yours for free and enjoy this episode. What’s up? Welcome back to the podcast. Happy today. Today we’re going to talk about can you be friends with an ex? Recently, I went to Dubai for two weeks with my ex boyfriend that I dated when I was in Austria, who I was dating before I moved back to America, and it was such an interesting, growing, yeah, profound experience in my life in a sense, that I used to think absolutely not like. No way can you be friends with anyone that you’ve dated or your ex Like after you break up. It’s just like easier and better just to like hate them and think not happy things about them to move forward. So it was just such an interesting experience and so I thought that talking about it today would be, yeah, valuable for you guys listening, because I got a lot of questions from people asking me number one, why are you in Dubai? And I’ll talk a little bit about that. And then when they found out who I was there with of course you know close friends and like family and stuff they have questions or just like how was it? Or like what was it like? You know, and that’s what I want to talk about today on the podcast. So maybe you think you absolutely can be friends with your exes. Maybe you think absolutely not not trying to convince you of one way or the other, I’m just trying to share my experience because now I’ve been able to change my belief and think you know what, yeah, it’s cool to be friends with like some of your exes, like I don’t need to be besties and like foster continuous communication and relationships with people that I’ve been with, and there are a select few that guys that I’ve dated where I realized like, oh, yeah, actually we can be friends and we can be cool and we can build a relationship in a new way, in a way that’s better than just yeah, only needing to be in a romantic relationship. So I went to Dubai with my ex Andreas. He is the CEO and founder of HitSpot. HitSpot Austria, now also HitSpot Dubai. He does sound design and also is how I started my podcast. So like the intro, the outro, all the music, sound design. If you’ve ever done a voice guided workout, if you’ve ever done one of my breath work audios, if you took my online course level up your language, level up your life, there’s like walk and talk reframe while you walk audio walks where you play. And there’s you. You walk for 20 minutes, you play the music, I’m talking to you, I’m coaching you throughout the walk. So anything that you’ve heard pretty much from audio from me that sounds cool and isn’t just like I don’t know me recording a video on Instagram, but like my podcast, all of those audio things Andreas’s company, hit spot, created. So him and I when we started dating, he was the DJ for the live workout parties that we hosted for Adidas Runtastic. So for those of you that don’t know, I used to live in Austria for eight years. I worked for a startup called Runtastic that eventually got bought by Adidas. I was the face of the company and we did these really fun live workout party events in over nine different countries. Thousands of people would come out, we’d have a DJ, we would do a workout. It was just a really fun experience. So Andreas was the DJ when we started these, this live workout party concept, and that’s how him and I met. And then, throughout our relationship, when I started my podcast, started creating a lot of stuff. He created that because with sound there’s like, yeah, copyright things you can’t just like take your favorite song and put it on a podcast, right, things you, you don’t really know about music rights and stuff like that. So he created everything from scratch, helped me with all of that. Fast forward, we broke up when I moved back to America in 2020. During the pandemic, I wanted to be closer to my family. He and I had been going through things already for about a year and a half that it wasn’t like the pandemic or me moving back that broke us up, if you will. It was just like a list of extenuating or what do they say irreconcilable differences or like certain circumstances that we just decided when I moved back to America that we wouldn’t stay together, and so that was in June of 2020. And I actually hadn’t seen him. So we went to Dubai together and I’ll talk about that too. I hadn’t seen him since June of 2020. So this was like three and a half years later, right To just be like okay, yeah, let’s go on a trip, I want to support you in your business and everything moving forward. So. So when we broke up, I like blocked him on all the things. I didn’t want to have a relationship with him. I didn’t think it made sense to stay in touch. I was just kind of, yeah, that was just my way. My pattern of ending relationships was to have them be like kind of angry and just like peace out bye. And he always said I want to be friends who sometimes work together. And he would just was very persistent in wanting to maintain a friendship with me and he kind of predicted, if you will, that we would be friends that sometimes work together. And at first, when he said that, I was like offended. I’m like what do you mean? Do like friends who sometimes work together? Like you know, I wanted to be with you. This happened, whatever. Like you know all the things and friends who sometimes work together Okay, cool, bro, right, that’s like what I was thinking. And then later on, as you know, years pass and I felt like I was able to. Yeah, it was just so much coming back. I mean, everybody went through a lot in 2020 and me moving back from Austria, back to America, just starting business from scratch, all the things. There was a lot of healing and growth and a big journey that needed to be, that needed to be had, and so through that we reconnected and you know just, I felt like, okay, cool, yeah, we can be friends. And actually, yeah, I just heard from my current partner. He said you know Lunden, you can be friends with your exes because you’re a wonderful person and for somebody to have dated you they must be wonderful too. Right, and why not be friends with your exes? Like, why not, you know, have a different relationship with them if that’s possible and if that’s like available and it makes sense and there’s growth on both sides. And so when he said that, it was kind of like a big moment of recognition for me of like, oh yeah, I’ve really like just hated on my exes. And what does that say about me If the list of exes that I have are all like horrible, whatever, like you know, all the things we want to say to just like make it easier to pack up and move on. What does that say about me? So it’s kind of like an ownership compliment, if that makes sense. So, yeah, you can be friends with your exes. Lunden, you’re wonderful. Why wouldn’t your exes be wonderful? You know, of course there’s certain circumstances where maybe we might find ourselves in a relationship with someone who’s not so wonderful. And when I looked back I was kind of like, oh yeah, you’re right, you know that that kind of can make sense, and started to shift my model of the world a little bit. And so my ex Andreas, his company, hit spot in Austria. They are now expanding in Dubai. And so he reached out to me and said you know, I want to expand my company in Dubai. The main language there is English. I, you know, I want you to come with me to have a bunch of meetings, put myself out there, kind of be like, you know, like my wing woman when it comes time to go and do all the things to prepare my business, have a lot of meetings and conversations, bank accounts, like all the things you need to do to then become, get your Emirates card, as it’s called, and be able to work in Dubai. And he just wanted someone there to be there to support him. And now the cool thing is is that we’re actually both dating other people. So, yeah, coming into this situation, it was like, yeah, very clear, okay, I have a boyfriend, you have a girlfriend. Okay, cool, friends, ready set, go like pound it and let’s go. So, and both of our partners are totally cool about it. They’re, like you know, proponents of our friendship and actually when we were in Dubai, I FaceTimed with his current girlfriend and we just like, yeah, chatted. She was very grateful, she was like thank you for supporting him, and it was just a very different dynamic that I’m used to like, very different from, yeah, being friends with exes and then being friends with their new partners. Not that I would have chosen to like hate them, and I didn’t think I would ever want to create the capacity to like be friends and foster a relationship with an ex and like their current partner. You know what I mean, but I actually do. And so it was so cool to be able to go to Dubai, so I get there, and it was like as if no time had passed. It was just like, oh, hey, really quick. I want to interrupt the podcast for just a minute to tell you about one of my favorite supplements for hair, skin, nails, digestive and gut health, and that is SNAP Supplements Super Greens with Collagen. Now, if you’re following me on social media, you’ve probably seen me post about this a bunch because, honestly, this product tastes amazing and it’s jam packed with nutrients, like I said, to support healthy hair, skin and nails. It helps support detoxification, a healthy immune system, and there’s even probiotics in there for a healthy gut. It’s non GMO, no sugar added, soy free, grass fed collagen and every scoop is going to give you seven grams of protein, and this is why I love it, because it’s not like a protein shake. It’s just a scoop of powder. It tastes amazing. I put it in water or, if I want more hydration, I’ll put it in coconut water and mix it up, and it’s like having a nice refreshing beverage that’s packed with a bunch of super greens and protein. So what I’m super excited about is that for listening to the podcast, you’ll get this discount here. Nowhere else, but for listening to the podcast, you can save 25% off on all your SNAP supplement purchases, including the super greens with collagen, and you do that by using LUNDEN25 at checkout. That’s L U N D E N 25. L U N D E N two five to get 25% off at checkout. You can shop on snap supplements. com or you can shop on my website lifelikelunden.com/supplements and you’ll see there there’s already an additional 10% taken off. But you, because you’re a podcast listener, you’re going to get 25% off when you use the LUNDEN25 at checkout. L U N D E N 25 at checkout to get your SNAP supplements, super greens and collagen, and all your SNAP supplements for 25% off. Now let’s get back to the show. We had talked a bunch on FaceTime. Of course, we had collaborated before, you know, getting to Dubai and spent a lot of time in conversation and collaboration, and when we got there, it was just like normal, like just like cool, chill, zero romantic feelings, like zero I don’t know butterflies or like anything that you might think of, like, oh, after you see your ex after three years, like what does that feel like? It felt like seeing an old friend. It felt like I do when I see my close friends that I haven’t seen in a while. You know, it just feels very friendly and still a lot of love, and so that was really cool and we were both super excited about that. And also it was cool because I was like, wow, you know, as I, as the process unfolded, we were there for two weeks. There was a lot to do. There was a lot that then revealed itself like, yeah, how big of a stretch that is for someone to pick up their business and expand it to another country. And so I was able to get like even more respect for him and for what he’s doing and the way he’s putting himself out there and working really hard. And my job really, while I was out there, was to be on Instagram looking for collaboration partners, be you know, on Google. So I found us a bunch of a bunch of collaboration partners. We got a lot of meetings set up and just like coffee shop chats, just to like connect right. When you do, yeah, do your business, you have to put yourself out there and connect with other people that maybe could be collaboration partners or just could be great mentors or connections or whatever. And so that was kind of my role was to like get our calendars full with people to connect with and then also be there as part of like the I don’t want to say translator, because his English is really wonderful, but I think just like a buffer plus, you guys know I love to talk, I love to communicate, I love to connect and, you know, kind of be there to navigate the, the conversation and the flow of things a little bit. And yeah, it was super cool and it was really wonderful. Um, there was a time where I think we both went back into like old communication patterns of the way that we would talk to each other when we were in a relationship together, which I didn’t realize at the time. But now, because I have changed in this such a big deal in my life and I pay attention to words a ton, now when I look back, I was I’m like it’s kind of like rude, like it’s kind of like border yeah, borderline rude, kind of banter back and forth right, which if two individuals coming together want to communicate in that way and they’re aware of it and it’s all good and nobody’s feelings are getting heard and the rude banter and kind of that flow works for you totally fine. But now, as I’ve grown over the last three years, I’m like, wait, I don’t like that conversation, like I don’t like it being spoken to me that way and I don’t like the way that it’s come out of my mouth and I don’t like it. So I we had to, you know, got to, we’re able to have a really good conversation and like a second moment of connection throughout that two weeks, to be like, hey, you know, I don’t fucking like the way you talk to me, like I don’t like that banter anymore, you know, especially because, yeah, we’re in a different country, it’s stressful, like we’re doing a lot of things, a lot of meetings, navigating, you know, the maps, trying to figure out where to go. Like I get it, it’s stressful, it’s uncomfortable, it’s challenging, and like, no, I don’t want to be talked to you that way and like I don’t want to. You know, let’s say like serve, you, serve the serve, the comment to me, and I don’t want to be like right there to just whack it back. Like I felt, like I was like I don’t know getting into this, yeah, negative dialogue and kind of banter in a way that I know we used to communicate, which used to be totally fine for us, but now I’m like no, I don’t like that. Like I, words are wonderful and I want to be able to use powerful words when I’m communicating with you, when we’re communicating with each other. I want us to be able to like use our words when we’re frustrated instead of just being like rude to each other. And that was cool. We were able to talk through that and, yeah, it was a little, I don’t know, I get, I get emotional. So sometimes I was just like a little bit emotional, but in a good way, like I like, I like that about me and it was very good for us to like see that within each other. Like no, and how can we continue to communicate in a new way, moving forward. Granted, we haven’t seen each other in three years. We’re here in a new country, like helping him start his new business, like just all the things. Like you could see how that could get like sticky or just like uncomfortable or weird and just like a lot of stress happening at once. Right, they say, when you’re in a relationship with someone, go on a trip with them in another country, so then you can really get to see each other, like stressed and like in our elements and our true colors can come out. And granted, him and I dated for three years, so we had been to a lot of countries together, like I said, the live workout parties, all the things. We had a lot of opportunities to travel together, but this was still another example of why communication is so important, especially when you’re trying to collaborate and connect. But then you’re also dealing with your your own stress levels and your normal programings and human emotions, and that’s why being present is so important, because we’ll say things that we don’t mean, we’ll reply in a tone that we’re not proud of or we don’t want to be that way anymore, and so the power of presence and also that communication like in real time, like I remember that day it was like two days of us kind of going back and we like got out of the elevator and I was like we cannot do that anymore, like let’s do better, go team, right, and we had a powerful conversation, like high fived at the end and it was really cool and so, yeah, I think you definitely can be friends with your ex. When I was thinking about the pattern of why I hated my exes, like okay, where did that come from? Right, that’s kind of what I like to do with myself and with my clients is like okay, this pattern, and can we trace it back a little bit? And so like growing up I didn’t have an open relationship with my parents regarding dating, like that communication dialogue. I just like wasn’t allowed to have boyfriends. I like wasn’t allowed to go to dances or like if I did, I had to be a certain age, like later on in high school, just like very strict in that department parents and so I never had like open dialogue about, yeah, dating or communicating in dating or in relationships or whatever. It was more just kind of like a no topic. So I learned a lot of like dating stuff from one of my friends and when I thought about that I was like, oh yeah, she also gets really fiery and aggressive and like hates her exes and that’s probably where I learned it from, because I didn’t have that resource with my parents to talk and process a lot of that. So I had a friend who was like more experienced than me yeah, teach me about all the things right about like sex and relationships and communication and texting and like when you text back and like all these things right. I just had that dialogue mainly with her, and so I was kind of falling into some of those same patterns and I was like, oh yeah, that’s probably where it came from, and so that was really interesting and also a great opportunity to have awareness and not beat myself up, have more grace and be like oh wait, actually I can change my beliefs. I can change my nervous system response to someone I’ve dated in the past, and it can be totally okay. You know, there can be a way that two people cannot be compatible romantically but be compatible in other ways, and we have a lot of gifts that oftentimes we can share with one another. That doesn’t have to be anything romantic. I also think that if you’re in a relationship now at least in my model of the world and the way I do it like it needs to be okay on all sides. For people to hang out Like I would never want to be around an ex and their current partner was like not okay with it, you know that just wouldn’t sit right with me. They could decide if that dynamic works with them, right, whatever. But I think it’s super cool that all of us were totally cool with that and I think that was really a good part to the whole situation as well. It was just like full trust, full transparency and then being like yeah, this is specifically what we’re doing and why we’re here, and I also think, yeah, I mean we, him and I dated for three years, so I got really close with his family, did a lot of stuff with his family I was living in Austria, so I wasn’t close to my family in America and so I really like immersed myself in his family and we were really close and so it felt, I think, like closure to the full breakup. If you will Not that I felt like there was any open wounds or like unresolved things, but I feel like it really like brought everything full circle in a sense, cause it was, yeah, like I said, we hadn’t seen each other. We were super close. So to see each other brought like the closure, the confirmation of just like yes, friends who sometimes work together, that works lovely. And at Lunden myself I did not see that as a compliment, I didn’t see it as something good to want to attain. But now when I think about it, I’m like, oh yeah, when him and I dated, like he would wake up five AM let’s go like coffee on its go time, like the world’s not going to you know, have our gifts if we’re not up and like ready to rock right. And has very much the same personality like my mom, where it’s just like wake up, let’s go, and so that was nice to be around. It’s not an energy that I want to be around all the time, let’s say, at least within a romantic partner but it was cool to be around that and to have kind of that dose of that too, of like, oh yeah, it lit a little bit more of a fire in me. Being around that energy that I thought was really cool and, like I said, brought some really great closure, was like closing of a chapter and opening of a new one in a very, very cool way. So I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode, whether you know me personally and like mine and Andreas’s relationship, or you’re just tuning in and listening and, you know, reflecting. What do you think? Can you be friends with exes? Do you think that you would be okay with it? If you have anything that you want to share about this, your opinion, you can send me a DM on Instagram. At lifelikelunden, I would love to hear what you think and what your experience has been with being friends with your ex, or maybe like co-parenting with an ex in a good way, or maybe you disagree completely with me. Yeah, that’s just my experience, and thank you guys for listening and I can’t wait to hear from you in the DMs and we’ll see you at the next episode. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Self Love and Sweat the Podcast. Hey, do me a favor Wherever you’re listening to this podcast, give us a review. This really helps a lot, and share this with a friend. I’m only one person and with your help, we can really spread the message of self love and sweat and change more lives all around the world. Lunden Souza, reminding you that you deserve a life full of passion, presence and purpose, fueled by self love and sweat. This podcast is a hit spot. Austria production.