When an ex wants to be friends with you, this might be a good and a bad sign. Their approach isn’t always positive.
Staying friends is a really hard thing to do if the breakup was bad and you still have feelings for your ex.
Just staying in contact during this situation, will leave you more confused and stuck.
You just can’t stop thinking about that and wonder why an ex wants to be friends and not fix the relationship.
Immediately, you start to wonder what’s their aim and how often will they communicate with you.
The most important thing to do is to be realistic and not romanticize your ex in this case.
The moment you romanticize, you will lose the main point.
To get a grip on this situation, here are 12 reasons why an ex wants to be friends?
1. They want to mend the relationship
When an ex wants to mend a relationship, sometimes they might want to start fresh as friends.
If he doesn’t want to rush immediately and jump into a relationship, he would ask you to stay friends.
This way, you will interact but less than usual.
He doesn’t want to cut all of the ties or keep contacting you all the time unless he is nourished.
It’s their way of conveying that they don’t want to lose you permanently.
In this case, they will tell their boundaries but they will ensure you that they will be there for you.
They will put on hold their romantic feelings first and take a look at your traits as a human being.
2. They feel guilty and don’t want to cut contact
Someone might feel guilty and this feeling will haunt them. To ease that feeling your ex will want to be friends.
Being on good terms will ease their post-breakup anxiety and loneliness, and decrease the amount of guilt.
Otherwise, if you would use the No Contact Rule then their grieving process would last longer.
To understand their post-breakup psychology, you might consider the help of relationship coaches.
The coaches from Relationship Hero will help you to understand into bits the psychology behind their actions.
The first session is for free where they will ask you some questions and you’ll get to know more about the breakup.
You’ll be able to tell if your ex wants to be friends to fill their void or for another reason.
This will be done after the coaches craft a particular plan for your situation only.
3. They want the best of both worlds
This depends all on your ex’s personality, not all ex want to be friends for the same reason.
If an ex breaks up with you but still wants to be friends, they might want to be friends with benefits.
They want just to keep you as an option if other relationships won’t work for them.
They want to keep you as a second option, while they keep their dating options open.
At first, it might be harder to tell but with time you will recognize the signs.
- They will text you only during the night and once in a while;
- They won’t be interested in your well-being or if you’re doing well;
- You will meet only according to their terms;
4. They need emotional support
When an ex still needs your emotional support and validation, they will keep you hanging.
They want your emotional support and validation and don’t want to set you free for others.
Someone with low self-esteem and a narcissistic ex would need your emotional support to feel good.
They are aware of the stages of the breakup and they don’t want to grieve on their own.
They want to keep you hanging just so they can not let you move on either.
In this case, they don’t want to date you either but they just want to make sure that you’re there.
5. They cannot let go of the relationship
When your ex wants to stay friends it is just an emotional rollercoaster.
Especially when they want to be friends just because they are used to being with you.
After the breakup, for someone, it is hard to move on and jump into another relationship.
As a study tells an ex will be afraid to stand alone after the breakup because they are afraid of being single.
It is hard for them to adjust to something new since they are still involved with you emotionally.
On the other hand, if your ex still romanticizes your relationship, they would want to stay friends.
They think that only this way will make the relationship work again without working on their flaws first.
6. They miss their old self
One of the reasons that an ex asks you to stay friends is because they feel at their best.
If you made your ex feel confident, lovable, and wanted, they will want to continue being friends.
They will want to do it because they are motivated by nostalgia and melancholy.
Especially, if they initiated the breakup and now realize your worth.
In this case, they might slightly try to fix their mistake and find comfort.
7. They still have feelings for you
If an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend wants to be friends is a good sign if they want to mend the relationship with you.
In this case, they still have unresolved romantic feelings.
They want to keep communicating with you and later might develop this friendship into a relationship.
For example, when he asks to be friends, he is persistent in his communication.
- He keeps pursuing you;
- He will take care of you;
- He will keep communicating all the time while respecting your boundaries;
- He will be interested only in impacting you positively;
It’s all about creating a respectful and safe aura for you that can regain your trust and make the relationship work.
8. They don’t want to seem like a bad guy
When your ex wants to be friends, they don’t mean that they want anything more than just friendship.
This depends on their personality and how they feel about you after the breakup.
If your ex has lost feelings for you then he wants to stay friends just to have a peaceful breakup.
Now, this doesn’t mean that they will communicate daily with you. Maybe, they will never initiate any conversation.
Hence, this doesn’t mean that they will block or mute you.
They just are over the relationship and don’t want to interact with you in any form.
9. They were a controlling partner
A controlling partner wants to be friends after the breakup just to keep tabs on you.
In this situation, they act like the relationship hasn’t ended yet.
They be acting like they are still your partner and justify themselves after that.
With a controlling partner staying friends is quite hard because you don’t have a chance to set boundaries.
~They will want to be updated with who you hang out with and what you do.
~They keep texting or calling you constantly without any particular reason.
~They will try to meet you “accidentally” everywhere.
~They will try to hang out in groups with you.
This is all done to keep an eye on you and not let you go. It is all done for their own specific needs.
10. You were peer pressured to date one another
When your ex breaks up with you but wants to be friends then they think that is better to stay friends than lovers.
If you didn’t have strong feelings for one another from the beginning then he or she will want to be friends.
This means that they don’t want to lose your friendship even if they don’t have feelings for you anymore.
When you decided to date you might have felt lonely, desperate, or just wanted to date.
Then this relationship might have developed into a friendship that which no romantic feelings were involved.
It doesn’t mean that after this experience an ex will want to stay friends.
It depends on their personality and how they feel about you.
11. They want to seek revenge
This reason might be present in some cases. Usually, when an ex is a narcissist then they want to feel you like they are feeling.
If they are the dumper or the dumpee, it doesn’t make the difference.
They just want you to have the same miserable experience as they are having.
Their approach might be friendly and you will not be able to tell what is going on.
Along the way, you will start to wonder if you should continue to stay friends with your ex or not.
There will be so many red flags and mixed signs that will impact you negatively.
12. You have mutual responsibilities
If a married ex wants to be friends then they will do it for the sake of having mutual responsibilities.
They will do it to create a safe and happy environment for your kids.
This way, you won’t have fights or arise any romantic feelings that would be inappropriate.
If you have also business opportunities together, an ex would want to stay friends just to talk without fighting.
In this situation, your ex will be distant and not prolong the conversations.
Is it normal for exes to be friends?
There is nothing wrong with staying friends as long as there are no romantic feelings involved.
Besides this, what will define the answer to this question is the other partner of your ex.
~If they are a jealous type then even if there are no romantic feelings involved with your ex, friendship will be hard.
In this situation, it is better to take a step back and focus on your life.
If they maintain to solve this issue on their own then continuing the friendship won’t be wrong.
~It is normal to stay friends with an ex if you have already set boundaries.
If you are not emotionally attached and communicate from time to time then that’s fine.
This includes, how much time you spend together and what type of information you share.
~If they don’t prevent your personal growth and don’t impact you negatively then that’s fine.
An ex that wants to control your life romantically even after the breakup then can’t be your friend.
A friend should be there to support you or just maintain positive communication.
~If your ex wants to be friends but you still have feelings for them then a friendship is hard to maintain.
In this situation, maintaining a friendship will prolong the grief of the breakup.
You will be stuck in a dark bubble and not be able to move on from the past.
It’s better to resolve your feelings before you accept to be friends.
What to do when your ex wants to be friends with you?
When an ex wants to be friends with you the first thing you should spot is how this friendship is going to benefit you.
I can understand that after the breakup, you want to stay in contact with your ex.
You do it either because you still have feelings for them or you just want to enjoy their friendship.
Before you take this decision, here are some things that you should consider:
1. Take some time on your own to reflect.
Before giving an instant answer, you should slow down and take your time.
It doesn’t mean that you need to give an immediate answer or you will lose them forever.
Balance things and look how you feel without and with their presence in your life.
2. Don’t accept to be friends because you want them to regret their decision.
It is quite normal to feel hurt and not wanted after a breakup. This might lead you to make the bare minimum and even stay friends with your ex.
If this experience will impact you negatively don’t do it.
Manipulating your ex’s feelings because you want to get them back, will leave you hurt.
3. If you are already in another relationship, check how this situation impacts them too.
Most of the time, you might forget that there is a third person involved in this situation.
If your ex doesn’t feel like you should continue this friendship ask them why.
Check why this makes them uncomfortable and what would you do to balance this situation.
Hence, if your ex just wants to be friends without any romantic feelings involved, check the issue with your current partner.
Most of the time, they don’t want you to be friends with your ex because of their jealous type and insecurities.
4. If your ex wants to be friends but you don’t then let them know about it. Don’t ghost them or give too many explanations.
Just state what you are feeling and why you think this friendship won’t be good for you.
Don’t hesitate to have a precise and short answer to define the continuity of your relationship.
5. If you had a previous unpleasant relationship and if both of you fell out of love then cut all the contact.
Only this way, you will be able to move on from the past, heal from the breakup and look forward.
Does my ex want me back or just want to be friends?
There is a fine line that defines whether your ex wants to be just friends or that they want you back.
You will be able to make a difference according to their behavior toward you.
If an ex wants you back then they will be persistent to win your heart and attention once again.
Their behavior will be more romantically than friendly.
When an ex wants to be just a friend then they will have their boundaries too.
- They will communicate with you once in a while and rarely initiate conversations.
- Their conversations will be simple and they won’t share much about their romantic life.
- They are careful with their language and do not flirt with you.
- They are distant in form and don’t try to impress you or get your attention.
Whereas when an ex wants you back then they will try to show how much they have changed.
- They flirt with you to some extent and want to make you feel special.
- They initiate conversations and don’t spend too much time communicating with you.
- They try to prolong the conversations.
- They get jealous of you.
- They keep you updated about their life.
- They keep reminiscing about your past relationship.
There are these little things that make the difference in this situation.
If your ex wants to be friends what does it mean?
If an ex wants to be friends they either want to enjoy your friendship, are not over the breakup, or want revenge.
They do it because of their desires, attachment style, and personality traits.
To be more specific, they have a post-breakup void that they need to fill.
There is nothing wrong if you stay friends with an ex only if there are no romantic feelings involved.
When an ex seeks everything else by being friends despite the friendship that will impact you negatively.
On the other hand, staying friends after No Contact has more possibility to lead you to a repaired relationship.
Love and hugs,