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Male friend told me he couldn’t be friends if I got back with my ex


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So I have a male friend, and we’ve known each other for just over a year now. We are very close friends and are there for one another when we need to be. He developed feelings for me, however I only see him as a friend and I have made that clear with him and encourage him to go on dates with other girls and stuff.. to which he says he doesn’t want anyone else. I have distanced myself.. as I used to go to his house a lot but now I have limited it, but he says he doesn’t care how he feels he would rather see me as much as he can. I have started talking to my ex again.. just as friends and nothing more but my friend had said the other day that if I got back with my ex he wouldn’t be able to be my friend anymore. I understand why, but I don’t know it kinda just made me feel as if he’s only my friend to get in a relationship with me? I don’t know what to think about it.. 

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He can’t be your platonic friend because it’s not just that he finds you attractive- he wants to be in a relationship with you so if you get involved with someone else he figures there’s no hope and he doesn’t want to have to stomach seeing you with someone else. You were honest and he can’t turn off his feelings. I’m sorry. 

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He's right. It would be wrong for him to play act at being your platonic friend when he has romantic feelings for you.

Please remember seeing you with your ex/not ex will be painful for him. Have compassion and be understanding.

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9 hours ago, Hollsmaur said:

I understand why, but I don’t know it kinda just made me feel as if he’s only my friend to get in a relationship with me?

Well, yeah. I am surprised you didn't realize this until now. 

It is time to distance yourself from him.  

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10 hours ago, Hollsmaur said:

So I have a male friend, and we’ve known each other for just over a year now. We are very close friends and are there for one another when we need to be. He developed feelings for me, however I only see him as a friend and I have made that clear with him and encourage him to go on dates with other girls and stuff.. to which he says he doesn’t want anyone else. I have distanced myself.. as I used to go to his house a lot but now I have limited it, but he says he doesn’t care how he feels he would rather see me as much as he can. I have started talking to my ex again.. just as friends and nothing more but my friend had said the other day that if I got back with my ex he wouldn’t be able to be my friend anymore. I understand why, but I don’t know it kinda just made me feel as if he’s only my friend to get in a relationship with me? I don’t know what to think about it.. 

Try not to use people for attention. Whether it's an ex or a so-called friend.

Stop talking to your ex. Make a clean break. 

Join some groups and clubs, volunteer, get involved in sports and fitness, take some classes and courses, make new friends.

Get a good profile and pics on quality dating apps and start talking to and meeting men.

Try to rethink who your friends are and who you're interested in romantically instead of this blurry place you're in with either of them.

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11 hours ago, Hollsmaur said:

I don’t know it kinda just made me feel as if he’s only my friend to get in a relationship with me? I don’t know what to think about it.. 

Depressing, isn't it? I mean, it says a lot about him and how he really sees you, how he probably views women in general.

1 hour ago, Carnatic said:

guys like this are often just a step away from deciding that you led him on and becoming resentful of you.

I agree. Hopefully that isn't the case with him.

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This guy IS NOT your friend and never was. He's an orbiter, and with orbiters they pretend to be your friend in hopes to get with you. He's lying to you, he still wants you and won't let it go. Cut him loose. 

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I would say instead of thinking he had some cryptic ulterior motive to just take it at face value.  He has romantic feelings for you that he hopes you would reciprocate.  You returning to your ex, he'd prefer to bow out and let you find your happiness.  

It's either too uncomfortable for him to stay friends.. . which he considered himself more than. And when you think about it, when we are in relationship it's never a really good idea to be spending time with people who have romantic feelings for you at the same time.

Don't consider it some implied threat.  

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In a way I feel sorry for the guy; I’m guessing he’s inexperienced dating wise and has constructed a headspace to hide from being hurt. He thinks that eventually, somehow, he can win you over by mere existence. Unfortunately instead of the slow fade, you are throwing your interested in another man at him.

In all honesty cut them both out. Ex’s are that for a reason. this guy could ruin his potential romantic life pining for a woman who he’s obsessed with.

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Since your initial impulse was to pull away, you may want to honor that.

There can be something really uncomfortable about someone with an agenda--that's not friendship.

However, if you were only trying to give him space, and you otherwise still feel comfortable with him, then that speaks for something.

The comment about your ex would concern me unless you confided a whole bunch of mistreatment only to flip a switch and start seeing him again. Not too many friends can stomach that.

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On 5/2/2022 at 3:44 AM, boltnrun said:

He's right. It would be wrong for him to play act at being your platonic friend when he has romantic feelings for you.

Please remember seeing you with your ex/not ex will be painful for him. Have compassion and be understanding.

Yeah I understand it would be hard for him. He told me however that he would still be my friend if I got with someone else other than my ex.. he just said if it was with my ex he wouldn’t be able to carry on being my friend. I was confused by that

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3 hours ago, Hollsmaur said:

Yeah I understand it would be hard for him. He told me however that he would still be my friend if I got with someone else other than my ex.. he just said if it was with my ex he wouldn’t be able to carry on being my friend. I was confused by that

Im going to guess he would struggle being your friend, despite who you dated.

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3 hours ago, Hollsmaur said:

Yeah I understand it would be hard for him. He told me however that he would still be my friend if I got with someone else other than my ex.. he just said if it was with my ex he wouldn’t be able to carry on being my friend. I was confused by that

Did you complain about your ex to him? A lot? Did you give details of things your ex did that hurt you? Did you cry about things your ex did in front of him? Did you say you would never get back with your ex?

He may be hurt and confused if you did any of those things. He may also be legitimately concerned about you if you told him things your ex did that were blatantly hurtful or mean.

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3 hours ago, Hollsmaur said:

He told me however that he would still be my friend if I got with someone else other than my ex.. he just said if it was with my ex he wouldn’t be able to carry on being my friend. 

Real friends don't try to dictate who you talk to/date using manipulative ultimatums.

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On 5/2/2022 at 1:10 AM, Hollsmaur said:

I understand why, but I don’t know it kinda just made me feel as if he’s only my friend to get in a relationship with me?

Could be. As he does like you, he probably wouldnt like you to go to some ex that probably hurt you. More because of his own agenda, but probably because he doesnt wish you bad. And to him you getting back to ex is bad on all fronts. 

It does indicate that he is not a true friend. One, because, well, he likes you and wants to be more and probably still hasnt given up on that. And two, because, well, he uses emotional manipulation in order to get you to do something. 

That is why its not recommended to sustain that kind of friendships. Other side is still hanging on there, hoping something will happen. As Carnatic said, as time comes, they get resentful and it all spirals down. Instead of just not hanging up until he accepts that he cant be more than friend. For example, him refusing to date others says a lot. It says that he still hasnt moved on. So, maybe its best for both to just not be friends. Plus the manipulation. That is just plain bad.

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Update. 
 

I basically told him yesterday that I think I should maybe distance myself from him to save both of us the complications in the future and to make it easier for our friendship. He then went back on his word and said he would be able to cope with it. I then questioned if he would be able to cope why did he say he couldn’t, and told him to be honest with me and his response was “because I’m an idiot” so now what?

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You need to take space from him anyway, OP. 

He has feelings for you, and you know this. Despite what he's telling you, he will be hurt when you start dating someone (your ex, or someone else) And no love interest is going to be too crazy about a guy who is in love with his girlfriend lurking around. 

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1 hour ago, Hollsmaur said:

. He then went back on his word and said he would be able to cope with it.

He's not your dating coach. You're in this strange dance with him. Sounds like you want the attention knowing he's just orbiting.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Hollsmaur said:

I then questioned if he would be able to cope why did he say he couldn’t, and told him to be honest with me and his response was “because I’m an idiot” so now what?

He said he couldn't cope because he thought he could control your choice that way. You called his bluff and now he's standing there looking and feeling pretty dumb. It's half sad, half annoying.

Edited by Jibralta
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5 hours ago, Hollsmaur said:

Update. 
 

I basically told him yesterday that I think I should maybe distance myself from him to save both of us the complications in the future and to make it easier for our friendship. He then went back on his word and said he would be able to cope with it. I then questioned if he would be able to cope why did he say he couldn’t, and told him to be honest with me and his response was “because I’m an idiot” so now what?

Now what is you can control you. Not him.  You are not his therapist.  He's telling you he's indecisive and can't predict the future. Since you know he has feelings for you and  you know you want to date then the answer is simple.  But it's not easy -you want your cake and eat it too.  You don't want to put in the effort to distance.

I would say "Thank you for sharing that with me.  I feel that I cannot continue this friendship in this situation. It's a risk I am not willing to take.  I wish you all the best."  Use I statements - not playing at therapist statements.

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Any new partner will clearly see this man has romantic interest in you, and your friendship will jeopardize any romantic partnership you have.

I know I wouldn't date a guy who had a "close" female friend who would love to be in a romantic relationship with him. It wouldn't matter a lick if I fully trusted him and knew he didn't like her in that way. It's not a healthy way to operate your life.

Not only should you distance yourself, you should explain that any friendship between you two can no longer be. You will actually be doing him a favor, although he won't realize this until his heart is free to be open to dating other women.

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On 5/1/2022 at 7:10 PM, Hollsmaur said:

I have started talking to my ex again.. just as friends and nothing more but my friend had said the other day that if I got back with my ex he wouldn’t be able to be my friend anymore. I understand why, but I don’t know it kinda just made me feel as if he’s only my friend to get in a relationship with me? I don’t know what to think about it.. 

Yup, that's how I see it too.

I've heard, often times, yes guys seek you out- for one reason and they can't only be 'just friends'.

So, if this is how he is reacting, oh well!  Has only been a year and good for you for backing off now.  

If it won't work out for you two being 'just friends', then that's how it will be.

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On 5/3/2022 at 9:55 PM, Hollsmaur said:

Update. 
 

I basically told him yesterday that I think I should maybe distance myself from him to save both of us the complications in the future and to make it easier for our friendship. He then went back on his word and said he would be able to cope with it. I then questioned if he would be able to cope why did he say he couldn’t, and told him to be honest with me and his response was “because I’m an idiot” so now what?

Keep your distance. You don't have to announce it or create any awkwardness between the two of you with any explanations. I think this has already been touched on and there's an understanding between the two of you. Who you date is not any of his business and if he wants to know in detail, the friendship is already lacking a lot of boundaries. 

You continuing to ask him what he can and can't cope with is also not really any of your business. Have faith that he'll manage and he's a grown up. 

By the way, what is the rekindling or communication again with your ex? Is it worth the hassle?

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On 5/2/2022 at 3:31 AM, Jibralta said:

Depressing, isn't it? I mean, it says a lot about him and how he really sees you, how he probably views women in general.

I agree. Hopefully that isn't the case with him.

I don't think that's a fair statement at all. I have a friend, and her and I honestly were just friends. Then we grew a mutual crush on each-other. I like her, but I admit after hearing about her EX so much and how awful he was an unhappy she is with him.... I do not think I could be her close friend if she got back with him. Two reasons, one because I like her and it would sting a little if she got back with THAT GUY as much as she had terrible things to say. Two, because I would not want to be that shoulder to cry on when she got back and all the terrible reasons they broke up happen again. Sort of a, "You made your bed, now lay in it." 

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