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No, You Can't Be "Just Friends"

Andrew
July 24, 2012
I've lost count of the times girls have tried being "just friends" with me after I've called off the relationship. It's happened after one-night stands, it's happened after dating girls for a few weeks, it even happened after having a serious girlfriend. And I know this isn't only something I've experienced. Girls try this with guys all the time. It is a final grasp at the remnants of the commitment that they worked so hard for. I am sure some guys try it with girls that dump them too, but in general I think women struggle with cutting ties more than men. It is a struggle that is analogous in some ways to a man's reluctance to make ties with a woman.

Whatever the case, "just being friends" is simply not a viable way of relating to a man or woman you've been emotionally or sexually intimate with. The severed emotional ties between you will prevent you from relating to each other in platonic ways for a long time to come - perhaps forever. This is something that we all know instinctively, whether or not we admit it to ourselves in the face of a failed relationship. Trying to be "friends" is a recently-dumped female's way of saying "I am not ready to let go." However, in some occasions, the male ending the relationship will suggest it. If this happens to you, know that this is a male's way of saying one (or all) of a few different things:
  1. "I'm over the relationship but I like getting laid a lot, and it will be a lot of work to get that kind of steady pussy elsewhere. Let's keep having sex but without the commitment. We'll call it 'being friends.'"
  2. "I don't want to be in a relationship with you anymore. I don't expect that being 'just friends' will actually work, but I know this break up won't be easy for you, so I am suggesting being friends in an attempt to soften the blow."
  3. "I am on the fence about our relationship, but I am too much of a pussy to break up with you completely, even though I know nothing productive or emotionally healthy can come from staying in touch."
It definitely does not mean this:
Let's have a completely platonic relationship in which we ignore the feelings we had for one another, and even the ones we still have. I'll talk casually to you about the girls I'm dating or sleeping with, because the fact that we are "just friends" means that it won't hurt you at all to hear how replaceable you are, and how much I've moved on in such a short time. 
We won't need to worry about the temptation to have sex with each other, because once we become friends, any sexual attraction that existed will die instantly. Once we are "friends" we will immediately start seeing each other like ugly, wrinkled old men and women.
Oh, and also, most importantly: the "just friends" thing will be especially workable because my future girlfriend or wife will be overjoyed that I am still great friends with an ex. Women never get jealous of one another - you and she will probably be close friends someday.
It just doesn't work that way. So if a guy dumps you and says "let's just be friends," or suggests that you stay in touch, recognize that what he really means is one of the three numbered statements above, or some combination of the three. If, after being dumped, you find yourself tempted to convince your ex to be "just friends" or to "stay in touch" (because he still "means a lot to you"), acknowledge the fact that you really just want to hold on to some fraction of what once was, even if it is nothing like a real relationship and will actually hurt you in the long run. Be strong and cut him off.

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If you liked this post, you'll definitely like my book, Beyond the Breakup, which explains everything you need to know about dealing with you ex: what he's thinking, what is motivating him to stay friends with you, how to maximize your chances of getting him back, and how to focus on your future if that doesn't happen.


Related Posts
1. When Your Ex Contacts You...
2. Men and "Friends with Benefits"
3. Why Do You Want Him Back?

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