If you’re asking yourself, why does my ex want to be friends so badly? It can be confusing.
Do they want you back?
Are they sorry for how you split up?
Is revenge on their mind?
There are all sorts of things that come to mind, and it’s best to take a look at your situation and consider all the scenarios before jumping to any conclusions.
To help you out, here are 13 of the most common reasons why exes typically want to be friends so badly:
Why Does My Ex Want to Be Friends So Badly? (13 Possible Reasons!)
1. They Miss Spending Time with You
One of the most common reasons why an ex would want to be friends is because they miss spending time with you.
It’s not that they don’t have other friends, and it doesn’t always mean they want to get back with you.
If the two of you had a lot in common and had a lot of fun together, it’s natural that they’re going to feel that loss along with splitting up.
2. They Regret Splitting Up with You
This is a more serious reason, and it’s one that can cause a lot of heartache.
There are all sorts of reasons people break up with each other, but sometimes people realize they made a mistake.
It’s not uncommon for an ex to want to be friends because they regret splitting up in the first place and want to get closer to you.
If you feel like this is the reason they want to be friends so badly, it’s better for both of you emotionally if you give them more time to get over the split.
3. They Want to Find out What You’re up To
If your ex is trying to be friends with you, it might be because they want to keep tabs on you and find out what you’re up to.
This isn’t always a bad thing, but if they start asking too many personal questions or get jealous when you talk about other people, it might be time to limit the friendship.
Maybe they’re jealous, it might be that they have control issues as I’ll cover next, whatever the reason, it’s toxic behavior and you wouldn’t expect it from someone who is a friend.
4. They Have Control Issues
This is a big one, and it’s definitely a reason that should make you distance yourself from your ex.
If your ex wants to be friends because they have control issues, it means they’re trying to keep you close so they can feel like they still have some power over you.
It’s an unhealthy situation for both of you, and it’s best that you cut ties if this is why they’re trying to stay friends.
5. They Are Lonely Since Splitting from You
Going from being in a relationship to splitting up can be lonely, and sometimes people want to be friends with their ex because they’re trying to fill that void.
It’s not a good reason to stay friends with someone, but it is a common one.
If you think this might be why your ex wants to stay friends, try to set some boundaries so you’re not just a source of support for them.
6. They Realize how Good Things Really Were
When people are in a relationship, they don’t always realize how good things are until it’s over.
It’s not uncommon for an ex to want to be friends because they realized how great things were when you were together and they miss that.
Trying to stay friends to hold onto that feeling is not the right thing to do but for some people, they just want to do anything to hold onto that feeling.
7. They Are After Some Kind of Revenge
One of the more nefarious reasons your ex might want to be friends with you is because they’re planning some kind of revenge.
Maybe they’re feeling hurt, or it’s possible they’re not over the breakup for some reason and they want to get back at you.
To do so, they know they need to be close to you. It’s one of the worst reasons to try and remain friends, but it happens.
8. They Want to Be ‘Friends with Benefits’
This is also a pretty common reason, especially if you’ve already hooked up since splitting from each other.
Your ex might want to be friends because they want to keep that physical connection going without any of the emotional baggage.
It’s not what a lot of people want to hear, but it happens all the time. Just be honest with yourself about where your boundaries are if you’re interested.
9. They Think They’re Doing You a Favor
This is a really awful reason for them to want to be friends, but some people actually believe they’re doing you a favor by staying in your life.
Maybe they think you’re sad or lonely or not dealing with the breakup well, either way, I’m sure you don’t want their pity.
In reality, all they’re doing is trying to control the situation and make themselves more important.
10. They Want to Use You to Get Closer to Your Friends
If your ex is trying to be friends with you, it might be because they want to get closer to your friends.
It could be that they’re lonely and want some new friends, or maybe they’ve developed a crush on one of your friends.
Either way, it’s not really fair to use you as a means to an end so if you spot this happening I’d put a block up.
11. They Still Have Feelings for You
This is probably the most common reason people want to be friends with their ex, they still have feelings for you.
It doesn’t matter how strong those feelings are and what it means to you, the fact is that they can’t move on because they still care about you.
If this is the case, it’s best to try and distance yourself and put some time and distance between the two of you.
12. They Intend to Try and Make You Jealous of Them
This is an immature reason to want to stay friends with an ex, but it does happen.
They might be trying to make you jealous by dating other people or talking about their new partners all the time in front of you.
It’s a low blow and not something you should put up with, so if this is why they want to stay friends I’d stop responding to their texts.
13. They Genuinely Just Want to Be Friends
It’s possible that your ex does actually just want to be friends, and it could work out pretty well!
It’s not the most common reason on this list, but it can happen.
If they’ve made it clear that they just want to remain friends and have no ulterior motives, then maybe you should consider giving them a chance.
It really depends on your individual circumstances and what the two of you have been through.
Related – Will I ever hear from my ex again?
What Do You Do When Your Ex Just Wants to Be Friends?
If your ex just wants to be friends, you have to ask yourself if that’s something you’re okay with.
It can be tough, especially if you still have feelings for them, but it is possible to stay friends after a breakup.
You just need to be honest with each other about your intentions and make sure you’re on the same page.
My best advice is to keep an eye out for any clues that might suggest what their motivations are and take it slowly.
At the end of the day, the two of you split. You need to create some space so that you can grow as individuals and make some new and positive things happen in your lives.
Is It Unhealthy to Be Friends with An Ex?
It can be unhealthy to stay friends with an ex, yes.
If you’re not over them – or they’re not over you – and there are feelings floating around, then it’s probably not going to be the healthiest situation for you.
You might find that either you or they get jealous or upset when one of you starts dating someone else, and that’s not fair to either of you.
It’s important to have a clear head when you make the decision to be friends with an ex, and to be honest about your feelings.
If you’re not sure if you can do it, it’s probably best to take some time apart and reassess things later on.
Can You Be Friends with An Ex You Still Have Feelings For?
It’s possible to be friends with an ex you still have feelings for, but it’s not always easy.
You need to be honest with yourself and with them about your feelings, and make sure you’re in a good place mentally before you try to pursue a friendship.
It’s also important to remember that just because you’re friends doesn’t mean those feelings will go away.
You might find it tough to see them with someone else, or they might get jealous if you start dating someone.
If you try it and it’s not working out, you need to be strong enough to explain that to them and let them know you need some time apart from being friends.
Image credits – Photo by Jeferson Santu on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.