After a break up, the last thing you want to do is be around your ex-boyfriend. While some people can handle being friends, other people just want to move on. Restarting a friendship is not easy after a break up, so it is totally understandable if you don’t want to do so. If your ex wants to be friends, you have to decide if being friends is something that you can handle. If you cannot handle being friends, there is nothing wrong with telling him that.
Before you decide to be friends (or not to) with your ex, you have to figure out why he wants to be friends. He might just miss being around you and genuinely want to be friends. It is also possible that he is hoping that there could be a friends with benefits situation in his future.
In some cases, an ex wants to remain friends because he wants to keep you around as a back up plan. He might not want to date you now, but he wants to make sure that you are still an option if he decides to date you again. In other instances, he just wants to keep an eye on you because he does not want you to date anyone else if you break up. He might not want to be with you still, but he wants to make sure that no one else is with you either.
If he wants a friends with benefits situation, there is nothing wrong with that if you want the same thing. Keep in mind that friends with benefits is very difficult to do with just a friend. If you have already dated him, keeping it casual will be next to impossible. You will still have feelings for him, and sleeping with him will prevent those feelings from going away. You will never be able to actually move on as long as you are sleeping with him still, so it is probably a good idea to just move on and forget about him entirely.
Should You Still Be Friends?
Whether you can actually be friends depends on your relationship and what the break up was like. If you dated for a few weeks and mutually realized that you don’t work well as a couple, then you could possibly become friends without a problem. If you dated for several years, then becoming just friends will be very difficult and potentially impossible.
The reason you broke up plays a role in whether you can just be friends. If he cheated on you, then being friends will only be a constant reminder of the betrayal. You also have to consider how you will feel when he starts dating again. Friends normally introduce their partners to other friends, so you have to think about whether you can handle this. In a few days, weeks or months, will you be able to handle seeing him hold hands or kiss someone else? If not, then don’t bother trying to be friends again. It will only cause you a lot of heartache in the long run.
Why Would He Want to Be Friends?
This is a very good question. We already covered some of the hidden reasons why he may want to be friends. Assuming that he doesn’t want you as a back up plan or a friends with benefits, then he might just want to stay around you. He might miss talking to you, or he might be one of those people who think that they have to be friends with their ex-girlfriend. This is especially common among narcissists. A narcissist cannot understand why someone would not want to be around him, so he may even become upset if you say that you don’t want to be friends with him still.
The underlying reason why an ex wants to be friends is generally because he still cares about you. He might not care about you as a significant other, but he cares about you as a person. Even if he initiated the break up, he cannot imagine a life where you are completely gone. He might also be debating whether leaving you was a good idea, so he wants to keep the relationship going as a friendship until he is completely sure.
What Should You Do?
Your response is entirely your choice. Do not feel pressure to be friends with him just because he wants you to or because he gets angry when you say that you don’t want to be friends. There is nothing wrong with not wanting him in your life anymore. Right now, you need to protect yourself and your emotions. Seeing him as a friend when the relationship is over is extremely traumatic. It is a constant reminder of your loss and makes it unbelievably difficult to move on.
If he really cares about you, then he would understand this. If you tell him that you cannot handle being friends and he gets angry, he is being entirely unfair. Any reasonable person should understand why an ex cannot or does not want to be friends. If he demands that you remain friends with him, then he is just being selfish and cruel.
At first, it might seem like staying friends is an easy way to avoid an argument or tension. There are some cases where you can comfortably remain friends. If you only dated for a little while and never had any real feelings for him, then it might be entirely possible to resume a friendship. If you had deep feelings for each other, a bad break up or dated for a long time, your best bet is to just move on. Sure, you might become accustomed to being friends over the next few months or years. Until you are used to the transition, it will be constant heartache to see him as a friend when you were once so much more.
Some ladies accept a friendship with their ex because they are hoping it will turn into a relationship again. In most cases, this won’t happen. You broke up for a reason, and that reason is still true. Even if you tried dating again, the relationship would ultimately end again and be that much harder to heal from. Don’t start a friendship with your ex with any expectations that it will ever be anything more.
Your first step is to decide if you want to be friends. If you don’t want to for any reason, there is nothing wrong with that. Now, you have to tell him how you feel and that you do not want to be just friends again.
Tell your ex how you feel. Be kind because he may have been trying to be nice by offering his friendship. Just let him know that you don’t think that you could comfortably be friends now, and you would rather not. Telling him that you don’t want to be friends is basically like a second break up, so be kind and tactful in what you say. If he stills cares for you in any way, then he will understand eventually and give you the space that you need to move on.