10 possible reasons a guy wants to be friends after a breakup

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

“Can we at least still be friends?”

They’re words that many of us girls have heard from an ex after a breakup.

Here’s how to help decide whether you do in fact want to remain friends. By getting at the root of why he wants to be friends, you can make a more informed decision.

10 possible reasons a guy wants to be friends after a breakup

The last time an ex asked me to be friends I said no. That’s because I figured out he wanted to be friends for reason number one.

I didn’t feel the same, so I did him the favor of not giving him false hopes.

1) He’s hoping that he can use friendship to get back together

I’ll be straight up with you here:

This is by far the most common reason a guy wants to be friends after a breakup.

For whatever reason the relationship didn’t work out.

He’s bummed about that and hoping that he can at least keep some connection with you.

The last thing he really wants is just friends, but he’s willing to do it as a tactic to slowly rebuild a connection with you and get back together.

Unless you want the same thing, say no.

Make sure to watch out for this reason, because it’s very common and guys lie about it a lot.

2) His sexual and romantic feelings for you have died, but his friend feelings haven’t

This is also a distinct possibility:

He really is over any sexual or romantic feelings for you, but his fondness and platonic liking of you is just as strong.

If you don’t have romantic feelings for him anymore, there’s no real reason to turn him down if this is his reason, unless he hurt you badly or you dislike him.

If you still feel friendly toward him as well, then hitch your ride to the friendship wagon.

If, however, you still have feelings for him beyond platonic or he hurt you badly and thinks he can just wipe the slate clean and now be friends, you have to think twice.

Do you really want this guy back in your life right now?

My advice in this situation is usually to tell him you’ll think about it and give it a few days of reflection.

3) Being completely single again freaks him out

I’ve been in this position myself of getting out of a relationship and feeling totally stranded.

I used this experience to become stronger and work on my career and self-love.

But the thing is that many people haven’t ever really faced their fear of being alone or single, and when it hits them for an extended time period they begin to freak out.

This could definitely be among the possible reasons a guy wants to be friends after a breakup.

If you still have feelings for him and are attracted, it’s easy enough to see if you can turn this friendship around into something more.

That may be an option.

But before you act too quickly, I want to suggest something different…

It’s something I learned from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me that the way to find love and intimacy that empowers us instead of leaving us desperate and miserable.

As Rudá explains in this mind blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way because we’re not taught a much more effective way to find true love and intimacy.

Your ex boyfriend is likely making this exact mistake that many of us do, so be the one to evolve and take Rudá’s incredible advice.

Here’s a link to the free video once again.

4) He wants you to be his FWB

This isn’t very romantic, but it’s definitely among the common possible reasons a guy wants to be friends after a breakup:

He wants to sleep with you without any commitment; in other words, he wants you to be his Friend With Benefits (FWB).

If that sounds of interest to you, who am I to stop you?

I will say that it’s basically him using you, but at the same time maybe you’re using him too…

If he wants you to be his FWB, just keep in mind what this actually means.

It rarely, very rarely means you’re actually deep friends or have some amazing platonic connection.

It means you smash and dash on a semi-regular basis. That’s generally it.

So if you’re hoping for him to really want some platonic-sexual deep friendship, you shouldn’t invest too much into this kind of proposal.

It’s almost always just a way for him to cruise for sex while adding in the word friend because it makes it sound less transactional.

5) There’s lingering confusion in his heart about you

There are definitely breakups where things seem unfinished after.

This is right up there with the possible reasons a guy wants to be friends after a breakup:

He isn’t sure if he’s still in love with you or not, but feels unable to fully let you go yet.

Friendship is a way for him to hit the slow down button but still see you sometimes.

Maybe it really will end up being solely friendship, or perhaps it will be more.

This could be his way of trying to find out.

6) Because he’s actually genuinely lonely

Another of the possible reasons a guy wants to be friends after a breakup which I want to highlight here is loneliness.

This is a way bigger factor in many relationships than many people realize.

In particular, if you don’t mind being single, it may not be apparent to you right away how much some people dislike it and feel alone in their lives.

Perhaps he really is over you in terms of a relationship but has few friends and no social life to speak of.

Asking to be friends despite your breakup is really his way of trying not to be completely alone.

It’s sad, but there are so many men and women out there who have fully solitary lives.

The thought of losing both a lover and a friend is their nightmare scenario.

He might just be trying to prevent that from happening.

7) He really, really regrets the breakup

For a look at the possible reasons a guy wants to be friends after a breakup, this is a big, big one.

He feels awful about letting you go and wants another chance.

If you dumped him, then it could be that he’s chasing you and hoping that friendship will at least give him some chance.

The reasons why breakups don’t go smoothly vary:

Sometimes it’s because of issues the individuals involved have with their own self-esteem and lives.

Other times it’s because there’s still a lot of love there and they feel like they can’t bear to let it go.

The best people I’ve found to untangle this knot are relationship coaches.

They are uniquely skilled at cutting through the confusion and giving you real answers.

With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice specific to your life and your experiences…

Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations, like an ex who still wants to be close after a breakup.

They’re a very popular resource for people facing this sort of challenge.

How do I know?

Well, I reached out to them about my situation and they shared extremely helpful, breakthrough insights that helped me know what to do.

Without their help I’d probably still be stuck in my head and all stressed out about whether or not to be friends with my ex.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

Click here to get started.

8) It’s all strike-outs in his new dating life

This reason is particularly notable if he dumped you. He moved on at the time for whatever reason, breaking your heart.

Then he went out on dates, saw what life had to offer in the big wide world and found out that … it wasn’t very good at all.

Now he wants to be friends with you as a way to try to smooth things over and potentially get back together with you someday.

When he sets out on his own only to find out that it’s all strike-outs, that’s when he goes scanning back through his files and thinks of you.

Asking to be friends is just his strategy to get back in your pants.

If he’s doing this, be very cautious and don’t immediately believe his motivations.

The fact of the matter is that many guys think they can play the field by using an ex as a backup, which I’m going to explain in the next reason.

9) He wants to keep you on his roster

Sports metaphors for love really suck, I know. But sometimes they are just so true like in this case.

Benching is when a guy keeps a roster of various girls and pulls them off the bench and puts them back on when he gets bored.

He then rotates through this roster as he desires, breaking up, getting back together and stringing along poor women without caring about the consequences.

In our days of Tinder and fast hookups it’s more common than ever.

One of the possible reasons a guy wants to be friends after a breakup is that he wants to keep you on his roster.

In other words, he wants to keep you as a potential sex or romantic partner down the road.

For now, saying “friends” is just his way of making sure you’re still on speaking terms and that he can re-access you when he wants.

If this sounds cynical, trust me it’s not. It’s happened to me and many of my girl friends.

It’s sadly all too real, particularly in guys who have a sociopathic and asshole streak in them.

Watch out for this shit.

10) He’s hoping to keep tabs on you

Staying friends sounds really good, and it can be.

However it’s also a chance for him to keep the lines of communication open and keep tabs on you.

You’re not going to have a new boyfriend and keep it discreet and hide it from your new “friend” right?

This can sometimes be a way guys get to still be possessive over you even though they’ve let you go.

Even when they already know the relationship is gone, they may power trip in this way by trying to control who you do or don’t date…

…Worse still, they may compare any new guys in their life to them and make you second-guess everything you’re doing in your personal life.

If a guy is angling for this one, you need to be quite careful as it can be really corrosive and disturbing behavior.

Friends (y/n)?

My ex-boyfriend who really wanted to stay friends was actually still in love with me.

I wasn’t.

I’m open to the idea of being friends, but only if it’s honestly what’s happening.

I don’t want FWB, a slow crawl back to trying again at a relationship or any of that.

If both people are onboard and it’s purely friends, then why not?

If you’re feeling friend vibes now and he is too, go for it.

If not, I’d highly advise being cautious about being friends with any ex who’s doing this.

Because they might want to be friends for very different reasons than you.

I really encourage chatting online with a love coach from Relationship Hero that I mentioned earlier as well, because their coaches are so skilled at figuring out a guy’s motivations for why he wants to be friends.

They ask exactly the right questions and have insights that can bust down all the bs and confusion very rapidly.

I was very pleasantly surprised at how quickly my love coach understood what was going on with me and offered solutions.

Friendship after a breakup can be wonderful, but it’s not always the right answer.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

Is being single going to make me lose my mind?

15 reasons intelligent people prefer to be alone