Friends, Lovers...or Nothing?

October 15, 2012
Category: Dating
Just friends chart

"I still hope we can be friends." Famous last words after you've had your heart broken. And whether they mean it or not, it's an interesting choice that we're all presented with. The decision of course is relative to each and every relationship. It might depend on how long you've been together, how bad the breakup was, and ultimately, time. For many it's hard to switch off your feelings and dive straight into a friendship. On the other hand, it can be a seamless transition if both parties romantic feelings have mutually dissolved. But usually that's not the case, and when a heart breaks they don't break even. For me, if friendship is truly something you want after a break up, "out of sight, out of mind" has always been the best course of action. To reset and recalibrate your feelings from romantic to friendly, time and distance help to heal things quicker. It's when friendship is pushed so soon after that things start to get messy and awkward. And depending on how badly you've been hurt, those wounds need time to heal. And every attempt at being with your former lover without being able to hold them or kiss them or touch them just makes the hurt sting that much more. But the good news is, that if friendship is truly in the cards it can be something quite beautiful down the line. After all, any relationship worth having should have friendship at it's core and intimacy shared is something that's never really lost.

Have you been able to be friends with your exes? And if so, how soon after? What helped you move forward as friends?

Tags: friends, dating, break ups
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Post written by RobHeartsDH (View Author Profile)
About this author: Rob lives in Manhattan with his black pug Riley. When he’s not thinking about daddies, he enjoys writing, eating burritos, watching copious amounts of television, and thinking about his next meal.
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The half with the least invested is most likely capable of remaining friends. It's always the one who cares the least who controls any relationship.

I think you're right. Unfortunately, it's a damned shame that the person with the least invested is the one who controls. But the one with the least invested is the one with the least to lose. As I said, a damned shame, but all too correct.

I agree. I've been there and the guy that was my so called partner was a game player. He historically turns all his "ex's" into friends that are really fuck-buddies that he has cybersex with on vidcam when he is dating or partners with his next victim.
When I found out what he does with his ex's, I told him that since he is so good at screwing everyone else he can go screw himself if he attempts to be "friends" with me.
Guys like him are sick.

pretty took me two iphones and facebook to catch on to my ex...and he kicked me out over it. it drove me nuts--we don't speak bc its the same argument over and over. funny bc when i picked up the last of my things i got a vibe and walked away...really?

Wow. I've been around a while--God knows-- and this notion never occurred to me. You're right.

I don't agree that there's necessarily anything wrong with this dynamic. It's not a damned shame--you can't control how much you care-- but it is very interesting.

Thank you for the comment-
I find it to be timely

IT worked out well for me and my ex. We were of the mutually dissolving romantic feelings types. We've stayed good friends and have become roomies when the economy forced it. I've also become good friends with the ex's new boyfriend... Guess it all depends on who you are and how mature the relationship is.

No one is worth the annoyance and pain of living rent free in your head...

My ex and I were together for 21 years. I broke us up because he kept hitting me and I eventually figured out he had borderline personality disorder. I had a separation agreement drawn up in which we agreed on no contact; in return I gave him the house free and clear.

Meanwhile, my brother and his ex had children together. They got together for the wedding of one of their beautiful daughters; and, although they both remarried, they are still friends. Although she now lives in another state, both couples used to live in the same town.

I have been able to keep all of my X's friends except for one, the alcoholic. There is a time needed with space and time to heal from the loss of the dream of what could have been, and to create a new daily routine. But what I found to be the most interesting discovery was that if I followed the cultural rules of calling my X some sort of name, I actually invalidated myself. I invalidated my choices, my dreams, my expressions of me. But if I took the break up as more of a lesson in intimacy, then I knew I needed to be grateful for what I experienced, thus validating my experience, and me in the process. I only grew from it. So, by respecting my choices and my X, I was able to grow and set myself up for an even better relationship in the future. Win-win.

You're a man after my own heart. I have had exactly the same experience. Of all the men I've truly loved (five over the past 24 years) four are amongst my closest friends. And though two of them live halfway across the world, we keep in touch. It's these guys I mostly turn to in times of great need (let's face it, they probably know me the best) and vice versa. I've been on holiday with them, laughed with them, argued with them and cried with them. And not had sex with them again. I'd like to think the love stayed after the sex went. And I have become friends with their new partners, too. One of them live around the corner from me with his incredibly hot boyfriend and we see each other on a weekly basis - and I couldn't be happier for them. To tell the truth, they're better suited than he and I was. The most recent one is not quite there yet, but I believe the same thing will happen. They are my family, the people who helped make me the person I am today and I feel truly blessed to have them in my life.

The border between friend and bedroom partner has always been a bit blurred. So in a way i don't think of anybody as an ex, some folks are just people whose company i enjoy, who maybe i even used to date until one day we weren't, but whose friendship love and affection i both enjoy and return. Just because suddenly i'm not spending my nights beneath a man doesn't mean i don't still love him, or that he doesn't love me.

See above, about the one least invested. I think that may be you...and often enough, me, as it happens.

The border between friend and lover is often blurred. (I'm not really interested in being with someone with whom I am not a friend first.) There isn't a single ex- that I don't think of with real affection, even now. We may no longer be "friends," but that is more a function of time and distance than of emotion. Given the right circumstances, we could have a great dinner, see a movie, even fool around, maybe.

At the risk of coming across as someone very deeply shallow, I've fallen hard, loved much...but we're still friends.

@ Mr, Jim Sr. I'm stunned that it took 21 yrs of being hit to finally leave. If anyone ever raised a hand to me my bags would be packed and I'd be gone. Period. And there would be no parting gift of a house (insane). I'm amazed when a relationship goes south that an injured party would have any need to know what caused their partner's violence? Knowing where the front door was would make more sense, however, after 21 yrs, it would appear that the relationship was violence. It takes two.

Until you've been in such a situation, it's a little unfair to speak to his. Domestic abuse is not an easy thing to deal with or overcome. And among gay relationships it's more common than you think. The NY Anti-Violence Project ( exists to help those who've experienced domestic and intimate partner violence and has a 24/7 hotline as well as one-on-one counseling and a legal clinic. Just putting this out there in case anyone else has been or is currently in a similar situation.

There is also a lot of information on the Web -- e. g.

The violence started only in the last 3-5 years. I do wish I had said "once more and I'm leaving," and followed through.
And I did discover that I can hit back.
As for "insane," thank you for the instant diagnosis, doctor. I didn't want to start a new thread here, so I left a lot out. We had bought a house together from the estate of a relative of his, and his parents financed it. They eventually excused half the loan. We put it in my name when he stopped working, possibly because of mental illness. Then we bought a bigger house around the corner. When I realized I had to leave, I sold the little house, paid off the mortgage on the big house, and used the remainder to buy the condo where I live now. (I'm still leaving a lot out, but this is the gist of it.)
So I never felt like the little house was completely mine. I also didn't want to see a man I still cared for become homeless. We had 2 great dogs, and I definitely didn't want to see them go to the pound.
How I treated him is actually the one thing in my life of which I am the most proud. When a gay couple down the street split up, the one in his position was left homeless, and with a black eye. I admit I have never found anyone who heard all this who agreed with me, but I did what I felt was right.

Its quite easy to see from your posts who was and is the better man. I have always believed in the concept of karma and live my life by it. At the end of the day, our own sense of right and wrong is all we truly have. Our own sense of honor is a precious gift we give ourselves...and is the only thing that nobody can take away from us. Stand tall and walk proud, from what you did nothing wrong and kept your integrity.

compassion is never a crime..... I agree with your decision, even though nobody asked my opinion.

I had the good fortune of being in two long term relationships. The first while in my twenties lasted 6 years, and the last while in my fifties lasted 10 years. While they both ended for different reasons, we remained friends. The first love of my life passed too early of AIDS related complications. The second to the grass is greener syndrome, but nonetheless I feel validated by both relationships as we took great care with each other during those difficult periods of transition through separation. Doing so enabled us to salvage the friendship part of the relationship, which took time, patience and understanding. For me, the love that brought us together initially was ultimately what helped sustain the ongoing relationship/s. For that I'm grateful.

Still friends with all my significant exes (and even some not so), though - sadly - least in touch with my last and longest of 11 years. I thought we'd be married, etc. We just hardly see or speak with each other. I miss MANY aspects of his personality, aesthetics and what we had together. :(

Oh well... maybe it's the same for him and it just hurts too much in some ways. We never wronged each other ... so who knows?

I make the point that I would never be in a similar situation. Are people nuts? What happened to common sense?

You are blaming the victim and that is just plain WRONG. We don't know what goes on behind closed doors. It is really easy to point the finger when you have never found yourself in such a situation. Unfortunately more people then you think are abused (physically/verbally/mentally) by someone they love and they have to work through it in their own way.

And regarding "common sense" - we all know that it can easily go out the window in the name of love.

You are never too old to learn dude... hope you learned something today.

I agree; don't blame the victim! As someone who was in an eleven year relationship that became increasingly more abusive, I can attest that it can be very difficult to get out of this kind of situation. From the outside, it's easy to say, "why didn't you just leave?" The answer is that the dynamic involves isolation from friends and family. It took a big act of will for me to get out.

Common sense is not common. Especially in the gay community.


My last relationship was with a guy who at 40 years of age, was so afraid to have anyone find out about him being gay, it was hard to even carry on a relationship, especially given the guy wouldn't even kiss, but put his neath a pillow every time was any kind of intimacy, if you could even call it intimate!

I built his kitchen full of new custom cherry cabinets and office as well, got accused of doing something I did not do, and he wouldn't even have the courtesy to talk to me or listen to me. Just made an email accusation and that was it. So, for me I can't even get him to talk on the phone. He is paying off the debt for the cabinets at a cheap $50 per month of a $6000 bill.

There is no way to even begin to try to be friends with someone who won't even talk or listen to any kind of reasoning.

As Judge Judy would say - "You chose him".

hell no we cant be friends you a... hole. O my did I say that aloud?

I am now on my third partner. The first we worked at a dance studio business and we became very close friends and just stopped having sex. I really don't know why but it lasted 15 years and we are still close friends he is the only person who could get me laughing out of control.
The second was the same thing we were in business together . He was very unfaithful and got on drugs. I ended up closing the business as a matter of fact gave it to an employee, sent my X to florida helped him get off drugs and remain friends we were together 13 years.
The third and still is and i'm nuts about is on our 26year. so its all up to the individual if your always angery and spiteful you only hurt yourself . Put your problems away forgive just don't forget .

Anyone who equates love with abuse invites it. Common sense is just that, constant, not a thermostat. The only thing to be worked through is the exit. Quickly.
On another note if one is here to be schooled, there is a lot of misuse of than/then. The former is comparative and the later refers to time as in 'next'.

Odd how this subject popped up at this particular time for me. My current "best friend", and a very faithful one, is my 36 year younger ex after 3 years together almost 10 years separated. He has a sugar daddy partner but we see each other every week for dinner or shopping or just cuz he wants to get out of his house. No sex tho we can be touchy feelly if we choose to. We just mostly don't. But much love remains between us. He's more like a real son to me now.

And a previous ex has come back into my life. We were together for 8 years before he got "religion" and ripped our life apart. It was devastating, the most painful experience of my life which he has been out of for almost 15 years, during which time he found his way out of that dark hole he had crawled into and found a new life and career, has his own house and good life in a nearby small town. Then my best friend (above) came across him on another gay web site and that led to us getting re-connected. He's single still and, in his own thinking about gays and social politics, back to where we were before he tore us apart to enjoy a fundy religious life of gay denial and the glories of religious "suffering" (fundy catholicism). We've met and talked thru an evening by my fire pit and we are keeping in touch via email. It's already apparent that we will be continuing to communicate and maybe be friends and I'm getting anxious about where this might go....or IF there's anywhere FOR it to go. It now seems that the detour that put me flat on my face was seriously unnecessary. It's a major mind fuck. One step at a time I guess.


Why would 'the most painful experience of my life' ever be something that you would consider revisiting? There is no mind fuck. This guy is dangerous and you took the detour for a reason, there is no turning back the clock. With time people can romanticize the past but it doesn't change it. Things went as far as they could go 15 yrs ago, this car is out of gas, get back in at your peril.

I know. I was just ruminating. I'm really not at all attracted sexually to him anymore or any other way really. He was all over the map back then; first a Dem then a Rep, then a communist, even flirted with Nazi sympathies and then he caught on to "gainers" (deliberately getting fat) and he couldn't work out and "bulk up" enuf. He began to look like Buddha. Bulking up became his drug of choice. He was fucked up and still is.
There's no there there anymore. I'm not sure why I'm flirting with even the idea of being friends. I'm not hard nosed enuf I guess and there's no harm in being a nice guy.
But no, I'm not gonna even try to go back.
Thanks for your attention.

The power balance has shifted in your favour. You don't paint a very attractive picture. Some things are best left in the rearview mirror. You also have to be careful what you wish for.

When I was 19 I had 2 guys besotted with me. One 20 yrs older, not that that was that important, and the other my age. They were both lovely but I chose the elder. It was my first ltr that lasted 12 yrs. Fast forward. A few years ago I randomly placed an ad on craigslist's missed connections curious to know what might have happened to the younger guy and by god didn't someone contact me the next day who knew him and where he was. He'd been married, in the army and was currently a minister in the Atlantic provinces, and I had his email. After a lot of thought I decided to send him a note asking if he remembered me from 40 yrs ago because I had always remembered him? The answer was yes. If you break someone's heart they never forget. It gets complicated. He was coming to town to settle a friend's estate and wanted to have dinner. Yikes! We met. He was no longer the head-turning gymnast I remembered but a pleasant looking bespectacled guy with a partner at home. We had a very nice dinner with no awkward silences in the conversation but after he wanted to jump in bed and have sex. I demurred, said no, felt shitty, but thought there was no point. You really can never go back. A cautionary tale.

That is a dicey situation. There have been Ex's that I wouldn't spit on to save his live if here were burning right before my eyes. and then there are some that are like an old pair of jeans- It's just so comfortable to have them near you and you'd feel something was missing if he were. It's my general Rule not to fuck my friends so going back is never really something that can be done for me. Once the "deed" has been done it's awkward most times. - but when someone knows you, really knows you it's not easy to let go.

"I hope we can still be friends" ???

Yeah about "OK sure - be a pal and find me some dates to replace you." ?

In a perfect world of course true loyal and committed friendship underpins any healthy relationship. Sadly the world we live in trivializes friendship as a second-class relationship anyhow, so on those grounds any offer of "friendship" has to be evaluted according to the values and integrity of who's making the offer i.e. is it a genuine offer, or just some nonsense to alleviate their own guilt and shame?

That having been said, I love my ex's and thank them for everything they brought into my life. I never bad-mouth them or regret a minute with them. I made the choice to be there, but I never mistook them for the friends I already had. They were what they were, and that's good enough.

the first guy I hooked up with, turned into a 4 yr on again off again friendship,but I just couldn't stand him after awhile and was glad that he didn't return my phone calls. I really don't understand how two guys make it work. Glad for all of those who can, but it's not for me.

You don't want to be bfs but you hope we can be "friends"?!? Do I have the idea clear in my mind? Ok, just checking. Assuming there are no children together that are involved and no one has a restraining order against each other (these are very important factors that must be included in a reply) my reply would be something as direct as "GO FUCK YOURSELF! YOU'RE DEAD TO ME!" or something to the above.

'never been one to collect people who really aren't interested in me around....

I was with my ex for 10 years and he found a new "friend" just one month after I moved out he had the new "friend" moved in. We are not friends and have not spoken since the break up. i am grateful every day the he is out of my life.

I was with an 14 year older partner in my 20s, he was very controlling toward the end of 7 years and I was a nervous wreck. Even with couple counseling, I finally had the gumption to say I was leaving, I was 30. He really had no clue after all that as to why. I told him he didn't want a lover or even like me, and he had never ever said he was sorry. The look on his face was WHAT? he was never wrong! Seeing him just a few times after was so awful.

8 years later in grad school finding my inner artist and spiritual search, he was dying of AIDS and wanted to give me whatever I wanted. I couldn't bear the thought of having reminders of him all around. I was told by a friend at his memorial that he mentioned at the pot luck that the guy could be a real shit and not know what he did wrong. The whole group ended up sharing stories of how difficult he was. They had no idea what I went thru.

I had 16 years of being happily single. 6 years ago I fell in love with a fantastic man tho we don't live together, he has a major career, my apt. is sanctuary from the crazy world. I don't get to see enough of him.

I'm the guy above with the cautionary tale of turning back the clock. Yours is a positive template of one taking charge of their own happiness/peace of mind and moving on. Not caving to a partner's button pushing/control confuses them, and as in your case, leaves them wondering what is going on? What's going on is an agenda that isn't theirs. Three cheers!
In my case the guy who I met at 19 ( he was 40) dumped me bc I was too old at 31. Huh? I had no idea there were guys only interested in the pursuit of youth? A learning curve. I dusted myself off and thought I've learned something. Things can only be what they appear right up until they appear to be something else. You move on. I'd always been happy with my own company and quite liked, like you, being single. I was in no hurry to get myself in to another relationship and took the view that the future would take care of itself and left myself open to the possibilities of connecting with others as they might enter my life. This of course took place long before the internet which has now made the world accessible to everyone. I also had no idea that as I aged that there would be guys who would find older guys attractive. I never got the memo. In my day, gay men felt that their lives were over at 40, not so now. In spite of my first bf having fished me out of thin air his peers were jealous that he had something that they did not. I was a novelty, and although I liked the company of educated older men I was more or less a bon bon in their eyes. I was also an anomaly bc I knew no one my age who had a bf considerably older than they were. They though I was weird. You make the point that you still have your own place and I think that is the healthiest way to live even with a bf. One needs a 'room of one's own'. I've currently got a bf (26) who I met at 22, and we've had an amazing monogamous loving relationship to date without living together. Love is where you find it.

You can be friends with an ex but only if the breakup was mutual or if enough time has passed so that the wounds have healed from the breakup. What doesn't work is being friends with someone who wants to have a different kind of relationship. That's just going to prolong the pain.

But the next question is, why would you date someone you wouldn't also want to be friends with?

I find this discourse fascinating. A number of men share something with everyone else here, and they are analysed, blamed, scoffed at, and so forth. So much judgment going on. Everyone has a story of their own, they tell what they choose to tell, and others, with insufficient information, decide what they should have done or not. Everything is a learning situation if one pays attention. The fact remains that love is divisible. Many fall in love with the idea of being in love. Some men seem to relish speaking of their "Ex". Gay relationships have the seeds of instability, because unlike in a marriage, there is no basis of responsibility, because there are no legal bonds.

For myself, I have wished to continue friendship with past lovers. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes not. End of story, no drama extending.

I can't think of any reason why one would go to the trouble of dating if they had no interest in being friends? You don't need to date to have sex. However, Nora Ephron said that you should never marry anyone that you can't see yourself divorced from... very zen.

To the view that gay relationships are inherently unstable because they are not legally bound would suggest that it's family law that secures marriages. I would think it was mutual respect, shared goals, and dare I say love? I don't think any of these are gender or orientation specific, and gays can marry (here) if they chose.

I've posted this personal tory a few times (Once on this sites blogs) Yes; you can remain friends with your Ex... if both of you want to and there was a friendship that went along with the lust.

I met Mike in's chat room back in 2001. He was a fresh faced twink kid of 20; that was living with a man 20 years older than him. His roommate had to travel all over the country with his work; so seldom ever bothered to buy groceries. Mike was working part time in a grocery store (less than 20 hours a week) and trying to pay for food, his seizure medicines and a little entertainment once in a while. The first time I spoke to him; he was online and made a comment about being hungry. Of course all the trolls and users jumped on it and were making offers of getting him something to eat in exchange for a little sex. Mike turned everyone down and logged off. An hour or so later he came back into the room and I said "Hi... Welcome back cutie." Probably 20 minutes later he finally answered me with a short "Thanks... but I'm not interested." I assumed he was just a typical twink and didn't want to talk to someone my age, (I was 19 years older than him.) so I didn't pursue it any farther.

Several days later; I went into the chat room in the late morning and saw he was there. I sent him a private message and asked him if he had eaten anything lately. A few minutes later he came back with "No... he was starting to consider some of the offers that had been made." I replied back that I would be more than happy to buy him a few groceries, just let me know what to get and where to take them. He wouldn't tell me his address (Didn't want a stranger knowing where he lived.) so I offered to take him out to eat... just tell me where to meet him. He had to work that afternoon; but would be off at 5; he would meet me at what ever restaurant I wanted at 6. During the conversation; I found out just how cash strapped he was, so I pushed and said I would pick him up. He needed to spend his money on more important things. 15 minutes before 5; I went into the store where he was working, and bought a small bag of Hershey Kisses. (To lighten up the tension he might be feeling and help him to relax.) When he came out and got into my van; I handed him the kisses and told him this was the only kiss he was going to get from me; I'm a good boy and don't sleep with someone on the first date. He grinned and said "Thanks... so where we eating?" I told him his choice and named off several restaurants in town. After several minutes of discussion; he said he really loved Olive Garden's salads and pastas. So that's where we went.

We spent over 4 hours there talking and eating. (we were the last customers to leave.) I assumed the date was coming to an end when we left, but he wanted to drive around for a while and talk some more. After several more hours of driving and talking in my van; he decided it was time for him to go home and go to bed. He gave me very general directions to his house and had me stop at the corner of his block. When he got out of my van; he handed me several of the kisses back and said they were a token of what he really wanted to give me, then closed the door and ran off into the darkness of the street. I went home feeling tired but happy.

When I got home; I went online to chat with a few friends and saw him in the room. He was talking about the great guy he met and spent the evening with. When he saw me in the room; he privated me and said thanks again then asked me if I had a good time. (Of Course I did.) I told him I had and would like to do it again sometime. We ended talking online until close to 6 am. I gave him my number and told him to call me when ever he was ready to met again. His reply was 'How about now for breakfast." So back out I went to meet him. When I pulled into his neighborhood; I saw him coming out of his house and run down the street toward me. We had our breakfast at a little Mom and Pop diner and talked for several more hours then out of the blue he asked if I would take him home and wait so he could get ready for work, then take him to work.

We got to his house and as we walk in... he didn't make it much past the front door before he was on the floor having a seizure. I got him rolled over and let him seize until he came out of it. (Petit Mal) The second he came out; he started crying and became very nervous. I got him onto the sofa and told him he needed to relax and sleep... he wouldn't be working today. I called his job and told them about his seizure; that he wouldn't be in. When I hung up the phone and turned around, he was fast asleep. I was going to just leave, but I had no way of locking the door behind me. Instead; I curled up on the other sofa and watched tv for a couple hours. Around noon he woke up suddenly and sat up; looked around for several seconds confused; then saw me on the sofa and started crying again. When I got up to see if he was okay; he pulled me down onto the sofa with him and curled up in my arms; then went back to sleep. I dozed off shortly afterwards and slept until late that afternoon. I woke around 5 with him sitting next to me staring at me like he was confused. When I asked him what was wrong he just shook his head and said "nothing." then leaned over and kissed me.

We were together for almost 6 years. I proposed to him on our 1 year anniversary at the Olive Garden; at the same table we had on our first date. As strange as it may sound; Mike is still a major part of my life and he always will be. He is my best friend... we still live together 11 years later and he asks for my opinion of and if I approve of any man that he dates. If I say 'no' then he doesn't see them again. Only once have I said 'No'.

Update: On Oct 15th of this year, I had a minor heart attack while at work. While I was in the ambulance, I called Mike to let him know. He beat the Ambulance to the hospital by just a few minutes... (he works about 5 miles from the hospital and I work about 15 miles away.) The 4 days that I was in the hospital; Mike was there from 8 am until close to 10 pm, every day. He told me; in front of my sister and several of the medical staff, that I was the most important person in his life. He loved me more than he could explain and that I would be following the doctor's orders to a T from now on... and he has made sure that I have. After he left that night; my nurse made the comment that my brother really loved me and I should be happy that we have such a close relationship with each other. It was rather fun to explain to her that Mike and I aren't blood related. We were lovers for 6 years and broke up on good terms. Now we are closer to each other than when we were together. It's more than brothers... even deeper than lovers.

I've an ex whom I consider to be one of my best friends. We still do love each other, and we let each other know so, but on a different way than when we were together. Author Mario Quintana once said "friendship is a love that never dies" and this became our motto.

We did take the course of action you describe, and I attest it to be the safest at all, if mutually agreed and if both parties are utterly aware of how they feel about the whole ordeal

Self awareness is a great asset. I believe people do what they want. Period. Good, bad, or indifferent.

I've been able to stay friends with the one with whom the split was most painful. From a relationship most intense. But it took years apart, and a few go-betweens who were as much of why we ever spoke again as much as the time and separation.

Yes, self awareness is a great asset, but often lacking. It can be hard for guys to stand up, say what they want from other guys and be proud of it.

Communication issues in the relationship carryover to friendship. I have a hard time believing things will change, especially after hearing that line many times before.

What I find curious are the people who feel compelled to reconnect with those who have caused them pain/rejection. What didn't they get the first time? The person from whom they split ain't
going to be contrite and probably find their keening to get back annoying. Appearing needy to someone who's rejected you only reinforces why they got out.