One of the most debated topics in the relationship niche is whether people can sincerely be friends after a serious relationship with each other. Unsurprisingly, the answer differs for men and women. In this article, I’m going to discuss in detail whether or not guys really want to be friends after a breakup.
If he ended the relationship, he most likely has an ulterior motive. If you ended the relationship, he probably wants to use friendship as a means of winning you back. Most of the time, guys don’t really want to be friends after a breakup for genuine reasons.
You have to take into consideration the nature of men and how often you run into situations when a guy who claimed to only be your friend made a move on you when he learned that you’re single or going through a breakup.
You’d be surprised at how insincere guys are when it comes to friendships with women.
I know that this is a hot take but it’s honestly what I’ve observed throughout my years of being in the relationship field.
Be that as it may, you need to check out the following reasons why guys want to be friends with an ex to fully understand what you’re dealing with and whether it’s something you can handle.
You need to read this article: How to stop loving someone but stay friends
Reasons Why Guys Want To Be Friends After Breaking Up
1. To use you for sex or intimacy
The easiest way to tell if a guy is using you for sex or intimacy after a breakup is if he was the one to end your relationship and if he tends to be distant except for when he wants to be intimate with you.
What he actually wants is to be friends with benefits.
Imagine being with someone in such a close and intimate manner only for him to bounce as soon as he meets a woman he feels is worthy of a relationship.
The minute you entertain an offer like this, you devalue the worth of intimacy from you. It’s only a matter of time before you feel undervalued and disrespected by him.
You need to read this article: 12 Reasons why you should block your ex
2. To have a backup plan
A man who ends a relationship for superficial reasons and urges you to be friends is a man who is looking for greener pastures without sacrificing his comfort.
He’ll use friendship as a means of keeping you in the background despite looking for someone else.
If he finds someone else who he would like to have a serious relationship with, he’ll completely neglect the friendship or disappear altogether.
If he doesn’t, then he’ll float back to you.
In this situation, the question shifts from do guys really want to be friends after a breakup to whether you want to be a guy’s backup plan.
You need to read this article: Why does my ex want to be friends?
3. To get validation from you
Have you noticed how good it feels to be loved and desired? It makes you feel special and important.
The more someone wants you, the better it makes you feel about yourself.
He probably knows that you still have feelings of attraction and love for him. He knows that you’ll continue to be supportive and affectionate. He knows that you’ll wait and try to win him back over time.
That behavior is so validating of his worth.
It’s going to provide the effects of a relationship without any strings attached.
Being single isn’t always easy.
One of the issues we face is doubt and uncertainty. Our insecurities come to light when we examine ourselves as single people.
To avoid all that discomfort, he wants to be friends after a breakup.
It’s easier to move on and find comfort in a newly single status when you have someone providing you with constant validation of your worth.
4. To feel less guilt for dumping you
Only a sociopath or someone who doesn’t care about you at all would feel no guilt or remorse for dumping you.
It’s not easy to be the dumper.
I’ve been on both sides and it sucks either way.
But, that’s not to say that one isn’t easier than the other.
Two of the emotions a dumper experiences are guilt and remorse. There’s a term that floats around the internet called “dumper’s remorse”.
Essentially, the person who ends a relationship experiences guilt and remorse for causing pain to their ex-partner.
In an attempt to ease that guilt but also care for you, it’s possible that a guy would really want to be friends after a breakup.
The intention is good in this case but it may not be ideal for you.
No amount of friendship is going to make up for the heartbreak you may experience after being dumped without warning.
You need to read this article: He wants to be friends after dumping me
5. To avoid loneliness and suffering
The feelings you are experiencing after being dumped are not exclusive to just you. In fact, in time, all that fear, anxiety, loneliness and doubt will be experienced by the dumper.
Timing differs for both parties.
The dumper usually experiences these emotions a bit later on after ending the relationship.
However, there’s an exception to this.
If the dumper was forced to end the relationship because something occurred that rendered it irreparable, the dumper may experience the same amount of pain, loneliness and suffering that their ex is experiencing around the same time.
All serious relationships that end bring about the same feelings of suffering.
Change is never easy and losing someone who cares about you, even willfully, will create some discomfort and pain.
To avoid some of this loneliness and suffering, a guy who dumped you may want to be friends.
In a way, his intentions are selfish and not genuine which makes this a problematic situation for you because there’s little to no guarantee that he won’t ghost you or disappear once he manages to get through those emotions.
You need to read this article: Why your avoidant ex wants to be friends
6. To support you and build a real friendship
There are some instances when a guy does really want to be friends after a breakup.
Perhaps, the two of you began as friends and it just works better if you both turn back to friendship.
Alternatively, he genuinely cares about your wellbeing and wants to be friends to support you and remain a part of your life.
Some relationships are forced to dissolve because they’re irreparable no matter what.
It’s possible that this is one of those cases and he really wants to be friends.
7. To use friendship as a means of getting you back
In the event that he messed up or that you ended the relationship, it’s highly possible that he wants to be friends as a means of earning his way back into your good books.
It’s incredibly rare that a guy just wants to be friends with a girl he was once involved with, especially if he didn’t initiate the breakup.
More often than not, it’s just a way to orbit around you until an opportunity arises to make a move on you.
Far too many men contact me explaining their intentions and it’s always the same thing.
They use friendship as a means of working on getting a girl.
Should You Be Friends With A Guy After Breaking Up?
More often than not, you should not be friends with a guy after breaking up. One or both of you will struggle to just be friends. The issue of developing new boundaries can cause a lot of unnecessary arguments.
If you or he decides to date other people, there’s a chance of resentful feelings developing causing further problems within your friendship.
There’s also the issue of nurturing romantic feelings within the friendship.
The last thing you want is to remain in love with someone who just wants to be friends with you while they look for someone else.
That’s a recipe for ongoing torture and heartache.
Another reason why it’s not a good idea to be friends with a guy after breaking up is how it may affect your ability to be with someone else.
It’s annoying to involve an ex in your life when you are prepared and ready to be in a new relationship.
You can’t blame a future partner for not being comfortable with having exes as friends. In such an event, you’re going to be placed in a stressful or uncomfortable situation.
For all these reasons, I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to remain friends with a guy after breaking up.
If it were me, I wouldn’t waste my time with a partner who is close friends with an ex.
It’s alright to be on good terms and to exchange pleasantries but hanging out with an ex is just not something I’m interested in and I know a lot of people who feel the same way.
Most successful relationships have healthy boundaries.
Even if this seems like an antiquated idea, it’s better to have an old-fashioned mindset that results in a healthy and happy relationship than live in a manner that constantly threatens the sanctity of your relationships in life.
You need to read this article: Should you be friends with someone who dumped you?
Tips On Being Friends With An Ex
In the event that you want to be friends with an ex, here are a few things to consider before doing so. These tips can improve your chances of having a friendship that’s healthy and one that doesn’t risk sabotaging your life in one way or another.
1. Do not engage in any intimacy after breaking up
Blurring the lines between friendship and romance doesn’t work out well, especially when there’s little to no chance of reconciling.
You’re going to get hurt, he’s going to get hurt or both of you will get hurt.
The risk outweighs the reward.
If you want a chance at having a genuine friendship, it has to start with a zero-intimacy policy.
You need boundaries to develop a friendship with an ex.
In fact, you need boundaries for all relationships to ensure that you’re not being disrespected, used or disregarded.
You need to read this article: How to handle rejection from a guy
2. Avoid involving each other in your love life
It’s best to keep these things separate in your newfound relationship.
There’s no need for you to know details about who he’s with and he doesn’t need to know about who you’re with.
Being too transparent in this way can create jealousy, envy and resentment.
Out of respect for each other, keep this stuff separated from the friendship.
3. Spend less time alone and more time in a group setting
One of the most effective ways to quit doing something is by changing your environment.
For example, it will be difficult for you to quit eating snacks and junk food if your pantry is filled with them at your convenience.
If you were to remove all snacks and junk food, you’d have an easier time avoiding them altogether and breaking your attachment or addiction to them.
To avoid crossing any lines with an ex who is trying to be a friend, it’s best to meet them in a group setting.
It’s easier to keep things completely platonic when you’re interacting with other people while your ex is around.
What’s important is that you maintain this at all times.
Even if your ex tries to hang out with you alone, make an excuse and avoid doing it until they get the idea.
4. Give each other time apart before trying to be friends
It’s too easy to have expectations from each other when you haven’t taken time apart after the breakup.
You need to break out of your usual routine with each other, take time apart, let go of that romantic attachment and then try being friends.
This will make the transition easier and provides the space needed to start a fresh new friendship.
I hope that at this point, I’ve given you enough information to consider when making a decision on whether you should be friends with a guy after breaking up.
At the end of the day, you have a responsibility to prioritize your long-term happiness and well-being.
If being friends with an ex only provides you with short-term comfort at the cost of suffering in the future, then you have to avoid it at all costs.
You have to do what’s right for you.
Make a decision that doesn’t diminish your confidence as a person and doesn’t sabotage your mental, emotional and physical well-being.
If you would like my help, feel free to visit my Services Page for more information on how to book an email consultation with me. Until then, I wish you the best and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below.