Is hanging out with an ex you still have feelings for a good idea, or is it something you should never do? If you’re asking yourself this question right now, then don’t feel bad. Most guys go through this big “what if” stage after breaking up with their girlfriend. And it’s natural:
- They break up with her
- They meet other girls (or they don’t)
- They realize their ex wasn’t so bad after all
- They wonder if they should get back with her
Right now, you might be worried that you made the biggest mistake of your life by losing your ex-girlfriend. But is that really the case? This article will answer all your questions and more.
Let’s start with the pros and cons of staying in touch with your ex-girlfriend...
Pros and Cons: Hanging Out with an Ex You Still Have Feelings For
Depending on how you look at it, there are good and bad things about hanging out with an ex-girlfriend, especially if you still have feelings for her. Keep in mind that up to 50% of couples that break up eventually get back together. So hanging out with your ex might be the best way to make up and start anew. But it does come with some downsides.
Here are some of the most important pros and cons:
PRO: It's easy sex
Let's face it. One of the downsides of the post-breakup phase is the severe lack of sex. Of course, you can try and meet other girls and get your fun that way, but one of three things tend to happen;
- Either you hit the dating scene again and successfully get with many women...
- ...Or you try meeting new women, but you’re not very successful at doing so...
- ...Or you don’t go out and meet women, ending up lonely and frustrated in your apartment.
Unless you’re quite skilled and mentally prepared for the life of a bachelor again, chances are you’ll end up with situation #2 or #3.
Meanwhile, your ex-girlfriend may still have feelings for you as well, and she might miss the sex just as much as you. And it’s much easier to hook up and sleep with your ex than to try your luck with new women.
CON: Your ex will conflate sex with love
That said, here's what most guys don't realize: Women think sex equals love. Or at least, they want an emotional connection before having sex.
Men obviously don't—to most of us, sex and love are separate things, and it’s easy for us to imagine a friends-with-benefits relationship with our ex-girlfriends.
But for women, it’s very different. Women feel that sex and love are inseparable. And if you loved her once, broke up with her, and then came back to sleep with her, she’ll think you still love her.
So, you can imagine the heartbreak and torture she’ll feel when she finds out you don’t after all.
Fair warning. You can get easy sex, but it won’t be easy for her. Not for a long time.
PRO: You'll still be her favorite
There's an ego boost that comes with going to your ex, hooking up with her, and then realizing she missed you terribly. She might even confess that you’re the best boyfriend she's ever had.
And if you hook up with her soon after the breakup, she won’t have a chance to meet other men. And if you have a good time, it’s likely you’ll still be her favorite in the morning.
CON: She won't get over it until you let her go
Here’s a big downside if you just want to be friends-with-benefits with your ex: It’s 99% impossible. Again, women think sex is love, and while you’re still sleeping with her, she won’t be able to get over the breakup and move on with her life.
When you think about it, it’s a ruthlessly cruel thing to do. On this site, we strive to build strong, resilient, good men with the advice we give. And I strongly suggest you do not rob your ex-girlfriend of the freedom to get over you.
PRO: You'll give yourselves a second chance
Meanwhile, if you want to get your ex-girlfriend back, then it’s a good idea to hook up with her again. Chances are she still likes you, especially if it was you who broke it off.
When you come back to her, you give your relationship a second chance. Hooray, right?
Spoiler warning, though. Within weeks or months, you’ll soon remember why you broke up with her in the first place. And you might find yourself trapped, wanting out once again but unsure how to do it.
CON: You're settling
Here’s the last downside: When you get back with your ex, it means you’re settling.
After all, think about it. You broke up with her for a reason, and now you’re coming back.
Did you change your mind? Did you make a mistake? Did you realize getting a newer, better girlfriend is beyond your abilities, and now you want to settle for what you can get?
Now, there’s no shame in deciding: “Yes, I’m tired of playing the dating game, and my ex-girlfriend and I were pretty good overall. Now, I'm ready to devote the rest of my life to making our relationship work.”
If that’s how you feel, then more power to you. Hopefully, you’ll find the resources you need to do things right this time around.
So, all in all: is hanging out with an ex you still have feelings for an acceptable thing to do? That depends on you.
Check the pros and cons and see if your upsides outweigh your downsides—or the other way around.
How to Ask Your Ex to Hang Out
Now, let’s answer a frequently asked question about ex-girlfriends: What’s the best way to ask her to hang out?
If you asked me, the best way is one that’s gentlemanly, doesn't confuse or frustrate her, and adds nothing but positivity to her life.
None of that is easy to do, especially when you’re fresh off a breakup. So here are my tips to make it easier for the both of you:
Tip #1: Observe the no contact rule
First, it’s a good idea to observe the No Contact Rule: 3-4 weeks of no texts, calls and social media pokes with your ex-girlfriend. The idea is to give her a chance to move on with her life—or to miss you, as the case may be.
The goal is to wipe the slate clean and start over with your ex-girlfriend. That’s what the No Contact Rule does. After 3-4 weeks, if she doesn't contact you first, send her a lively text asking her to meet. Tell her you want to check on her and catch up with each other.
Tip #2: Be friendly
During the date, be friendly with her. Treat her like you were old friends, spending time talking about fun and stupid things. Do fun stuff together and make it memorable.
The catch? Whatever you do, don't talk about your past relationship, love, or getting back together. Simply focus on having a fun time. Your goal is to make her see you as a friend—someone she likes, trusts, and can relax around.
Tip #3: Wait for her to bring up the relationship
If anyone should bring up your past relationship, it should be her. When she does, it’s a sign she’s holding out hope that you’ll get back together somehow.
And from there, the ball’s in your court. Should you get back together and give the relationship another shot? Or should you remain friends and give each other some much-needed closure?
By now, you know the pros and cons of both choices. Whether the pros outweigh the cons is up to you.
That said, let me wrap up with my own personal take on the “hanging out with an ex you still have feelings for” issue...
Should You Keep Hanging Out With Your Ex?
If you asked me, I’d tell you “no.” The cons most definitely outweigh the pros. Sure, you’ll get easy sex and she’ll likely remember you as “the best she ever had.”
Unfortunately, that comes at the cost of her future. She won’t be able to move on because she has you on her mind. And to me, that’s a cruel thing to do.
It’s even worse if you lead her on, making her think you still love her when all you really want is easy sex. That’s just vile. You can easily do better, and she definitely deserves better.
That’s why I always suggest moving on, meeting new people, and getting into new relationships—both you and your ex-girlfriend. You’ll be surprised at how all the pain, confusion, hurt feelings, and “what if” questions all vanish instantly when you get into a new relationship with a new person.
My advice? Don’t be selfish. Don’t scar her mentally for the rest of her life.
Instead, do the gentlemanly thing to do. Let her go and help each other move on if necessary.
After all, life is short, and it’s best to move on from heartache as quickly as you can. That way, you’ll recover, get into a better relationship, and gain the ability to look back on the past and smile.
Those are my humble two cents, and I do hope you see it my way. Good luck!