“Let’s be friends…” Sounds good, right? As if you and your ex will still be able to see each other, talk to each other, even hang out together and have some more good times?
It’s win-win for everyone, at least in your mind. The relationship is over but the contact doesn’t have to end.
The closeness you shared doesn’t have to go away, because you and your ex boyfriend or girlfriend are going to defy they odds; somehow, you’re going to make the post-breakup friendship work, even if it kills you. Right?
The sad truth of things is this: there are two possible scenarios after someone breaks up with you. One, is that you no longer want or need them in your life. And in that case, you go your separate ways.
The second scenario is where your lover breaks up with you, but you keep hanging on. Since you weren’t ready for the romance to end, you’re looking for any excuse – no matter how thin – to stay in touch and actually be with them again.
It’s for this reason that many people JUMP at the chance to “stay friends” when their ex offers it. They’re not ready to let go. They think that being friends with an ex can help get them back, or that eventually this person will realize how much they miss being your boyfriend or girlfriend, and jump back into a relationship with and date them again.
Unfortunately, it’s not even close to that easy.
Going from friends to lovers – after you’ve dated already – is mostly a fantasy. It happens in books, in movies. It happens in real life too, but the ‘lovers’ thing lasts only for one night, and afterward your ex goes back to their single life, leaving you feel used and cheated.
In short, you cannot be friends with an ex if you still love them.
PERIOD. End of story. If you’re honest with yourself and you know that you still have feelings, staying friends with this person is only going to hurt ten times as much.
And not only that… it’s going to push your ex away, too. Every breakup has a window of opportunity for reversing itself; EVERY single time someone dumps you there’s always a way back.
But when you become friends with that person? The road back into their heart becomes that much longer. It’s an uphill climb, and you’ve basically decimated your chances of making them need you again.
Below are 6 of the biggest myths involving getting back together after staying friends with your ex. By the time you’re finished reading them, you’ll understand exactly why the road back into your boyfriend or girlfriend’s heart does NOT lead through some made-up “friendship”.
Myth 1 – As Friends, You’ll Still Keep in Constant Contact
Sorry, but no. First of all, your ex dumped you for a reason. He or she no longer sees you as datable, and they’re going to be looking somewhere (and at someone) else.
So will your new ‘friend’ still call and text and email with you? Yeah, sure. For a while. But the second this person finds somebody else, or even gets interested in somebody else, that contact will drop off so fast it’ll make your head spin and your heart sink.
Also, the amount of contact will never be the same. It won’t be anywhere near the amount of texts and calls you made to each other during the relationship. As such, it’ll be a disappointment for you. You’ll wonder why your ex isn’t staying in touch as much as he or she used to, and that will make you wonder what ELSE they’re doing without you.
Myth 2 – As Friends, You and Your Ex Will Still Hang Out
Sure. Maybe. But again, nowhere NEAR as much as before.
For the most part, your ex will call you when they have nothing to do. Remember: they’re single now, and they’ve got a whole new list of things they can do without you.
This list includes seeing old friends, going places, being in groups where they can potentially meet other people… and you staying at home and watching these things from the outside. When your ex does include you in these events, you’ll watch jealously as your former boyfriend or girlfriend ends up talking to other people (and potential dates). You’ll feel awkward, having been downgraded to “just a friend”, and you won’t know where your place is.
And yes, your ex might even come over for sexual reasons. You’ll hook up, even though you’re no longer dating. The sex will be good, and you’ll have a great time, and in the back of your mind you’ll tell yourself that you can handle it. But you know what? You can’t. Because residual feelings and emotional bonds will make you want MORE than just friends with benefits.
Can sleeping with your ex help get them back? Read LOTS more about that here.
Myth 3 – Staying Friends Lets You Keep Track of Your Ex
Somewhat, yes. You’ll still be Facebook friends, you’ll still follow your ex on Instagram, and you’ll still be privy to some of the things he or she does every day.
Your ex will also call and text you. They’ll tell you about their day, get some advice from you at times, and all that other good stuff friends do. That part is true, to an extent.
But you know what? Anything your ex doesn’t want you to see will remain a mystery. Anything they think will hurt your feelings will be something they HIDE from you. And because you’re no longer dating this person, you can’t even push for details. You’re not entitled to know where your ex went anymore, or who he/she hung out with, or when they got back from the bar or club.
This will ultimately drive you crazy: the not knowing. Seeing only PART of the picture is worse than seeing nothing at all. You’ll have no power over your exboyfriend or exgirlfriend’s actions, and this will frustrate you lots more than if you didn’t know anything about their life. In that respect, being friends with an ex is worse than a standard breakup.
Myth 4 – Being Friends Will Draw You Closer Together
Another misconception is that friendship simplifies the relationship. You’re no longer dating so you no longer have to fight. No more arguing, no more petty jealousy, no more “you didn’t call or text me back…” – that stuff flies out the window, leaving behind a nice, peaceful interaction between the two of you.
To an extent this is actually true. However, understand that as the friendship goes on, your ex will ONLY see you as a friend. Eventually, that’s all you really become to them.
Why? Because you’ve made the whole thing so comfortable. You’ve created a situation that’s better than actually dating them. If your ex is enjoying most (or all) of the benefits of having you around, with none of the drawbacks or limitations of an actual relationship, why the HELL would he or she want to ever go back to dating you again? You’ve created a stress-free Utopian paradise that they’ll never really want to leave!
Myth 5 – Old Sparks Will Eventually Start Flying Again
Wrong. Mostly because being around each other is an awkward situation for the both of you.
Sorry, but this type of friendship is never TRULY a friendship. One person ‘won’ the breakup, and the other person lost it. The loser is you, which means that your boyfriend or girlfriend still holds all the cards right now. They know you still have feelings for them (no matter how well you’ve convinced yourself you’ve hidden it). And because of that, they’ll always hold power over you.
While you both pretend to be buddies with each other, your ex will never really open his or her heart to you. Not fully, and not while they still believe you WANT them.
Getting back together with an ex is all about making them NEED you again. They have to miss you. You have to actually go away.
None of those things happened so far, if you’re still palling around with your ex boyfriend or girlfriend. They can’t possibly miss you when all they need to do is look down at their phone and see that you’ve been talking to them every single day.
Sexual sparks might fly, as we talked about above, but those will mostly be one-shot deals. Your ex will get horny, and you’ll be a very likely candidate for sex. Still, this doesn’t usually mean anything. And in the cases where the sex didn’t mean much to your ex, you’re definitely going to get hurt.
Myth 6 – Your Ex Will Ultimately ‘See the Light’ & Want You Back
It’s almost a bit sad, but this has to be said: your ex rejected you for a reason. And until you find out exactly what that reason was – and correct it – you’re never going to convince your ex to get back together as a couple with you.
Again, it goes back to comfort. As long as your former lover is made comfortable around you, he or she has ZERO INCENTIVE to take you back. First of all, it’s obvious you still want them. It’s obvious you’re staying friends with an ulterior motive. And as long as they know this? They’ll always feel comfortable in knowing they can get you back anytime they want to.
This keeps the breakup going. It makes it last and last. That’s because for your ex, there’s no downside. They get to play the field and look for someone better while you’re still circling around them in a holding pattern waiting for table scraps.
Harsh? Yeah. But it’s also the truth. And if you REALLY want a relationship rather than a friendship, you’re going to have to face those hard truths in order to get past the idea of “staying friends” after breaking up.
What to Do If You’ve Become Friends With Your Ex
Already friends with your ex? You have only one real opening move. The sooner you make it, the sooner you can break out of the Friend Zone and start on the actual path to winning your lover back.
Remember: the window of opportunity is there. But it doesn’t stay open forever. The longer you wait, the harder it gets. And the more you allow yourself to sink deeper and deeper into the role of “just a friend” with your ex? The further away you’ll always be.Share this: