Why Does My Ex Want to Be Friends So Badly & What Does it Mean?

Ex wants to be friends
Last updated:

  • If my ex wants to be friends with me what does that mean?
  • Why does my ex want to be friends in the first place?

Those questions and many more will be answered thoroughly in this article.

So let’s get right into it…

Maybe your ex has told you he wants to stay friends with you.

Now you are thinking…

  • Is he being honest with me?
  • Are his intentions real?

But there are ways to find out if he really wants to be friends with you – maybe you think he is just trying to sneak back into your pants?

There are in fact quite a few reasons why a guy will still try and be friends with you and what they say and do to achieve this.

What Will I Learn?

So why does your ex still want to be friends? 

Ex looking back

It depends on a lot of factors actually, but we are going to give 10: 

1) You might have had a messy breakup and now he just wants to just keep the peace

Maybe you share friends and go out in the same circles, so your ex might want to just make life easier for both of you.

It makes it easier when you bump into each other.

And if you had a friendly kind of breakup, maybe your ex just wants to be a friend of yours but without the sex aspect – it might be that he values your friendship but doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you anymore.

You will also have to decide whether you like the idea of seeing him just as a friend or do you hope for something more…

…maybe you have moved on with your own life and you don’t need an ex-friend kind of interrupting your new life?


It’s really up to you to decide what you want.

2) Maybe he regrets your decision to break up

Sometimes we say things in the heat of the moment and our ‘bae’ gets upset and hurt.

You’ve heard that saying that we often take things out on the ones we love most.

Sometimes you say things you deeply regret and now you kind of want to stay friends so that you can get the chance to fully apologize; maybe even make up again.

If you do want to make up again or hope to make up again, you need to figure out what went wrong in the first place.

Because then if it’s not resolved, you might still have the same problems as you go forward.

3) Maybe he wants you to “fill in” until he finds the real deal

There are heaps of people that just cannot bear to be on their own.

They are scared to make a clean break and be totally alone.

They try and keep in touch with you still.

They think it’s a way of being attached to someone until they meet someone ‘better’ – then they’ll disappear out of your life.

In other words, they are using you for their emotional support – taking from you but not giving back.

When they are with someone new, and you are in need of support, they won’t be around for you because they will have a new partner.

Take it as a warning; if your ex isn’t really serious about starting over with you again, dump him.

4) Maybe he wants you as a sex partner with no strings attached

Now that he uses you for emotional support, he sees you as his sex kitten until he moves on.

For instance, he might call you over a weekend for some ‘Netflix and Chill’ and you know just what he means.

We have all heard about ‘friends with benefits’ and if you like that kind of arrangement, that’s fair enough.

But if you believe that him visiting you for sex will eventually lead you back to dating and love again, you might be in for a big disappointment.

5) Ex wants the best of both worlds

Some people, male or female, look for an emotional attachment but don’t want to be bothered with a grown-up committed relationship with responsibility.

Others want to stay in contact with an ex-partner while they dabble with other prospects.

Some exes don’t really want you back in a relationship after a breakup but they keep you on as a friend so that other people don’t ‘get’ you.

5) He might really miss the friendship side you had

Maybe you were friends once before you started dating.

Now your ex misses the friendship you once had more than the dating part.

Maybe you and he were friends that could really chat and confide in each other about stuff and he misses that.

A relationship isn’t only just about being sexually connected.

It’s also about forming habits with one another; where your lives are intertwined together.

Forming close friendship bonds aside from the sex can be devastating to lose and a reason why some want to continue being friends.

Some think after a breakup they have lost a lover, and that is true, but they might not have taken into account that if you were a real friend to them, they have lost that as well.

7) Even after asking you to be friends from a cordial point of view, Ex continues not to be bothered to see you

He asked you to stay friends to be polite, but now you haven’t heard from him much.

Just here and then an occasional call or text.

Maybe he commented a lot on your FB entries in the beginning, but those are getting less and less.

He takes ages to answer your messages.

He might even brag to you about a new conquest without even worrying how you take it.

A good idea is to drop the friendship.

8) He wants to stay friends because he is afraid of the changes that might come – he is lonely now

Some people need safety and consistency in their life and when change comes they feel insecure.

They fear facing the changes alone and being lonely and alone.

Keeping you as a friend means they don’t have to face the fact that your relationship is over and done with.

They know breakups are hard and can leave scars and they are scared that they might not get over the rejection.

Learning how to cope with a breakup is a necessary part of maturing and moving on without falling apart.

9) Ex still wants to be in control

Even though some lovers spend more time with their family after a breakup to progress forward, the ex still likes to keep tabs on the progress.

If he is your friend, he knows what’s going on in your life.

If he feels threatened by what he sees from his front seat view, he can even intervene.

It’s kind of like paranoia of you forgetting him and doing better than he is doing.

He has the satisfaction of knowing that he has certain control in your life if he stays your friend.

10) Ex wants to keep you as his backup plan

It’s nice for him to have you as a backup plan.

He might want someone else or fool around still, but if his new love lets him down, then he can always run back to you; even pretend that he was the one who dumped his new conquest and not she.

He might even ‘pretend’ that he is reconciling with you again.

Psychologists offer a couple of reasons why staying friends with your ex are not such a good idea – see what you think

1) It’s not easy just to switch off feelings

Nina Atwood, a famous author, says that many people believe that remaining friends with an ex make things easier to move forward and soften the blow of the breakup, but it’s not the case.

2) It usually makes it harder for you to move on…

…Because when you are around your ex all the time, it’s harder to get rid of the feelings of regret and loss.

Time gives you time to heal.

3) Your ex might still be in love with you

Often when a couple breaks up, it’s not usually a mutual decision.

Usually, someone gets dumped in the relationship – and usually, the one who gets dumped wants to get back together.

Staying friends can leave one person with a false sense of hope.

4) It may lead to an on-again-off-again relationship

Hanging on with an ex makes you more confused about whether you should have broken up in the first place.

And if you were physically attracted to each other, this will most definitely cause the relationship to move to an on-again-off-again relationship.

5) It might be painful to hang out as friends

No one wants to watch while their ex finds new love and moves away.

But if you remain friends, you might find it awkward and hurtful to watch them being cozy with each other.

6) There’s no upside to staying friends

Unless you have kids or something like that, there is no good reason to stay friends with your ex, especially if you were the one who chose to end the relationship.

7) And now you also have to explain to your new crush that you still spend a lot of time with your ex

Naturally, the crush will think you are still hung up on the ex.

That’s a red flag.

Also Read: 17 Reasons Your Ex Is Ignoring You Completely

Think about not going back!

Just bear in mind that never, under any circumstances, should a friendship that was manipulative, toxic, or abusive ever turn into a friendship, period.

And still, even if the relationship was healthy, but just didn’t work out, you still should think twice before becoming ‘bff’s’.

A study done in 2000, found that exes who carried on with friendships with past lovers were those more likely to have negative qualities and less likely to have positive qualities.

  • For instance, if you had a very strong connection, a strong love affair with a fulfilling and erotic sex life, then how do you become or stay friends with such a person?
  • Wouldn’t a new lover, if you were able to develop a new friendship, be suspicious of your relationship with your ex?
  • You couldn’t blame them, could you?

Because many friendships with an ex can actually hold you back from starting a new relationship and there is research to back this up.

See what you think.


When all is said and done, you need to think carefully about whether to stay friends with your ex.

It might seem a great idea to you, particularly if your heart has been broken.

But how will you feel a few months down the line if he started dating again?

Sometimes exes even want to stay friends immediately after a breakup; which seems to be strange and which does not occur very often.

It usually happens when a breakup has ended amicably and not after a heated breakup.

Usually, you hear stuff like “I’m really sorry for breaking your heart. Let’s stay friends for now – then we will see where we stand later – who knows, maybe we will still end up together in the future.”

And many women when they hear that think to themselves, “I’m so happy my ex wants to be friends and doesn’t despise me.”

After all, you dedicated a lot of time to your boyfriend, and you believe the friendship being offered is because he can’t quite let you go yet.

But in reality, it might be much less than that!

We’ve either done the dumping or been dumped somewhere along the line

Most of us have been in this position for some time.

The most important thing here is to start moving forward.

But how easy will it be to move on positively and into the future if you keep getting random texts on your phone from your ex and he is still in your life?

Aren’t these very things standing in the way of you doing just that? – moving forward.

Many people believe in second chances and others do not believe it.

So whether you do decide to allow your ex to be a friend in your life after your breakup, remember to stay open-minded to the concept of love.

If you do still have feelings for your ex, then there might still be enough reason to pursue it. 

So are there any good reasons to stay friends with your ex?

Sure – but that’s if neither of you has ulterior motives like the list of 10 that we mentioned above.

  • And then you and your ex’s friendship should not interfere with your current relationships, right?
  • For instance, would you be comfortable hanging out with your ex and your current partner at the same time?

Unfortunately, ulterior motives can be sneaky and our minds can play tricks with us and disguise those ulterior motives as just innocent aims.

Just be honest with yourself about what your true intentions are as well.

Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Does it mean my ex really still loves me if he wants to be friends?

There are a few reasons as we mentioned above why your ex still wants to be friends.

Think about which one of you broke the relationship up and which one of you is going to benefit the most if you do decide to stay friends.

How would you feel if your ex started dating someone else again? That might be your answer to the above question.

How do you know if he only wants to be friends or if he wants more?

There will be some good signs that he is only interested in being friends. Some of them are to protect himself and his needs as you will see above.

If he only wants to be friends with you he might even talk about new dates and even ask you for advice about them.

And he won’t get jealous if you tell him about your new dates unless his ego is damaged!

Should I let my ex be friends with me?

There will be some circumstances where it will be fine to stay in contact with your ex, but if you no longer have any feelings for them, why stay friends with them or meet up with them?

Read these 7 signsto see whether you are ready to allow your ex to be friends with you.

If a guy breaks up with me and then wants to stay friends, does it mean he wants to rekindle our relationship?

There are quite a few reasons why a guy might want to rekindle a relationship – we have shown you 10 above.

He might realize he made a mistake and sincerely wants to become friends again – he is mature enough to want to discuss mistakes and go forward.

But others want to be your friends again for other reasons.

These could be because they are afraid of change, or they want sex without any strings attached.

Some want to experience the best of what both worlds have to offer.