Do you think you can ever be friends with an ex-boyfriend? Once you break up, do guys just want you out of their lives… or when they say they want to still be friends, does that really mean they just want to keep hooking up?
Maintaining a legit friendship with any ex- is tricky stuff – usually because both parties are rarely on the same page.
In my very first post for Gurl.com over a year ago, I granted that if a guy has truly moved on from an ex, he certainly might pursue a friendship with her. This can be very common when the guy is the one initiating the break up, and if you want to remain friends (and think you can move on), there’s no reason why you guys shouldn’t become pals. However, if you’re the one doing the dumping, and you suspect he still has feelings for you, be careful – he might be settling for a friendship out of desperation. Or, he might even have sneakier motives, hoping to eventually re-open the possibility of romance in the near future.
Now, on the opposite end of the spectrum, there are also guys who play the friendship card as an easy way to let a girl down. Girls do this, too. More often than not, younger guys head this direction with the noblest of intentions, assuming that a post-romantic relationship is a preferred possibility (any experienced guy knows that it’s usually not either of these things). But only the jerkiest of jerks will string along a girl under the guise of “friendship” as a means to continue hooking up with her. If it does happen (and unfortunately, it does), feel free to notify your school paper of this dishonest behavior – such creepdom should be broadcast to the entire student body.
Of course, once in awhile, two people will date and realize simultaneously that they’re both better off as platonic buddies, which is certainly ideal. But for the most part, because of all the potential variables and conditions involved with both partners’ feelings, maintaining a friendship with an ex is seldom ever that easy. If you’re determined to make one work, be prepared for some honest, open talks that might take you both into very sensitive territory. It’s not impossible, but it requires patience, maturity, and often, an ability to read between the lines of others’ emotions.
Ethan Fixell is a writer and comedian from New York City best known as one half of comic “dating coach” duo Dave and Ethan. He is also the creator and editor of ActualConversation.com. For more on Ethan, visit EthanFixell.com…or call his mom, Robin.