What Exes Who Got Their Ex Back By Being Friends Do Right

You’ve probably read stories of people who got their ex back by being friends first and worked their way back into a relationship and wondered how did they do it?

First of, being friends with an ex you want back is not easy, but it may be the only way to bridge the gap between broken up and back together, and to test drive the new relationship without risking too much.

Secondly, starting by being friends with an ex you want back works only if you do it right. Make sure you do each step to lay a strong foundation for asking your ex to be more than friends, start dating again or get back together.

STEP 1: Accept the breakup

Accepting the break-up is the most important step of being friends with an ex you want back because it sets the tone of your friendship.

For being friends with your ex to lead back into a relationship, it’s important that your ex knows you do not agree or want the breakup but accept that right now the two of you are not together. Accepting that the relationship is over doesn’t void how you feel, it instead allows you to stop trying to change what has happened and focus your time and energy on turning things around in a healthy and constructive manner.

You can send your ex a text accepting the break-up, give them a call or meet in person if they’re willing to meet.

The point is that your friendship has to be genuine and not some fake manipulation tactic your ex can see through, and be turned off by.

STEP 2: Keep the lines of communication open

When making the transition from a relationship to beings friends and back to a relationship, open lines of communication is the key.

Open lines of communication signal a willingness to engage and the goodwill can go a really long way in laying the groundwork for getting back together.

An open line of communication doesn’t mean texting them every other day, pushing to meet or even expecting them to respond to every text. Being friend with an ex is not the same kind of “friendship” you have with your other friends instead it’s starting slow with 1-3  reach outs a week and slowly building momentum to where you’re talking on a daily basis and your ex is even open o hanging out a few times a week.

If you need sometime after the break-up to get yourself together or self-regulate, there are secure, healthy and emotionally mature ways to do it than cut off someone, block them and try to make them feel irrelevant.

STEP 3: Be honest about wanting your ex back

I do not encourage offering to be friends because your ex might agree to being friends believing that friendship is all you want, and before you’ve even had a chance to try to get them back, you’re friendzoned. But if being friends is your only option, offer to “keep the lines of communication open” or “a way to stay in each other’s life” without using the words “be friends”. This will take away the pressure that labels tend to have, and avoidants don’t like.

Make sure your ex knows that you want to be friends for now, but your goal is to get back together if things change with time. They don’t have to agree or commit to getting back together, all you’re doing is being honest with yourself and with them. You want to be in their life and if their feelings about you or the relationship changes in the process, you welcome the idea of getting back together.

Being upfront that you hope being friends will lead back to a relationship seems counterproductive, but being honest is the only way you’re ever going to know if there’s even a chance your ex will want to get back together at all.

If your ex says they want to be friends, or that friendship is all they can offer you at the moment, DO NOT turn down the offer because you are scared that being friends will hurt your chances. You may have been offered a window of opportunity to do all the things you could have done right to make your relationship safe, healthy and fulfilling, but didn’t. Take it.

STEP 4: Set clear boundaries on what it means to be friends

Beings friends with the intentions of it leading back to a relationship will not work if your ex has no idea what is expected of them, or even how beings friends after you’ve been romantic really means. They’ll resist being friends because they think they will be pressured to get back together when they’re not ready or sure it’s what they want.

In my opinion being friends with an ex means what the two of you decide it means. Whatever works for the two of you is what is right for the two of you.

Set clear boundaries on what it means to be friends and communicate in clear terms what to expect and not expect from each other. Be open, honest, and use non- violent, non-threatening and safe communication, and make sure that you ask your ex to communicate their boundaries and what they’re comfortable with in terms of contact, space, time spent together, seeing other people/and what happens then, intimacy or friends with benefits etc.

The “what being friends” means conversation doesn’t have to happen at once. Some exes may not even know exactly what they are offering by being friends. They said “let’s be friends” because it sounded emotionally mature. You may find that the boundaries of “being friends” form as you interact, and they tell you what is okay to say or do, and what is not.

The right boundaries do not guarantee that your ex will not start seeing someone new, but they help reduce the possibility of them wanting another relationship if things are going really well between the two of you, and also helps you respond from a place of secure attachment if and when your ex starts seeing someone new.

STEP 5: Create new positive feelings and memories

Friendship is a valuable space for starting a new dynamic and a new chapter of your relationship. So use being friends to create new positive memories and attraction and to make sure you’ll not be friendzoned. The difference between “being just friends” and a friendship where you’re obviously still attracted to each other is the sexual energy or tension between you and your ex. So flirt, tease, be playful, do the things you loved doing together but also do things you’ve never done before, go to places you’ve never been before, and if both of you are okay with being friends with benefits that’s okay too. You’re two single consenting adults who know what you’re doing.

The point is to create new positive feelings and memories instead of relying on old memories tainted by the bad things that happened in the relationship. The other goal is to keeping the boundaries of “being friends with an ex” fluid and not get yourself friendzoned.

If you’re not creating new feelings – laughing, enjoying some really good moments with your ex even just via text – you are not creating attraction however well you word your texts or time your contacts. The more positive memories you create now, the stronger the attraction and bond you’ll create.

Only when it’s safe is it okay to bring up the past and the issues you had. This will of course be determined by your ex’s attachment style. Some things can be talked over when things are safe and others are better left until you’re back together and others

STEP 6: Show how things can be different

If your relationship is like most, by the time of the break-up, the relationship wasn’t working for your ex (or for you). If there were many arguments and conflict that made your ex lose feelings, think you were not right for each other or were incompatible your ex most likely still feels the same and holds those views about you and the relationship. If you give them the option to choose between getting back together and moving on, they’ll likely choose moving on, and rightly so. The lost feelings or relationship isn’t working for them, why would they want to get back together?

Use beings friends with your ex as a space to show them the self-work you’ve done on yourself and to change your ex’s perception and experience of you. This can also be an opportunity for the two of you to grow together and to share your individual personal work, goals and plans for your future with the pressures that come with being in a relationship.

STEP 7: Ask your ex if they’re ready to be more than friends

This step usually happens naturally and organically if all the other 6 steps are done right. You find that without even a conversation about it, things just evolved naturally to being more than friends, you’re going out on dates and it’s looking more and more like your ex is considering giving the relationship another chance.

In some instances, you will have to bring up a conversation about becoming more than friends and starting to date each other again. Like any kind of relationship, both people have to want the same thing and feel the same way about it.

A conversation about being friends more than friends has to be honest, open, direct or clear, and even vulnerable, and has to be a conversation between two people and not just you telling your ex what you want or trying to force what you want on someone who doesn’t want it. It’s important to be very specific about what you want to change from being friends to being mor than friends, so your ex knows how things are going to change. Ask for feedback, listen to what they have to say and remind yourself “I am not ready” is not the same as it’s never going to happen.

How long it takes from being friends to being in a relationship

How long it takes from being friends with an ex to being in relationship again can happen in weeks or months depending on the level of trust, an understanding of what each other needs.

Keep in mind that being friends with an ex doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get back together, but it gives you 30 – 50% advantage over trying to get back together when there’s no friendly foundation. The goodwill, trust, consistency and safety you create being friends first is a strong foundation for getting back together, and what an avoidant ex needs to believe the relationship can work better. The rest depends on why you broke up, if your ex still has feelings for you, what else is going on in your ex’s life, if there is someone else etc.

RELATED:

Why Is My Avoidant Ex Happy We Are Friends?

How Does Being Friends Help Get an Avoidant Ex Back?

Avoidant Friend Zone Or Starting As Friends Then Come Back?

What Do Avoidants Get Out Of Keeping Exes Around?

7 FACTS About Being FRIENDS With An Ex You Want Back

12 Signs Your Ex Is Just Being Nice, Polite And Friendly

More from Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng
Relationship Security Helps Overcome Anxiety
Fear of rejection and worry that someone might not love you enough...
Read More
70 replies on “What Exes Who Got Their Ex Back By Being Friends Do Right”
  1. says: Darlene Dreyer

    We broke up became friends got back together and recently broke up again. I admit I pushed too hard to commit when he wasn’t ready and now he doesn’t want to even be friends. We were doing so well, I shouldof been patient.

  2. says: Jorge

    It is possible go from lovers to friends to lovers again. My ex and I stayed friends after the break up and after 6 months got back together. This is our timeline (FA):

    Months 1- 2 –Texting and a couple of phone calls. She said it was too soon to meet.
    Month 3 – We met and started hanging out once a week (her suggestion).
    Month 4 – We hang out more. I asked to get back together, said she’d give me an answer in a month.
    Month 5 – We started spending weekends together and being intimate. I asked if she had an answer for me, she said she needed more time. Also said she noticed I had changed and liked our new dynamic but still needed more time.
    Month 6 – She asked if I’d like to be her boyfriend again. I said yes!

  3. says: Paisley

    I believe exes can be friends and get back together but both people have to want to invest in the friendship and there should be clear boundaries. My ex was my best friends and someone I trust more than anyone in my life and even after the break up, we talk to each other everyday. We both felt we had work to do on ourselves and agreed that if in a year’s time we still want to be with each other, we’ll talk about and see if we both want to try being in a relationship again. I tell him about what I’m doing and he tells me about what he is doing, and every once in a while we share information. I know that even if we do not end up together, we will always be in each others lives.

  4. says: Carolina

    Mine (FA) wanted to be friends right after the breakup but I said I could not be his friends because I still had feelings. After reading your advices I sent a text accepting being friends. I told him again I still had feelings and he said he knows but can not do anything about it because he is not ready for a relationship. I’m following and creating new feelings and memories and I can see how he looks at me that he still has feelings for me but holding back.

  5. says: Janna L.

    Everyone said not to be friends with my ex if I want to get them back, but I didn’t see any other way he would learn to trust me again after I broke his trust, so I asked if we could be friends. He asked if I was hoping to get back together and I said yes, but I had to show him he can trust me again first. He then asked how I will show him that he can trust me again, and I said time will tell. He seemed to like my answers but said not to get my hopes up because he does not want to lead me on. It’s been just over a month of us being friends and he has started to open up a little. I’m focused on winning back his trust and working on myself.

  6. says: Brandee

    We broke up became friends got back together after 8 months of being friends. It was the most amicable breakup because I recognize how I triggered him with my anxiety and told him so when he was breaking up with me. I didn’t beg him to come back when he asked to be friends but instead asked for 3 days of no communication and then reached out and told him we could friends but still had feelings for him. He said he had feelings for me too but a friendship is all he could offer me. What turned our friendship back into a relationship is that we both realized that we were great together when we didn’t fight over relationship stuff and decided that we’ll always put our friendship first and the romantic relationship second. So far it’s working great for us.

  7. says: Jamie

    I recently found out my ex is in a relationship after only 2 months of the breakup. Everyone says it’s a rebound but he’s clearly into her. He told me during the breakup he had felt he lost feelings for me for months and had been thinking of dating other people but didn’t want to cheat on me and hurt me. Now I think he wanted to be friends to see if his feelings for me would come back. I told him I couldn’t be friends with someone I have feelings for.

  8. says: Rob

    I’d be happy to be friends with my ex and hope we can return to the way we used to BE, but she says she has no feelings for me. She says we tried the relationship so many times and there’s no point in being friends if we’re not getting back together. Part of me really doesn’t want to let go. I miss her so much.

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      Sometimes you have to let things go, but that doesn’t mean you should give up as well. Love has a way of surprising us, even us love coaches.

  9. says: Daldit

    Here is a success story, we broke up became friends got back together after 5 months. We were together for 4 years, she broke up with me because it felt like I loved her more than she loved me. She wanted to be friends and I was reluctant at first but 2 days later texted that we would be friends but hope we could be together someday. She said if it was meant to be it would be. 4.2 months post breakup, she was in a relationship, 6.5 moths I met a woman I was serious about but found out she lied about her age. I ended the relationship after only 3 months in. Me and my ex continued to text 2 – 4 times a week. We met for lunch 3 times and had drinks once. Her new guy put a stop to us meeting but we continued texting. 2 months ago she ended it with him because he was too controlling. We started seeing each other more and eventually we got back together. Overall, it is going very well, a huge improvement over how things had been.

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      Congratulations on getting back together.

      Being friends or friend-ly with an ex you want back is not easy, but it is the only way to bridge the gap between broken up and back together, and to test drive the new relationship without risking too much.

      Thank you for sharing your story, I hope other take inspiration from your success.

Leave a comment

Comments are closed.