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Chances of reconciliation with an ex you're 'friends' with?

(325 Posts)
cherrysparkles Wed 21-Aug-13 10:58:12

Hello, I've just signed up to post this thread, I hope that's ok smile

I read about 'friendzoning' on another forum and apparently, it's bad when it comes to being friend zoned by an ex.

I recently split up with a man I had been seeing for 6 months. We were seeing each other quite casually - as in, we hadn't been seen together in public around our town, as I'm still in the process of going through a divorce (split up a long time ago) and didn't want that reflecting badly on me...despite all that, this man said he loved me fairly early on (within a month) and seemed to be planning for the future; talking about future events he will be attending and mentioning it would be nice for us to go together, and so on.

He spent a while after we split up saying that he doesn't want a relationship with anyone for as far into the future as he can see, but that he liked me a lot, we did continue to sleep together but then both felt awful the next day, and then he told me he was going away for a couple of weeks with work, and needed complete space; I.E no contact for the time he was away. He said he was hoping to see if he missed me, and to work out what he felt for me; whether he wanted to never see me again, just be friends or something more than friends.

I spoke to him yesterday on the phone, and he said he was hoping to see me next week when he was back home, just meeting up for a coffee and a chat then going home to see if we can actually get on (we've been arguing a lot recently, due to his 'confusion'). I asked about how he felt and first of all he said I'm lovely but not for him, then he said he could never say never and that two people could never have a relationship if they can't be friends. He wouldn't say if his actual feelings had changed, just saying that he had made a decision that if he can't have a relationship with anyone at this moment in time, then he can't have his cake and eat it by sleeping with me - which seems fair enough to me.

He seems to want to meet up next week, chat and get on and then just text and stuff as people do, with a view to meeting up "some time in the a week, or two or three, whenever feels right".

He says that he will still be attracted to me, but won't ever act on it. I asked what would happen if he comes to see me and still feels the way he did the last time he came over (which was beginning of August) - the same feelings that were confusing him at that time, and he said he would just try to enjoy the feeling of enjoying my company.

Is this a bit weird? Putting aside the issue of whether the dumped party should be friends with an ex when they still have feelings for them, would it be so bad in theory to meet up with this person fairly regularly but not planned regularly, just chat about casual things and then we both go home having had a pleasant there potential for feelings to develop on his part (if they were ever going to, I know there is only a slim chance anyway) or will he 'friend zone' me and therefore never see me in 'that' way again?

I admit, I'm confused as to how feelings come about anyway - my ex said that he realises now that he has to be friends with a woman before getting involved with dating or a relationship, but can you ever be friends with an ex (genuine friends, with no physical contact) and then rekindle a relationship?

HotDAMNlifeisgood Wed 21-Aug-13 11:04:09

Cut off contact. He's just fucking with your head and your feelings. This relationship is on-again, off-again, and he is wasting your time by dithering. You can't be "friends" with him because you will just fall into bed together again, and then wake up the following morning to more of his "Oh, but I don't know for sure what I want..."

You don't need that in your life. It is stopping you from moving on and healing. And since you are emotionally hooked, the only way out for you is to go cold turkey - I understand that it will be difficult and painful at first.

I suggest you have a read of the "Baggage Reclaim" website.

meditrina Wed 21-Aug-13 11:04:18

He's dangling a future in front of you - if you jump through his hoops, perhaps you'll win him as a prize.

You might like to have a look at the Baggage Reclaim site especially in the "list of posts" for ones about future faking and elastic bands.

meditrina Wed 21-Aug-13 11:05:05


Same recommended reading, though.

YouStayClassySanDiego Wed 21-Aug-13 11:08:18

Tell him to fuck off, he sounds like an arsehole.

Don't even bother trying to be friends with him, he's just using you.

Leverette Wed 21-Aug-13 11:19:28

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

arsenaltilidie Wed 21-Aug-13 11:25:29

He is trying to turn you into a fwb.

In 6 months time he will tell you I said "im not looking for a relationship" and leave you in a worse position.

When he finds someone he likes, he will drop you like a sack of bricks.

You need to start ignoring his texts and enjoy your life, forget about him.

IsItMyArseOrMyElbow Wed 21-Aug-13 11:42:25

I had an ex I tried to win back by meeting up and shagging in his car, he told me he didn't want a relationship. What he meant was he didn't want one with me, this became obvious when he turned up one day in my local and introduced me to his fiancée.

He still tried to sleep with me on several occasions after this, I refused and 5 years later they were divorced (something to do with someone from a pub near his house having a baby within a few months of his wife).

Stop massaging his ego and find someone who wants to rub yours (and your ego fnarr fnarr!)

SolidGoldBrass Wed 21-Aug-13 11:47:42

I agree with the others. This man wants you to be available for a shag when his dick itches, but to be able to put you back in your box when he's got something - or someone- else to do, and he reckons that throwing you a few crumbs of 'maybe we can Be Together One Day' is all he needs to do.
If you want an occasional shag and he's good at doing it, then carry on but make sure you date and shag other men as well .If what you want is a monogamous, committed relationship then you are not going to get one from him. I think if you were happy with a FWB situation you wouldn't be worrying about it so much.

MaureenDaly Wed 21-Aug-13 12:17:25

Agree with everyone else.
Sometimes it can work but in this case I think you both want something different.

cherrysparkles Wed 21-Aug-13 12:35:04


Well he is good at 'it' solidgold, but that's besides the point I suppose. I don't want to do fwb and he says that he doesn't either.

I hate to come on here asking for advice then disagree with you all - but I think he will stick to not sleeping with me.

He sounded different on the phone to how he has before, he says he wants to come round and get along and then be able to leave, without me asking him to stay - which is usually what used to happen; I admit quite a few times I did do that by saying "I haven't finished with what I was saying yet - sit down!" and he did. Hate myself for being that way but he always tried to leave whenever I slightly criticised him and that annoyed me.

He's been married in the past as well, and as immature I might sound by not knowing all this 'stuff' already (my ex husband is the only person I've been with prior to this man), we're both in our forties.

Sorry to drip feed information, but I don't know if it's relevant that he was hurt badly by his ex wife (I know this as we have mutual friends; he's never discussed it) and he finished things with her about ten years ago and last time we spoke on the phone, he said that he doesn't want to be in the position that he was with her, with giving "everything, trying to show affection and love, then being rejected". Anytime I bring up his tendency to change his mind; about being a bit more easy going about things and seeing where they go etc, he turns it round on me; saying things such as "well when we agreed to be open minded and just go with doing whatever felt right at the time, you couldn't get far enough away from me when I came round". Might be over analysing or misreading things but he seems to really need the affection, but not want to put himself out there by giving it first, which to me makes sense given his marriage.

Anyway - basically I'm saying I've known this man for years in my friendship circle, and I know he isn't the type to just sleep around or be fwb; in fact whenever we slept together it was mostly initiated by me - as in, he was saying he wanted to but had to go, and was actually out the door before I convinced him to come back in; and I don't think he's that manipulative to have been playing at going just so I'd invite him in. And then the next time I asked him over, he would say it's not a good idea as we will just end up in bed again, which is no good for either of us as we aren't officially together.

Apart from all that though; say if he came round next week and I was ok with it, not spending the entire time wishing I could kiss him or something, and say he never tries anything physical on and I don't either - in THAT scenario (I know it's all speculative), would there be any way a friendship can lead to something more?

cherrysparkles Wed 21-Aug-13 12:39:06

Although, just thinking about what arsenal said; he did also say last time we talked, that "as far as I can see into the future, I don't want a relationship. I don't want to have to come round and see you - anyone - every week, or be told to stay when I want to leave. If I did want a relationship, I'd want to give it a good go with you because I love you to pieces as a person and you're great, but I don't want to lead you down the garden path by sleeping with you or saying that there will be a future when I don't feel there will. I can't predict the future and situations and feelings change but at this moment in time, I want to be on my own and have a friendship, but nothing more than that."

That seemed like he was being totally upfront and honest, to me. Didn't sound like he was trying to just be fwb or lead me on, what do you think?

StillSeekingSpike Wed 21-Aug-13 12:39:43

Oh Gd- they ALWAYS have an ex wife or girlfriend or mother, or hamster, who broke their heart and now they can never love again. I think I would prefer it if he said 'Actually I'm quite immature and shallow- that's why I don't want a relationship'.

"he says he wants to come round and get along and then be able to leave, without me asking him to stay " = 'I want to come round, shag you and then fck off and you are not allowed any demands whatsoever' angry

Leverette Wed 21-Aug-13 12:47:58

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

VenusRising Wed 21-Aug-13 12:48:07

Practically everyone here has said dump him, and go no contact.

I agree with them.

You don't, so if you keep posting to say you are going to meet him again, and kiss him or whatever, you need to stop posting asking us for advice for what you are going to do, as the majority say stop seeing him.

I'm leaving this thread, and wishing you all the best.

HoobleDooble Wed 21-Aug-13 13:07:16

So it seems to me that he's either being honest and you can be his friend while always wanting more, and sit with a rictus grin as he tells you about 'this woman he likes, this woman he's dating, this woman he's in a relationship with'.

OR he's saying he doesn't want to sleep with you, knowing full well you'll try and seduce him into it, then he can shag you, walk away tell you how it was all your idea.

I don't think either way sounds much fun for you.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Wed 21-Aug-13 15:18:40

Oh, the poor sensitive soul hmm. Yes, they've been wounded in the past (who hasn't, frankly?), they don't cheat or sleep around, they believe in romance and monogamy and committed relationships... yet are strangely unable to produce a straightforward one. You know, the kind where someone is upfront about liking you, willing to give a relationship a good go, and then upfront about it not working out, if that's the case. You know, the kind of relationship you should be angling for, OP, if you valued yourself more.

he always tried to leave whenever I slightly criticised him

This is another massive red flag, btw, OP.

You need to wean yourself off this drama-filled relationship. This man is not capable of having a solid relationship. Nor are you, if this is behaviour you find attractive and get entangled in. Please read Baggage Reclaim.

SolidGoldBrass Wed 21-Aug-13 15:31:39

Sorry but you are making at least half this mess yourself. Stop begging, pleading, clutching at his trouserlegs and climbing all over him when he has said that he doesn't want sex with you. If the genders were reversed, your behaviour would be seen by most people as a bit creepy and manipulative - you ask him to come to your house, assure him you won't pester for sex and then proceed to do so. You're not entitled to a romantic, sexual relationship with this man just because you want one.

He's either manipulative or he's a bit of a wuss who thinks it would be 'unmanly' to walk out on you when you are basically waving your chuff at him and saying 'Come on big boy, you want it really.'

He doesn't want to be your boyfriend. Suck it up. And leave him alone.

bestsonever Wed 21-Aug-13 15:47:15

He's saying how it is but you're not listening. It's plain as your nose that you can't accept being just friends and will always hang out for more. Why ask us? It's up to him if you'll get more, he seems to say not but you are being a bit numb to that. Now I bet you've told him you are fine just being friends and can totally can cope with that, all the while desperately asking on here if anyone has managed to change a man's mind. Face it, you will not cope with being just friends so I suggest you go NC.

cherrysparkles Wed 21-Aug-13 15:55:15

Lol I do not wave anything at him :/ But I take your point.

Whoever said something about asking for advice...well isn't 'advice' asking for opinions and then making your own decision on what to do, based on opinions garnered? I'm not ignoring, just saying that I don't think he's the shagging about type.

I KNOW they always have a reason for being that way, but I'm a bit emotionally dysfunctional myself (part of the reason the thing we had went wrong) and if asked, I'd 'blame' my childhood; as it was very emotionally damaging, and I've gone for counselling over it all.

Stillseeking/Leverette - what he meant about coming round, was he always comes over and just talks, it's been me in the past hinting that I wanted more, by saying "aren't you even tempted to be closer to me like we used to act?" or something along those lines, he then admits that of course he's tempted but that would only go one way and we'd both feel awful about it, it's not right to do that etc etc. Then I tell him he should be open minded or I move a bit closer or something, then he ends up kissing me - so I'd say that yes he should have been 'strong enough' not to be 'tempted', but those were times that he had agreed to keep an open mind about things...and now he's saying he cannot and will not be physical in any way, as he doesn't want a relationship at the moment (or ever, whatever). That's what I meant by "I think he'll stick to not sleeping with me" because I won't try anything on either smile

Therefore I am 100% he will come over, we'll chat and have a nice couple of hours and then he will go home without either of us having tried anything on.

So as I asked before, if we take it on the basis that he genuinely wants to be friends and isn't trying to get me into bed, and he doesn't try anything on while he's here; then could something more develop in future from that? Or will he have boxed me into this so called 'friend zone' and therefore never think of me in 'that' way again?

cherrysparkles Wed 21-Aug-13 16:03:57

bestsonever - yes but he's said this before, about 2-3 months ago.

At that time, I texted him a list of questions - things like had his feelings disappeared (he said "the main ones, yes"), could he see himself gaining feelings in the future ("no"), could he see himself meeting up with me again (he replied "I don't know, but certainly not for at least a few weeks).

A couple of weeks later I asked him to come round, he didn't want to and said it wasn't a good idea but I asked him to come over for 'closure', he turned up looking miserable and we argued, then that led know :/

He then spent 3 weeks telling me he couldn't see a future for us but wasn't sure of his feelings for me, as they felt stronger than he'd had for his exes, there was something about me he couldn't put his finger on, all that sort of thing. He continued to come round during this time, each time it was me practically begging him to come over until he eventually did, but as he didn't want to be there he looked miserable, so then I'd argue that he wasn't pleased to see me.
Wash, rinse repeat and I totally lost all self respect, I know that.

Just before he went away, he said he still couldn't see a future, he doesn't want a relationship with anyone but he needed some space from me to clear his head and to sort his feelings out, whether he wanted nothing more to do with me, just friendship or something more...then we get to what I posted in my original post.

He WAS genuinely confused about his feelings, I know that.

meditrina Wed 21-Aug-13 16:05:47

He won't think of you in "that" way again. He's said so loud and clear.

I suggest you stop seeing him at your house, incorporate him properly into your circle of friends as a friend. And look instead for someone who is interested in you as a potential partner.

If you want to be a therapist, then train as one and make it your professional life.

cherrysparkles Wed 21-Aug-13 16:06:15

Sorry I forgot to add, the reason he gave for saying all that a month ago (my feelings have disappeared, we can't meet up again, there is no future etc) and then changing his mind, is because "then I wanted to be with someone, and now I just want to be on my own".

He said as much in the phone call last night; that what he feels for me has nothing to do with him making a decision that he doesn't want to be involved in any sort of relationship at the moment or for as far ahead as he can possibly imagine. But he doesn't know what will happen in the future; be that 2 weeks or 2 years' time.

See that makes sense to me, doesn't it to you?

cherrysparkles Wed 21-Aug-13 16:07:37

meditrina - you think? As I said, he's told me the same previously then changed his mind and acted all tormented about his feelings.

Bluestocking Wed 21-Aug-13 16:24:15

Gaaah! He's trying to be nice about it, but he doesn't want any kind of relationship with you. Please scrape up some self-respect and leave him alone. And stop wasting so much time analysing every little thing he ever said/did/texted. You may be in your forties but you're behaving like an adolescent.

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