Myth: Men and Women can "Stay Friends" After a Breakup

Myth: Men and Women can

How many of you have heard the myth that men and women can remain friends after a breakup? Obviously I'm not talking about a breakup in which there is mutual hate and hard feelings, I'm talking about a breakup in which two people decide they are just not compatible, but decide to stay "just friends." There are several reasons why such an attempt just won't work, and a road all "friendships" like this go down...

1. Things get Awkward...Fast

So you and your bf/gf decided to breakup but stay friends. Great! As least you still have his/her friendship that you valued so much right? Wrong. Let me put it this way, most times after such a decision, neither person is sure what they are supposed to do to maintain the friendship. Soon, the ex-couple goes days to weeks without communication, and on the rare occasion that the two do converse, neither person is sure how to even talk to the other as a friend anymore.

and if by chance you're lucky enough to make it past this...

2. Old Arguments get Reignited for no Reason

Even if you maintain decent contact, other problems will soon arise. The past arguments of the relationship, that might have drove you to break up with him/her in the first place, get brought up again. All that comes from this are hurt feelings, anger, and wasted time because let's face it, you're no longer in a relationship with that person, you don't owe them anymore than you owe your other friends. But more times than not, people literally cannot go back to thinking of this other person as just a normal friend.

If the two of you aren't driving each other to insanity just yet...

3. Constant Reminders That You're "Just Friends"

No matter how you decide to interact with your ex, you will constantly be reminded that you're just friends. If you bring up an inside joke from when you were dating... "Remember we're just friends." If you EVER compliment him/her even as you would another person... "We're just friends ok?" If you're in a good mood and you come across as too nice... "It's clear that we're just friends right?" If you do absolutely nothing different than what you would around anyone else... "You realize we're not in a relationship right?" Needless to say, this gets super annoying and it feels as if the other person is insinuating that you constantly have ulterior motives.

And finally, if you can put up with this constant reminder...

4. Inevitably, Feelings Come Back

If after all this nonsense the two of you are still talking as "friends," eventually someone will re-develop feelings for the other. It's basic logic. If you loved someone once, eventually the things that made you love him/her in the first place will take ahold of you again. When this happens, it can either happen to both of you and you become one of those "on/off" couples (which everyone hates), or when you make your move...

Congrats! Your friendship and any possibility of ever dating this person in the future is over! Have a nice life.

*Disclaimer - obviously this may not happen exactly or you and your ex may be the 1 out of 1000 that make a friendship like this work. This is just an example of the way things usually happen.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I'm friends with all of my ex's (four of them), except the last one. I dated those four for less then a year, though. Maybe I'm just lucky but none of them were bad guys, we didn't breakup because someone did something, it was mutual with all of them. My first ex is actually my best friend, we see each other at least once a week and hang out with same group of friends from 10 years ago. But I couldn't stay friends with my last ex because he was my first love, we were together for five years. It's a long, sad story but it's not that I hate him or something like that. It was also mutual but we knew that we would never move on if we stayed friends.

    I think most of people don't want to stay friends with their exes because they're pissed at them and they are too proud. It's hard for some people to realize that we're just humans after all and to forgive and forget. There's reason I liked all of them and that reason still exists, they are still amazing people. The key is to remember that you broke up and why. And to find the balance between why you want them in your life as a friend, and why you don't want them as bf/gf. If you can answer those questions then you can be friends.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Well this was easily proven wrong, I didn't have to do anything.

    1. Obviously and naturally their is a grievance and acceptance stage, which sure, may take some months for example. You can both agree to just be friends, take time off from each other, let wounds heal and move on emotionally. And when time is right, you can reach out and go back to just being friends the way you used to be before a relationship. (is what I/we did anyway)

    2. Once we were past that acceptance stage or what to call it, we have never argued since, its been about 5 years now. No past arguements or stuff like that. Just talk to each other as 2 normal human beings. No fuzz, stress or drama.

    3. Dosent sound like people are at the same stage sort of when/if that happen. Me and my ex have been generally nice to each other, she has complimented me many times, I complimented her about stuff. Never been any need to remind either side of the whole "we are just friends" we know where we stand.

    4. can't say that has happen to me at all, can only speak for myself, but if it has happen to my ex, she hasent shown it any, but I kinda doubt it. she's a pretty mature woman (For the most part, lol) but at least this way. Like she just moves on, dont dwell on what ifs and the past too much etc. Take responbility of what is and here and now.

    Fair enough with the disclaimer, but naturally isent a myth if it happens. Worked for me anyway. Still just laid back friends.

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What Girls Said 10

  • For 'usually' I'd have to agree with you. For a lot of relationships that end this way (mainly young relationships and I mean *young* relationships) people respect their friends more than the person they've decided to date. They have their friends because they're interested in them & share similarities but with their partner because of attraction which is... fickle. IF they *do* respect each other to even have a chance they need space for a few months at the start, then to actively set guidelines for themselves as they get to know each other again. I'd say though, long term, if you want to stay friends with an ex you need to have the same friends or end up dating a relative of theirs. It's possible, but difficult. Both people have to really want it.

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  • It isn't a myth in my case: I stayed friends with exes, am still friends with a few. We all moved on and could be pals no issue. Lol.

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  • It honestly depends on why you broke up and how you broke up. My first "relationship" ended because the guy only was interested in me because he felt bad for me. After a short period of time we stopped communicating like we usually did, and then one day he made the decision to cut all ties. After two years we got back in contact and though we haven't talked in a little while, we're on okay terms. He doesn't expect anything from me and I don't expect anything from him. We haven't even talked about our past.

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  • It's not a myth lol. One of my good friends is my ex and we've been friends for 10 years now since our break up.

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  • I'm only friends with the guys I used to date in high school. I'm not friends with my exes in my adult life and I'm perfectly okay with that. They couldn't be a good boyfriend so why the hell would I want them as a friend?

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  • They can work, I suppose. It sounds completely irrational but I would only say that the friendship can work after time has been given and both parties have moved on and keep it strictly platonic with boundaries.

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  • true

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  • Men and women can stay friends after a breakup if they have a decent relationship.

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  • Yes, I believe they can.

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  • I am great friends with several men and women I used to date. So... how about you get back to me on your findings in 25 years. I'll bet you don't feel the same way.

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What Guys Said 13

  • I dont like blue balls, so I dont stay friends with my exes. If they wanna interact with me again they must know ima try to kiss them and seduce them, if they dont like the idea of being lovers and rekindle things then I walk away but let the door open in case they change their minds.

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  • No reason to be friends unless you have kids then try and make it work.

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  • Correctimundo. :)

    But boy, you sure can't tell these 'gag-er's LOL. They're just sure you can be friends with anyone and everyone regardless. They're a friendly bunch 'till reality slaps them up the side of the head.

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  • Never understood the "still being friends" thing. There are millions of other people to be friends with, why not just part semi-amicably?

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  • Really? I'm pretty good friends with the vast majority of my exes some of those friendships going on almost a decade now.

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  • My ex girlfriend is still my best friend. If anything, it got LESS awkward once we broke up. We're better as friends

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  • Not always true. My friend and his wife are good friends with her ex-hub. Of course they have a kid in common.

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  • Men and women can't stay friends because women are crappy friends. Even other women know their girlfriends suck.

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  • This really depends on each ex-couple, there has to be someone that can maintain a good friend relationship after a mutual break up.

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  • I know I wouldn't want to be friends.

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  • It's not a good idea.

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  • Also, as "friends" how would your former significant other feel when you start dating someone else?

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  • Men like to remain friends to try and win her back one day. Women like to remain friends to keep a back up guy around in vase she's single around holidays, birthdays, valentines, weddings or other events also to keep a guy around so he may perform partner duties such as transport, financial help, free food, shelter, diy, free tickets, free drinks, advice, emotional support, car maintaince and protection. So if a guy agrees to remain friends while she is on the cock riding carousel then she doesn't respect him and will never want him. Women respond to strength in a man not weakness.

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