Should I Be Friends With My Ex If I Want Him Back: Can You Be Friends With Your Ex Boyfriend

If you were to ask someone whether or not you should be friends with your ex boyfriend. Often a banal response would be:

"Your ex is an ex for a reason."

Suggesting that you shouldn't be friends with or even contacting your ex. Basically, ignore your ex forever.

But I'm not so sure.

Yes, there are reasons as to why an ex is an ex. But what if your reasons for a breakup doesn't justify ignoring your ex completely? What if it was an amicable breakup? Could you be friends then?

And if not friends, then should you be enemies? That is the opposite of being friends. Well, I don't think that would be the case.

Anyway, I think there's a better way to address this question. And that is to get an understanding of what it means to be friends.

How would you define a friend? And in what way would you act as a friend to your ex?

I think there are three categories of friends you can place your ex in. (Excluding "internet friends.")

These are the three categories of typical friends that I believe we have in our lives. And after a breakup, your ex is going to fit into one of them. But there is a particular one that I think your ex should fit in.

So let's explore the first category.

Category #1: Your Girlfriends or Best Friends

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. ~ Oprah Winfrey

Your girlfriends. BFFs. Sisters. Besties.

These are your closest friends, your best friends, that you trust with all your heart. They've got your back through thick and thin. Loyal to the very end. And as you are going through your breakup you can count on your girls to be there to hand you a box of Kleenex, give you a hug, and listen with deep empathy.

These are friends that you've known for years. You share your problems, intimate and personal details of your dating life with each other. These friends could probably complete your sentences before you finish it.

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In a way, your ex was in this category or sub category when you were dating. It's not exactly what you have with your girlfriends. But during your relationship, he was your best friend. Your confidante. Your companion.

But once out of the relationship. It's very rare for an ex to stay in this category. And for good reasons.

For one, if you want to heal from the breakup he can't be your friend you contact for support. You need to break the attachment to him so you can get over him quickly.

Second, your ex can't be your best friend when it comes to your personal life. Particularly, when you start dating again. You may not even broach the subject. But it is something that will be in the back of his mind when you talk about what's happening in your life. Even if he says he's cool with you dating. He'll still get jealous thinking about it.

Conversely, you probably don't want to hear about or think about the new girl he is with.

This was a difficult part of wanting to remain best friends with my ex. I was okay when she told me she was dating again. But when I saw her with a new man. It was gut wrenching.

Lastly, this type of friendship is stressful to maintain. Given the history of your past relationship you will both have higher expectations of what it means to be friends. Such as expecting the other to immediately reply to a call or a text.

So this is a category that you nor your ex would want to be in. Unless, you really think you can handle it (or if your ex just turned gay). But it's very difficult and rare.

However, there are easier and stress free ways to be friends. You just have to bump him down one or two categories.

Category #2: Your Work and Club Friends (Co-Workers, Hobby friends)

These are friends from a company, club, or organization you attend. They are your co-workers, yoga class friends, church friends, school friends, etc.

Sometimes you hang out with these friends but not often.

For example, you'll sometimes hang out with your co-workers after work. Participating in social activities such as bowling, dinner, movies, or maybe invite each other out to parties. But they are not friends you consistently hang out with socially like you would with your girlfriends. And when you talk about your personal life, you don't get into deep personal stuff.

When you leave these places (your job, yoga class, church, etc) and move on to something else. Usually, you still consider them your friends. And may even add them on your Facebook to stay in touch every now and then. But they are far removed from your life.

If you see each other down the road. The conversation is brief. Quickly catching up with current events and then you both go your separate ways.

In your heart, it was nice to see them again. To reconnect for a bit as you recall some old memories and have a few laughs. Then parting ways and wishing each other well.

Likewise, this could be the friend category your ex can fall into.

You have left the old establishment: the relationship. When you leave, you are no longer in contact with each other for months or years as you're doing your own thing. But you still consider him a friend. When you do reconnect sometime in the future, it's only for a quick chat to catch up on things.

When your ex is in this category. Just think about your co-workers or friends that you knew. You often don't stay in touch or hangout but you still consider them your friends.

But even this level of friendship may be too much for some. So perhaps the last category is where your ex fits.

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Category #3: Perfect Strangers (Acquaintances)

Have you ever been on vacation when you meet that perfect stranger?

You connect with this person and do some fun adventurous stuff together. Enjoying your vacation as a couple for a few days.

And when the vacation ends you go your separate ways. Exchanging contact information to keep in touch but you don't expect anything serious from it. Knowing it was just for fun.

Still, you consider this perfect stranger a friend. An acquaintance really. Someone with whom you had created a moment with in your short time together. It was amazing. But you have to go back to reality. To live your life again.

You may see them in the future and maybe catch up a bit. Or you may choose to pretend to be strangers. For it was another life that you two lived. And so you smile at each other knowing of the past and move on.

This is my romantic version of it.

But there are perfect strangers that you meet in your life. They become fast friends from the situation you are both in. Or from the commonalities you share. But these strangers go as quickly as they come. Leaving behind a memory of when you formed a bond of friendship.

Personally, I think the perfect strangers category is where your ex should be as a friend.

You shared some wonderful and crazy moments together. It was beautiful, it was sad, and a bit dramatic at times. And after a breakup, you'll want to keep him as friend throughout your life. But over time, as the memories of the relationship fade, the friend label will change and he will become an acquaintance. Someone that you knew. Someone that you dated. Someone that was.

A perfect stranger.

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So to answer the question: "Should you be friends with your ex boyfriend?"

I say, yes.

If it was an amicable breakup and he's not totally crazy. Then I don't see why not.

My idea of a friend is what Oxford dictionary defines (underline added):

"A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations."

By this definition, it doesn't mean that you always have to be in touch with him. Maybe not at all. But even so, in your heart he remains a friend. And over time as your bonds of friendship will change. You can still think of him as a friend - the perfect strangers sort.

But, maybe, your definition of a friend is completely different than mine. That's okay. Define your own meaning of a friend.

However, if it means not breaking contact at all, then understand that if the breakup was recent it is recommended that you do not stay in contact at first. As you both need some time (usually a few months) to cool off. To heal and accept the breakup.

Only then would you be able to establish a healthy form of friendship.

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Women who are left devastated and depressed after a breakup usually end up doing demeaning things just to get their ex boyfriend back. This isn't an advisable thing to do, though, as it only gives your ex boyfriend a bad impression of you. You'll lose his respect and push him further away from you. If you want to win your ex boyfriend back, you can opt to try using text messages to do so, though. However, if you choose to do this, you will have to learn how to properly phrase the text messages you send him so that you can successfully win him back at the end.

1. Don't clutter his inbox with your messages.

Wanting to win your ex boyfriend back doesn't mean you have to text him non-stop. In some - if not most - cases, ex boyfriends want nothing to do with their ex girlfriends and if this is the case between you and your ex then there really isn't much left to do. It is better if you give him the space he needs. He needs time away from you to calm down and collect his thoughts regarding the whole situation. Giving him this will increase your chances of winning him in the end.

2. Make him see things your way.

Before you will be able to win your ex boyfriend back through text messages, he must be on the same page as you. That means he must also be thinking of the possibility of the two you getting back together. Communicating with him again through text may be fine for now, but it won't hold up for the long run - remember that. So, do you want things to revert to how they were before or do you want to create something better?

3. Take matters into your own hands.

Some women are jaded enough to believe that if they were meant to be with their ex boyfriends, then it's bound to happen. However, the truth is: if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself, and this includes getting your ex boyfriend back. This goes beyond phrasing post-breakup text messages properly and being a good person. It takes a lot of effort to win an ex boyfriend back and it involves a lot of changes and compromise. So, before you even try, you have to make sure that this guy is worth it. After all, you wouldn't want to waste your time over nothing.

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If you want to work on getting your ex boyfriend back, you need to make him regret that he ever broke up with you. The best way to do this is to discontinue all contact immediately. Does this sound crazy to you? You cannot possibly believe that your ex, who is still quite angry and hurt at the moment, wants you constantly calling them, begging for a second chance. Act this way and your chances of getting your ex boyfriend back are slim to none.

Why am I so sure about this? Just look around you! How many women do you know that have convinced themselves that if they just contact him one more time, explain their point of view from this different angle, that suddenly they will want to get back with them again? But guess where it gets them time and time again? NOWHERE! You ruin your chances of getting your ex boyfriend back by acting in an emotionally irrational manner.

I know it is hard, and I know that you are hurting right now, but please, do not make this common mistake as it will only ruin any chance you might have had at getting your ex boyfriend back. Being out of contact does get easier with time. This is something you have to do in order to get him back. You cannot beg and plead your way back into his heart.

And remember, you ex is hurt and angry right now. You were not the only one who was hurt by the break up. But as time passes, those negative feeling will fade and he will start to miss you. He'll think about the good times and how much fun you had together. He'll miss talking to you and seeing you. Your lack of contact is going to make him long for you stronger, until he can't take it anymore - he just misses you like crazy! He'll realize what a mistake he made and he'll be doing everything he can to try to get you back.

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