3 Reasons Staying Friends With Your Ex Is Good For Getting Back Together

being-friends-with-your-ex-get-back-togetherYou’ve all read it somewhere: “Don’t be friends with your ex”, and many of you have probably told your ex “we can’t be friends” because you think that being friends with your ex will ruin your chances of getting back together.

There is truth to all the above statements. Some people are just too toxic together, even as friends. And if you don’t know what you are doing, being friends can hurt your chances of getting your ex back.

On the other hand, being friends with your ex can actually increase your chances of getting your ex back, if you know what you are doing.

I’ll back up a little. I don’t advice telling your ex “let’s be friends” if you want your ex back. Huge mistake. Your ex might believe that friendship is all you want, and feel deceived/manipulated if later on you say you want to get back together.

BUT… this is very important. If your ex says he/she wants the two of you to be friends, or that friendship is all he/she can offer you at the moment, DO NOT turn down the offer because you are scared that being friends will hurt your chances.

Accept your ex’s offer to be friends and make the best of it. You’ve been offered a window of opportunity, that if used well, may very well turn out to be the “probation period” you need — before you are hired for the job!

1. Being friends means that you can text your ex, call and hang out within a safe emotional environment. The more you are in your ex’s everyday life (and thoughts), the better your chances.

2. Being friends also means you have the opportunity to showcase the changes you’ve made; something that’s impossible to do if you are not in regular contact via text, email, phone calls or in person.

3. Thirdly, being friends gives your the opportunity to test-drive the “new” relationship, without risking too much. Because there is no pressure to be anything other than two people enjoying spending time together, the “new” relationship has time to grow and feel comfortable for both of you.

Make sure you communicate to your ex, in words and actions, that you still have romantic feelings for him/her, but are hoping that being friends gives you the opportunity to see if getting back together at some point is a possibility.

If possible define in very clear terms what your expectations are, and ask your ex if he/she is okay with it. Encourage him/her to express his/her boundaries and what he/she is comfortable with in terms of contact, space, time spent together, seeing other people, intimacy etc.

More on making the best of being friends as a start of the new relationship can be found in my book: Dating Your Ex.

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    • There is such a thing. It’s very possible and it happens more often than most people realize.

      That said, I do admit that it’s quite rare in today’s relationship environment for exes to part ways with little or no animosity. My personal opinion is that too many people become “romantic lovers” without necessarily cultivating “friendship”, and when the romance dies there is nothing else left but hurt feelings, anger and resentment.

      People with good relationship skills cultivate and nurture both romance and friendship. Friendship helps them weather the rough patches, navigate hurt emotions, and maintain an emotional connection long after the romance dies out. That ‘friendship’ usually provides a foundation for a new romantic relationship. That’s why people who remain “friends” with their ex end up getting back together more often than people who simply can’t remain friends with their ex.

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  • I was afraid to take the offer of friendship when my ex offered but after reading your dating ex book I accepted it. We started from him replying to my texts once in a while to a point where we talk daily and he is initiating most of it. You said in your book to push the boundaries so that I am not locked in the ‘just friends’ box? Do you think if I ask him out to a movie that would be a bit too much?

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    • No. It’d not be too much. You’ve built enough momentum to take it to the next stage. I can say with almost 100% certainty that he’ll say, ‘yes”. Go for it!!!!

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  • My ex wants us to remain friends and I find it disturbing that I should not be able to understand it. My brother and his ex consider each other friends and I know they genuinely care for each other as friends but I can’t seem to get to that point with my ex. Please help?

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    • This could be because you still want her as your girlfriend and not as a friend. Until you reach that point where you “let go” hoping there will be a relationship of more than friends, it’ll be hard to get to being friends. Best advice is 1) be honest with your ex, friendship may be possible in the future, but right now you just can’t do it and 2) don’t try too hard to be her friend. Friendships are best when they just happen naturally.

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  • Yangki, I m in contact with my ex and have been using your advice, the blog and book but would like to book a phone session with you. I live in Sydney, Australia and only have a mobile phone. Is there a way we can set up a session, skype or snapchat?

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    • My phone packages include mobile phones. I can call your mobile phone anywhere in Australia.

      Scroll to the very bottom of the page to the box that says “book a session”, click it and you’ll be taken to a page which has packages by region. Click Australia…

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  • Yangki, I wanted to ask my question in the post on the 10 signs your ex is interested but they comment are closed. How may of the 10 signs you listed have to be present to show interest? We went from him not wanting contact to him showing 6 of them. I am using both your book and blog, so thank you.

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    • First of all, I am happy for you… 🙂

      Obviously some signs indicate stronger/lasing interest than others, overall… if the signs present are more than those that are not, there is more interest than there isn’t… if that makes sense.

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  • Yangki, we are currently talking to each other but as friends. He doesn’t want to be in a relationship right now and is okay if I date other people. He says it’ll hurt him if I’m with someone else but he can’t give me what I want. I told him I don’t want to date someone else and he is what I want. Is it over and should I date other people or try to get him back?

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    • I don’t know it is over, or not. There must be a reason why he feels he can’t give you what you want. As long as he still feels that way, it’ll be very had for him to want to try the relationship again. So whatever that is (personal to him or has to do with you), it needs to be resolved before anything more than ‘friends’ can happen.

      As for dating other people, it depends. It works for some people, it doesn’t for others. In my opinion, if you are not ready to date other people, there is no reason to force yourself to just because your ex says it’s okay. That a decision only YOU should make.

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  • Yangki, I have always felt no contact was wrong but could not find any one who felt the same and could show me what to do in case i want my ex back. i found your site and it has been a blessing. we have regular contact and she had indicated that she would like to see me to give me the present she bought before she broke up with me. i see this as a positive sign since she had said when i asked what to do with her present that we sent it by courier. we meet christmas eve for coffee and exchanging gifts. i just wanted to say thank you for providing mature advice that inspires love.

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    • I think it is a positive sign too. The fact that you continue to have regular contact is a testament to your relationship and maturity on both sides. It’s not easy.

      If it helps… I have always felt no contact is wrong too. That’s why created this site, specifically for people like you… 🙂

      All the very best!

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  • Staying friends is much more painful and pointless. My ex of 4 years broke up with me because we fight a lot. After begging and pleading with her for 2 weeks I explained to her that I no longer had any intentions of trying to get back with her. I also deleted pictures we had together on facebook and untagged myself in quite a few of them. She has not deleted me or any of our pics off facebook. She’s reached out to me a few times but I don’t return her calls or texts. She has to make up her mind if she wants to be with me or not.

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    • Believe it or not, I agree with you. Not much will come out of staying in contact or being friends when you can’t even handle a facebook relationship.

      You probably meant to show emotional strength saying you deleted pictures of the two of you together, untagged yourself and won’t return her calls or texts. In another forum you will get a pat on the back… but at a closer look, your reactions say that you need some “growing” to do to get to that emotional place where you are able to separate how you feel from what you want or is good for the relationship.

      Right now, how you feel dictates your reactions which in turn create your experiences. You obviously aren’t thinking about how what you are doing is detrimental to the relationship, in the long term.

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