General Question

Nefily's avatar

Can you really go back to being friends with someone after you dated them?

Asked by Nefily (633points) July 13th, 2009 from iPhone
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

42 Answers

smack's avatar

No. It’s never the same.

skfinkel's avatar

I have seen this happen. Very successfully it seems.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Yes you can be friends again, but it won’t be exactly the same.

tinyfaery's avatar

Every lesbian ever. Okay, not really, but you get the drift.

Tink's avatar

Yes, it might be akward at first but if it didn’t work out between you guys and you still like each other as friends I guess there is no problem with that

Ansible1's avatar

It depends on your/his/her personality

seekingwolf's avatar

It’s never the same, but yes, it’s possible to have a friendship again…even if things are different from how they used to be.

To be friends with an ex, you first must give them ample time after the breakup to process their feelings, that means don’t have contact for a while..also, you have to make sure neither party is holding a torch for the other, and has no jealousy when it comes to dating other people.

With some time and understanding, yes, it’s possible to have a friendship with them.

Darwin's avatar

Actually, I have been able to do that several times, including with the man I was dating at the time I met the man who later became my husband. He is now a family friend and is my daughter’s godfather. He has gone on to date a woman who impresses my son mightily because she has a tractor.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

It’s easier if you haven’t slept with them.

smack's avatar

@PandoraBoxx That’s exactly it. Every time you’re with your ex, hanging out as “friends,” all you can think about is that.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

You can be friends after dating them, but you will never be the same friends as before, especially if you’ve had sex.

Darwin's avatar

Believe it or not, even with the sex thing it is still possible to be friends. Just no more sex.

cyn's avatar

What type of friends?

ubersiren's avatar

I’ve done this a few times, but there were circumstances. One guy was my friend since 6th grade, then we dated briefly in high school. We were better off as friends. Then, in college he realized he was gay. We’re still friends 15 years later. We never slept together.

The other time this has really been successful was with my first love. We still talk and are still acquaintances, but I think we will always love each other. We limit ourselves now that I am married. He will always have a special piece of me.

filmfann's avatar

Most of my ex-gf’s are close friends now.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I’ve had great success with the few people I’ve dated or lived with remaining longterm friends but there are a few acquaintances running around out there.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

I certainly hope so. But I think that we (or at least I) need some more time…

Jeruba's avatar

It’s possible but exceptional. You can’t ever forget. That’s why I never wanted to turn a good friendship with a man into anything more. Lovers are easy to come by, but a true friend is a rare treasure.

casheroo's avatar

I’m friends with my most serious ex-boyfriend, and now friendly with my high school sweetheart. The break up with my serious boyfriend was drawn out, we both weren’t sure what we wanted to do, then eventually I ended it (because I chose to be with a different guy and had to break off the friendship with the ex because it was toxic) Since then, he and I have become friends, he has met my son multiple times, my husband doesn’t mind. Sometimes he calls me for relationship advice and I have no problem talking him through rough times. I actually appreciate the friendship we have.
I think that sort of thing takes time, and both parties have to have moved on. I can talk to my ex about our relationship sometimes…like mentioning trips we’ve taken or funny stories, it’s nice to have that in a friend. This guy actually hurt me very badly while we dated, but I hurt him as well so I guess it balanced out for us to be friends.
I’m also friendly with most of my high school boyfriends, they accepted my friendship on social sites and we’ve chatted haha.
I think when it was a painful relationship is when a friendship is not possible.

cyn's avatar

@casheroo that last sentence is inspiring. Wow!

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

most certainly. I’ve kept a good relationship with a group of my ex’s. though I’m only really close with two of them, the others I’ll just occasionally hang out a couple times a month, that sort of thing.

MacBean's avatar

It’s definitely possible. I’m still extremely close friends with all of my exes (I don’t have that many; I’m only 25 and my shortest relationship lasted more than two years), with the exception of the one who cheated on me.

CMaz's avatar

Not the “friends” you use to be. But generally no. Unless you just like to kid yourself.
Then sure, what ever you want to convince yourself of.

Phobia's avatar

Yes, its possible, but it will probably never be the same. I’ve dated a really close friend before, and the reasons for our breakup didn’t involve bad feelings for each other. So afterwards, we still had a friendship, but we were never as close as we were before.

hug_of_war's avatar

It’s possible, but not for me.

Jack79's avatar

I have done so with most of my relationships (since many of them started off as friendships). And yes, I’ve managed to make it work. But the trick is to be honest and a real friend and differentiate between friendship and dating.

Jack_Haas's avatar

No because the new girlfriend should never have to put up with exes.

EmpressPixie's avatar

You can, but both of you have to be interested in it. In my previous relationship, we were both very good friends, then we dated, and now we are very good friends again. And we’ve both fallen in love with other people who understand that we’re friends now. But remaining friends was something we were both interested in. There was a bit of awkwardness at first—neither of us told the other about new love interests immediately or how serious they were getting. But we got through that and are comfortable around each other again.

Honestly, I think a lot of if you can actually be friends has to do with how the break up went. Mine was kind of mutual. If I’d been totally and madly in love and still gotten dumped, I somehow doubt we could actually be friends. And the opposite is true as well.

fireinthepriory's avatar

It definitely depends on how the relationship started as well as how it ended. If you were never friends in the first place I think it’s harder to get to that place after a romantic relationship ends. In fact, the only ex I have that I’m not friends with now, started romantically right off the bat. Then we had no baseline friendship to go back to, we didn’t know how to interact in that capacity. It’s harder to build a friendship from scratch with an ex rather than using the memory of your past friendship, knowing that’s what you want to go “back to.”

All my other exes I’m still friends with. One is one of my best friends in the world, in fact. I tell him things I don’t tell the people I’m dating! :)

casheroo's avatar

@Jack_Haas “Put up with”? That’s ridiculous to even think. You can’t change the person you are with past…doesn’t work like that. You can’t demand that they not be friends with someone who was their friend prior to the new relationship.

CMaz's avatar

I have to disagree. Not to say that you will have to…

But, it is about a relationship. You and me against the world. Not you and me and your ex.

Friends are one thing, ex’s are another. If you need the “friendship” of you ex more then you want the relationship with your partner. Then you are still hanging on to your ex and that is not good for your new relationship.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@ChazMaz: I would rather keep a good, old, reliable friend than dump them for a new, untested, possibly only going to last a week or five boyfriend. (Also if your partner is being controlling enough to say who you can and cannot talk to/hang with, well, that’s a big red flag.)

casheroo's avatar

I think what people seem to always try to forget is, other than a sexual relationship with the person you do have a friendship with them. I consider my one ex a terrible boyfriend, but he is actually a great friend..what’s wrong with us both realizing that and going back to just being friends? The new relationship should be respectful of that, in my opinion.

CMaz's avatar

“untested, possibly only going to last a week or five boyfriend.”

Sorry you have those experiences. Really. Besides, if you are meeting someone that you are hoping that it will develop into something more the a few weeks. Your focus should be on the new man in your life and not your ex. That could be why they do not last long to begin with.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@ChazMaz: Actually, I’ve never had a relationship that was that short term. My point was simply that I would prefer to keep a long-lasting tested relationship (and even a friendship is still a relationship) than ruin it for someone I just met—regardless of how long I hope to know them.

CMaz's avatar

With relationships of the heart. There comes a time where sacrifice is needed.
Actually, sacrifice is part of most anything.
But, when it comes to that one. That special one. Your “soul mate”. No one should be more important.

A friendship is a relationship. But a relationship, the one where you both “bond as one”, goes beyond friendship.
Some people cant see that letting go of one thing can get you something better. You have to take the risk sometimes.
Life is not about playing it safe.

irocktheworld's avatar

It depends if you feel comfortable with the person and if you do then probally you can be friends

drClaw's avatar

I have never successfully retained friendship with someone I dated. I have always had friends who breakup, but stay friends and one thing leads to another and they end up back in a relationship. They end up in a seemingly worthless loop of dating, friendship, dating, friendship, etc. Not for me…

deni's avatar

i’ve had 3 relationships that count. i’ve remained friends with all 3 of these young men. the first of the three was a two year relationship with a kid i thought i was gonna marry. obviously i was wrong. it was really bad between us for months but now we’re great friends….maybe even sometimes with benefits. but we both know it will never work out for us to date again. it’s kinda nice!

Zen_Again's avatar


I used to think it was impossible, but as you get older, you realize that dating someone intelligent, lovely and otherwise wonderful – just not your chemistry match – doesn’t mean you can’t be friends. I would say that after dating several women for various periods of time in my forties after the divorce, most are still friends – to various degrees. But most.

It’s when one is particularly the jealous type that it’s a problem. But as I said, in most cases it isn’t necessary to be “offended” by a break-up – just because you do not appeal to the other one after dating for a while, or vice versa. Friendship can evolve from mutual respect and admiration, regardless of the sexualy history, which is what we’re really talking about here, right?

Response moderated (Spam)

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther