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How can I stay best friends with my ex when I still fancy the pants off him?

(76 Posts)
Dorsyporsy Thu 02-Jan-14 01:36:03

I'm all in a spin. Can't get my silly head round this at all. I desperately want to keep my ex as a friend as we are very close but I can't bear to hear him talk about his latest date. I'm as jealous as hell but he means so much to me that I don't want to go NC. But maybe I have to? I would miss him hugely. I can't think which option would be worse.

I met ex a year ago. I helped him through a really difficult time - basically I was his rebound after his divorce. I knew from the word go that he was totally unsuitable as he was still broken hearted and floundering about his marriage break up plus he has a very dodgy, unstable past. We were like chalk and cheese. I was the strong sensible one dishing out advice and reassuring him and he was all over me like a rash, completely infatuated - typical rebound. I never felt we were properly matched or that it would go anywhere. Gradually I came to have feelings for him though - maybe I loved him and the sexual chemistry was strong for both of us. But I knew deep down that he was not a longterm option. I thought he would be a lovely fling and we would both move on after the fun stopped.

After 6 months I called time and we agreed to stay friends. As you do. But, here's where we went wrong, we kept in daily contact - lots of texts, saw each other nearly every day and very occasionally ended up in bed together - totally mutual. He did stuff round the house for me and in return I did his washing. A whole lot more than just friends I'd say. He told me that I was his best friend, that he could trust me with anything - and boy has he told me some really big secrets - and that he never ever wanted to lose me. I told him that he needed to get out and date people as I knew our situation was too cosy and was not helping either of us. He agreed and has never led me on in any way. It's my own stupid fault.

So now he's gone and taken my advice and I feel utterly broken hearted. How fucking ridiculous of me. But I'm so jealous. It hurts worse than a wet tea towel on the back of the legs. He's met someone and I can't bear to hear a word about it. He's stayed overnight with her. I feel sick just typing that.

He's been round tonight to explain and ask if we can still be friends. He says he loves me and doesn't want to lose me but he needs to date again and whilst I understand and actually think he's right I just don't know how I can get past my jealousy. I feel like I've been kicked in the chest. Actual physical pain. It's totally ridiculous. He truly is one of my best friends - I'm probably his only friend. I can't bear to lose him. If I really was his friend then surely I'd be pleased that he is making progress and finding happiness again?

FloraSpreadableMacDonald Thu 02-Jan-14 01:42:36

Id just come out and tell him you still fancy him....see what he says. Do u want to try again? If so, tell him now before this thing withthe other womsn gets serious.

defineme Thu 02-Jan-14 01:47:55

I don't think you can have it both ways-you feel too strongly about him (I have no idea if you love him romantically but it's very intense and doesn't sound like how I feel about any of my best friends - none of whom I sleep with).
Either nc or ask him if he wants to try again. You're doing him and yourself no favours at present with this so called friendship.
You can always nc and then consider contacting him in a year when you've calmed down a bit.

Dorsyporsy Thu 02-Jan-14 01:54:38

I've told him I don't want to hear about this new woman as it hurts me so he must know I have feelings for him. I've also told him he's doing the right thing which I believe to be true. I really wish I could see him as just a lovely friend but I can't look at him without wanting to jump into bed with him. He feels the same apparently. My head tells me he is the most unsuitable man for a relationship to ever cross my path. More hang ups and baggage than I've got time to type.

If he ever suggested we try again I'd like to think I'd turn him down but I don't know if I could. Heart versus head.

Dorsyporsy Thu 02-Jan-14 01:59:03

Defineme - yes, I know we are more than friends. I've known it all along. It's hurting me, stopping me from moving on and he's already told this new date that his best friend is an ex and he sees lots of me so god knows what she must be feeling.

It's going to end in tears all round if I don't call a halt now. I feel like I'm cutting off my right arm.

Lizzabadger Thu 02-Jan-14 02:44:52

Either date him or go no contact for a good while

Allofaflumble Thu 02-Jan-14 05:56:07

His new girlfriend is probably feeling as messed up as you!

My ex was in this situation when I met him. Best mate was a woman who got jealous when we met. I was jealous of her as he told me she was so good looking and could have any man she wanted. For a time he was seeing her without telling me. Then there was the ex wife!

I wish i had run screaming. Someone will get hurt. Most likely not him. Run.....your instinct is telling you what to do. Good luck x

Allofaflumble Thu 02-Jan-14 06:12:08

I just wanted to add that maybe it is the feeling of being replaced that is bugging you rather than you genuinely want him. You have played a big role in getting him sorted so to speak and now it looks like the othet woman is set to reap the reward of all your hard work.

If so....you are probably very wrong...if my experience was anything to go by.

MadIsTheNewNormal Thu 02-Jan-14 06:16:36

He isn't 'one of your best friends' though, is he? He's a man you've fallen for and you keep hoping he'll morph into the man you want him to be, and one who is ready to settle down again.

He needs to go through a process, and you need to let him. But don't be the idiot who mothers him, listened to his problems, cooks for him, offers him a bed, a cosy shag and some company when he's got no-one nothing better to do, and then have to sit back and watch in two years time when he walks down the aisle with someone else.

Saying you don't want to lose a good friend is a convenient cliche that just lets you be in denial about what you really wish for.

I think as hard as it is, you need to go NC. It doesn't have to be all tears and slammed doors and anger and bitterness, just that if you keep seeing him as a 'friend' then the relationship will continue to be neither one thing nor the other, until he decides he loves someone else enough that it would be inappropriate to keep in close contact with you.

You say he's unsuitable - well if he's that unsuitable then do yourself a favour; remember it fondly as a lovely dalliance with someone who was interesting but ultimately too much of a liability, and allow yourself to move on and don't look back.

If he's not actually that unsuitable, apart from being newly divorced, then go NC and if he really can't live without you he'll let you know soon enough. But don't accept half a relationship.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 02-Jan-14 07:06:11

You can't stay friends with this person if you're going to be mooning over them all the time. Why do that to yourself? You've served your purpose, it's run its time and he's moved on. You're dumped and all this 'I will always love you' crap is a cynical way of keeping you warm in case he needs a fall-back one day.

So consign him to the past, take a long break from each other and do other things.

Dorsyporsy Thu 02-Jan-14 07:15:59

Yes. That's exactly what I need to do - all of the above. But I feel like I'm giving my baby away. He definitely became a bit of a project and I do feel peeved that someone else will reap the rewards. He's become such a huge part of my life. I feel so silly.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 02-Jan-14 07:20:08

Yes, you are being silly. He's neither a project nor a baby. He's a man that seems to have played the needy & broken card well, saw you for a while and now wants to move on. If he had any decency he'd realise that the 'let's be friends' idea is just cruel and he'd leave you alone.

Allofaflumble Thu 02-Jan-14 07:24:59

I agree with Cogito, one of you is the lucky substitute. Or not so lucky. Please free yourself. Don't be like me.....I have wasted years on a man like this. He will be just fine! It's you and the other woman I would be concerned about! X

Geckos48 Thu 02-Jan-14 07:30:31

Why not just have a relAtionship with him?

Why string him along? He must be so confused by all this!

I don't understand this at all, you went out with him, helped him through loads of stuff (normal) then dumped him after six months because of his 'baggage' but continued to have a relationship with him and then TOLD him to shag someone else??

Taking him out of the equation, why on earth have you done this to yourself? What in you has made you treat yourself so dreadfully?

I think that has to be your question, not what to do about him. I think if you were able to be nice to yourself you would probably realise this is so so unhealthy for you. I think he has been quite vulnerable and that for some reason you have taken him under your wing which is so so confusing!

Relationships are basically about being sexually connected and best friends. What is all this other crap?

I think you have set him up to find something that he just won't find in anyone else because YOU are his best friend and lover... That's all you need there, the rest is just secondary.

Allofaflumble Thu 02-Jan-14 07:38:08

There was a very wise poster on one of these threads who said something about it being like gambling on a slot machine. You have put so much money into it that you can't walk away because it may be just about to pay out!!

It is a gamble though and like someone said before, do you deserve half a relationship? He is playing you both. Sorry to sound cynical.

Hey its 2014. So much to see and do. We don't have time to obsess over these men do we?? ;)

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 02-Jan-14 07:42:40

You can't be friends with him now.

Either get back with him..It seems weird to me that you split up tbh. .or go NC.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 02-Jan-14 07:42:47

You can't be friends with him now.

Either get back with him..It seems weird to me that you split up tbh. .or go NC.

Allofaflumble Thu 02-Jan-14 07:43:11

I think Gecko makes a lot of sense. It sounds like you got frightened and sabotaged what you had. Your situation is mine in reverse.

Talk to him. He should make a decision and you or the other woman is going to be hurt.

Geckos48 Thu 02-Jan-14 07:44:50

How is he 'playing her'? She split up with him, seems to me that he is hanging round like a lost puppy while she plays him tbh.

Flip the situation around, the sexes have nothing to do with it. Imagine a woman had come on and spoken about a man like he was the op?

She is doing the playing, she holds all the cards.

Allofaflumble Thu 02-Jan-14 07:47:16

You are right Geckos, I am confusing this lady's situation with mine.

Allofaflumble Thu 02-Jan-14 07:50:36

PS. I have no doubt that had the best friend in my situation told my ex that she loved and wanted him, he would never have continued with me - just I am not sure she did or maybe the timing was not right. It was all a bit of a muddle at the time.

Geckos48 Thu 02-Jan-14 07:53:49

My friend had to leave a man who got himself a 'best friend'

Because you can't have a best friend and a proper partner, they have to be entwined.

Allofaflumble Thu 02-Jan-14 08:01:53

Well said. I am going to remember those words.

Because you can't have a best friend and a proper partner, they have to be entwined

Knit2togtbl Thu 02-Jan-14 08:05:57

What you are doing isn't fair. He's not suitable so now you have to walk away. You can't be friends and you both have to go through a sort of grieving process but that means no contact.
I don't think you do truly love him because if you did you would want what's best for him ,and it isn't this.

quesadilla Thu 02-Jan-14 08:16:39

You can't be friends with him, or at least not at the moment. One or both of you are not being honest with yourself or with each other. This isn't a friendship its a convenient emotional bridge for both of you. I'm not clear what the dynamics of the relationship are but it sounds, frankly, like he is using you as as buffer zone, a comfortable quasi relationship while he adjusts to single life again. I may have totally misread this but that's how it comes across.

You need to have a proper talk about this. Either you make a go of it as a couple or you cut ties, at least for now. Neither of you will be able to move on if you retain this connection.

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