Let’s Be Friends

Break-ups can be painful and scarring, but no one can deny that they’re part of life. They shape us just as much as relationships do. We’re built up, not only by the things we take in, but also by the things we let go of.

I’ve received a series of similar questions from anonymous askers via Ask.FM, and these answers pretty much sum up how I feel about ex-boyfriends.

What does it mean if your ex wants to be friends with you?

In general, I’d suppose it would depend on the manner and reason for the breakup. For the most part, an ex trying to be your friend would just mean that he perhaps wishes that the relationship didn’t happen, that you would’ve been good as friends before. Or he feels guilty for doing something, and hopes you could find a peace with each other. It would only mean that he wants to get back together, if the reason for breaking up wasn’t really worth losing you over. Other than that, an ex wants to be friends, because he wants to be friends.

Either that, or he wants to seem like friends, because he wants to keep his reputation clean and want to look good and innocent to other people.
Would you want to be friends with your ex after the break-up?
Like, right after the break up? No. I’d like to be left alone. When I’m fine, we can be friends again.

The only person who asks to be friends right after the breakup is the person who cares more about his reputation and just doesn’t want to look like an ass in front of people.
“Friends to lovers, possible. Lovers to friends, never.” Agree? By lovers, I mean those who are in a relationship.
Why do you disagree?
This is about the lovers to friends thing, right? Well, because not all breakups are painful and horrible. In some of them, you both just realize that you didn’t want to be in a relationship. Just because you guys were super close before didn’t mean you should have been together. And upon realizing that, it’s not such a bad breakup. It could hurt, because then you’d realize how much time you wasted trying to build or fix a relationship that wasn’t really meant for you both in the first place. Other than that, you’ll get back just fine. The small details about your life that you let only him know would still be there, and even though you’re not together, you at least make a good friend you could even end up trusting more than others.
How long does it usually take someone to move on?    

The rule is usually half the relationship period. But if you ask me, it kind of takes five to eight months.
How do you make your ex regret leaving you?

Well the first step is to not think about making your ex regret leaving you. If you do think like that, everything you do will be done for that ex. The trick is to do everything for yourself. Get back on your own two feet, live your life, learn to not be dependent on another’s love to survive.

What if I’m the one who broke up with him and right after the break up, he keeps on INSISTING to be friends with me? EVen though the break up’s been a month already   

Maybe he didn’t like the way things ended for the both of you. Why, do you think he’s trying to find a way to get back?

No. I was actually thinking that maybe he wasn’t as hurt as I am cause he can stand being friends with me and he even insists it. 

If that is true, that doesn’t give him an excuse to force his terms on you. Ask him to give you your time and space. Tell him that what he’s doing is insensitive towards you, and that if he really is your friend and cares about your well-being, then he has to learn to leave you alone. If he doesn’t really care about you as a friend, and is insisting on this friendship just so that being together in the same room/group of friends won’t feel “awkward” anymore, or so it wouldn’t make him look like a jerk to have a new relationship, then he can learn to fuck off.

Do you think it’s possible to move on from a broken relationship within a month, if you’ve been with that person for almost a year?
If the past few months of that relationship was all about falling apart and breaking away, then it’s possible. Are you the person who has an ex that insists on being a friend? If you are, your ex might have seen this breakup coming from a while back, and managed to prepare himself for the fall. Whereas you tried to work hard to keep things together. So at this point, you might feel that it’s unfair. Why is he not so hurt, and why does he want to be friends? Why do I feel so alone? Why does it feel like I was the only one doing everything? I feel exhausted, used, hurt. Why do you not feel this way? Why are you okay with everything when I’m a total wreck? Those kinds of things. What you should know is that the other person must have felt like this too, but gave up long ago.
Why do you think badly of ex’s that want to be friends right away?
When I say that they want to be friends right away, to protect a reputation or to have a ‘go’ signal that they can date other people again, it comes from experience. I’ve been that person, sort of. I’ve been the person to pretend that we’re friends, or ask to be friends, even though I know that “you” aren’t okay yet. I’ve been the one to somewhat force “you” into a situation to act like you feel better about everything, when “you” were still hurting. Because, you know, I didn’t want to have to walk the same hallway and not say hi to you. I didn’t want to leave the same set of friends. You should know that as much as I forced you to be okay, I was forcing myself to learn to be okay with it too.

But I’ve also been the person on the receiving end of it. “We’re still friends though, right?” ended up as a way to make sure “he” didn’t look bad in front of other people, especially when he was trying to court another girl. It also gave him an excuse to say “she’s totally fine with us dating; we’re friends” to this new girl.
And I realized, it’s not just me. With the friends I’ve listened to, maybe like you, dear Anon, if you’re the same one asking the questions, it happens all the time.
I guess I’m not really angry at these ex’s. I can understand. They’re just as confused as we all are, and to the best of their judgment, being friends is something they think they should do. If there’s one thing I learned in this world, there are no villains, only victims. People who hurt us do hurtful things, because they believe it’s the best way to protect themselves. Still, learn to protect yourself too. Be angry if angry; express pain if you’re hurt. You can’t begin to forgive someone before you’ve let them know that they’ve done you a great deal wrong.
So now that you now what ive been going through, would u give me some advice on what i should do now?    

Well, for starters, tell that person the reason why you aren’t ready to be friends just yet, if you’re ever to be friends at all. Also, if you have common friends who may be affected by this separation, let them know. Take your time to grow and heal, and learn to take care of yourself without depending on someone else. You can go on dates, if you like. But remember that not all dates have to become relationships. Only enter a new relationship when you feel like you aren’t going to look at this new person, and hope that he fills up whatever gaping hole the previous one left behind. Whether or not you become friends with your ex at the end of it all is totally unrelated. By friends, I mean close friends who regularly meet and hang. But you /should/ be on good terms with him.

Do you know about the Three Month Rule? Do you believe in it?
I don’t know anyone who’s ever dated and never knew about the three month rule, haha. So yes, I know it. I don’t believe in it, but it’s a damn good rule to establish. A lot of people just go and wreck themselves over the notion of love and eternity without even thinking about what happened to them in the past, so they date new people and repeat the cycle of what hurt them in the first place. But I don’t believe in the three month rule in a sense that there are mature people who know what they’re getting in to, and there are also people who are only casual daters, so it doesn’t really matter if they date someone new a day after the breakup.
What can you say about couples who get their names tattooed on each other, but break up only in a matter of months?
They’re impulsive romanticists. I don’t want to judge them. It’s not that they’re doing anything wrong, really. So they fell in love and fell out of it, what now? I’m sure they feel pretty stupid themselves, so I don’t want to add to their humiliation. I’m kind of proud of them, actually, to learn to let go of their fears that they’ll end up broken apart soon, and just fall recklessly and freely in love with each other regardless of that fear.I don’t know. I think society’s dumb for calling people like these dumb, or too idealistic, like having dreams is ever a wrong thing. You know what renders people incapable of getting back up after a break-up? All the scornful people who told them to wake up to reality, because happy endings are only in fairytales, that’s what. Why can’t we all just congratulate them on trying to find love in an otherwise hopeless world, right?

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