Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
How can I stay best friends with my ex when I still fancy the pants off him?(76 Posts)
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?
allo hugs to you
What happened to my friend was bloody awful, for nearly a year this bloke had an EA with this woman who he practically moved into the house and friend was supposed to cook and clean for, under the guise of it all being really normal because they were 'just' best friends and when she finally plucked up the courage to say it was unacceptable, they made out like she was being awkward for no reason! When she spoke to her friends and family they admitted they thought it was some sort of threesome that she was happy with and didn't want to say anything!
So she spent all that time feeling so lonely and like she was being unreasonable and in the end left him and she is now much happier.
It all sounds so similar. The BF in my situation encouraged my ex to go online to find someone but then got quite jealous when he met me.
To be fair to her though, she went NC as I expect she was able to be healthily angry about it all and put herself first. Not sure, as I never met her.
The difference was that she did not fancy him but as Ques said, they had been an emotional bridge for each other. For example he would listen while she told him about her dating experiences, he was the one who was lovesick for her. When she told him no chance, he settled for me!
That's why I have found this thread so interesting.
Anyway, reading all this stuff is helping me work through my own issues and I hope the OP sorts it out.
Thanks Gecko. That hug bought a tear to my eye.
I am glad to hear your friend is much happier.
you shouldn't feel settled for.
There are always ex's or old flames, if you like this guy and he likes you, then there is no reason why you can't fall in love with each other and become each others partner.
It's whether you think there is still a chance she could 'take' that from you though. I would want lots of reassurance about that.
Ah Gecko, it was a long time ago and the relationship has recently ended, but that was how it all started so maybe I am feeling sorry for the new woman in this, but I also understand the OP's feelings too.
It would be good to hear how she gets on though.
Off to work now but it just occurred to me that if I had not gone NC recently, as he wanted to stay in touch and "be friends", then I would be in the OP.s situation and would become the BF in the background for any new woman he might meet! Like a merry go round and I am pretty sure I would be jealous too at the thought of someone else reaping the reward of my hard work!!
OP if you can bear it, do let us know what happened.
You can't be just friends- and you never have been.
You can't be friends with someone you have sex with when you each feel the need AND then be jealous when they go off to find 'The One'.
If he's as bad a catch as you seem to think ( all that baggage) then let it go.
If you are half willing to make this into a relationship and take the risk of it going tits up, then do that.
You ended it because you were wearing your 'sensible' hat. Maybe instead of doing that you ought to have let the relationship run its course- whatever that might have entailed.
It might have worked, it might not have. But at the moment you are pining for something that might have been- and in your eyes someone else is getting it (him)
You are both being unfair to each other- you need to step back if you are sure you don't want him- let him go- and he needs to stop treating you like a cosy pair of slippers whenever he wants his feet warming.
OR you throw caution to the wind and just get on with a relationship and take the risk.
I have a friend who was in a similar situation to you, without the divorce part for him; they went out for 6m, broke up, stayed friends, both saw other people but stayed in close contact - and then after a couple of years, the bloke decided that he couldn't cope any more because he really just wanted to be with my friend. So. He backed off - she realised how much she actually cared about him, they got back together, then engaged, then married and still are 11 years later.
I don't know how much the baggage and chalk and cheese things are real, and how much they are mental safeguards that you have put in place to talk yourself out of this relationship - but in all honesty, I'd stop mucking around and give it another go.
If he'd really wanted a relationship with you, when you advised him to date other people, he could have said no.
I think your head has made the right choice OP, but your heart and your body just need to catch up.
You either need to cut all ties with him or tell him how you feel and hope that he feels the same, if he doesnt then again cutting ties maybe the only option. Its really hard to just be friends with somebody you have feelings for, ive done it tried kidding myself got in another relationship which (no offence to the guy) It just wasnt the same I didnt have that connection, the attraction or anything with him.
Thanks everyone. I'm at work and it's difficult to post but all these replies are really very helpful. I will post a proper reply later.
I know what I have to do. NC all the way. Until at least I feel stronger. He's sapped my energy. And I've let him.
Dorsy I do wish you luck and strength in all this. In some strange cosmic way, you posting about your situation has helped me not feel quite so alone. I am about three weeks out of my seven year relationship and am experiencing so many emotions, longing, anger, grief, panic, relief - it is quite exhausting but I know I have to feel it all to come out the other side.
Thanks so very much for all the advice. It's what I need to hear. I need a big kick up the bum to do this. I planned to meet him tomorrow to explain about the nc but I think I'll send him an email. He fried my brain yesterday telling me that he had met someone else, that he really loved me - first time he's ever said that to me wtf, that I'm his closest and best friend and that he always wanted me in his life. So I can't afford to meet him in person. I love him and will buckle. I'll email him when I feel up to it, sit on it for 24 hours then send it over the weekend. I do feel much more resolute tonight.
Why don't you just make a go of it?
What have you got to loose?
whoa....! if you both love each other then why the heck are you both backing out?
If you are terrified of his baggage and being hurt then I'd say you don't love him. Love is usually optimistic and people just 'go' for it.
You ended the relationship not because you were unhappy but because you felt somehow he was 'bad news' due to his baggage. I think that's an odd thing to do if you are head over heels.
You've either got to overcome your feelings that he's bad news, and give it a go, and maybe regret it for the rest of your life- or take the plunge and the risks that we all do when we start a relationship.
Likewise, if he really loves you then he's got to convince you that he won't make the same mistakes again.
I think his dating other women and telling you about them is a carefully thought out ploy to try to make you jealous and want him back.
It's staring me in the face what you ought to do- what are you so scared of?
I would love to believe that was his motive but sadly I don't think it's true. I can sense his excitement at meeting this new woman. Just as he was infatuated when he first met me. I think I'm being kept as reserve or as was previously said, a comfy pair of slippers who is conveniently local - I live a mile away, she's about 40 miles up the motorway.
He's got a horrendous track record with relationships. 2 ex wives and 7 children all of whom he's left and treated badly, ie not supported the children properly. He is reckless, selfish and self serving. But he can charm the birds out of the trees and is highly intelligent and very interesting. He's pissed a lot of people off over the years and never allows anyone to get close to him - I am the exception apparently. He spent part of his young adulthood involved in fairly serious organised crime and with a significant drug problem for many years - coke and LSD. He's told me stuff that would make your toes curl. The drugs have left permanent physical and mental health problems. However, he now has a very respectable job and you would never guess his criminal past. He carries a huge amount of genuine guilt and remorse about his past life. Very few people know about it as he was never arrested. Even his ex wives never knew the full extent of his behaviour. By the time he told me I had already fallen for him. But I think that's more than enough baggage for me to justify stepping away. And I haven't even mentioned the sexual hang ups.
He's text me 3 times already this morning as I told him I wanted to meet him to explain. But I'm going to stick with the email plan and in my own time, not his.
You love him. He loves you. You are best friends. Both got some baggage. You have a strong mental connection. The chemistry and sex is great. He has known the ow five minutes.
Quite frankly it sounds like the basis for a good relationship. He cannot possibly love the ow in such a short time so he can end that without too much hassle.
Oh dear...cross post. I did wonder what red flags you had about him. X
Yes - step away! Your last post made it clear why you ended the relationship and well done you. Keep fine tuning those instincts for self preservation!
I think you should try with him.
Tell him that you'll try and see it through to a proper conclusion. Otherwise it will always be there, hanging over you. I'm not saying get pregnant or move him in, but you love each other, you trust each other, you have chemistry. That's more than a lot of people have.
If you've seen enough, then you have to go NC. But that seems very sad. You decided he was unsuitable because of his past, instead of allowing him to tread a new path with you. Has he done anything to make you feel like he would treat you badly? He's changed a lot already if no one would guess his past.
Oh, I'm probably too full of the milk of human kindness... you know him, you made a decision. Stick with it.
Sorry but him coming off drugs is a bad thing?
People can and do change. What a shame for both of you.
well- what strikes me is that for all his faults, he's someone who believes in hope over experience- and you believe in never taking a risk as well as cutting your nose off to spite your face.
All meant in the nicest way!
Everyone has a past. It's up to you how much you think he has reformed. You gave him 6 months of your life presumably when you knew all of this anyway.
Unless you have a strongly ticking bio clock and want kids soon then I'd be inclined to say give this a whirl and see where it goes.
I don't see how you can say you love him but you want to end it because of his past. The past is the past.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.