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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59 Comments

  • She has still suggested we meet next week while I’m in her city, which I’m up for, but I’m unsure where to go with the physical contact. On the one hand, I don’t want to push things but on the other, I feel like without kissing, I’m heading towards a permanent ‘friendzone’, which is where I definitely don’t want to be!

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    • That’s a very legitimate concern that’s handled in Dating Your Ex
      1) how not to get locked in the “just friends” zone (page 300 )
      2) physical contact when trying to get back together (page 308)

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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 love that this site is not about no contact. It’s so refreshing to read advice that does not say cut off contact. My ex and I are best friends and it seemed so wrong not to have him in my life. With your advice we are getting close again. We spent last weekend together, cuddling and kissing but no sex. He says he still loves me but wants both of us to change and not fight so much anymore. I am working on me not for him but because I was to be better for myself. Thank you for what you are doing, Yangki. God bless you.

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      • You are on the right path. If you can stop the fighting completely, your relationship will grow and flourish.

        Thank you for your kind words, and God bless you too!

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  • There is such a thing. 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” without necessarily cultivating “friendship” and when the romance dies, there is nothing else left but anger and resentment.

    Friendship helps them weather the rough patches, navigate hurt emotions, and maintain friendship long after the romantic relationship ends. Friendship also provides a foundation for a new romantic relationship.

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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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