Question: I told my ex I want to be friends and now I’m afraid that he thinks that all I want is to be just friends. I want him back, did I ruin my chances?
My ex and I started talking again. I had texted him a couple of times and no reply, so I told him I just wanted us to be friends and he replied that he’d like that too. It probably helped that we were friends for a couple years before we started dating. He is super nice to me and we have a great time when we hang out now that there’s not the pressure of having a relationship.
I haven’t brought up the relationship or the future, and I am giving him all the space he needs. But last week he went out on a date and later texted me about it. He said it was a horrible the date. Why do you think he told me about his bad date? I’m worried though that he considers me only as a friend. Should I tell him I still have feelings for him?
Yangki’s Answer: If he is telling you about the dates he is going to, it’s very likely that considers you a ‘friend” and that’s why he’s comfortable talking to you about the other women he goes out with. This is why I strongly advice against offering “friendship” when you want more than friendship. By saying you just wanted to be friends, you set your own trap.
Accept a ‘friend offer’ only and only if your ex suggests it as a way to remain in each other’s life. But a discussed in my book Dating Your Ex don’t just stop at being a “friend”, make sure you keep the boundaries of the “friendship space” fluid enough to send the message to your ex that you want more than a friendship.
No question about it, the “friendship space” is not ideal, but when used the right way, it can serve as a bridge between the old relationship and new relationship. It can offer you opportunities that you would not otherwise have if you were not in each other’s life.
Since the “just friends” has gone too far with your ex, and he may now sees you as ‘just a friend”, you have only two options, both have benefits and risks.
1. Continue with the way things are.
The benefit here is that you don’t rock the boat and maybe he will date these other women and realize you are “the one” for him. And if you were insecure when you were together, showing him that you have changed may make him rethink things.
The risk with this is that one day he’s going to meet someone he’s really into, and she may say she does not want him talking to you. But the biggest risk of all is that you will be sacrificing your emotional well-being for something that may not turn out the way you hope.
2. Be honest with him and tell him you still have feelings for him
Tell him how you feel. Say something along the lines “I care a lot about you, and respect you. I do not want to play mind games and want you to know that I still have feelings for you. My hope is that we can get back together when we are both ready and feel it is the right thing to do. I will understand if you do not feel the same way about me. I’m still here to chat and hang out either way. This is how much you mean to me”.
Three things will likely happen.
- He may still have feelings for you too, and a new romance will blossom.
- He may tell you friendship is all he can offer you and let you decide what you want to do… stay in contact or cut off all contact.
- He may decide that he does not want to give you the wrong idea and that it’s not a good idea to stay in contact anymore.
Decide carefully. Choose the option that you think has the least risk. I can not tell you which option is best for you because I do not have detailed information about your relationship, or who your ex is and how he’s likely to respond. Each ex reacts differently.