Why Your Ex Really Wants To Be Friends After The Breakup
When the infamous "we can still be friends" line smacks you right in the face, it's a hard pill to swallow. But what does your ex really mean here? Does your boyfriend or girlfriend really want to stay friends with you, or is there something else behind these words?
After all, your ex is breaking up with you. They intend to date other people, and so will you. Offering to stay friends isn't very practical, no matter what the two of you might have in common.
So is your ex just saying this to let you down easy? It's certainly possible. Some people don't handle confrontation very well, and your ex might be saying what he or she thinks you want to hear in order to escape the stickiest of all situations: the dreaded breakup speech.
However, there's another much more common reason why your ex might to stay friends with you right now. It's a reason that's selfish and simple, but it's also a sign of hope:
Your ex isn't ready to lose you completely.
Remember that breaking up is a two-way street. You're not just losing your boyfriend or girlfriend, they're also losing you. The comfort and reassurance they derived from the relationship is gone the moment they stop seeing you, and your ex knows they'll be pretty lonely over the next few weeks or months.
With that in mind, why let you go all at once? Wouldn't it be easier to keep you 'around', even as a friend, while they decide if they'd rather be with someone else?
Wouldn't it be safer for them to string you along, knowing exactly what you're up to, just in case they changed their mind and wanted you back?
The Ramifications of Being Friends With Your Ex
The biggest problem with being friends with your ex (when you still want to get them back) is that you're actually prolonging your own breakup.
In keeping the lines of communication open and just being around them, you're providing your ex with security and peace of mind. This enables them to continue the break unhindered, essentially shopping around for something better with the comfort of knowing you're still there if they want you.
"Great", you think. "So by staying friends I'll be easily accessible for when they want me back!"
No. This type of logic is flawed from the beginning, because the very act of staying friends after the breakup is what enables your ex to continue with their single life. By being their friend and staying in their life, you're actually accelerating the process of your ex being able to find (and start dating) someone else.
NOT Being Friends After The Breakup - Forcing Your Ex's Hand
On the flip side of the coin, refusing to be friendly with your ex boyfriend or girlfriend will actually help your cause. By breaking all ties and letting your ex know you won't be there for them, your boyfriend or girlfriend is now forced to face the breakup alone.
Loneliness is a powerful thing. Your ex will feel somewhat abandoned by you, even if they were the one who initiated the breakup. By totally removing yourself from your ex's life you create a big void, and they won't immediately be able to fill that void with anything resembling the close relationship you had with them.
On top of the loneliness, your ex will feel something else: uncertainty. Suddenly you're the one going off and doing your own thing, and by breaking all contact your ex now has no clue whether or not you even want them back.
Maybe you're off with someone else? Maybe you're totally over the relationship? Best of all, maybe they can't get you back if they wanted to... and for an ex boyfriend or girlfriend who broke up with you, this is the scariest part of all.
Understand that your ex thinks he or she will be strong. Part of this is because they expect you to still be around, in one capacity or another. Extending the offer to stay friendly is a good way for them to keep tabs on you, and to derive the strength needed to extend the breakup. But take all these things away and suddenly your ex is in a lot weaker position, making it a lot easier to get them back in the long run.
What To Tell Your Ex When They Offer To Stay Friends With You
The easiest way to handle such a situation is a flat out 'no'. You don't need to make excuses, and you don't need to backpedal. Above all else, don't let your ex boyfriend or girlfriend badger you into agreeing to stay friends with such lines as "Well we've been friends even before we started dating" and "There's no good reason why we can't stay in touch".
The more brutally honest you are, the better off you'll be. Tell your ex:
This approach lends a certain finality to the breakup that your ex is definitely not expecting right now. Your boyfriend or girlfriend was looking to let go of you over a much longer period of time, and to be able to reach out and contact you whenever they felt the need. But here, you're totally shutting them down.
Your ex will also have to start worrying about what you plan to do after the breakup. Instead of waiting around for a while hoping they'll come back, it suddenly seems as if you're launching your own campaign to start a new single life. This creates a much more unstable situation for your ex boyfriend or girlfriend. In the blink of an eye, he or she now has to face the possibility of the breakup going beyond their control.
Walking Away From Your Ex - No Contact, No Friendship
Hands down, refusing to be friends with your ex is the best way to regain their interest and NOT fall victim to the friendship trap. In the end, it all boils down to one thing:
You can try to be friends with your ex, OR you can try to get them back... but you can't do both.
The sooner you can put your ex out in the cold by distancing yourself from them, the faster they're going to start missing you again.
This includes leaving them completely alone via phone calls, emails, text-messages, and even Facebook or MySpace. You don't have to 'defriend' your ex, or even log onto your social networking accounts at all. This is a common mistake most people make, because defriending them makes you look bitter and scorned.
Look at it this way: the more of a mystery you can become to your ex, the faster they'll need to hear from you again. The less it appears that you really give a shit, the more your ex boyfriend or girlfriend actually will.
What To Do If You're Already Friends With Your Ex
Now if you've already agreed to such an arrangement and are on friendly terms with your ex boyfriend or girlfriend, there's no reason to panic. There are still approachs you can take, but they will require 'breaking' the friendship and moving quickly in the opposite direction.
Below are two of the best gender-specific guides to relationship repair, by breakup-guru Matt Huston. Listen to his Free audio advice on how to handle things in even the trickiest of situations:
For Guys: The EX2 System
Free Audio Adviceon getting your girlfriend to want you back, including mental and psychogical tricks that will bring her back to the 'honeymoon' mindset! Get instant results by learning methods and techniques you can start using today, and immediately start on the path to winning her back.
For Girls: Get Him Back Forever
Free Audio Adviceon what you can to do to stop and reverse your breakup, no matter what stage it might currently be in. Learn what your boyfriend really wants from your relationship, and how to offer it to him in such a way that getting back together with you suddenly becomes his idea!