Why do exes want to stay friends?

My ex broke up with me two weeks ago due to a conflict in career/life goals (after 7 1/2 months). More like with his career he doesn't know where he will be living at though he won't graduate for another eight months and he might not even find a job right away. He also isn't ready for a long term or long distance relationship until he figures out his career and life path and he doesn't like the idea of one right now. But he kept telling me that he still really wants me around and that I am his best friend and he wants it to stay that way for a very long time. We both said it will be awhile before our feelings for each other would go away, if they do. He said if he finds a career close to me, it's possible that we'd get back together because it's a good thing on my "resume" if he still wants me around. I try initiating the no contact rule, but he contacts me a good 5-6 times a day.

So why does he want to be friends? Does he actually want to keep my friendship (we weren't really friends before we dated, we instantly were attracted to each other)? Does he want to possibly get back together with me in the long run because there were literally no problems in the relationship itself (his words)? I'm confused.

I know that if most exes were truly ready to let go of the relationship, they would cut me off or something and not want to talk to me.
Updates:
From what I know of, I'm the only "ex" or only girl out of all the girls he's casually dated or had a relationship with that he wants to keep in touch with. He cut off the rest of them for reasons that they hurt him or he thought they had issues

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I do it because my exe's were always my friends before we dated so I want our friendship back. I became friends with my one ex again and we are good friends. He's dating someone else and I have moved on. I left our relationship in the past. If you can't do that then you shouldn't be friends but if you can then I see no problem.

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    • It's just the thing is we were never really just friends before we started dating. We were immediately attracted to each other. He broke up with me for "non-internal" reasons and doesn't even want to be in another relationship until his life/career path is figured out and I still have school for awhile so I know that won't even be a factor. I told him I would be his friend but I'm cutting him off if he does end up talking to/dating anyone else before he figures his life out. He said he'd expect me to do that if that happened and he is aware of it and understands

    • I understand. When me and my first bf broke up the next year he was already hitting on another girl and I couldn't be friends with him anymore. Needless to say, he won't even look at me anymore. In your case I would suggest just cutting off all ties since you weren't even friends beforehand.

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What Guys Said 1

  • EXACTLY the way I feel. I would never want to be friends with an ex, or even someone who turned me down. My feelings are usually pretty strong, so the only way I can forget a person I loved is by completely severing all contact with her. If two people claim to be 'friends' after breaking up, either they're still in love (with the hope of patching up at some point), or they were never in love. The way I see it, its simply not possible for exes to be 'friends'.

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    • I know I'm still in love with him and probably won't get over it for a long time, even if I cut off contact with him. He told me he wasn't sure about a relationship and if he never met me he wouldn't have been in one. He took a risk by asking me out and he says he had a fantastic time dating me and I made his year so much better. He said it's going to be hard to get over me because I'm such an "incredible girl and incredible person all around". He says I am the perfect fit for a girl best friend. He was begging me at the beginning of our break up to not listen to my friends because they will only tell me to cut him off and he doesn't want me cutting him off. He also promised me there was nothing wrong with me and had no problems with me and that he won't be dating/in another relationship for a long time and to never overthink it

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    • After reading your comment, I do understand more now. I know I can't accuse him of "cheating" or anything if he does find someone new before he graduates but he understands I'd cut him off because he broke up with me for things that had nothing to do with me and also that he told me himself he doesn't want to be in a relationship until he figures his life out. So even though we're both single again, we're in a sticky situation. He also asks to hang out as much as we did when we were together like last night. The whole situation itself is confusing. He even told me last night when we were hanging out that if his career doesn't end up working out, he wants to try to go to the Navy but he knows that his mom will be against it (yes he's a momma's boy lol)

    • Being a 'momma's boy' is not always something negative, unless of course his 'momma' often poisons his mind about the women he dates, or his decisions. Anyway, let me correct you. Only 'you' are in a sticky situation, and not him because he has pretty much figured out what he wants in life (which obviously doesn't include you). If he indeed wanted to figure out his life, he would have told you that he would get back with you once he's done figuring out. And about asking you to hang out...well, maybe that's because you're pretty, and he wants o show you off as 'arm candy' in public. Or he maybe just enjoys your company. In any case, what he's doing is totally inappropriate because he's simply playing with your feelings.
      No offense, but I fail to understand why girls love or continue to love guys even after being sidelined, but leave the really sweet guys who love them, to languish in the dreaded 'friend-zone'.

What Girls Said 3

  • Any time I've stayed friends with an ex it's because I wanted to get back together. Otherwise, I want nothing to do with an ex, friendly or romantically.

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  • Ah no. Don't keep the friendship. Obviously he wants to have some friends with benefits thing.
    There is no friendship possibility for you two. You already passed that line.

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  • I would say just to be civil. I never burn bridges completely. You never know how or when someone can just come back into your life.

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