Why does recent ex want to remain friends?

posted 6 months ago in Relationships
Post # 16
2310 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

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pbj1453 :  he reached out and said he was sad about the breakup, but that he knew it should’ve probably happened a long time ago (which came as a surprise to me…)


Bee, I wouldn’t have interpreted that as “I haven’t loved you romantically for a long time”, I would have assumed he meant “due to issues I have this is clearly not a healthy relationship for you (OP), and I’ve been lucky you’ve hung in for this long” or something like that.


There’s no way to really know if him wanting to stay friends is his way of trying to back together with you, if he misses your company and wants you in his life in whatever capacity you can be, or if he wants to use you as an emotional crutch. Or something else. And it doesn’t really matter at this point. YOU need space right now, and your first responsibility is to yourself.


I would tell him that you’d like to be friends- eventually. But right now you need time to focus on yourself, and adjust back to being single. Tell him you’ll get back in touch with him when you feel ready, and you can’t know when that will be. If he respects your wishes and waits for you to contact him, great. Then maybe you can be friends in the future. If he continues to whine about his needs and lay guilt trips on you, and generally not respect the boundaries you’ve set, then I think that will also tell you all you need to know.

Post # 17
1281 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

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pbj1453 :  it’s this your first relationship? I learned pretty early on that people want to remain friends with ex’s for all the wrong reasons. To feed their ego, to help them ease out of a breakup slower, because the reality is that a breakup is like a death in that this person you cared about is no longer in your life. In your case you are asking us this question because you want us to tell you that he is in contact with you because he loves you madly and wants to fix things and get back together. Sorry but you won’t get that because it’s not true, just what you want to believe to feel better. 

I ask if it’s your first relationship because I’m wondering why him wanting to stay in touch with you is a question your asking. It’s usually one of the first hard lessons people learn after their first few relationships. To be clear it doesn’t mean he cares about you, it means he is selfish and cares about what he is going to miss out on by not having you around to meet his emotional support needs etc. there is a reason a breakup should make you go no contact with that person. 

Post # 18
433 posts
Helper bee

I pretty much echo what everyone else has said. If he keeps persisting then you could just text basically saying “I hear you, I understand, but I can’t be around you right now” send.

Seeing as you have known each other for a long time, maybe in a few years after you’ve both sorted things out and moved on then you can go back to being friends. But at the moment the break up is still too raw to try anything like that without the possibility of falling right back into where you were before.

Post # 19
658 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

Every ex that I’ve ever had wanting to be friends has just been waiting for me to change my mind or wanting to keep me as a backup. It’s never ever been purely platonic after that. Cut those loses

Post # 20
11338 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

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pbj1453 :  

No.  He needs a trauma recovery specialist, not an ex gf who is also his abuse victim.

While I am empathetic about his PTSD, you must put your own mental and physical health first.  Abusers are extremely manipulative. You’re going to be on the roller coaster until you go full No Contact.  Block him everywhere and move on.

If he is struggling with PTSD, he needs professional help.  There is not one damn thing you can do to save him.

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