When my best friend became my boyfriend, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Then we broke up, and it was like losing two unique, important relationships in one devastating swoop. Now that time has passed, I’ve moved on romantically, but I still miss our friendship. That was always at the heart of our relationship, and losing it is hard to get over.
It’s harder to find a new best friend than a new boyfriend. Boyfriends come and go, but best friends are really hard to replace. Since he was both, sometimes it feels like I’ll never find that person again. He was the perfect combination of lover and friend. We could never return to the simpler friendship we had before dating, either. Once we took things to that next level, there was no going back.
It feels like I lost two people. I’ve lost boyfriends and best friends, but never at the same time. Dealing with one of those breakups is bad enough — when they’re combined, it’s absolutely devastating and makes it more difficult to move on from what we had.
I miss the way we used to laugh. Our inside jokes were really stupid, but they were ours. Laughing like an idiot with the person you love is one of the best feelings in the world. Once in a while, I’m reminded of something we found hilarious. I still smile, but it’s bittersweet. I wish I could text him and say, “Remember when?” but I can’t.
Breaking up with his family sucked too. Sometimes people can stay friends with their ex’s family, but for me, it wasn’t possible. I’m not sure what he told them or what they think of me now. I can’t imagine it’s anything good, because I haven’t heard from them since. I loved his mom and siblings, though — we used to hang out like they were my second family. Whenever things weren’t good with my parents, I could escape to his house and confide in his mom, and that was the case even before we dated. Now I have to act like his whole family doesn’t even exist, even though I miss them.
We still know each other’s secrets. We told each other everything — and I mean everything. There’s stuff we told each other as best friends and later as lovers. In fact, it was because of this deep trust that we started to fall for each other in the first place. It’s weird knowing there’s someone out there who knows so many of my deepest secrets (and whose secrets I know in return). I know neither of us would betray each other, but what are we supposed to do with all this information? Now it’s like knowing the life story of a stranger.
I still want to tell him stuff. Since we used to tell each other everything, sometimes I still have the impulse to share something with him. Whether it’s something small or a major life event, he’s no longer the first person I run to with news. I’ll tell my closest girlfriends or family members, but it just isn’t the same.
We still have the same friends. Since we were best friends, we had pretty much the same circle of close friends. Now it’s awkward for everyone, and they have to make plans with us separately. I miss when all of us could hang out as one group of friends. All my friends are friends with his new girlfriend, too, which makes it even worse. Sometimes I feel like they like her better. Seeing pictures of all of them having fun without me really hurts.
I’ll probably always care about him. I’m not going to lie — after being so close to another person, it’s almost impossible for me to remove every single feeling. When I hear he’s struggling, it hurts. I still want the best life for him, even if I’m not a part of it. Maybe if our friendship hadn’t been so strong, it would be easier for me to emotionally detach. For now, I’ll just have to accept that I’ll always care… and I’d probably do it all over again.
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