If you still aren’t over the breakup, you will suffer being friends with your ex-girlfriend especially if she has a boyfriend. You should decline her offer and focus on feeling better before you consider being friends with her.
There’s the TLDR. You can go home now if you want.
Still with me?
Good. Glad you stuck around. You’re better off here then you are re-watching Breaking Bad for the 3rd time.
Because let’s face it, sometimes women do things that leave us scratching our heads.
What’s more confusing then when your ex-girlfriend comes out of the woodwork and wants to be friends?
If you’re sitting there, shaking your head and asking yourself “what the fuck?” I get it.
I’ve been there, and if you handle this wrong, you’re going to have a bad time.
And our buddy Thomas from Chicago is in the same situation. In addition to being under lockdown, his ex-girlfriend wants to be friends again after she left him.
But here’s the kicker. She has a boyfriend.
What’s up Jack?
Been reading your stuff for a while and it’s really helped me get my life under control. Thank you so much for everything you do. Hopefully, you can help me with this problem I’m having with my ex-girlfriend.
So me and my ex-girlfriend split up in November before all this went down. We were together for almost a year. She dumped me while I was focused on my thesis.
I’m still not entirely sure what I did wrong, but whatever, it’s water under the bridge.
I found out she was dating someone else after about a month and that crushed me. But I figured there wasn’t much I could do after I found your site, so I took your advice, went no-contact and got back to work. Not much else to do right now anyway, lol.
And guess what! I started feeling better. Not immediately, but I can say that today I feel much closer to normal than when I started.
Anyway, I got a text from her the other night that asked if we could talk.
It was weird. I thought I was over her, but my stomach twisted up into knots and I felt a nervous rush of energy.
Even though I knew it was the wrong thing to do, we got on Facetime and talked for about 30 minutes.
At the end, she told me “Thomas, I miss this. Can we be friends again?”
That caught me off-guard. I told her I needed to think about it.
I creeped on her FB profile and she’s still together with her boyfriend.
Since then I’ve been incredibly confused. Why the hell does she want to be friends all of a sudden?
I feel like I screwed this up and I don’t know what to do next and it’s not fun.
Where do I go from here?
First things first guys, if you ever feel like you screwed something up with your ex-girlfriend, don’t beat yourself up.
We all make mistakes, and they are almost always never the end of the world.
This is why building outcome independence is so important! It helps you take a deep breath when you screw something up and remind yourself that you’re going to be okay no matter what.
With that in mind – let’s break this down.
Why Does She Want To Be Friends Again?
Alright, so let’s start by getting the big one out of the way.
She wants to be friends because she thinks it’s going to benefit her somehow.
That’s true whether or not she has a boyfriend.
We don’t need to go too deep into the dynamics of male-female friendships to see what she’s looking for.
A study of almost 2,000 high school students in Australia found that boys who were higher in empathy had more female friends than their less emphatic counterparts.
A similar research review by Don O’Meara, Ph.D agrees.
The research says that women’s friendships with men tend to resemble their friendships with other women.
Women expect more emotional rewards from friendship then men do.
Think about it. Women want to connect with each other, while men are more about activities. Think about your own buddies. How often do you talk about your feelings?
But that fucking sweet 3 team parlay you hit? Oh yeah, you definitely talk about that all the time. But that’s more of an activity-based friendship.
Reading between the lines here – we can be very clear about the benefit she’s looking for: emotional fulfillment.
In this case – we have an extra clue. She has a boyfriend, but she’s still reaching out.
That tells me her boyfriend isn’t doing a great job of meeting her emotional needs.
When you don’t meet your girlfriend’s emotional needs, she will start to pull away from you.
To sum it up: your ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend is screwing something up. Her emotional needs aren’t being met, and she’s reaching out to you with the hope you’ll meet her needs.
We’ll talk more about him in a minute.
But don’t get ahead of yourself because…
You’re Not Going To Get Her Back By Being Her Friend
To get her back you need 3 not-so-secret ingredients, at least according to Paul Dobransky, MD, author of The Secret Psychology of How We Fall in Love.
- Attraction (which comes from outcome independence, confidence, and physical lust)
- Bonding (a series of positive experiences that set the stage for getting back together)
- Commitment (whether that’s implied or or otherwise)
While I don’t agree with everything written in the book, Dobransky’s 3 ingredients for relationships are spot on.
And guess which key factor you’ll be missing if you agree to be her friend?
Let’s be real guys. We’ve all had that criminally hot female friend that nothing ever happened with.
And yeah, I know that you totally would have slept with her, given the chance.
But, did you ever consider what she thought about you?
Because chances are she wasn’t attracted to you like you were to her.
Several studies agree, with one particular study conducted in 2000 reporting that “men were more likely to see sex and romantic potential in an opposite-sex friend as a benefit, while women primarily saw it as a cost“
Read that again.
With friendship, women were “more likely to experience the benefit of their male friends paying for outings and enjoyed the physical protection of those friends. However, as noted above, women found it costly when those male friends desired sex or romance. They also disliked when their male friends caused difficulty in the women’s other dating efforts.”
To look at it another way, when a woman puts you in the friend-zone, she puts you there because she doesn’t see romantic potential for you.
Plus, she’s already dating someone else so we can pretty clearly say you’re not getting back in, yet.
Just another reason to never agree to be friends.
But it’s not all doom and gloom.
So Here’s What You Do
First things first, if your ex-girlfriend reaches out to you and your stomach twists into knots, you aren’t over her yet.
If you’re not over her, you shouldn’t be talking to her at all. The more you talk to her, the longer you’ll take to fully recover from your breakup.
To get your ex-girlfriend back for good, you need the healthy dose of outcome independence that comes from not giving a shit about what she does.
That aside, you should always refuse if she offers to be your friend. It doesn’t matter if you want her back, or you want to get over her.
You won’t benefit by being her friend. The things you really want from a friendship (if you’re honest with yourself) are not going to come from her.
Think about it. This is the girl you used to kiss and be intimate with. This is the girl you loved. That you shared memories with. The girl you would do anything for, who you talked to every day. The girl that looked at you with love in her eyes.
Imagine trading that in for a stone cold glare and a “friendship” that will stand the test of time…where the test of time becomes “how long until she meets a new guy that doesn’t approve of his girlfriend being friends with her ex”.
Yeah. Not great for you.
The good news is – you don’t need to agree to be friends.
Nope. You can just say no to dru-
I mean say no to being friends. Right. Yes. That’s what I meant.
But What About Her Boyfriend?
The truth is, whether or not your ex-girlfriend has a boyfriend or not doesn’t change what you do in this situation.
Boyfriends come and go.
If she has a boyfriend but she’s reached out to you with the excuse of “let’s be friends” I’m leaning more towards her boyfriend going.
You heard it here first, folks. Her boyfriend might not be her boyfriend for much longer.
In my experience, when certain women are getting ready
Obviously that’s good if you want her back.
But it doesn’t change what you do. If anything, it makes it CRITICAL that you take away your attention.
She has to earn your attention now more than ever. If she wants your time, it has to be as your lover, not as your friend.
Always negotiate from a position of strength. It’ll give you the best chance to get her back.
But don’t give in to her demands to be friends. Take it as a good sign that she’s potentially interested in you, but if she wants to get together with you, it won’t be as a friend.
Because if she’s asking to be friends when she has a boyfriend, her boyfriend may be on the way out. If you know what to do, you stand a better chance of getting her back.