Going from a loving committed relationship to single and completely separated from your ex can be one of the most jarring, uncomfortable and heartbreaking experiences. It makes you feel like you have no control over your life until your ex suggests being friends. So, should you be friends with someone who dumped you?
It depends on whether you both agree to the breakup, if you don’t want to be with your ex either, if you’re both willing to draw new boundaries and if there isn’t any bad blood. In such a case, you should be friends with your ex because it can provide you with the support and comfort needed in accepting this big change to your relationship status.
However, the only person who truly knows whether you genuinely can be friends with your ex is you.
I would advise you to search within your heart for an answer to this question.
If you would only be friends with your ex as a means of getting back with him or her, then the friendship will fail.
It’s also not a good idea to be friends with your ex if they betrayed you or if they’re looking for friendship as a means of using you for comfort while they move on and find someone else.
With that being said, I think it’s imperative that we discuss all these factors in more detail so that you can determine whether you should be friends with someone who dumped you.
Related post: Why do guys like situationships?
When you should be friends with someone who dumped you
1. If you both agree to the breakup
The main reasons why anyone would advise you against being friends with someone who dumped you is if they’re toxic, they’re hurting you or that you want them back.
In all of those instances, it would be pointless to be friends.
Ask yourself this question, why would you want to be friends with someone like this?
However, if none of this is true and you actually accept the breakup, being friends can be quite cathartic and healthy for the two of you.
It’s extremely difficult to transition from a loving relationship to absolutely no contact.
As effective as no contact may be to moving on or getting your ex back, it’s not the only way to deal with getting dumped.
Remaining friends with a good person you dated can be soothing and comforting as the two of you transition into a friendship.
This can only be possible if both of you agree or accept the breakup and want to be friends.
Related post: He wants to be friends after dumping me
2. If you aren’t desperate to get back together
A lot of people resort to desperate attempts at winning back their ex when begging and pleading doesn’t work.
By agreeing to be friends, perhaps you intend on slowly guiding them back to you with subtle techniques.
Maybe you feel like they’re just going through a phase and with some time, the love will guide them back to you.
If that is your intention, then I advise you against this because it rarely works.
You’ll end up helping them to move on rather than win them back.
But, if you have made peace with the fact that he wants to break up and you feel confident in your ability to move on without latching onto the past, then being friends could work.
You should enter a friendship only with the intention of being friends, not holding onto hope of getting your ex back.
3. If there isn’t any bad blood
If the two of you are on good terms, I would suggest remaining friends.
It’s hard to find many people who are genuinely caring and considerate of you let alone food people.
You could cultivate a wonderful friendship with him that enriches your life if there isn’t any bad blood.
A lot of your romantic relationships in life will end but that doesn’t mean you can’t develop some of them into lifelong friendships.
Respect goes a long way in maintaining any relationship. If you’re lucky in that your ex ended the relationship with dignity and respect, I’m willing to be that he would be as respectful to you in a friendship.
4. If you’re both willing to draw new boundaries
Having a sincere and genuine friendship with someone who dumped you may take some work but it can be healthy and fulfilling.
However, it should not come at the cost of your mental and emotional health nor your potential relationships of the future.
Boundaries are essential for a friendship with an ex to work.
Without it, the two of you may end up corrupting each other’s love life by having a friendship that is slightly inappropriate and scares off potential partners.
Hold each other accountable and it will be possible to transition into a purely platonic friendship that does not take away anything from your life but adds to it.
Be certain that you will not end up being intimate with your ex or crossing the platonic line to prevent complicated feelings from developing or problems in your future romantic relationships.
Have a frank and honest conversation with them about the terms of this friendship and stick with this.
When you shouldn’t be friend with someone who dumped you
1. If they betrayed you
Betrayal is such a complex discussion because it can affect people in so many different ways. Majority of us have been through it at some point or another so you would understand what I’m talking about when I describe it as gut wrenching.
It almost shatters your confidence and your trust, not just for the person you loved but in yourself as well.
The trauma can take a significant amount of time to heal from and it may not be a good idea to remain close friends with your ex if they betrayed you.
What you need is time apart to heal and recover.
I don’t believe everyone who betrays their partner is irredeemable.
People make mistakes and people make bad decisions at times but people also grow and experience true remorse.
If you can’t handle healing while being friends with your ex, I suggest avoiding it altogether until you have some structure in your life and emotional self control.
Some people are more equipped with the coping and recovery tools needed to be friends with their ex whilst others don’t.
Don’t force yourself to do something that isn’t healthy for you or something that you’re not comfortable with.
As much as I can be forgiving, there are others out there who have absolutely no tolerance for betrayal and will completely eliminate that person from their life forever.
It’s just a matter of choice and what is best for your health and happiness.
Related post: What to do if your ex is dating someone new
2. If they want to use you for comfort
Things are slightly more different for the dumper than it is for the dumpee.
Obviously, they’re more prepared for the breakup and feel some sense of control because they made a unilateral decision to end the relationship.
However, that doesn’t mean the dumper will not experience a great deal of emotional suffering too (except in cases when he had absolutely zero feelings for you).
To ease themself into the change and to avoid the pain of loneliness and guilt, they may insist on being friends.
Their motive is for personal gain rather than to be a genuine friend.
In such an event, I would say that you should not be friends with someone who dumped you because it doesn’t serve you at all and will only lead to future pain and rejection.
Related post: She wants to be friends after dumping me
3. If you want to get back together
I mentioned it above so I won’t take up too much time on rehashing this but if you are not accepting of the breakup and your heart is yearning for your ex, do not accept friendship.
You will not be able to handle it while they focus on healing and moving on with their life.
Your mind will try to trick you into believing that friendship is a way back to their heart but this is rarely the case.
What actually happens is much more painful and humiliating. You’ll end up throwing yourself at them and or being an emotional wreck.
They’ll be present for a while and your hope will increase until you start noticing that they’re interacting with other girls or guys.
This will spark jealousy and insecurity which will only make you feel more hurt and desperate.
Eventually, they’ll meet someone else and by that point, they’d be over you while you’re still pining for your ex.
At that point, you’ll be even more heartbroken and upset with yourself for wasting so much time chasing after your ex through friendship while they moved on.
If you want to get back together, it’s best to have an honest conversation with them and then separate.
No contact is an effective way of giving each other space to either heal or reconcile, so I strongly recommend it to you in this case.
4. If you want to move on with your life
Are you good at compartmentalization? Are you good at self preservation and exercising emotional self control?
If you are, then more power to you because that will help you to be friends with someone who dumped you.
If you aren’t good at these things and you struggle with feelings of nostalgia and sentimentality, I strongly suggest that you not be friends with someone who dumped you because it will prevent you from moving on.
Even if you enter the friendship with good motives and to really keep things platonic, you’ll eventually cave and get sucked back into being in love with your ex.
I can’t begin to tell you how I wish that someone would have cautioned me against being friends with an ex when I lacked these traits. I wasted so much time and experienced unnecessary emotional pain and suffering.
To move on may require you to have little to no contact with your ex.
That’s something you have to do unless you plan on wasting months or years of your life without making peace with the past.
Related post: How to move on after a breakup
By this point, I’m sure that you have a lot to think about but I want you to know that this is a time for you to be selfish.
Forget about how your ex feels and think about how you feel and what’s good for you.
There’s no point in agreeing or disagreeing to be friends if you will suffer for it.
For this reason, I encourage you to take some time to think about what you really want as well as what’s good for you.
You may have to deploy some courage when making this decision but I’m certain that you will get through this.
Here’s something to consider, if your ex is genuine about wanting to be friends, whether you agree to it or disagree, they’ll be understanding.
And if you change your mind in the future, this will not be met with resentment, anger or manipulation.
With that being said, I hope you found this article on whether or not you should be friends with someone who dumped you to be insightful and thought provoking. If you have any questions or thoughts on this topic that you would like to share with me, please do so by visiting the comment section below.