Long story short, I broke up with him a few months ago. We were together for 5 years. We were in a serious relationship and wanted to get married, have kids, etc. I called off the relationship because he was expecting me to do everything in order to advance our relationship. He just wasn’t an “adult” yet.
Anyway, I really don’t want to burn any bridges so I want to keep him around, just in case he does decide to change. No relationship, just friends. I also would love to continue having sex with him. Will his feelings get hurt? Should I wait a few months?
It’s Monday, and I’m feeling very lazy, so here are the questions you’re asking:
- I want to keep him around in case he changes. How can I do that?
- I would love to continue having sex with him. Should I do that?
- Will his feelings get hurt?
- How long should I wait?
Here are my answers:
- You can, but I wouldn’t recommend it. He’s probably not going to change in the ways you want, and this wont help him move on.
- You can keep him around to sleep with him. But again, I wouldn’t recommend that either.
- Yes, you almost certain will hurt his feelings, no matter what you do.
- If you choose to keep him around platonically or as a sexual partner, I’d wait until he starts dating other people OR at minimum, 6 months.
With that out of the way, here’s why:
This might surprise you, but I actually am in favor of occasionally remaining friends with an ex, in very rare cases. I’m not saying they have to be your best friend, or that you can go back to having the sort of friendship you had with them before you broke up, but I don’t think it’s impossible to remain friendly, or even be a close friend with your ex. Again, it’s in rare or specific cases. What you need to be able to transition from partner to friend is a bit of time apart, a lack of lingering feelings between you both, and most importantly, a certain level of maturity to be able to separate your past romantic relationship from your current platonic one. Which is why I would suggest not trying to keep this guy around platonically, at least not yet. The reason you broke up with him was his immaturity, and his lack of growth throughout your relationship. If he isn’t an “adult” yet, how can you truly be friends with him? If he expects you to carry all of the responsibilities of your relationship, what does a friendship with him look like?
This probably wont surprise you, but I am in favor of sleeping with former lovers, whether an ex, or whatever you called them, but I don’t think everyone can and should do it. Like any switch and relationship types with someone, it depends on a lot of factors: your relationship to them now and then, the reason you split, and why you split, how long ago you split, and tons of other factors. Went through an amicable breakup and you’re both available, and aware of what sex will and will not mean? Go for it! Went through a tough breakup, but it’s been several years since then, and you’ve both moved on, but wouldn’t mind occasionally sleeping with a former lover? Why the heck not! Just broke up with someone after 5 years of dating, someone who you yourself said was immature, and think that they’ll be someone with the required maturity to have a sex-only relationship with? Nah. I think that time plays a role in most cases, and that alone would be a good reason not to sleep with your ex. If you broke up a month ago after dating for 5 years, starting up a casual sex thing with your ex would be a very bad idea, mostly because they haven’t had time to process the breakup and move on. In your case, I wouldn’t recommend pushing for sex with him specifically because of that, but also because, again, his maturity. I don’t think he’d be able to separate a sexual relationship from all those lingering romantic relationship feelings he almost certainly still has.
Will his feelings get hurt, whether you keep him around as a friend, or just sexually? Yes, absolutely. Again, the common thread here is his maturity, or lack thereof. Keep him around as a friend and I think he’ll just grow more and more resentful of you, because he wont understand why he’s good enough to be kept as a friend, but not a partner. Keep him around for sex, and you’re telling him, whether it’s your intention or not, that you don’t think he’s mature enough to be in a relationship with, but he’s *just* good enough to sleep with. If he’s the sort of man who needs you to do everything in a relationship, I doubt he’s the sort of man who will understand why you want to keep him around.
In this specific case, I don’t think you should not keep him around, for friendship or sex. If he’s going to grow, he’s going to need to do it without you. If he didn’t grow in the 5 years you were with him, I doubt he will if you stick around, friend or otherwise. Less specific to this case, how long should you wait between befriending an ex, or trying to sleep with them? At least 6 months, or until they have moved on. If someone is still pining for you after 6 months, a year, two years, etc. , I would highly recommend not pursuing them for a sexual relationship, or a platonic one for that matter. They’ll get their hopes up no matter what you say or do, and while it’s not your responsibility, you can still choose to just find someone else to befriend and/or sleep with.
Oh, and in general, you should tell people what your intentions are with them, even if it’ll be a tough conversation. If that means being honest and telling someone “I only want to see you for sex” and having an uncomfortable conversation, that’s just what you have to do. If, you decide to not heed my advice to not pursue a sex-only thing with your ex, at minimum, you have to be upfront and honest about that. I wouldn’t recommend it, but it’s the least you can do.
Good Luck Out There.