No, Your Ex Doesn't Want You Back. Move On.

Friends with Benefits have become the new-age relationships that people don’t seem to want to admit that they have. Many of these relationships actually started at the time of their breakup, and with at least one selfish person in the mix, continues to harbour feelings of confusion for the other.

Even if sex isn’t to be had, the ex who insists on keeping the other person around is no more manipulative than a smothering partner who shows just as much possessiveness.

No, Your Ex Doesn't Want You Back. Move On.

This Take is inspired by a guy who asked a question about wanting to end a friendship with an ex, but felt like he might hurt the girl’s feelings. The issue I had with this scenario is that the girl did the breaking up, yet the girl wanted the friendship afterward. Even when told that he didn’t feel comfortable because there was flirting and mixed signals coming from her, making him believe they could get back together. Selfishly, and issuing guilt, she asked him, “So I get nothing then?” (Complete with the little, sad emotey face.)

Precisely. You get nothing, my dear. Your privileges with this guy are no longer yours to have, I was thinking.

I am a great fan of Greg Behrendt, particularly when he coined the famous He’s Just Not That Into You concept for the TV series Sex and the City, and the bestselling self-help/humour book of the same title.

Behrendt’s book was meant to help women, but I am certain that it can be applied to help men in this case too. Guys, if the ex doesn’t want to be with you, move on. If they really wanted to be with you, they would stop going through the motions and make an effort to be your girl. If you broke up, you broke up for a reason – realize that reason and apply that reasoning to your friendship. If they were no good to you as a lover, what makes them so special to have as friends? Your heart was munched by this person at a time when trust and love was suppose to be at its utmost with them and now they want friendship? – Friends don’t do things like that to their friends.

Unless there are children that you both share together, there is such a thing as being amicable. Even then, the cool-let's-hang-out type of friendship does not need to be in these cases either. This Take is mainly meant for those who can cut ties and not have kids to contend with.

I’m not going to suggest what to say or do as I think many people already get the idea. It’s just my opinion, but sometimes it’s best not to say anything and ride off in to the sunset. What exactly do you owe to someone when there already was a breakup to be had? Moving on to me means blocking them on social media, and taking them out of your phone and blocking their number (check with your provider on how this is done). It means really cutting the ties and moving forward. Stop looking back. This person had their chance with you and they blew it.

If something must be said, keep it simple and make it apparent that these are going to be your last words on the matter. “Things didn’t work out, and I wish you the best of luck. I’m letting you go now.” That’s it. You don’t need to be dramatic, or fill in the niceties that you think are necessary to soften any blow. It doesn’t work that way when ending things with someone twice. You had a relationship, it didn’t work. You have a friendship and that’s not working either. No one said that you had to remain friends with this particular person just because they once held the title of being your girlfriend or boyfriend. If you feel you are being played or that you aren’t comfortable with the closeness that this person wants, then your comfort level trumps whatever friendship it is that they think they want out of you. If it was made clear that friendship was all they planned to give you while they prance around and date while you’re not ready or comfortable to see this, then let it be known that you are removing yourself from this situation, because it's just not what’s best for you – and you are the one who should be looking out for you because it’s clear that between the two of you, no one else seems to be.

Above all else, your future love will thank you for dropping this person. Someone who wants to put in the 100% to love you and appreciate you and not play these games deserves your full attention. Stop the merry-go-round of hurt with your ex – the person who made it clear that their feelings come before yours at your expense. Move forward, and either build your strength as a single making better friends, or look for that future love who will respect you as a lover and a good friend.


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Ozanne is a GirlsAskGuys Editor
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Most Helpful Guy

  • It is no great surprise that I agree with all you have said.

    My biggest disappointment with younger people is the proliferation of friends with benefits relationships. In this digital age, young people rely on texting and social media to conduct significant portions of their relationships. That is easier because there is less need to deal with the other's emotions but, not surprisingly, there is less emotional connection in the relationships.

    Wit the friends with benefits break up, my perception is that, very often, one partner wanted more but sensed that the other was not interested, so they agreed to a friends with benefits thinking that the other eventually would develop feelings and the relationship would blossom. When that didn't happen, out came the "let's just be friends" line. Of course the partner agreed, not because they wanted to be just friends, but because they wanted to hang on to the hope of a relationship resuming in the future. Then they saw their former lover pursuing others and jealousy, anger, and hurt became overwhelming. Eventually, the "friendship" ended but the one partner had wasted much time and energy pursuing a relationship that had no chance of happening.

    I think the same motivations are present when lovers break up, with the addition that the partner initiating the break up tries to "soften the blow" by saying "let's be friends," but this only softens the initiating partner's sense of guilt about the break up. It prolongs the pain for the dumpee and it prolongs the inevitable true break up.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • All these parasitic or half ass, get togethers... This generation is confused and troubled.

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    • What good is having the title of a girlfriend or boyfriend if both can't prove they respect each other and prove commitment? I would rather be single than be in a relationship with a man who does not respect me and who does not show his commitment through actions

Join the discussion

What Guys Said 11

  • Two simple rules I have followed.
    "Sexual history": Don't ask, don't tell.
    "Breakups" Never look back.

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  • People are having friends with benefits and here I am like... Donkey in Shrek.
    "This is a nice boulder , I like this Boulder" but here's the thing.
    Us guys... we always try to chase the summit girl...

    The summit girl...

    Ohhhh only if she sees how successful and desired I am she'll want me baaaccck.

    Yeah us guys are guilty of that.

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  • I agree aboutmost of this, but you can still "just be friends" after a breakup depending on the circumstances. I'm not talking about friends with benefits, I'm taking about strictly friends. I just broke up with a girl that I had a ltr with because I fell out of love, and we are still friends. I told her that it was her decision if we could be friends and left it at that. We were friends for a year before we dated and now we are the same way again (granted it will be awkward for a while)

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    • thats interesting. in some situations i found myself in I've always found that it doesn't work and now i dont really talk to any of my ex's.

  • Surprised this hasn't gotten any responses yet...

    ...

    "ECHO!"

    "ECHO! ECHO! Echo! Echooo Echhoooo"

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  • This raises more questions than answers. I agree, friends with benefits seems to be the norm now. Which is fine, but we really need to work on our relationship "etiquette" because in some ways people are more susceptible to getting hurt. there's less certainty in friends with benefits relationships, and there's less loyalty and trust. Which are very important factors in bonding, and more importantly when having children. How many FWB's at one time is acceptable?

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  • Excellent my_take. Much of my generation is lost in the digital world, though it might be great to be in constant contact, there is little to no connection if you are only texting. SMH I honestly wish people would be more frugal with their technology then simplifying it just to get a 1 second high of seeing a string of text from a person.

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  • You're right that sticking to a person with no future together is a bad idea.
    My story though is slightly different. We broke up because we had To. I move away for study reasons in September but we agreed to see each other before that. And we have a brilliant time together even though we both know that one day we have to say good bye and start new lives and LDR is not an option in our case.

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  • A male friend is like skipping dinner and getting pure dessert for a woman like when we aren't interested in getting back together but still invite the girl over for sex occasionally.

    Think about it... pure conversation and validation with non of the baggage or commitment? Just a cool guy to shoot the shit with? I think the more interesting question is why guys tend to have zero interest in a girl they can't bang. it ALMOST seems like women just don't make good friends haha

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  • The girl is holding his leg I thought she was doing something else, sorry my bad! I am out of here.

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  • really? you are 40something years old and still waste you time on stuff that worry kids? how about taking care of your soul these last years of your life... ?

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  • i hope you women are taking this to heart.

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What Girls Said 5

  • I agree with a lot of the take but it's assuming a scenario of having had a relationship with someone and then you try and be *friends* afterwards having only ever been lovers before.

    It can be far tricker to cut ties if you were friends for a long time first, then you got involved with your friend but they weren't as serious about it as you were. I still think the no contact period has to happen in this scenario, but it can be far harder because the other person will guilt trip you about losing the friendship etc and if you were platonic friends beforehand it can be easier to kid yourself that you can just seamlessly shift back to that mode like nothing ever happened. I think those friendships are recoverable but not without a good few months of no contact. Trying to return straight back to the way things were, immediately afterwards, just breeds resentment.

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  • Great myTake.
    I think that when a relationship is over the only use of looking back is ackowledging what that relationship has taught us, other than that:

    vuible.com/.../...cc9de971fa8e2e092af0ad948383.jpg

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  • I see so many questions with details about the person is friends with their ex months after a breakup and they get shocked when theif ex disappears. I mean really I know breakups are not fun but after months of the breakup I can never understand how a person getting their hopes up helps the healing process. And it's sad how some people want to cling on to their ex when on the outside looking in its obvious that person wants them to let go

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  • Whoot! Awesome take! totally agree.

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  • I agree completely. My first ex and I tried the whole "staying friends after breaking up" thing after dating on and off for 4 years and it was a drama filled disaster. We always ended up hooking up despite our best efforts not to, and there were so many mixed feelings/jealousy/unfinished business that we finally had to just call it quits and cut each other out entirely.

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