“Let’s just be friends”… the words still echo strangely in your ears. As if dealing with a break up isn’t hard enough, some guys want to keep in touch with you even after the relationship ends. Some couples call, email, and even hang out with each other long after they’ve broken up. It seems only natural – you’re getting along with your ex in a friendship type role, but in a relationship role you just argue and fight. So why not be friends with your ex? It’s certainly possible, right? You’re both two mature adults and you both know what you want – so why not go for it?
Well, there are several reasons. The first and foremost being that you’re probably still in love with him. Staying friends with someone after you’ve broken up usually indicates you’re not completely over the relationship. While you’ll try to rationalize the friendship and convince yourself it’s strictly platonic, you’re always going to be hoping – ever so slightly – for something more. And if you were the one who dumped him? He’s going to be the one praying for a reconciliation. The simple fact is that no break up is totally clean. Someone always gets hurt. And whoever that person was? He or she is going to eventually put a strain on the “friendship”.
On the surface, friendship seems like a nice easy route. You don’t have to miss your ex boyfriend: you can still see him… call him… email and text-message him. Best of all, you don’t have the fighting and bickering you used to have while you were dating. There’s no obligation to do anything together, and when you do hang out there aren’t any complications arising from the two of you sleeping together. Being friends with your exboyfriend is all puppy dogs and ice cream… or at least, that’s how it looks on paper.
In reality though, problems will surface. Hanging out will be fun at first, but one or both of you will eventually want to have sex again. Late one night, lounging around after renting a movie, I mean hey – why not? The two of you have done it lots of times, you can certainly handle a few more. But sleeping with your ex leads to an unwanted emotional attachment. No matter how much fun it is, you’re going to feel used when he doesn’t call you for a few days – which is what friends sometimes do.
Dating is another huge problem. Even if you maintain a healthy, sex-free friendship with your ex boyfriend… what happens when he gets a new girlfriend? Will you see him as much? Will he introduce you as an exgirlfriend he still hangs out with or will he hide that little fact? And how will you feel once he begins spending more time with her and a lot less time with you. Jealous? Of course you will. Because seeing your ex move on with his life while you’re left sitting home alone just plain sucks.
The opposite scenario is equally sticky. Let’s say you meet a new guy, start seeing him, and then the two of you are suddenly boyfriend and girlfriend. Do you still hang out and contact your ex boy”friend”? If so, do you tell your new man about it? Chances are he’s not going to be very understanding when you’re still talking to, emailing, and getting along with someone you once slept with. Guys tend to want their girlfriends all to themselves, not have to share them with other guys who already know them on some pretty intimate levels.
Now if you’re looking to get back together with your boyfriend, being friends may seem like a great idea. It allows you to stay close to your ex while you figure out how to win his heart back. You can monitor what he’s doing, know who he’s with, and ultimately patch things up to the point where you’re dating again. Right?
Not so fast.
Being friends with your ex when you still love him is even more hurtful than going through the pain of separation. Your ex knows you’re still into him, and because of this he’s going to string you along while he looks at other options. Your exboyfriend is free to see, date, and sleep with other girls in this scenario… and you have to clap your hands gleefully and wish him luck because you’re his “friend” and want only the best for him. Screw that.
The path to getting your boyfriend back doesn’t lead through friendship. There are ways of winning back your ex that involve breaking free of your past relationship and creating a new environment in which your ex wants you back. Establishing a friendship with your ex actually hinders this process. While you’re still friends, you’ll never be able to get back together with him. And the longer you keep the facade of that pseudo-relationship up? The deeper you fall into the friend zone.
Don’t ever substitute being friends with an ex boyfriend for the long-relationship that you really want. Fight for your ex back by going through the right channels to make him miss you, think about you, and love you again. It’s the only way to repair your breakup and begin dating your ex. Friendship with your exboyfriend is always a dead end street.