Does your ex want to be friends with you after a breakup?

Then you’re in the right place.

Today we are going to be tackling three of the biggest questions that my clients seem to have when they find themselves in this situation,

  1. Why your ex wants to be friends
  2. If staying friends with your ex will actually work
  3. What to do if your ex wants to be friends but you want more

Perhaps the best part about all of this is that everything I’m going to talk about today has been backed up by research or my own personal experience helping couples after a breakup.

Let’s begin!

Why Your Ex Wants To Be Friends With You After A Breakup

Before I actually start diving in and answering this question I’d like to lecture for a little bit.

There seems to be a very big misconception out there by how human beings operate.

People seem to be enthralled with this idea that true love conquers all.

They seem to believe that love somehow makes human beings selfless.

Human beings are a lot of things but one thing they aren’t is selfless.

Sure, every once in a while you’ll hear about a story a mother throwing herself in front of a bus to save her children but those kinds of people are in the minority. Most of us operate with one single mantra,

What’s in it for me?

We are ruled by our own self interest.

I say this not to be controversial but to help you understand why your ex wants to be friends with you after a breakup.

You see, I’ve been doing this for almost 7 years now and I’ve seen a lot in my time.

I have a coaching practice.

I have written a best selling book.

And well over 20 million men and women have visited my websites and a good segment of them have asked me questions.

After going through all of that I can confidently say that there are three primary reasons for why an ex would want to remain friends with you after a breakup and all of them have to do with their own self interest.

Can I Get My Ex Back?
Take The Quiz

The Three Reasons Your Ex Really Wants To Be Friends With You

The three reasons are relatively straightforward,

  1. Emotional Support
  2. Physical Support
  3. As A Holdover For Their Next Relationship

I’d like to take a quick second and expand on each of these reasons for a moment.

Why Your Ex Would Want To Be Friends With You For Emotional Support

People respond to breakups in many different ways.

Some will jump into bed with the first person they can find (see rebound relationships.) Others will avoid you like the plague.

And then you will have the people who want to “remain friends.”

But here’s the problem with that.

You often find that this kind of friendship is one sided.

It’s all about them unloading “how they feel” onto you and you making them feel better.

In essence, they are using you for emotional support and it makes total sense seeing as how they just went through a breakup.

After all, who better to understand them than the person they went through a breakup with?

Why Would Your Ex Want To Be Friends With You For Physical Support?

Friends with benefits shouldn’t be that hard to grasp, should it?

As I stated above, everyone responds to breakups in a different way.

In this case, your ex will want to remain friends with you because they believe they can get you in bed.

Want to know the most bizarre part?

According to a poll done on breakups by the Associated Press 36% of people have admitted to having sex with an ex at least one time,

Oh, and you may also notice another interesting question asked in the poll,

“How many of you have personally ever stayed friends with an ex after a breakup?”

According to the poll 51% of people have,

Staying friends and sleeping with exes is a lot more common than you think.

Why Would An Ex Want To Stay Friends With You As A Holdover For Their Next Relationship?

I believe we call this the dreaded friend zone.

People are appalled when I say what I’m about to say but quite frankly I don’t believe there is any other way to look at it.

When someone breaks up with you it’s essentially the same thing as having them admit,

I think I can do better than you

In other words, they believe they can find someone else.

The funny part is that we have a tendency to build these big ideas and feelings up in our heads and when it comes time to actually execute or experience them we find that it’s a little more difficult than we thought.

Where do we come running when this happens?

Yep, you guessed it!

Right back to the person we are comfortable with.

Will Staying Friends With Your Ex Actually Work? 

I have three main thoughts I’d like to discuss with regards to this question.

  1. Sometimes It Can Work So Long As Rules Are Redefined
  2. In Most Cases It Won’t Work If You Are Looking To Get Back Together
  3. The One Case Where It Is Actually Recommended

Let me unpack these three insights for you.

Sometimes Being Friends Can Work As Long As Rules Are Redefined

Let’s assume for a moment that you aren’t anything like my clients and you aren’t trying to win your ex back.

You are simply looking to remain friends with them and that’s it.

I believe this kind of arrangement can work assuming both of you are getting something out of the relationship, support.

Above I believe I made a pretty strong case that human beings are very self interested creatures and most of the time when an ex wants to be friends with you it’s because it serves them in some way.

As long as you aren’t getting used and you aren’t sleeping together I have seen certain exes successfully remain friends.

However, let me point out the proverbial fly in the ointment, it’s going to complicate things.

Assuming you do start dating someone else I haven’t met many people that are cool with their girlfriends or boyfriends being friends with their ex.

More on that in a second.

For Most People Being Friends Won’t Work If You Are Looking To Get Back Together

I’ve said it many times and have even written a book about it.

Getting your ex back requires you to position yourself properly and the timing has to be right

Often when you become friends with your ex you are placing yourself in a position of weakness.

It’s not impossible to get your ex back if you have friend zoned yourself but it makes life a lot more difficult.

Consider for a moment the stories you hear online like this,

Where a couple goes from “friends to lovers.”

The one common theme you see in those stories is the fact that it took time before one person was “ready to date.”

By purposefully putting yourself in the “friend zone” you are adding more time to your sentence.

In other words, it’s going to take longer to see success.

There Is One Case Where Purposefully Friend Zoning Yourself Is Recommended

Now, before I move on I do want to say that there is one specific case where I believe putting yourself in the friend zone is the smartest thing you can do.

Care to take a guess at what situation that is?

If your ex is dating someone new

I call it, “the being there method” and it’s something I’ve talked a lot about on this website and have even filmed a few videos over it,

The premise is pretty simple.

By purposefully putting yourself in the friend zone you will indirectly intimidate the new person your ex is with without actually doing anything wrong.

What To Do If Your Ex Wants To Be Friends But You Want More

Consider for a moment the types of conversations you have with the different people in your life.

You are going to have one type of conversation with your boss.

You’ll have another type with a stranger.

Another with your friends and family.

You’ll probably have a different one altogether with your lover.


What separates these people from having these different conversations?

In my opinion, trust.

If you could establish a clear hierarchy it’d probably look something like this,

Notice how the conversation opens up with people who hold coveted places in your life.

It all has to do with trust.

Generally speaking the more you trust the person the more powerful the conversation can be.

Here is perhaps the coolest part about this concept.

Every person will have a different hierarchy.

For some people their family may be more trusted than their friends.

For other their best friends may hold the top position.

It’s unique to each person.

However, I think one thing we can universally agree on is that if you are in the friend zone you have some work to do before you can be trusted enough to have powerful conversations that are meaningful enough for your ex to consider you a lover again.

How do you do that?

By doing earning trust via the conversations you have,

Each time you have a conversation with your ex you need to take a look at this scale and slowly move up it until you get to the sharing feelings bit.

Now, some of you may be looking at this scale and wanting a deeper explanation.

I have two recommendation if that’s you.

  1. Read my book
  2. Then read this article

Do those things and we’ll work to get you out of the friend zone.

16 thoughts on “My Ex Wants To Be Friends”

  1. Cookie

    November 24, 2018 at 6:23 am

    My ex broke up with me on the 11th November, rememberence day (won’t forget that date will I)
    We were LDR and had finally met in September after 2 years. (me in England him in Italy) I lost my cat who was my best friend the day before Halloween and was pretty depressed, may have made me sound suicidal. But he broke up with me because I was repeating history by threatening suicide like his first ex, which I wasn’t. But he basically was playing the victim card on me blaming me for the relationship hitting south after we met irl… He was also dumping me for a girl in Italy who had been dropping hints for the past 6 months and confessed to him 2 days before he dumped me. He then asked to be friends (I flipped and told him to f*** off) which my mum told me to apologise for swearing, and after I did I started NC, well nearly on the 3rd week and nothing from him… Been hitting the gym and planning to get a new cat. Should I even bother to try being friends again and work back to getting him or is he a lost cause for what he’s done?

  2. Mal

    October 3, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    hi Chris just a quick question so my ex and i reconnected in August after i did a month of NC (2nd NC) after he told me he was not interested in dating me. we have been meeting up quite a bit lately in the last 2 weeks or so..about once or twice a week mainly going to the gym together with some dinners as well. it’s been confusing because he has been outrageously flirting with a lot of sexual innuendo but on the other hand he tells me about his sexual exploits with other women after me and also mentions sources of tension that women he is dating. each time I try to change the subject as quickly as possible. he also called himself the other day as the idiot i once dated to which i just laughed and said yea just a bit of an idiot. when i told him that I was the happiest ive ever been with or without a man he kept insisting that I eventually will need a relationship. it’s totally baffling me because I’m trying to do the being there method but it’s hard when he keeps doing this. any advice?

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      October 5, 2018 at 2:27 am

      Hi Mai!

      Guys can be baffling! If he is acting rudely or insensitively, you can ask him to stop and then cease communicating if he doesn’t

  3. Fenya

    September 30, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Hi again Chris.

    He hasn’t asked for space, but said he would give me space if I needed it. He wants to be friends. But then again, he hasn’t contacted me. So am I still on the right course on the NC?

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      September 30, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      I think so Fenya. This business about just being a friend might suggest he really doesn’t know what he wants yet and that is where NC can help.

  4. Miss Sasparilla

    September 29, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Me again! Just wanted to add that this guy drives two hours to come and see me as we live in different cities. We’re both in our early 40’s, and get on so well but when we broke up he said he felt no passion for me. I don’t think I’m unattractive, I have a few admirers… I’m thinking if he could see me in a new light it might help. I know he’s on a dating site so he’s trying to meet women but still comes over to hang out with me and hugs me all the time and touches my arm when he talks to me. I don’t want anyone else Chris, help!

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      September 30, 2018 at 5:36 am

      Honestly, you will get so much more out of my 485 page eBook (Pro), than you will here in this forum as I am stretched so thin!

  5. Amy

    September 29, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Hey Chris,
    I successfully did NC for 2 months, initiated contact twice both had positive results although second time he stopped replying as a means of ending the convo first (he beat me) I have this strange feeling that he was following a similar guide. I ended the relationship of 1.2 years, he is 23 and I’m 26 and it was a drama free break up – I was unhappy because he wasn’t standing up to his parents for us and realised that maybe he didn’t want to..
    Anyway saw him in person at an event and he was so friendly gave me a long hug and kiss on the cheek asking how I was.
    A week later I messaged suggesting a meet up for coffee and walk in his favourite park. He very keenly agreed even suggested that night but I wanted time to prepare so I said Saturday instead. He didn’t reply to confirm until Friday 2am (2 days later). So today we saw eachother and got along pretty quickly because we started out as friends and have same mutual group of friends etc. He turned coffee into a sit down brunch then a walk in the park. During this walk we discussed our situation and I explained all the wonderful things ive done during our break but how although I don’t need him in my life I still realised after this time how I want to be with him. He told me during this time he hadn’t really had the chance to think about it and wasn’t sure what he wanted admitting that he was very confused when we broke up because there were many people influencing him. He said he cared about me alot and does miss me but he has so much going on so can’t think about us. So we agreed to be friends, but I said to him that if we do go back to friends I am moving on and not looking back again so I will take any opportunity that comes my way. He said I don’t ever want to see you upset because i can’t step up so I don’t want to hold you back from moving on either. It was the most bittersweet date, I stayed strong until i was alone again. Chris, is this it? Is friends all we will ever be? Is there something I can do or is it all based on pure fate now 🙁 I am so heart broken.

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      September 30, 2018 at 5:38 am

      Hi Amy!

      Ummmm. I don;t believe in fate. I think its better to have a plan and try to influence the future. Take a look at my program and decide if you want to invest in it to help yourself!

  6. Miss Sasparilla

    September 29, 2018 at 3:53 am

    Thank you so much for replying!
    Yeah I agree he wants it all his own way. I’ve been hoping that he’s been visiting and making himself useful around the house because he misses me. His behaviour really confuses me. The last time he visited he was looking around my bedroom when I was busy in the kitchen and commenting on a few new lamps and things that I’d put in there. I was thinking maybe he was looking for evidence of another man in my life! He always stays for hours and seems happy to spend time with me but I’ll have to accept that doesn’t mean he wants to try again at being in a relationship. Men are really strange Chris, I can’t figure them out!

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      September 29, 2018 at 4:03 am

      Hello again Miss S!

      That’s a good guess. A little jealousy can go long ways. I know. I know. Men are stupid strange sometimes. But us guys think women are strange and can’t figure them out….the way they think and process things! Just know, inside every guy is the desire to chase and to be aroused. There is leverage there. Acting coy and friendly, but just out of their reach makes attracts the guy. And many men like it when there ego is stroked but not in an obvious way. Makes them feel valued and they will gravitate to that.

  7. Fenya

    September 28, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Hi Chris,

    My ex broke up because of long distance and because he thinks he can’t be here for me and can’t make me happy. We didn’t really have any drama in our relationship, it was very mature and loving. So we ended on good terms even though I didn’t agree to his decision. He wanted to stay friends, and we had a bit contact 3 weeks after the break up, but I started no contact (without warning him). He had birthday the day after I initiated no contact – I don’t know if that’s the right decision not to wish him happy birthday. Anyway, am I doing this right? Is no contact the right thing? When he broke up he said he understood if I needed space, which I didn’t really respond to. So I’m not sure if the reason he doesn’t contact me is because he thinks I’m a bitch for not wishing him a happy birthday, or because he figured out I need space. So should I just stay in no contact?

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      September 29, 2018 at 3:52 am

      Hi Fenya!

      If he is asking for space, then yes, NC is the right medicine. But practice and do the things I teach in my program so you can get the most out of it.

    2. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      September 29, 2018 at 3:52 am

      Hi Fenya!

      If he is asking for space, then yes, NC is the right medicine. But practice and do the things I teach in my program so you can get the most out of it.

  8. Miss Sasparilla

    September 27, 2018 at 5:12 am

    Hi Chris!
    My ex cheated and we broke up a year ago. We’d been together for two years and had lived together for five months. After the break up we didn’t speak for a couple of months but then I initiated contact and
    after messaging for a while we met up. Since then we’ve had friendly meet ups and days out about once a month, and he is really into giving me big hugs! Seems so pleased to see me! After a really amazing day out recently I went to kiss him and he kissed me back. He then went cold on me the next day and said we couldn’t hang out anymore if I wanted to be more than friends…
    Jump forward and after six weeks of not meeting up he’s been back to visit me the last two weekends and mentions ideas for future meet ups. How do I get the hell out of this friend zone?

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      September 28, 2018 at 3:07 am

      Hello Miss!

      Quite a name you have there!

      So this ex of yours doesn’t seem to have his head screwed on right. He seems to want everything his way. But relationships that are successful don’t work that way. I think you consider telling him this off/on is not for you and if he wants your friendship and love, he needs to be steady. You have already been thru enough with this one. You have many other paths you can walk in life and find what you want.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.