Ex wants to stay friends and has agreed to casually date?

I talked to my ex--we dated for 3 years and broke up a little over two weeks ago. He let me in and gave me my promise ring back and we talked for a couple hours.

He made it very clear he still cared about me, was still just as attracted to me as he ever was, and was just as likely to ask me on a date as he was the first time we met. He said it was really important to him that we stay friends and keep talking--he didn't wanna lose that. So far it's been great--we've talked every day and it feels like not much has changed.

Ultimately his reasons for breaking up with me was that he wants to sort himself out. He just finished his first term of college and joined a fraternity, and he isn't sure he knows himself well enough to be in a relationship without worrying about not doing his best to make me happy and provide for me. He worries that his focus will need to be on him too much and so he needs the space to do that. He said that he didn't want the constant validation of someone liking him for who he was to be a crutch while figuring himself out. I agreed that it was fine, and asked about casually dating--starting anew, with an adult perspective. Not being entirely exclusive, so that if one of us finds someone who is absolutely the best thing yet, we can break it off and go try that out. He seemed a little apprehensive at first, but said he'd seriously think on it and by the end of the conversation he said that he'd definitely love to try it when he comes home from college in April, so long as he's not attached, which he doesn't think he will be. I asked if he wanted to go to a new year's party and he said he definitely would if he didn't already have plans with his dad. I don't believe this to be an excuse.

He seems completely not ready for a relationship--especially a serious one. I understand that, and while it does make me a little nervous to know he's probably going to date around while he's at co
college, I'm pretty sure it won't be anything serious. I've made it clear to him that even though I want to be friends for now, I want to date him casually at least--he knows that I want him again, with a fresh start, and I think that's really important that I'm honest with him.

However, I need to make it clear that we can't just be friends--we both understand that it's too difficult. We have too much investment in our feelings for each other. I asked him if he'd consider a date with me
before he went back to college on January 6th, and he said he'd seriously consider it. I'm thinking about asking him to take a trip up to the mall after New Years, and kind of wondering what the best way to ask an ex on a date when the reason we broke up was because he's not ready for a serious commitment? I'm okay with dating for fun and getting to know each other all over again, as we have changed over the years, but I'm really missing the words to ask him to go on this date.


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What Guys Said 2

  • Trying to reignite a failed relationship is almost always a bad idea:


    • Nice blanket statement.

    • Show All
    • "2. If you broke up for reasons unrelated to the quality of the relationship, like both of you left for school in different states. Those relationships have a chance of succeeding"

      That's pretty much the reason we split, actually. He just wanted to figure things out on his own at his new school. It's not STATES away, but it's far enough away that it caused issues with seeing each other. There's nothing wrong with the quality of our relationship, just circumstance.

    • Then I wish you good luck.

  • Yeah so what's the problem

    • I'm mostly looking for insights on the situation.

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