The Ups and Downs Of Being Friends With Your Ex Boyfriend
When your romance comes to an end, it doesn't always mean the end of the relationship you'll have with your ex boyfriend. Not by today's standards, anyway.
In the modern age of Facebook, Myspace, email, and constantly keeping in touch by cellphone and text-message... it's very difficult to make a clean and total break from your ex. Even after the two of you break up, there's a good chance you'll stay in contact with one another via one or more of the above mediums.
This can be both good and bad, depending upon what you want from your ex. If you're truly done with dating him, staying in touch shouldn't bother you. Yet you also need to be careful of your ex wanting you back... especially if you're the one who dumped him. Some guys will hang around as "friends" while waiting for you to date them again, even if you're not really into it.
But at the same time, what if you're the one who wants your ex back? What if you're looking to maintain some sort of friendship in the hopes that being around your ex boyfriend will eventually make him want you again? Could such a thing work?
The Good News: Your Ex Boyfriend Still Loves You
If your goal is to win back your ex boyfriend, and he suggests staying friends after the break up, then you're in for some good news. The fact that he didn't make a clean break and still wants to hear from you is a very positive sign that your ex still has feelings for you.
They might not be at the surface right now, but his emotions aren't gone. In working to get him back, there are ways you can draw his feelings back to the surface again, and create a situation in which he is forced to face them.
"Hey, I still want to be friends" means that your ex boyfriend isn't completely finished with your relationship yet. He might want to keep you around just in case he reverses his decision and wants you back. While pretty selfish, it's still a good indication that his feelings aren't gone. In trying to win back your boyfriend, this should give you some hope.
The Bad News: You Can't Be Friends With Your Ex
Okay, on to the bad news: being friends with an ex boyfriend is going to ruin your chances of dating him again. How? In many, many different ways...
First, you're going to be jealous around him. No matter what he does or who he's with, you're going to wish it were you. Because of this, resentment and bitterness will build up inside you. The longer you're friends, the more you'll feel put off to the side. Even if he thinks the friendship is going well, you're going to be dying to go out with him again... and watching your exboyfriend go on without you will hurt deeply.
Second, you're never going to be able to handle seeing him with another girl. As soon he has interest in someone else, you're going to get insanely jealous. Even worse, you'll have to act as if you're happy for him. After all, you're supposed to be his friend. Right?
You're going to be jealous of your ex's new girlfriend, period. Try to accept this, swallow it, and move past it. Because the sooner you do? The easier it will be to make your ex need you back.
Jealousy From Outside The Friendship
Beyond the above reasons, outside factors will also throw a wrench into any friendship you could be building with an exboyfriend. For example, Imagine how his new girlfriend is going to feel about him seeing you. Think she'll be okay with the two of you being in contact? Probably not. Which is why she'll keep him away from you - further increasing your level of resentment for both her and for your ex.
And when you begin seeing a new guy? He's going to resent your ex as well - just for the sole reason that he once dated you. This isn't unfounded jealousy either - it's natural. It's human nature. Your new boyfriend will be looking to protect his interests in you by keeping you away from the friendship with your ex, and that's going to make up upset, angry, or both.
How NOT To Be Friends With Your Ex Boyfriend
If you really do want him back, you have to refuse the offer when your ex boyfriend wants to be friends. This is going to shock and surprise him, and that's actually a good thing. It's also going to put you in a position of having some power, because you're going against what your ex really wants: to keep you on the bench while he plays the game with someone else.
The best thing to do is to flatly tell him no. Let him know you care about him, but only in a love, relationship, and girlfriend sort of way. Tell your ex that being friends with him would actually diminish those things, and it's just not something you want to do. Becoming friends with an ex is actually like getting demoted, and you shouldn't have to take it.
Additionally, you can't get your ex back while enmeshed in the role of being his friend. Approaching him romantically might actually lead to him renewing the sexual part of your relationship, but not the rest of it. This will make you feel used by your ex, and he'll be confused because he'll think it's what you wanted. The whole "friendship with your ex" thing can lead to all kinds of miscommunication between you.
Making Your Boyfriend Want You Back
By refusing to stay in a friendly relationship with your ex, you're giving him a very big decision to make. Either he loses you completely, or he goes on dating you. He can't have both. You're letting him know he can't have some kind of halfway in-between relationship where you're left in limbo until he comes and gets you (or doesn't get you). He'll actually respect you more for this, than if you continued following him as a friend.
Pushing your ex away here is also going to make him want you even more than if you'd continue to stay in touch with him. It's human nature to always want the things we can't have... and if he can't have you as a friend, he knows he can't have you at all. This will actually get him thinking again about your relationship, and whether or not he's willing to completely let go of it. In a way, you've called his bluff. He actually has to decide whether being single is worth losing you from his life for good, and most guys who ask to be friends after a break up aren't willing to do that.
Going From Friends Back To Lovers
Now it's also possible that you're reading this too late. Maybe you've accepted the offer made when your ex boyfriend wants to be friends, and you're regretting it. If so, there's still hope. The transition from friendship back to romance is extremely difficult, but there are ways of doing it if you know what paths to take.
First, you'll need to break the friendship. You'll also need to let your ex know exactly why you're breaking it... and perhaps also give him some mysterious additional reasons you're leaving that he can only hit at (i.e. allowing him to think you've met someone else). Jealousy is a two-way street, and if you need to get your ex interested in you again by using it - so be it.
In the end, you want to get your ex back as your boyfriend again... not as a "friend". Don't try to twist some pseudo-friendship into something it's not, and don't try to deny whatever feelings you may still have for your exboyfriend.
In the meantime, there are a tons of things you can do to make your boyfriend want you back. Learn what they are, and begin working on them in order to accelerate the process of getting back together again.