Breaking up is the toughest phase of one’s life, especially when you and your partner have known each other for a long time. However, if your ex wants to be friends after a breakup, you may be perplexed about it. While this could seem like a tempting proposal, you must consider several factors before deciding on a positive answer.
Although you may like to explore friendship, you may be haunted by several questions, such as why do they want to re-enter your lives after all the unpleasant events? If you relate to this, read on as we tell you the answers to this and other questions. Also, learn about things to consider and ways to react when your ex intends to be friends with you.
Why Your Ex Might Want To Be Friends With You
There could be reasons ranging from regrets to desire for intimacy. Let us explore why your ex wants to be your buddy.
1. Regrets breaking up
Your ex regrets breaking up with you. In the heat of the moment, we all say things that we don’t mean or regret later. Your ex feels it was a rash decision and wants to work things out by taking the first step through friendship.
2. They realize the pros
It suddenly dawned upon your ex that they enjoyed various advantages while in a relationship with you. It might be something emotional and romantic or it could be something as practical as sharing the fuel expenses or using that club membership card that you had; in any case, your ex misses the perks of being a part of your life.
3. Misses the friendship
If you were good friends before you took things forward, chances are your ex is reaching out because they miss your company. Perhaps the relationship did not work out, or they did not want it to culminate in a marriage with no chemistry, but they still yearn for your friendship.
4. Keeping the peace
Your ex is not interested in rekindling the relationship, but they don’t want to live with a lingering sourness. Therefore, they try sweetening up things by stating that “we can at least be friends.”
5. Wants you as a stopgap
Perhaps they thought they would be with someone soon after the breakup. However, that did not happen, and now they are left stranded. Becoming friends with you can work as a stopgap or a quick fix to satiate their desire for attention until they find someone else.
6. Scared of change
It could be hard to suddenly terminate contact with someone who has been a regular feature in your daily life. Your ex did not realize it earlier, but now they seem to see it. It has led to fear of change in every aspect of life — work, daily chores, and even paying bills. A great way to still have you in their life without the romance is through friendship.
7. Wants to have control
Some individuals enjoy being the dominating one. They gloat over the unfair control they have on people’s life. Your ex may want to be friends with you only to experience the thrill of seeing you concede to their requests for friendship.
8. Sharing common friends
If you both have common friends, it may seem a worthwhile proposition for your ex to remain friends to decrease the awkwardness. This reason is most likely when you, your ex, and common friends meet often.
9. Wants to look like the good one
Maybe your ex was never in love with you. Perhaps the relationship was on-sided, a fling or an infatuation, and they are over with it now. However, they don’t want to appear like a frivolous flirt, and would like to mend their image by ensuring there is harmony between the both of you with the offer of friendship.
10. Wants to be ‘friends-with-benefits’
If not anything else, the reason why your ex wants to be friends with you is that they seek sex with no strings attached. A relationship with no commitments and the freedom to look elsewhere is a convenient prospect; it provides them the best of both worlds.
What To Do If Ex Wants To Be Friends?
Depending on the reasons behind your breakup, you need to analyze the feasibility of a friendship with your ex. You can consider the following points and factors before making a choice.
1. Respect yourself
Understand that if your relationship was one where you were often feeling hurt, abused, or disrespected, agreeing to remain friends could lead to more of that treatment. Stand up for yourself instead of falling back into such a demeaning relationship. Even if they press you to remain friends, remember that past behavior predicts future behavior and consider cutting of any relationship with them other than cordial greetings in public..
2. Analyze your feelings
Take time to come to terms with your feelings after the breakup. If you are reeling from the shock of the breakup, it does not make sense to befriend the person who led to those feelings. Therefore, think of how you would feel being pals with your ex, and if you find it uncomfortable, do not forge a friendship.
3. Are you okay to be friend-zoned?
Remember, if you re-enter your ex’s life, you will do so as friends. It means you will have to bear the sight of seeing them romance someone else. Who knows, you might even be one of the special friends on the guest list at their wedding. If you can bear all of it and do not mind being friend-zoned, then it is all good. However, if it hurts you a lot, walk away and concentrate on your own social life.
4. You have grown as people
If you were always friends and were only lovers for a short time, you may consider being friends with your ex. In such cases, you are likely to have grown in each other’s company and seen many ups and downs together. Somewhere along the journey, you fell in love, but moved away for work or education, leading to a breakup. Being friends once again can help you revert to the old relationship, and may even lay the foundation for a better and stronger relationship.
5. Do not entertain their selfish interests
If you sense your ex only wants to be friends to enjoy some bonuses of being in your life, then show them the door. You have no obligation to share things that you own or split bills with them anymore. Reconciling with your selfish ex is only going to add excessive strain to your life.
6. When you have the same friend circle
If you have several common friends and you both are invariably going to bump into one another, consider discussion of remaining friends and informing your circle. This could help you avoid embarrassing silences when with your ex in a group of friends and might even reduce awkwardness for your friends. Moreover, your friends do not have to pick sides, avoiding a rift between your pals.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does it mean when your ex wants to be friends?
It may mean they are not over the relationship yet or regret the decision to break up with you. They may also want to be friends because they want to be on good terms with you post-breakup or may need something from you.
2. Is it normal to be friends with your ex?
It depends on the rapport you share. For instance, if you were hurt badly in the relationship and don’t want to interact with them anymore, you may oppose being friends with them. On the other hand, not every breakup has to be highly conflicted, and two people can always remain good friends.
3. How to let go of an ex who wants to be friends?
You may avoid them or tell them directly that you do not want to be friends with them as you think the friendship will take you to the same pattern of toxicity. Instead, you may focus on yourself, engage in activities you like, and work towards healing yourself from the past wounds.
Breaking up is not easy for most people. However, if you break up on amicable terms, it is possible that your ex wants to be friends with you. It should be a well-thought decision whether or not you want to continue being in touch with each other. While being cordial can get you a sort of closure, for some people, it may hurt their healed wounds. Set boundaries if you consider being friends with them so that it would not affect your current or future relationships.
Infographic: Things To Do And Avoid When Your Ex Wants To Be Friends
Did your ex contact you saying they want to be friends with you? Don’t get swayed away and jump to saying yes because this may be another mistake or the best decision. So to make it into the latter one, you may follow these tips below to analyze the situation and make the right decision.
- Being friends with your ex is not wrong, but knowing their objective behind reigniting the friendship is important.
- Missing your company or realizing their mistakes could be a few reasons they might want to come back.
- Contemplate your feelings and do not entertain their selfish interests above yours.
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Dr. Margaret Ann Dixon(Ph.D. Psychology)
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