How to Regain an Estranged Ex's Friendship

Haven't spoken to an ex in a long time? Don't want to get "back together" but just be on good terms? No problem.


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    Ask yourself if you want your ex to be your friend again. If your ex is the type to constantly use other friends, or you remember actually disliking her or his presence in the past, don't try, as it's probably not worth it.
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    Accept that you will need lots of time and patience. Men can be quite stubborn and women can hold grudges. If you think that you will have your friend back again in a few weeks, forget it.
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    Communicate with your ex. Just picking up the phone and calling him or her is normally the quickest way, but if you need a bit of help, pretend you were cleaning and found something that reminded you of them.
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    When you first begin talking to your ex (this is assuming you don't/never hated each other) they're going to want to talk about themselves. Or their current relationship. Or their school. Or their job. No matter what the topic, they're going to talk a lot. Let them. Try not to interject with your own information until they realize they've been talking forever. When they do finally realize it, one of two things will happen: one, they will apologize and give you a chance to compliment them, or two, they will ask you how you are.
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    Remember things that you had in common to begin the relationship, and try to use them as ways to begin conversations (sex, alcohol, etc. are not examples of reasons to be friends).
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    Get together for coffee or lunch. Again, let them do the talking. This is not a time to get all physical! A hug, at the most. Again, remember, this isn't about "getting" with them.
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    Suggest you communicate on a more frequent basis. Suggest another time/place to get together. If you can, tie it in with something you're doing for school/work/etc (ie, "Hey, my buddy's got a photo exhibit uptown. Would you wanna go with me this weekend?"). It will comfort the ex to know it's got an outside source, as it were.
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    Keep this up and you should be buddy-buddy with that ex in no time!


  • Treat your meeting as just that: a meeting. It's not a date, no matter how much it may feel like one.
  • Remember, you're not rekindling an old flame, here. You probably just want to be able to talk to the person. Keep this in mind! If you just want to "hook up" with an old fling, this will not help you!
  • Be friendly and cordial, but don't flirt.
  • Don't let a month go by without contact.
  • If you and your ex were friends as well as lovers, this will be much, much easier.
  • Don't bring up past events, especially the bad ones, when talking to them.


  • Don't act mad awkward around/towards them.
  • Don't fall into the old routine you had in your (failed) relationship. Take this time to show that you've grown.
  • Do not say or do anything that is ultra-personal from your relationship. For example, do not call your ex by that pet name or play "that song" in the car.
  • Do not vanish from the face of the planet after seeing them once. This will leave them hurt and confused.
  • Don't turn this into a booty call.
  • Respect your ex's decision. If they don't want to be friends, leave them alone!
  • Don't tell your friends you're initially trying to contact your ex, especially if they are friends you had when you and your ex were together, and especially if your friends didn't like your ex. This is a personal matter. Keep it that way, at least for a while.
  • Drive separately.
  • Alcohol, while always good for loosening the tongue a bit, should be imbibed in moderation. Too much could allow either of you to get emotional, causing those old memories (possibly good or bad... most likely bad) to float to the surface.

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Categories: Former Relationships