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Friendship possible? Is it even worth it?

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After months of pain and healing, I feel like I have a new breakup to get over - that of the friendship my ex and I shared.


We were not only romantic partners for seven years, we were best friends. We genuinely shared ourselves with each other on a level neither of us was normally able to do. Even a few months after our breakup, even after my ex was in the midst of a new relationship, he still told me that no one knows him as well as I do. He told me that losing me completely from his life was not an option.


We always said we would stay friends. Always.


But I needed to heal, so I initiated NC with him. As I began to heal, I felt relief. I eventually met someone new, and now I am in a new relationship that is helping me get stronger and stronger each day. I very slowly started contact with the ex again. Just an email or two once a month, just to touch base and let him know I'm alive and how I was, in the hopes that very gradually we could reach a place of comfort. He would always respond, not saying too much, but always with kindness, telling me that he still felt sorry for the hurt he caused and that he's happy I'm doing well.


But recently something changed. I got a response from him that sounded familiar... it sounded like the equivalent of "you are better off without me"... He said "It warms my heart to think you are doing well. Not to demean anything between us, but it really sounds like you do better without me around."


After that, a couple weeks passed, and in a fit of strength and warmth, I finally sent him the email I'd been hoping I'd be able to send... the "I forgive you" email. Because I truly felt it... I truly felt like I wanted to let my grudge go and wish him well. I told him everything, and that I still hoped we could build a friendship like we'd both said we wanted. I told him I was tired of being hurt, and that even if he didn't handle things well, I truly wanted him to be happy.


But then.... silence. No response.

Another short email asking him to let me know if he's upset or what? ... and nothing.

*I* had initiated NC to heal. *I* had begun healing. *I* was the one hurt, the one needing time to heal. .... And when my heart finally begins to feel light again, feel ok with things... I get cold silence.


So my question is... what caused this? Was he trying to let things go with that last email of his? Does *he* just need time now?

Another gut feeling that I had was that his new girlfriend (who he left me for) was forbidding him to contact me.


I guess I'm just wondering if I'm a complete fool to hold out hope that we will be friends again. Looking back over everything he's said to me on the matter, he never gave any clue that he would ever just drop me like this. Even in the worst of times, the only thing he could for sure say to me was that we were connected to one another, and we'd always be in touch somehow.


So.. color me baffled

I suppose I must be a moron...

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I think you need to let go of him for now. He effects you much more emotionally than any friend and while he has this effect on you its best that you not be friends. Maybe with time it will subside and you can be friends. I know its hard, I am in NC with my ex and I think of all kinds of reasons to want to talk to her, from reconcilling to just talking to her, but I don't do it. I hope I keep it up for a long while.

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Hey Nixee!


I think that at this point, you are both in other relationships, and it is probably healthiest if you put the idea of friendship out of your mind for the time being. He may be serious in his new relationship and not wanting to jeapordise things by having you in the background - it can be very unsettling for a new partner having an ex hovering about.


Words are very easy - "We will always be friends - always". The reality is very different when new fresh emotions are brought into the equation.


I'd say step away from this for the time being. Get to know your new partner better and maybe you and your ex can be friends in the future - once you are both comfortable with your new partners.


Oh - and by the way - you are no moron - you sound very bright and intelligent to me!



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In the perfect world we wish we could be friends with an ex.

Im sure if there are zero romantic feelings on eachside then it can be possible.


BUT with the situation and feelings u have described it must be VERY HARD.

Ok he left u for someone else...that right there spks volumes..he changed the rules of the relationship/friendship at that point....U DONT OWE HIM ANYTHING.


Something that has occurred with me in the past , even now..is that i go into no-contact..feel the pain..then i feel so much stronger to the fact i convince myself that " yeh!. Hey im healed, i found someone new and i can HANDLE a friendship..."

All that is great and dandy till i feel the friendship has not been recipocated..then u feel like 'hurt' again.


Mabe the next email u send him should be a final goodbye.


Your with someone new now, can holding onto this guy unnessaserily really be doing ur relationship any good?



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Thank you both..... you are probably right.


I guess I am just pretty stubborn. I've been through breakups before, and I'm even friendly with most of my exes to this day, so I guess thats why this has felt so important to me.


I suppose I start to panic a little thinking that when the time finally does come when he comes around and misses having contact with me, that I will still feel hurt and abandoned by him and shove him away. I did that with one of my exes in the past, and he is the only one I have absolutely no contact with to this day.. don't even know where he is.


The thought of that happening with this guy... it scares me


But thank you for the compliment and advice, I appreciate it

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Mabe the next email u send him should be a final goodbye.


Your with someone new now, can holding onto this guy unnessaserily really be doing ur relationship any good?




Ugh... I've actually thought that many times.. both about the 'final goodbye' and the impact on my new man. Thankfully, my new partner was hurt in the past in a similar way and is thereforeeee very understanding and patient.


I really don't know if I could send a final goodbye though. Letting it fade seems tragic, but actually saying goodbye still seems impossible. But... perhaps thats also why he hasn't said anything to me... silence is easier :sad:

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It ain't east stayin friends, trust me. When friendship turns to love and relationship, it reaches a make or break point. I don't think being friend with an EX is a good idea. Maybe some months down the line yes, but not NOW.


I guess thats the bummer thing... we are several months down the line now, and I thought things were feeling right. :splat:


I guess if it ever happens it'll be many many more months (I hear they call those years?) *sigh* Horrible to think how distant it will seem then... missed out on big chunks of one another's lives... catching up with shallow chit chat: "so... how are you? .. me? good good... just got a promotion... little suzie starts college next month." THAT is where the true sadness lies.


As heartbreaking as the thought might be, due to the number of times I fantasized about marrying him myself, I guess I still somehow wish I could watch him finally tie the knot someday... just sitting and smiling at him from the aisles. Probably masochistic, I know, but when you truly love someone... its so hard to stop wishing to be part of their life as they grow.

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Hi Nixee


Friendships with exes are possible if it's what you both want and you are far removed from the once relationship you both had.. Maybe it is not the right time at this moment in time..


I got the whole I want to keep you as friend thing from my ex when we split up and not heard a thing from her in months.. Again maybe it is just not the right time so we may end up being friends down the line...



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I am thinking, hey why not be friends with the ex, especially if that ex was your greatest confidante? After all, what mainly separates friends from lovers is sex. I wouldn't mind hanging out with my ex without sex. If he demands that I hang out with him and my replacement gf, too, then I will have to pass on that one. My friendship with the Ex had nothing to do with his present GF and will have nothing to do with her.

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I am thinking, hey why not be friends with the ex, especially if that ex was your greatest confidante? After all, what mainly separates friends from lovers is sex. I wouldn't mind hanging out with my ex without sex. If he demands that I hang out with him and my replacement gf, too, then I will have to pass on that one. My friendship with the Ex had nothing to do with his present GF and will have nothing to do with her.


See.... I hope he can see it that way someday. Because you have a point, and truth be told, I'm happier with the sex I get now


But its always so darn complicated, isn't it?

And its true... if he made me hang out with the replacement... hmm... not sure I'm ready for that. She would have to be veerrrrrry nice to me and not all clingy to him. But in the big picture... the way I care for him really is bigger than all this jealousy and pain.

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i understand your situation.

you're more ahead than i am---i was also in a seven year relationship and my ex broke it off over 2 months ago.

i've been trying to be "friends" with my ex. for me, i have to tell you that the "friend" thing has been extremely painful. but on the other hand i honestly have recent fantastic memeories and times shared in a different way. it's confusing.

you sent your 2 emails and they were both valid. he hasn't responded yet. just let time pass and take things as they come. "It is what it is"

hope this helps

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I still couldn't get the "let's be friends" concept... My ex ( the dumper) recently sent me few mails apologizing for hurting me during the breakup and telling me that I am one of his best friends and how he would like to keep in touch with me after my NC of 2 months. I don't know how he defines this friendship but I don't see myself agree on it. His words showed kindness and care, ( but does he really care or it's just a way to lessen his guilt?). I missed the way we shared things together in the past, we both had learned a lot from each other...but I really don't think I will be able to clear up my feelings to him and just turn the past relationship to some kind of pure, happy friendship...


The fact that my ex got back to his ex ( after not seeing each other for 5 years and he claimed that they were merely FRIENDS...) also made me doubt what does this friendship thing mean? It is hard to let go (at least for me, now) if I am still a friend of his and keep in contact in a regular basis. This is just all confusing to me... (I haven't replied to him, I guess silence is indeed easier...)

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but does he really care or it's just a way to lessen his guilt?


I think that question right there might be the thing that holds me back for a long time.


In reality, I think its a bit of both. I think my ex truly does care, but right now his major motivation is his new life without me. And that life is better when he feels less guilt over what he did to me. He longs to feel closure, as do I. But for him closure means me telling him he doesn't have to feel bad anymore... that I'm ok with things.


And it is funny, because I kind of DID tell him that, in a way, when I told him I was starting to forgive him and that I really do wish him happiness.


But the sad part is... right after I told him that is right when he stopped responding to me. ... Perhaps that forgiveness email gave him all the closure he still needed and he now feels he has no more need of me


Pretty horrible thought, that. But I guess it could very well be true...



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Miew and Nixee -


Your postings have one thing in common - you are both analyzing the possibility and reasons for remaining friends from the perspective of your ex. You will never know the real reason why your exes want to remain friends with you. It could be for any of the reasons that you listed: they feel guilty, they don't want you to be angry at them, they want closure, etc. Or it can be just because you are both great people and it's hard to lose a true friend.


The important thing to consider is that you will never know the real reason. Maybe not even they know it. In the end, it doesn't matter what their reasons are; what matters is how you feel about remaining friends. From what you said, it is clear as water that you are not ready for seeing your ex as just an old good friend. Maybe it will take months or years for you to reach that point, if you ever get there.


If you want closure (for yourself) on the friendship topic, there is nothing more noble and bold than to just say the truth to your ex. Tell them that you are not ready to remaining friends and that you might contact them in the future once you have completely moved on. This doesn't mean that you have turned into an enemy or that you are mad at them. It just means that remaining friends at this time is not healthy TO YOU. Maybe it is healthy to them, but it must be healthy to both of you to work out.



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