Dealing with breakup

Why Doesn’t My Ex Want To Be Friends? (Fully Explained)


‘‘Why doesn’t my ex want to be friends?’’ is a question many of us have asked ourselves.

They say the best feeling in the world is when you find friendship and love in the same person. However, life paths diverge into countless streams.

You went from strangers to friends, from friends to lovers, and from lovers to strangers again. You don’t love them anymore but still want to stay friends with them.

However, your ex-partner doesn’t feel the same and doesn’t want to be friends with you. Why not? You shared a beautiful past, know each other very well, and share common interests.

Why don’t they want to be friends with you? Let’s find out!

Why Doesn’t My Ex Want To Be Friends? 12 Reasons

man sitting in cafe by window

The reasons why your ex-partner doesn’t want to stay friends will depend on how you ended the relationship, your romantic relationship, and if they are ready to let go of every romantic feeling.

Let’s go and explain the reasons one by one!

1. They love you

You might think this is silly because when you love someone, you automatically think they’re a good friend.

However, if we look at it from another perspective: it’s impossible to be just friends with someone you genuinely love.

Every minute your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend spends with you will remind them of how happy they used to be, and now they have to hear about your new relationship and overall happiness.

2. They miss you

Although it may seem like a lovely feeling to remain friends after a breakup, in most cases, this isn’t what the other person wants.

One of the possible reasons they don’t want to stay friends is that they miss you badly, but in a way that goes beyond friendship.

They constantly think about having a romantic relationship with you, and even if you see each other, they still miss their ex-partner, not their current friend.

3. They want to forget you

man sitting on wall

Dealing with heartbreak isn’t easy; it requires a lot of effort and focusing on yourself. So, if your ex is your friend, it’ll only slow down the healing process.

When you want to forget someone, the last thing you should do is be around them. This will trigger a rollercoaster of emotions, and you won’t be able to think rationally about the situation.

That’s why your ex-partner thinks there is no such thing as being friends after dating.

4. Their new partner doesn’t like the idea

All of the sleepless nights you wasted thinking about the question: “Why doesn’t my ex want to be friends?” are over now.

The real reason why your ex can’t be friends with you is that their new partner doesn’t support your friendship. I mean, can you blame them?

Even though you have no romantic feelings for each other, their new partner will feel weird if you become best friends after breaking up.

They will always question everything, especially whether something will happen if you two hang out constantly. They will worry something might trigger your old emotions, and you’ll start dating again.

5. They moved on

When you love someone, you’ll do anything to stick around, even though they don’t want to be in a romantic relationship.

Therefore, your ex might want to stay friends, not because they think you should be friends, but because this is the only option that will allow them to be close to you.

However, if your ex-partner has moved on, they often don’t want to be friends with you. They aren’t interested in you and don’t want their ex back, not in a romantic way, nor in a friendly way.

6. They’re dating your friend

couple on first date in cafe

Just imagine the new person your ex is dating is your friend. They’re probably scared to admit it because you’ll be extremely mad.

Additionally, even if they confess, it may be very awkward to date your friend and be friends with you at the same time.

7. You’re dating their friend

Even if your ex-partner has fully moved on from you, they won’t be okay with the fact that you’re dating their friend.

It will seem like a double betrayal from their ex-partner and friend, and it’s clear they will be hurt and mad.

If you insist that you stay friends, it could only trigger them to become insecure as you think they’re good enough only as a friend but not as a partner.

8. They’re getting married

Being friends with your ex-partner while they’re in a relationship is one thing, but being friends with them when they’re married is another.

Marriage is something we take seriously, and if we want it to be successful, we sometimes need to break all ties from our past.

Maybe this is something your ex-partner is doing now. They found someone new shortly after your breakup and are ready to settle down. However, a friendship with you isn’t in their best interest now.

9. You cheated on them

man waiting for woman to get in bed

Cheating says the least about your relationship and the most about the person who cheated. Cheating is a betrayal, and those who cheat are bad partners, but what kind of friends are they?

Even if you’re the most loyal friend someone could have, if you cheat on your partner, they won’t get over it.

They will always think about how you betrayed them as a partner and how you’d do the same if you were friends.

10. You hurt them

One thing that we shouldn’t rule out is that they might be hurt because of something you did, for a mistake that you aren’t even aware of.

It might have been a remark you made about them when they weren’t around, something you said to him and unintentionally upset him, or something else.

That’s why the right approach and open communication can solve any misunderstanding.

11. You were never friends

Another possible reason your ex doesn’t want to be friends with you is that you were never really friends.

If you had a toxic relationship, if you used to fight all the time, or if your relationship was only physical, it’s expected for them not to want to be friends with you.

Your relationship wasn’t built on true emotions, and you never laid solid foundations for friendship. Having a romantic relationship goes beyond friendship. However, friendship is the first layer of a successful romantic relationship.

How can you expect to remain friends after your relationship if you weren’t friends while it lasted?

12. They don’t think you’re worth it

You might be shocked, but sometimes your partner loses all their feelings for you during the last few months of your relationship so that after you break up, they don’t feel depressed, sad, or angry.

They have no feelings for you and don’t think you’re worth staying friends with.

All the common things, interests, and emotions that connected you are now nothing but a distant memory to them.

7 Things To Do When Your Ex Doesn’t Want To Be Friends

couple sitting on sofa in living room

Now that we’ve established why your ex doesn’t want to be friends, we should discuss how you should handle this situation.

1. Be patient with them

Sometimes, all you need to do is give them some time to process it all. The conversion from strangers to lovers and then from lovers to friends isn’t something you can do overnight.

If you have been separated for a while, your ex will realize how much you mean to them, that this whole ‘‘I don’t want to be friends with you’’ thing was a mistake and that you’re worth staying friends with.

2. Remind them of your friendship

Another thing you can do is remind them of all the things you’ve been through together, how you stayed together and supported each other through thick and thin.

You weren’t just a great couple because you loved each other romantically; you were, first of all, good friends. So, it’s your job to remind them of all this, and maybe they’ll change their mind.

3. Tell them there is no return

young man looking at woman

If you tell them there’s no coming back, maybe they’ll finally understand how serious the situation is.

Are they ready to cut you out of their life for good? If they appreciate your presence in their life, they’ll probably do anything to keep you around.

However, if they cut you off immediately, it’s a sign they don’t value you enough, and who wants a friend like that?

4. Respect their choice

You can’t force someone to be friends with you. Can you really blame them if they can’t be friends with you because you have unresolved feelings?

The most important thing is to respect their choice, don’t force them to do anything they don’t want. Maybe you’ll be a better friend if you let them live without you because they feel hurt when you’re around.

5. Return their belongings and give them one last hug

If they decide they don’t want to be friends with you, you should return all their belongings because it might be a problem if they need them later.

They’ll have to contact and meet up with you, which could trigger another emotional rollercoaster. So, you should return all their stuff and say goodbye with a warm hug.

6. Delete their number and unfollow them

man texting while sitting on sofa

The no-contact rule will save not only their life but yours as well.

Staying in contact can make things more difficult and prevent them from continuing with their life, especially if they aren’t over you or have found someone else.

It’s best to unfollow them on social media because your recent posts and pics might hurt them if they still love you and haven’t moved on.

7. Focus on the friends you already have

Maybe you don’t need new friends; maybe your current friends are enough to make you happy and feel loved.

Friendships are a blessing, and you can never really have enough friends, but some friendships aren’t meant to happen, just like the friendship between you and your ex-partner.

That’s why you should focus on the friends you already have, make new friends and forget about staying friends with your ex.


man sitting by window

Is it okay not to want to be friends with your ex?

Yes, it’s completely fine if you don’t want to be friends with your ex.

Sometimes, being friends with your ex will only bring you bad things, especially if you haven’t moved on – this will only slow down the healing process.

However, no matter the reason, you shouldn’t feel guilty if you don’t want them as a friend. You know your reasons, and this doesn’t make you a bad person. If you think you’re better off without them, it’s probably because you are.

What are the benefits of being friends with your ex?

Although staying friends with your ex can have a lot of disadvantages, there are a lot of benefits as well. These benefits include:

• They can help you with relationship problems.

• Your ex-partner knows you very well, so they won’t have a problem figuring out what’s wrong with you.

• By maintaining your friendship, you fill a void and maintain the illusion that your relationship isn’t over.

• They know how to comfort you.

To Recap

man crying on sofa

At the end of this article, I hope you can answer the question: ‘‘Why doesn’t my ex want to be friends?’’

In most cases, men want to stay friends after breaking up more than women do because they can move more quickly from lovers to friends.

If your ex doesn’t want to be friends with you, you can’t force them. There is probably a good reason why they made this choice.It’s important that you respect their decision because they know what’s best for them. Let them choose to cut ties with you if doing so will improve their lives.


Category: Dealing with breakup

Roberta Carroll

My approach is eclectic and holistic with a focus on mindfulness. I have received certifications in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy (trauma), among others. I spent over 10 years at the Veteran’s Administration in Louisville, KY, working as a psychotherapist with veterans of all ages and genders on a wide variety of issues. Prior to that my focus was on young adults and their families and older adults dealing with loss. Individuals have met with me for help to address depression and anxiety, grief, trauma and relational issues as well as work-related/everyday stressors. The therapeutic process provides a safe place for the client, in collaboration with their therapist, to process distress, discover areas of “stuckness” and move forward into a life of increased meaning and joy. Accepting our imperfections and practicing self-compassion can be a difficult as well as rewarding process. I have lived and worked in different areas of the country, have come to understand how regional differences affect our outlooks and appreciate the contrasts. I have relished the opportunity to assist clients as they carry the burdens of life. It would be my privilege to hear your story.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button