What Does It Mean When Your Ex Wants To Stay Friends?

The breakup goes down... and you're hurt. You're upset. You walk away, stunned. And then your now ex boyfriend or girlfriend hits you with something you totally didn't expect:

Staying Friends With Ex

"Even though we broke up, we can still be friends..."

Exactly what does that mean? Is your ex just saying that? Is he or she really looking to be friends with you after the breakup, or is there some other reason they're telling you this?

Well, it all depends on how realistic you are in approaching the situation. There are some pretty hard truths about being friends with an ex boyfriend or girlfriend after splitting up, and before even attempting such an arrangement you need to understand what they are. And at the same time, there are certain things you'll want to believe.

Separating reality from wishful thinking is important. Right off the bat, you might think staying friends with your ex is a great idea... mostly because you never have to fully break up. You'll reason that by staying friendly the two of you can hang out, rekindle your old romance, and eventually fall back in love with each other.

Another school of thought? That you can somehow separate your feelings and stay strictly platonic with your ex boyfriend or girlfriend. Some people convince themselves right off the bat that this is possible, without realizing just how hard it's going to be.

But the brutally honest truth? Remaining friends with your ex is just not possible. Call it wishful thinking or fantasy or whatever you want; such a friendship is doomed right from the beginning. Because the moment one or both of you start demonstrating interest in someone else? That's the same moment jealousy and bitterness will tear your pseudo-friendship apart.

At the same time though, you can still remain Facebook friends with your ex. Why? Well, lots of reasons. But the biggest of them involve these techniques, which show you how you can actually use Facebook to get your ex boyfriend or girlfriend back.

The Bad News About Trying to Be Friends With Your Ex

Ever heard someone say "Oh, we had a mutual breakup?" Sure you have. But in reality, no breakup is 100% mutual. Someone always gets hurt, whether it be a little bit or a lot.

Breakups are never initiated simultaneously. Even in the worst of relationships, where both people are considering doing their own thing, it's always one person who starts the breakup conversation - thereby rejecting their partner.

So no, your breakup can't possibly have been mutual. And if you're reading this webpage, you were most likely the one who got dumped. This left you with a bitter taste in your mouth, and certain residual bad feelings toward your ex boyfriend or girlfriend.... even if you still want your ex back.

Be Friends With Ex

Think those feelings won't come bubbling up to the surface when your ex starts dating someone else? How much of a 'friend' will you be then? Will you be supportive and happy for your ex's new boyfriend or girlfriend? Or will you feel hurt and rejected that this person prefers the company of someone else to your exclusive company?

Most post-breakup friendships require you to smile, nod your head, and act like you're thrilled for your ex's new social life. In reality though, you'll be miserable. You'll be remembering how your ex broke up with you, and you'll be wondering what you did so wrong that they now only like you "as a friend" instead of a lover.

The truth is, a real friendship can't exist under these conditions. There will always be the stress and strain of your past relationship weighing it down. When one person is having more romantic success than the other, the first person will feel left out, making it hard for them to feel genuinely happy for their ex-lover's success.

The Good News About Your Ex Wanting To Be Friends

On the other hand, your ex wanting to maintain some sort of friendship with you after breaking up isn't all bad news. There's a bright side to them extending such an olive branch, and for the most part, that bright side involves existing feelings for you.

Ex Wants To Be Friends

You see, your ex doesn't want you to go away. Not yet, and not right now anyway. He or she is looking to extend your relationship even beyond the breakup - to the point where they can still talk to, see, hang out, or in some cases, even have sex with you.

Your ex will convince you that this type of arrangement is normal and necessary because you were "such great friends" before and during the relationship. The term "I don't want to lose you" will be thrown around as well, which is pretty unfair since they're the one dumping you in the first place.

What's happening here is that your ex is taking advantage of the fact that you still love them. They're using the false promise of 'let's be friends' as a way of stringing you along and keeping you around. Why? Because they're not 100% sure about the breakup just yet.

If your goal is to get back with your ex, knowing that he or she still holds certain feelings toward you is some very good news. There are ways to exploit these feelings and manipulate them to your advantage. Check out which psychological triggers work best on an ex boyfriend, and which are geared more toward the female mindset that will work on your exgirlfriend.

For the most part, your ex is still clinging to the comfort and security of having you around. They'd like to have this little ace up their sleeve even while they plan to go out and start dating, seeing other people, and generally doing their own thing.

What you do now when this happens is extremely important. Because you can either go along with the friendship like a good little boy or girl (and prolong the breakup indefinitely), or you can take a stance that lets your ex know you're not going to be their platonic lapdog or chump.

If You Can't Be Friends With Your Ex, What Should You Do?

There are some very big steps you need to take when your ex offers to stay friends, or tries to keep in phone, text-message, or email contact with you after breaking up. The sooner you start taking these steps, the faster you can make your ex want you back.

Refuse Friendship:  Your first move sounds easy but it will be hard for you to do: you'll need to reject any offer to stay friends with your ex. Getting back together after being 'friends' for a while will be difficult, so it's always best to avoid it right from the start. Making the mystical transition from 'friends to lovers' is something more suited for the movies, or possibly for a one-night stand. It's not something that will lead back to a serious relationship.

Explain Your Position:  When you tell your ex you can't be friends with them, they'll push for a reason why. This is where you tell your ex "I can't pretend to be friends with you, and I won't. I love you too much". This lets your ex instantly know where you stand; friendship isn't something you're interested in, and you believe any friendship you develop will at the very least be faked on your end, and most likely faked on their end too.

Force Your Ex to Make a Choice:  When you've refused to be friends, your ex will need to make a choice. Either they still date you (and reverse the breakup), or they lose all of you. This isn't what your ex wanted; he or she would've liked to stay in touch while still being single. By letting them know that won't happen, you're taking away some very important options that might prolong your breakup or cause it to become permanent.

Stay Strong on Your Stance:  Not being friends means letting this person go from your life entirely. This includes no talking, texting, or communicating of any kind. Your goal here is to eliminate the possibility of your ex using such contact as a crutch to get them through lonely times. Remember, you want your ex lonely, and you want them to miss you. The more you stay away, the harder you make it for them.

If you want your ex back, you must always resist the temptation to be friends after breaking up. The colder and more distant you can become, the more your ex will feel the need to see or talk to you. This will scare them into realizing they're going to actually lose you unless they want to go back to dating you again.

Never give your ex boyfriend or girlfriend anything that might make them feel comfortable and secure. By not giving them any reassurance you're forcing your ex to face their breakup alone, and this is exactly what you want.

Also check out these tips on what to do when your ex asks to keep in touch after splitting up with you, and how you can use simple reversal methods to avoid falling into the friendship trap.

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