“My ex wants to be friends and I’m not sure how to say no to him. I’m not confident that we can patch up after he quit on our relationship and I’m not even sure why he wants to be friends now. I know that I’m not OK with a friendship right now, but what does it mean when an ex wants to be friends?”
You seem to have made your mind up already, so the answer is glaringly obvious. It really doesn’t matter if your ex boyfriend wants to be friends (or if your ex girlfriend to be friends, for that matter – it’s the same thing). What matters is what you think, and that’s pretty clear.
You should be glad that you’ve made a decision – many people get stuck in the rut of indeciseveness and burn up unnecessary emotional energy by not being able to choose a course of action.
Regarding your question: what does it mean when an ex wants to be friends?
I can’t even hazzard a guess as to what your ex’s motives may be without any background information and without knowing more details about your relatonship.
Anybody could have ulterior motives – it could be that your ex is interested in being more than friends. How you deal with this is down to you, your immediate needs and your decision making. Having said this, I’m not implying that wanting to be more than friends is a bad thing: in reality it’s neither good nor bad. It just depends on your position: if you want to be more than friends and this is your ex’s intention also, then it can be a good thing; but if your ex is trying to use the ‘lets be friends’ excuse to get close to you and you don’t want to get back into a relationship with him, then it can be a bad thing.
If the latter was the case, then you may have to be blunt with your ex and have a showdown of sorts, but it may turn out to be the best thing that you do (any great result may come out of this, especially in the long run) so I can’t even say it’s a bad thing if your ex wants to get back with you. It’s just a fact, nothing more nothing less.
So, it’s not about your ex wanting to be friends with you, but rather it’s about whether you want to be friends with your ex, and clearly – right now – you don’t. So the only issue to tackle is: how to say no to your ex.
Simply tell your ex you’re not ready for ANY kind of interaction right now. That’s it. That line is clear and straight to the point, and uses the word ‘interaction’ (instead of relationship) to avoid any nonsense and pretence. some people start to play word games when you tell them you’re not ready for a relationship of any kind… and attempt to turn the tables on you and make it about YOU accusing them of wanting something more than friendship… it’s a cheap tactic to divert attention from their real motives once you call their bluff, and it’s not a conversation you want to get into with your ex right now (it’s pointless and a waste of time).
At the end of the day, it’s your time and you are entitled to spend it (or not, as may be the case) with anybody you chose. Nobody is forcing you to spend it with your ex: if you do, it’s because you allowed it to.
So remember: use short and clear language and you won’t make a fool of yourself. Don’t accuse your ex of anthing (people can always deny what you accuse them of) but DO be clear and don’t drag it out: one sentence is all it takes.