A Guy Explains Why Your Ex-Boyfriend Wants To Be Friends

The one question that arises out of every breakup is whether or not you and your ex will remain friends. The answer to that really depends. Do both of you want to remain friends? Are you emotionally ready to be just friends? Is it a good decision to stay in contact? It’s also worth looking at the motivating factors. If your ex-boyfriend wants to be your friend at any point after a breakup, what’s his motivation? Here are a few things that could be going on.

1. He hasn’t met someone new yet.

Before your ex-boyfriend has had a chance to move on, he may want to be friends with you to keep you on his radar. To be fair, this is more common with a casual or short-term relationship. He’ll want to keep you in his life to provide a female presence in his life, at least until he meets someone new. Also, if it was a casual relationship, he thinks being friends leaves the door open for a friends with benefits situation. Obviously, he can’t do that unless you agree to remain friends with him.

2. You’re his backup plan.

There are literally a billion or so guys in the world who probably think they can do better than their current situation. The harsh truth is that most of them can’t, but that doesn’t stop them from thinking they can. Your ex might be keeping you around in case everything else falls through. What if you’re the best he’ll ever do? If he can’t find someone better, he thinks it’ll be easier to pivot back into a relationship if you guys remain friends. Yes, this happens.

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4. He realizes he made a mistake.

Sometimes an ex wanting to be friends is a sign that he’s seen the light. He’s recognized his mistakes and how he screwed up the relationship. This kind of revelation is sometimes accompanied by the desire to get back together. He thinks that by being friends he’ll be able to show you that he’s changed and that your relationship will be different if you give it another chance. However, sometimes it means he’s come to grips with his mistakes. He’s put it behind him but wants to be friends because you meant a lot to him before he ruined everything.

5. He’s interested in a sleeping with you.

Yes, some guys are just after sleeping with you. Shocking revelation, I know. Some guys believe that being friends with an ex will help them rekindle an intimate relationship at some point. To be fair, that’s not always the top priority. But you can’t become sleep buddies or friends with benefits with someone if you’re not in their life. Being friends is one way to stay on someone’s radar and get back into the bedroom with an ex.

6. He wants to keep tabs on you.

For the record, this could be both creepy or kind. If it was an emotional breakup after a long-term relationship, it’s not unreasonable for your ex to want to stay friends. He may want to stay in your life in some capacity. In fact, he probably cares enough to want to see that you’re okay. Of course, he may just want to be friends so he knows what you’re up to after the breakup. Perhaps he’s jealous and wants to know if you’re seeing someone else. In both cases, your ex is genuinely curious about where your life goes after you split up.

7. You were friends before your relationship.

This seems reasonable enough, right? If you two were friends before you became a couple, it’s not a stretch that he’ll want to go back to being friends. Nobody is saying it will be easy. It’s also possible that he has some ulterior motives. However, he could just generally not want to lose a valued friend.

8. He’s afraid to move on.

Even if you break up, he can at least pretend that you’re still in a relationship if you agree to remain friends. It’s sad and a little pathetic, but it happens. In his head, it’s not completely over if you two are still friends. The breakup and the pain of it won’t feel real until he’s forced to move on from the relationship. Admittedly, this is not a healthy response to a breakup, but some guys will use friendship to cling to a relationship if they’re scared to move on from it.

9. He genuinely wants to be your friend.

For what it’s worth, this is probably the least likely possibility, but there are occasions when an ex-boyfriend genuinely wants to be your friend. Honestly, most guys probably aren’t emotionally healthy enough to do this. But if he’s over the relationship and made peace with everything, he may want to be just friends. Ideally, you’ll know your ex pretty well. You should be able to decide if he’s the type of person who can get over a relationship and genuinely want to be your friend. Just remember that this is possible but not necessarily common.

Bryan Zarpentine graduated from Syracuse University and lives in upstate New York, where he writes largely about the world of sports. His work has appeared on Franchise Sports and WSN, among others. You can find him on Twitter @BZarp.