To all the ‘boyfriends’ who left after I said, NO!

Is it Possible to Stay Friends After a Failed Romance?

The Purple Writer
3 min readMar 11, 2024
Photo by Leonardo Sanches on Unsplash

I should probably begin with hearty salutations and gestures, but you will agree with me that our relationship didn’t end on that note. On the grand scale of relations, we are still friends, but deep down, you know we are not.

I’m sorry, I cannot keep up with this charade. You ghosted me after I politely told you I wasn’t ready to transcend our good and solid friendship into a romantic relationship. This left me feeling like I was nothing more than a prize to be won.

Society often empathizes with the pain of a rejected lover. The movies do well in portraying the state of such individuals and taking us through their journey to recovery. But few consider the cost of losing a friend due to sincere honesty. The price of pursuing romance sometimes results in the loss of cherished friendships.

(People like me) We’re often cast as villains in this narrative, but in reality, no one is at fault. Can’t this story conclude with both parties moving past their feelings and flourishing as friends?

If not, are we suggesting that men and women can’t simply be friends? Must platonic friendships always teeter on the brink of something more? Sometimes, all one needs is a friend.

There are moments when I blame myself for the way things ended. If only I had been more forthright about my intentions from the start, expressing my desire for friendship and nothing more.

I ignored the signs during our countless interactions, believing your assurances of “just being friends.” But “just” rarely remains “just,” does it? There’s often an underlying implication. Still, I don’t fault you; emotions have a way of clouding judgement.

As a woman, I should have been better at recognizing the signs and establishing boundaries to protect our friendship. I should have intervened when you ventured beyond the bounds of friendship into the realm of romance.

I sensed the shift when you began seeking more than friendship. Despite the heartfelt words and gestures, I should have realized the danger they posed to our bond.

Part of me hoped you would recognize your misstep, but more importantly, I wished my body language had conveyed the stop sign. If my actions suggested otherwise, I sincerely apologize.

While I understand the need for self-preservation, your immediate retreat left me feeling guilty and hurt.

I agree with my friend; opposite-sex friendships should have clear boundaries to preserve their purpose. Open discussions about these boundaries could prevent many relationship mishaps.

If men could be honest with themselves and their romantic interests from the outset, it would prevent much heartache. Concealing intentions under the guise of friendship only leads to greater pain.

And if women can give out clear signals, distinguishing between an outright ‘No!’ and a ‘Maybe.’ A firm ‘No’ might sting initially, but it preserves a good friendship in the long run.

It’s possible to salvage a friendship after a failed romance, but only if both parties are willing to acknowledge these truths.

So, as I conclude this letter, though our friendship may never be the same, I want you to know it was cherished while it lasted. Perhaps in another life, things would have unfolded differently.

I hope our next encounter is less awkward and cold, now that you understand my perspective. Hold onto our fond memories, and may they bring you laughter when needed.

I wish you well in your future endeavours, especially in finding your future partner.


If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him — James 1:5

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