Just when you thought you’re finally over your ex, they contact you out of the blue.
Great. It’s as if they have this radar that detects when you’re almost completely over them so they can reel you back in with just the right amount of breadcrumbs to keep you close. And this time around, they said they want to be friends.
The thing is, you actually want to be friends with them too but when you finally met, they gave you mixed signals and now you’re not so sure if they truly just want to be friends or they secretly want you back.
It took you a looong ass time to get over your ex so you do not want to go down that rabbit hole again!
To help you avoid confusion and heartache, in this article, I will give you 31 clear signs your ex just wants to be friends.
#1 They are friends with some of their exes
It is common knowledge that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and you should keep this in mind when assessing your relationships.
If your ex is friends with some of their exes, it’s a good indicator that they’re indeed evolved creatures who are capable of having this kind of platonic relationship.
When they offered you friendship, they probably meant it — just pure friendship. Nothing more, nothing less.
#2 They never got back together with an ex… Ever
Again, history. It doesn’t mean that there’s absolutely no chance that they want you back because you could be the exception to the rule.
However, if they are the type who isn’t a fan of the push and pull of complicated relationships, they probably just want to be friends. You can, of course, try to do some clever tricks to get your ex back but make sure you manage your expectations.
#3 They are the type who easily feels guilty
If they’re the dumper, they could experience what we call the dumper’s guilt. It makes them feel awful that you feel awful so they would do anything to avoid confrontation.
That’s why when you called them and begged for an explanation, they just disappeared into thin air.
Once a guilty dumper feels that you’re truly and completely over them, they instantly want to reach out to the dumpee to check if they’re okay. They probably just want to appease their guilt and not want you back.
Unfair, I know, but some people just don’t have the skill to be good people during break-ups.
#4 They asked for closure (and you still haven’t given it)
If you’re the dumper and you dropped them like a hot potato (bless you, surprise breakups are the worst!), I’m sure they want to know exactly what happened. Any person would.
If your ex is contacting you for a quick coffee, don’t automatically assume that they are still dying to have you back in their life. It could be they just want clarity because the break-up caught them by surprise.
And guess what? You owe them this.
#5 They had been MIA for months
They’ve gone “No Contact” for a while so you can be sure they’ve licked their wounds and licked them really good.
We’re not talking about just a few weeks here. We’re talking a few months to a year or even more!
The No Contact Rule is crucial to moving on faster so you can be sure that if they’ve gone full NC for a while, they’ve evolved into a different person and are probably dating someone else.
Your ex now is a different person.
#6 They don’t get nervous around you
Being around someone we used to love could be awkward. We get a little sweaty and jittery…just not good.
No wonder mixing work and love aren’t recommended because working with an ex you still love could greatly affect how you work.
If your ex’s body language clearly says “I’m cool as a pickle” and you know they’re not just faking it, chances are they just see you as a friend.
#7 They are not trying to impress you anymore
This is just like #6 except that they absolutely don’t care what makes you happy or sad or furious or horny anymore.
You used to hate it when they smoke? They’ll smoke in front of you!
You used to like their long hair? They got a buzz cut!
They’re not doing it to spite you. It’s simply because they don’t care about you anymore.
It’s also likely they’re trying to reclaim their identity after you’ve been together for so long.
#8 They stopped being a pathetic ex
After your break up, they used to send you drunk text messages…and memes, and gifts, and sometimes threats. Just anything to get your attention!
You hated those pesky messages a lot but lately they’ve been unusually quiet.
There’s that small possibility that they still aren’t 100% over you but you can be sure they don’t miss you like they used to.
Time heals all wounds and although difficult at first, it’s easier for the dumpee to move on as time passes. If they stopped bothering you, they’ve probably moved on and just want to be friends.
#9 They changed their relationship status on Facebook
We know it’s legit if it’s Facebook official because it’s a loud declaration. This applies to newly-cemented relationships and break-ups.
If your ex finally changed their relationship status from “In a relationship” (with you) to single, then they are probably over you unless, of course, if they’re an attention-seeking and manipulative ex from hell.
In that case, why bother befriending them.
#10 Their ig is flooded with photos of their new beau
Sure, it’s possible that your ex is pretending to be over you, faking a relationship to get your attention. But if they’ve been doing this for a while now, they’re over you and just want to be friends.
You see, if they really want you back, they wouldn’t make big moves such as this that could potentially make things awkward later on if you actually get back together.
#11 They ask you for love advice
We know some exes use this technique to gauge if you still have feelings for them.
However, if you can see many signs your ex is deeply in love with someone new and they can’t stop talking about them even to your other friends, then they’re not just making it up to make you jealous.
They could be asking genuine advice from you because you know them to the core and how they are in relationships. It could also be their direct way of telling you that they now see you as a friend and nothing more.
Being in love with someone else makes friendship with an ex much easier.
#12 They look genuinely happy with someone else
You hate it a little because you can’t believe they moved on so fast, but the truth is right in front of your face: Your ex looks madly in love. They’re giddy, their eyes twinkle, and they can’t wipe the smile off of their face!
If you want to be friends with your ex, this is a clear sign that you can be because they’re indeed over you.
If you are still not over them, stay away or be prepared to suffer from seeing them in love like a mad puppy to someone else.
#13 They want you to be happy with someone else
They might tease you with another guy or girl.
No, they’re not just doing it to get a reaction from you that says “But you’re the one that I love”. They genuinely think you could be a good match with the other person!
They want you to fall in love again because it will make them happy that you’re happy.
More than that, when you’re both in love with other people, it would make things very clear that you’re now just friends so their new S.O. wouldn’t think there’s still something between the two of you.
#14 Your relationship is now just a lesson for them
You threw their clothes out the window? They killed your plants?
Boy, that was a toxic relationship with a capital T. When you were still in the relationship, you both took those types of drama way too seriously.
But now? They really don’t care!
They can even laugh about how stupid you both were and talk about how you stayed in the relationship much longer than you should have. You’re now just a reminder to them of their past relationship mistakes.
#15 You can’t see any trace of longing in their eyes
Oh yes, the eyes are the windows to the soul. If you look deep in their eyes and they’re just cool and dandy, they’ve probably moved on a long time ago.
No more lingering stares filled with love and lust. They will look at you the same way they look at their buddies.
Speaking of stares, they might even check out other people while you’re together because you’re now just a friend they enjoy hanging out with.
#16 They tell you the bad stuff (no holds barred this time)
Maybe they will tell you that they didn’t really quit smoking when they said they did. Or it could be a big bomb like them having a lover. Ouch!
But they don’t care how you see them anymore because your relationship is a thing of the past for them.
Because of this, they feel like they can be totally honest with you and would want to start your friendship with a clear conscience.
#17 You don’t feel sexual tension at all
Sexual tension is like the ends of a magnet. It’s either you can’t get your hands off of each other or you absolutely can’t stand to be near each other. There is no in-between.
If you don’t feel this intense attraction or repulsion from your ex anymore, if they’re all too vanilla and nice and you really can’t imagine you kissing each other, there’s probably nothing left but pure friendship.
#18 They don’t send you sweet messages (even friendly ones)
They want to establish your new kind of relationship (which is pure, clean friendship) so they don’t want to give mixed signals your way.
They want to establish that they are now your BFF, not the sweet ex that they reserve for the future.
They know that one sweet message could ruin everything so even if they do miss you as a friend, they won’t send “I miss you” or kiss emojis to keep things simple and clear. At least for now.
#19 They don’t reply to your sweet messages
You thought they’re just shy so you went ahead and sent them a sweet message or two.
You kinda hoped for a long reply in the morning but you’re left on read. It doesn’t mean they think you’re unlovable and pathetic. It doesn’t mean they’re playing hard to get either.
Again, they just want to establish clear boundaries in your new friendship by keeping things strictly friendly.
#20 They can openly discuss why your relationship sucked
As the song goes “I can see clearly now the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way”.
You know someone is in a different place when they can look back without anger or resentment, just a clearer perspective on things.
They can now openly admit that they were an asshole to you because everything is now a thing of the past. Of course, that is because they assumed that you’ve moved on too.
#21 They’re not bitter anymore
If they’re angry at you, they still care. If they’re indifferent, they’ve moved on. Plain and simple.
Whatever you did in the past just doesn’t affect them anymore.
So let’s say you finally had the guts to say sorry for cheating. You expected a flood of tears but what you got was a quick but sincere smile that says “It’s okay. I’ve moved on.”
They’re not faking it. They are not exhibiting any sign of bitterness towards you because they simply don’t care anymore.
#22 Their mantra is now “onward”
They used to grieve the death of your relationship like crazy but now, probably with the help of therapy and a dozen self-help books, they’re so zen about everything. They are much healthier mentally and spiritually and it shows in their aura.
They’ve processed things in a healthy way and sealed the door of your relationship for good.
They used to struggle a lot but you can clearly see they’re doing okay. They’ve done so much work to recover from your break-up so please be kind enough not to disturb their newfound peace.
#23 They’re not affectionate anymore
This is quite obvious but it could be a bit tricky. An ex that’s over you DO show affection but it’s a different kind…the kind that says you are just good friends.
Be very careful because the line is thin.
If you still like your ex, you would imagine that they are still affectionate to you when in fact they’re just being totally friendly. And then there are some exes who will play with your emotions by still acting affectionate and flirty even if they don’t want you back. These are narcissists who want to get validation.
If you want to move on, you have to run before they ruin your progress once again.
#24 They introduce you to others as their (awesome) ex
They’re proud of who you are as an individual. Hey, it’s quite rare to be genuinely friends with your ex.
If they can say this without a lump in their throat or a pause of regret, they’ve made up their minds and would probably not do anything to sabotage what you have now, which is a friendship that has surpassed the drama of romantic love.
#25 They say no when you want to hang out
If they still want you, trust me, they will say yes in a heartbeat not only because they miss you but they don’t ever want you to feel you’re chasing them as if you’re in a one-sided relationship.
If they just want to be friends, however, they are chill. It doesn’t even mean they’re avoiding you on purpose.
No, no, no. It’s because its game night or they’re tired or they just want to binge-watch their favorite show…probably with their current S.O.
If they don’t feel compelled to say yes to you, it is a clear sign that you are now just a friend to them.
#26 They say no when you ask for favors
They’ve moved on and clearly don’t want a codependent relationship with an ex.
Maybe they used to pick up your laundry or water your plants when you’re away when you’re still together. Maybe they let you borrow their car from time to time.
However, since you’re no longer a couple, they are not shy to say no to the favors you ask them. It’s not that they’re selfish people, it’s just that they really don’t have to anymore.
#27 They treat you like a buddy
You’re now just a friend so they might not even see you as someone from the opposite sex anymore.
Don’t be too surprised if they give you a high five or if they won’t open the door for you anymore. They might fart more often, guzzle beer like a mad man, and play video games without worrying one bit what you think.
Buddies should act like buddies and that’s what you are to each other now.
#28 You’re special but not extra special
If they’re the type who’s naturally sweet and caring to everybody, don’t assume they still want you if they’re just being who they are to you — naturally sweet and caring.
Pay attention to their actions. If they gave you a gift yet they also gave gifts to everyone else, then you’re special but not really too special.
Be careful of misinterpreting the good deeds of a naturally sweet person. You could get trapped in your own fantasy when in reality, they just want you as a friend.
If you don’t feel anything EXTRA in what they do to you, you’re just a friend to them now. Totally.
#29 They push you away when you try to get flirty
You got a little drunk so of course, you got a little touchy-feely. You just wanted to give it one final try before you finally move on from your ex. But they pushed you away and even tried to hide from you!
Respect them and respect yourself by not making any more advances from now on.
No flirty texts, no arm touching, no lingering hugs…because they just clearly want to be friends with you.
You’ve been showing very obvious signs that you’re still not over your ex and they don’t like it. They just want friendship and friends don’t flirt!
#30 They say it clearly and consistently
“I just want to be friends” is not so hard to understand if you’re completely over someone but it’s a bitter pill to swallow if you still have feelings.
“I want to be friends” is not a code for “I want to keep you just in case”, or “I still want you, please chase me.” It means what it means.
They. Just. Want. To. Be. Friends.
If they keep telling you this again and again, please believe them. No one who’s on the fence would say the same thing over and over to your face.
#31 They will end the friendship if you still have feelings
Whether they told you directly or they just made you feel it through their actions, you’re quite sure that they are willing to end any kind of relationship with you if you still have lingering feelings.
They know it will be unfair to their new S.O., they know it will be hurtful for you, and they know it will just be awkward for everyone. They want pure friendship or nothing at all.
Take note that this is cumulative. There is no one sign here that automatically means they just want 100% friendship and nothing more.
However, if they exhibit a handful of these signs, especially the last ones in this list, it’s time to abandon all hope that you’ll ever be together again and start letting go for good.
The more important question to ask, therefore, isn’t if they just want to be friends, but if you’re truly ready to just be friends with them.
If you think you’ve moved on, take this friendship as a gift.
If your heart still hurts from losing them, protect yourself.
Give yourself more time to make sure you’re completely over them before you consider having them in your life again as a friend.
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