It’s a tricky subject, can you be friends with your ex boyfriend or ex partner. Many relationship experts say you can, while many others say it’s just not logical. No matter who you ask about it, opinions will always be divided. This is largely because there is no general rule when it comes to keeping a friendship. It is dependent on your, your ex-boyfriend and the type of relationship you had with them.
For most people, a relationship ends and that’s the end of it. You take time to heal, to move on. Eventually, you find yourself with someone new and you practically forget about your ex altogether.
There are some situations that make that impossible. For instance, if you work with an ex or your family is close with their family. In this case, you have to learn to be civil, regardless of how the relationship ended. It won’t be easy at first, but if you can play nice, you can make it work.
There’s another layer to the situation though. For instance, if you were really close friends, you’re not just losing a partner, but something more valuable. If you were friends first, there’s a good chance you want to salvage that relationship, regardless of the fate of the romantic one.
If you do agree that the romance is dead, but you want to remain friends, you can probably make it work. That’s not saying it’s going to be easy though. Trying to stay friends with a past lover is a learning experience. There are going to be challenges you haven’t considered. You are going to run into issues, especially at the beginning. There are going to be topics that neither of you want to discuss. There may be awkward moments. Even if you were friends before you ever started dating, you’re basically starting a new friendship. There are new boundaries to be set, especially as you both start seeing other people.
Yes….but it’s going to require a lot of hard work. As long as you are both willing to put in the work, you can be friends with your ex-boyfriend
Can we still be friends? It’s likely one of the first questions that come to mind when a relationship ends. At first, post-romance friendship feels like a given, a necessary consolation prize for what was lost.
These niceties always seem genuine. You still must care for each other, right? After all, it was only moments ago when you considered each other soul mates and lovers. How could your entire relationship suddenly shift from deep intimacy to cordial strangers over the course of a singular conversation? It’s unthinkable…
This is probably the primary reason why I have never succeeded at being real friends with any former flames. It takes me so long to get over heartbreak, most of it spent pining for them to come back, plotting ways for us to reconcile, or seeking psychic guidance on when our paths might cross again. In hindsight, I suspect that these activities actually exacerbated the healing process.
And because of our tendency to pine and plot for past partners, author and clinical psychologist Dr. Sherrie Campbell suggests taking “six months to a year of no contact to fully get over that person” before re-entering their lives as a friend. “This way, you’re through the heartbreak feelings and will be able to handle seeing your ex with another person.” In other words, the key is to avoid feeling jealousy.
You might be a back burner. Maintaining a relationship with your ex puts you in danger of being a back burner or “side option” to that person, which can be pretty damaging to your self-worth, says Dr. Campbell. While back-burner relationships aren’t anything new, modern technology (particularly social media) makes it easier than ever to keep potential love interests waiting in the wings, since chatting or texting with someone online seems more innocuous than meeting up with them in real life.
Boundaries are imperative. In order to stay in your ex’s life in a healthy way, you need to “establish boundaries with each other,” says Carolyn McNulty, a licensed mental health counselor based in St. Petersburg, Florida. For example, you can agree to only reach out to each other via social media or meet up for the occasional lunch. Therapists can be a helpful resource to help you set healthy boundaries.
I mean, after all, if you can slowly wean yourself off those romantic feelings instead of going “cold turkey” and shutting down all contact with him, isn’t that a better option?
But the problem is that even though it often seems like a perfect compromise, being friends usually provides very little comfort and actually makes the process of moving on longer and more difficult than it needs to be.
AND… even more importantly… it will ruin your chances of winning your ex back!
There are a few other huge problems with agreeing to be friends with your ex if you want to win him back:
Being friends with your ex gives complete control of the situation to him.
Another key to winning back your ex is to make it clear that you are still equal with him even though he’s the one who decided to break up with you.
You need to make it known that you’re not a pushover and that if your ex isn’t interested in a romantic relationship, then he’s cut from your life altogether.
When you give him all the control over your relationship, you lose any power and control that you might have had… this usually results in him feeling less desire to be with you in a committed way.
And it results in you feeling more attached and in love with him than ever before… causing you even more heartache.
I love my ex-husband because the Bible tells everyone especially believers that we are to love one another. I have no desire to enter into any other relationship with him. We have three adult daughters together ages 37, 35, and 18. He never paid child support for our teenage daughter. I’ve been single since 1998. I wish him well and yes I pray for him. I have NO desire to remarry him even though he says he wants to marry him. Trust, respect, loyalty and honesty are several keys in my relationship.
Me and my ex have been finished for 7 months and he is still in contact with me he was the one that ended the relationship
Establishing a friendship with an ex boyfriend may be easy, but keeping it going will eventually be difficult. There are many factors, both internal and external, that will work to pull such a friendship apart. Being friends after having been in an intimate relationship almost never works, and the reasons are many. Below you’ll find just some of the forces that are working against you when you try to be friends with your ex:
Are there still romantic feelings between the two of you?
Is there any sexual chemistry between the two of you?
Are you bitter about aspects of the relationship?
Are you uncomfortable talking about the issues of your now ex-relationship?
Will you be uncomfortable when he starts dating someone new?
Are you just trying to keep him in your life in some capacity?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions: You can’t be friends with your ex-boyfriend. If you answered “no”, there is hope.
If you genuinely enjoy the companionship of your now ex-boyfriend, it is understandable that you want to remain friends with him. However, the answers above do have to be mutual. You can’t make a friendship work if your ex-boyfriend is still hung up on you. The two of you have to agree that the romantic feelings have passed. Of course you’re still going to care about each other, but it can’t be the way two spouses would care about each other.
Yet, it might be the only way to ever move on.
Now I know some of you disagree. Some of your exes are now your best friends or remain a significant part of your lives. You, my friends, are special.
For the rest of us, trying to preserve a friendship with our former romantic partners mostly feels messy, complicated, and painful—which is why I sought to understand if it’s really something we should be pursuing in the first place.
According to the experts, friendship with an ex is possible, but there’s a catch.
You must both be willing to admit that you don’t work together as a couple. Maintaining a healthy relationship post-breakup requires both people “to recognize what worked about the relationship and what did not,” says Dr. Christine Selby, a psychology professor at Husson University. If you can also see that “what brought you together was a strong friendship, then it may be possible to reestablish the relationship as a friendship provided there is a clear understanding that neither of you wants to pursue dating [each other] again.”
Look, there’s zero judgment here. I, too, have spent many a Saturday night stalking the social media of loves from yesteryear and imagining Sliding Door-style alternate realities where things actually work out this time. At times, I’ve even attempted to reconnect as “friends”—but my ulterior motives always seem to emerge sooner or later.
If you have also found yourself struggling and convincing yourself that “being friends is better than nothing,” or that friendship might be a gateway toward reconciliation, here are a few things to consider:
The breakup happened for a good reason. Whether we know it or not, breakups happen because “there was a lack of attunement between you and your ex,” says sex therapist Tanya Fruehauf. Therefore, “rekindling a relationship with your ex could be emotionally dangerous . . . especially if the breakup had to do with trust issues.” What’s to prevent these issues from recurring if you got back together?
Letting go of someone you still love is one of life’s most painful experiences. While there’s no definitive right or wrong way to handle a breakup, clinging to the past is probably not the wisest move. Whatever you do, remember your heart is fragile, so proceed with caution.
Maybe your ex suggested it would be a good idea to be friends…
…or maybe you think it’s “better than nothing” if the alternative is losing him forever.
Being friends with your ex is almost always a bad idea. And it’s a recipe for additional (and unnecessary) heartache.
It’s even more true if you want to get your ex back or if you’re ready to move on and don’t want to get back together at all.
While the “friend zone” is a terrible place to be with your ex, many people fall for this trap because it seems so tempting.
I mean, your ex is giving you an option that allows you to maintain contact with the person you’ve loved and, in theory, this will allow you to move on gently and slowly without the intense feelings of loneliness that often accompany a breakup.
It won’t give him a chance to develop feelings of nostalgia and he won’t miss you as much. One of the key ingredients to repairing a relationship is that your ex needs to miss your presence.
That begs to question… How do you make someone miss you?
Here’s the simple answer: disappear from his life suddenly and completely, shutting down all lines of communication.
By maintaining a friendship with your ex, it’s impossible to really effectively disappear from his radar and make him miss you.
When you stay friends with your ex, you serve as a “safety net” for him while he’s looking for someone new.
Do you want to be your ex’s confidante while he tells you about his new lovers? Do you want to be his “backup plan” in case things don’t work out with the new romance he’s pursuing?
Of course you don’t.
You have to make it absolutely clear to your ex that if he chooses to break up with you, he’s on his own and he can’t come running back to you if he finds the single life a bit less fun than he imagined it would be.
In reality, there really isn’t any scenario where being friends (at least for the first few months) after a breakup is possible.
If you’ve already agreed to be “friends” with your ex and got yourself stuck in the “friend zone,” calm down…. you can still undo this mistake and win him back (but only if you take action ASAP!).
The first step is to watch this complimentary video by world-renowned breakup guru Brad Browning:
In fact, even if you haven’t yet agreed to be friends with your ex, you should still take 5 minutes to watch that video…. it will teach you a few little-known techniques to re-wire your ex’s feelings and make him want you back.