So you’re dating this guy, things are going along smoothly, and then suddenly he springs it on you: “Maybe we should just be friends”.
What happens now? Is it over, or is there a chance you can be boyfriend and girlfriend again? What exactly does a guy mean when he just wants to be friends?
Any time your boyfriend alters the terms of your relationship from romantic to platonic, something happened to change his mind. Either he’s got his eyes on someone else, or maybe he’s just looking to change things up a bit… either way, you need to act fast if you want any chance of staying together with him. Sitting around hoping that things will get better isn’t good enough, and going along with his idea to be friends is even worse. Because you know what? Friendship with your ex is a one-way street… once you start down that road, there’s little chance of getting things back the way they were.
There is some good news however, when your boyfriend asks to be friends with you after the break up. The fact that he still wants to keep you around is a good indication that he’s not totally through with the idea of dating you. Any guy who really doesn’t want you anymore would break up and walk away… it’s a little callous, but it’s the one thing all guys have in common when they finally want to leave. A guy who makes a clean break with you doesn’t want friendship, contact, or any of that stuff. In this scenario, your ex will break off communication rather quickly after he ends things.
But a guy who wants to be friends and stay in touch after it’s over? He’s looking to stay comfortable. It’s nice to know where you are and what you’re doing, in case he decides to change his mind. Knowing that you still want him back is a big advantage for your ex - some guys will use it to keep you hanging around long after your chances of getting him back are gone. Other guys use the friendship excuse as a way of keeping the door open to more physical needs: the midnight booty call, the misleading hangout… all of those things are possible by keeping you at arm’s length.
Knowing that your ex boyfriend still thinks about you might be nice, but wanting him to care about you is only natural. If he does, and if he has any love in his heart for you, he’s not going to want to let you go. This is why he asked to be friends in the first place - so you don’t have to go anywhere. He gets to still see you, hang out with you, talk on the phone and through email… it’s almost as if you’re still dating, but without all the high-pressure stuff that goes with seriously dating someone: monogamy being just one example.
If you want your boyfriend back, you simply cannot be friends with him. There’s just no workable way to approach that situation. Either outside forces will break you apart (i.e. you dating someone else, him getting a new girlfriend, etc…) or jealousy over not being an integral part of his life will slowly erode away at the relationship you once had. Because he dumped you, you’re always going to be wanting more. And when you don’t get it? Any friendship you have with your ex will be strained, to say the least.
Instead of sitting around asking yourself questions such as “My boyfriend wants to be friends, what does it mean?”, maybe it’s time you took a more proactive approach to this sudden break in your relationship. Do you want your ex back? Good… start working toward getting him. Don’t accept friendship as a lame substitute for a full-blown relationship, and don’t try to pretend you don’t have feelings for someone when you obviously do. If you still love your boyfriend, tell him you can’t “just be friends”. Tell him you want more than that, because your feelings run too deep. Let him know that either he dates you as a girlfriend or he doesn’t get to see you at all… you’re not going to sit back in a friendship-type role and plaster a pretend smile across your face every time you see him.
Do it right, and you’re going to scare the crap out of your ex. He’ll start thinking he’s going to lose you for good, which is NOT what he wants. He’ll wonder if you’re going to move on without him, maybe find somebody new… without being your friend he’ll have no way of knowing what your next move will be. You walking away right now is his worst nightmare. By putting him out of his comfort zone and forcing your exboyfriend to make a choice, you’re creating an environment in which he’s going to miss and need you again. Being friends with an ex never does that.