Should You Stay Friends With Your Ex After A Break Up?

If you’ve experienced a breakup, you may think that the offer of friendship is just a temporary stop on the road to reconciliation. You think that being friends with your ex is better than nothing and that it puts you in the perfect position to win back their hearts. It’s only a matter of time until they realize how good you were together.

Clearly they’re still interested in you if they want you to stay in their life, right? Not necessarily. The road of friendship can make reconnecting romantically even less likely after a breakup. Staying friends with an ex is a tricky subject, and should be considered with caution.

Is It Really Possible To Remain Friends With Your Ex?

Friendship definitely has its plus sides. In theory, it may seem mutually beneficial to you and your ex to remain civil after a breakup and make a go at being friends instead of romantic partners. You can’t imagine any negative aspects of a friendship, and you’re already there when your ex is ready to rekindle the romance. Staying friends after a breakup is becoming more and more popular, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes it works out for both people and sometimes it’s a ticking time bomb ready to explode at any moment.

The fact of the matter is that friendship after a breakup is difficult even if the breakup was civil. The process becomes even more trying when you still want to reconnect with your ex on a romantic level and not a platonic one. Before you can even consider friendship, you need to know the answers to a few questions that may not even occur to you as a part of the process.

You need to know the risks involved with agreeing to a platonic relationship with your ex. You need to figure out if staying friends with your ex will help you or hinder you in trying to get back together. More than anything else, you need to know how hard of a process it will be to make the leap back from “just friends” to more. These risks need to be carefully calculated prior to agreeing to stay friends with an ex.

It’s important to realize that if you begin a friendship with your ex, everything about your relationship will change. The decisions you make now will impact your options later and if you are unable to tread lightly here, you may end up blowing your chances for a romantic relationship with your ex out of the water for good.

There Are Loads Of Misconceptions About Being Friends With An Ex

Think back to your breakup. Your mind was spinning out of control and you could barely catch half of what your ex was saying. You were shocked and it felt like the fabric of your world had just been ripped in half and you didn’t know what side you were going to land on. The hopes and dreams you had in mind for the future came crashing down and you felt about an inch tall as your ex rambled on with their pre-rehearsed breakup monologue. They didn’t seem to notice that you weren’t really listening – or that you stopped hearing the words that were coming out of their mouth as soon as they said “breakup”. Out of the cacophony of thoughts rumbling through your mind, you finally catch the words “stay friends” followed by an awkward, expectant pause.

You’ve been waiting for them to stop talking for what seems like forever, and now they’re waiting for an answer. You feel like a guppy, with your mouth hanging open, jaw flapping in the breeze. What do you say? What CAN you say? What’s the right answer? Is there a right answer?

Being offered a friendship in place of what you thought was a good relationship is like an additional kick in the teeth after being stabbed in the gut. It’s overkill to the highest degree. You’re tempted to just take the friendship and run with it because it will prevent you from losing your ex for good. You feel like drinking water from a poisoned well is better than dying of thirst and you can always reverse the damage later. Your mind starts spinning in a completely different direction as you run through possible scenarios. You think that by staying friends with an ex rather than simply letting them go you can

  magically make the change their minds about being with you

– easily stay in touch and use the friendship as an excuse

– still have the security of seeing your ex often

–  you will eventually get over them and see them as only friends

– keep a steady eye on the competition and know what your ex is doing

– deepen your emotional bond without the pressure of a romantic relationship

–  remind your ex how much they really miss being with you

It may seem like a good idea, right? Not really. All those thoughts that you’re thinking right now are fairy tales – they’re not real. That’s not how things work in the real world, and you’re not going to be the one person out of thousands to break the norm. Your attachment won’t deepen – it will cheapen. Instead of the deep, fulfilling relationship you once shared with your ex, your friendship will seem like a cheap imitation of the real thing, and that void will leave you cold. Your emotions will start boiling inside of you until they simply can’t be contained anymore and they’ll explode just as your ex is ready to leave the friendship behind. Then you’ll be left alone to mourn the loss of a friendship and a romance while your ex has had sufficient time to process and they’re ready to move on.

If your ex has extended the hand of friendship, you need to take action to reverse the course that you’re headed on. You need to understand why a friendship with someone you’re still in love with cannot work out in your favor. You can get a head start by understanding the misconceptions in greater detail.

The Time That You Spend Together Will Never Be The Same As Before

People think that they will still be able to spend all of their time with their ex like they used to. This misconception is simple – it’s blatantly untrue. If you’re telling yourself that nothing will REALLY change by transitioning from a relationship to a friendship, you’re just deluding yourself and setting yourself up for even greater heartbreak.

You’re used to spending all of your free time together. You know where your ex is at all times, and they know the same about you. You’re always in touch. This “friendship” will seem like casual acquaintances compared to what you’re used to and it will not be fulfilling or meaningful.

How can you simply pretend that your feelings are gone and like the breakup never happened? You can’t. Whenever you talk to your ex, it will be uncomfortable and strange. You’ll feel as if you’re doing all the work to keep the friendship together and true friendship isn’t supposed to be that way, is it?

Hanging Out Is Now Going To Be Awkward

Do you really think casually hanging out at the apartment is going to be a pleasant experience for either one of you? Do you imagine that you can ignore all the things you’re dying to say to them and all the angst leading up to your breakup is going to disappear simply because it’s over? Forget uncomfortable silences – this is going to take awkwardness to an entirely new level. You’ll be forced to sit and watch your ex talk to and possibly flirt with other people. You’ll make yourself sick.

Any time you spend together alone will be full of tension. You can’t talk about the breakup for fear of scaring them off. You can’t talk about your feelings for the same reason, and you don’t want to hear more about theirs. You’re used to being physically intimate and those habits can be difficult to break. You’ll have to watch yourself carefully to avoid doing something that was perfectly fine a week ago but is now suddenly an unwelcomed advance.

While your ex may be fine with the concept of a friendship, it’s unfair to expect you to stifle your true feelings and pretend that everything is fine. Faking it does not foster a foundation for a meaningful friendship with anyone and with an ex that is even more profound. They’ll see the underlying tension and regardless of whether or not they can discern the reason behind it, they’ll be uncomfortable by it. Once that uncomfortable feeling takes hold, you can kiss your new “friendship” goodbye as quickly as your relationship.

Your Ex Will Not Tell You Everything Like They Used To

If you think that a friendship automatically gives you access into the inner workings of your ex’s new single life, you may be right – at least partially. It’s doubtful, however, that they’re going to be as open with you as you may wish – and they’re simply going to avoid mentioning anything that they fear might upset or hurt you further.

If your ex is ready to date someone new, they’re not going to be forthcoming with that tidbit of information. They’re going to hide it as long as they can. This instinct is a double-edged sword for you. When you realize what’s going on, it will be like getting kicked down all over again. You’ll have to see your ex moving on with someone else AND what kind of friendship do you have if they can’t even be honest with you?

Your jealousy will go into overload in a friendship situation with an ex and it will become more and more difficult to control over time. You’ll be front and center for every wonderful stage of their new relationship and you’re enabling your own heartbreak over and over again because you agreed to a friendship that you never wanted in the first place.

You Will Become Distant From Each Other 

You may think that friendship will bring you closer. This thought may actually have a basis in reality if it could actually be put into practice successfully. The problem is it rarely works out that way – if ever. If the relationship was constricting both of you to the point that you didn’t even feel like yourselves, breaking free of those boundaries may, in fact, mean that you can both develop a deeper and meaningful friendship.

The problem is you won’t be able to control your jealousy or hurt. Your ex is under no obligation to you anymore, and they can do whatever they want whenever they want to. You may have the perfect day together on Wednesday and you think they may be realizing their true feelings for you again – and then you can’t get ahold of them for the next week. Feeling a sense of rejection is a natural reaction, but it will also prevent any emotional attachments from developing further.

Despite the positive connotations of a friendship, you are agreeing to the fact that your ex doesn’t think that you’re dating material, but you may be a sufficient friend. You’ve been moved down the ranks. Staying friends with an ex can seem good at the time, but it can permanently damage the dynamic of your relationship and make getting back together impossible.

Do You Think That They’ll Miss Being With You And Remember Their Love For You?

As much as you may want to believe this misconception, it simply isn’t true. In fact, the reality is pretty much the absolute opposite. The further your friendship continues or progresses the less likely they are to view you in a romantic light. Pretty soon they won’t be able to picture you as a potential partner at all – and they’ll probably wonder why they dated you in the first place.

It Is Rare To Go From Lovers To Friends To Lovers Again

Agreeing to a long-term friendship with your ex allows your past to become a part of the past and stay there. You’ll be their friend, and that’s how they’ll start seeing you. You won’t be their ex, you won’t be that attractive person they used to date – you’ll be their friend. That designation will become the only way they are capable of seeing you.

If you sincerely want to get back together with an ex, staying friends will not bring all those positive, happy memories to light. It will push them farther away. The only way your ex will remember the good times you shared as a couple is if you choose to open yourself up to the possibility of further rejection and tell them how you really feel. Only then do you have a standing chance at turning the tide in your relationship. Don’t let your past fade into history – take control of it and make it a reality again by staying honest with yourself – and your ex.

 

The Problems That Existed In Your Relationship Won’t Magically Disappear

No relationship ends because of positive reasons. If your romantic relationship came to an end, it was most likely due to some problems between the two of you that could not be resolved. That being said, your friendship may be headed in the right direction. You might get along great as friends. Why would that make your ex want to start dating you again if things are already so good platonically?

It’s naïve to believe that the problems that broke you up in the first place won’t rear their ugly head again if you resume your dating relationship. Even if you can successfully avoid them, your ex won’t be willing to take the risk. Your friendship is perfect – why mess with a good thing? You’re giving your ex everything by remaining friends with them.

– They get to see you and talk to you whenever they want
– They get the benefit of your wisdom if they need help 
– They get a steady, platonic partner to go do stuff with
– They may be interested in a physical but non-emotional attachment if they’re feeling lonely

You’re providing them the best of both worlds. They get everything they enjoyed about the relationship without any of the things that held them back. They can talk to you whenever they feel like it, but they’re not obligated to respond to your messages. They can date other people but still have fun with you. Why in the world would they want to give up that freedom? They’re on cloud nine right now, and they have no desire to come back down to earth. Can you blame them?

Why Are They Asking For Friendship Anyway?

If your ex clearly isn’t interested in you romantically, why are they so insistent on the friendship? No matter what brought the two of you together in the beginning, staying friends is awkward under the best of circumstances, especially after a breakup that only one of you wanted.

Sometimes offering a friendship in place of a romantic attachment is simply a way to avoid hurting you more. Your ex is afraid of your reaction if they simply end the relationship and walk away. They think that by pulling away in stages it will be easier for both of you.

More than likely, your ex simply isn’t ready to say goodbye.

Even though they dumped YOU and you’re the wronged party, you’re not the only one that is missing out. Your ex still has to deal with the consequences of their decision and that means that the things they counted on for support and steadfastness are no longer there. Keeping you around as a friend can act like a security blanket while they get their feet wet in the world. Being friends with you gives them the chance to play. They can do whatever they want to do, knowing that if they change their minds later on, you’ll still be waiting on the sidelines. They figure that they have nothing to lose.

What Can You Do When Your Ex Wants To Be Friends?

By now, you’ve probably gotten the message that friendship with an ex is not only unhealthy, but it’s not in your best interest if you’re trying to get them back. But they’re still standing there in that supremely uncomfortable, awkward silence waiting for an answer, and you’ve got to come up with something – fast.

If you respond correctly, you are setting yourself up for a golden opportunity, here. If you act carefully, you could do exactly what you need to in order to turn this situation around completely. Making your ex feel rejected even though they’re the ones ending the relationship can send them into a completely unexpected tailspin and get them to reconsider their position entirely.

Implement These Post Break Up Steps

There is a proven system of techniques that can improve your chances of reconnecting with your ex romantically – and you don’t have to pretend your way through a friendship to do it.

1) Don’t Agree to a Friendship:

This may seem simple and obvious by the time you’ve read this far, but it is one of the most important actions you can take. No one is saying this is going to be easy for you – it may be one of the hardest things you’ve had to face, but it’s necessary. Friendship over time can completely blow your chances of a romantic relationship in the future so it’s best to avoid it completely.

2) Tell them Why:

They’re not going to let you get away with just telling them no. You have to be prepared for the barrage of answers that will be thrown in your direction. Now is your golden opportunity for honesty – if you blow it now, it may not come back again. Tell your ex that you still love them, and you see them romantically. You respect and care for them too much to try and fake a friendship just to keep them in your life. You’ve laid down your position, and let your ex know exactly how you feel.

3) Force a Decision:

Your refusal of friendship will immediately put your ex in a position they never dreamed possible, and they have a potentially serious choice to make. If they still want to go through with the breakup, they may never see you again. You may never communicate with them, and they will have watched you vanish from their reality all at once. Your ex never once considered this possibility.

4) Stand Your Ground:

You may be confronted with tears at this point. No matter what your ex throws at you, you need to stand your ground and remain strong. No friendship equals no contact. Period. You can’t continue talking to your ex without even being friends. You’re not going to be your ex’s teddy bear while they work through their loneliness and find a replacement.

Avoiding all contact altogether is a lot harder than you may think. No amount of preparation can completely take away the sting of sudden absence. Staying true to your choice may be incredibly hard, but it is necessary if you want to get them back.

What Happens When You’re Already Friends With Your Ex?

If you are already in an existing friendship with your ex by the time you’re reading this, you don’t need to give up yet. You can still take corrective actions to reverse the course of a friendship and get your ex to see you as a potential partner again. You need to start moving away from the friendship stage and you need to move quickly.

What To Do Next

Getting the friendship thing right can be extremely difficult. Even if you are already friends with your ex, you need to work out a way of making them see you in a romantic light again. This can be done by following the right system. These guides are custom-designed to relate to your specific gender. Compiled by Matt Huston, they provide step by step guidance and can help you find a way out of any situation regardless of how hopeless it may seem.

Guys

You can get yourself set up with some free audio advice on getting your ex-girlfriend to see you as a potential mate again and reignite her interest. You can spark that initial fire again that you had in the beginning of your relationship with some proven techniques that appeal to her intrinsically.  These powerful psychological tools will gain results. You can get started immediately and find out how to get her back.

Girls

You can stop your breakup in its tracks before it ever has a chance to hit the ground. Your free audio guide can stop the process immediately and can be implemented regardless of where in the process you are. Learn the tricks behind what your ex-boyfriend is really looking for and how to make yourself his best option without him even realizing you’re behind his change of heart. Want him to stop seeing you as just a friend? The modules in this system will show him that you are the girl for him and make him see you as attractive.