I Tried Being Friends With My Ex And It Ruined Everything

It’s a lesson I had to learn the hard way: once you’ve gone there with someone, it’s almost impossible to be “just friends.” Whether you were dating, hooking up, or woke up next to each other after a night out, ultimately, you both came to the conclusion that going back to being platonic is the best decision. Unfortunately, it pretty much ruined everything for me.

Defining What “Just Friends” Means to Both of Us Was Crucial. 

It took me and my ex-boyfriend a while to figure out what our relationship going forward was going to look like. I assumed that since we were such good friends before we started dating, it would be easy to click right back into it. However, that wasn’t the case. There were multiple occasions where he would still text me late at night and it was weird! If we had sat down and clearly stated what our friendship was going to include, it would have saved us from many uncomfortable situations.

Overthinking Everything He Did Was A Waste of Time.

 I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a textbook overthinker, so putting myself in a situation where I was unsure of another person’s feelings and was left with only his words and his actions to analyze is arguably the worst thing to do. It felt like my entire life was consumed with pointless questions about his actions and yet I couldn’t stop. I realized all this overthinking did for me was give me a headache! Wasting time trying to figure out his motives wasn’t worth my time or energy.

It Was Tempting To Try To Be Something More. 

There’s one night that keeps replaying over and over in my head. It was late and we were hanging out and the next thing I remember, his mouth on mine and I’ll admit, it felt nice to be kissed by him again. Had I known the complications that ensued that decision, I would’ve never kissed him back. When I had to explain to him that it was just a moment of strange deja vu, it felt like we were breaking up all over again.

Listening To Other People’s Opinions Got Me Nowhere. 

Everyone had their own thoughts and ideas about every decision I made regarding my friendship with my ex-boyfriend. At first, I felt the need to listen to everyone because I thought that an outsider’s perspective would be better than what was in my jumbled up brain. But in the end, having people tell us how to act around each other only added more awkward tension.

I Had No Reason To Be Jealous Of The Next Girl In His Life.

 A few weeks after we decided to be just friends, he started talking to another girl. Even though I didn’t have those type of feelings for him anymore, I couldn’t help but get a little jealous. A swarm of jealousy-fueled questions took over my life in those few weeks until I realized it wasn’t worth it. There was absolutely no reason for me to feel this way because it was me who wanted to be strictly platonic.

But It Was Okay For Me To Have Jealous Feelings – It’s Only Natural.

As if getting jealous over an ex-boyfriend isn’t enough, I was pounded with a landslide of guilt all because of these jealous feelings I knew I shouldn’t be having. It was hard to realize but it’s completely natural to have some sort of jealous emotions when an ex-boyfriend gets a new girl. But thinking negatively about myself and the situation wasn’t going to take away those feelings, or more importantly, do any good for me.

My New Boyfriend Was Uncomfortable With The Friendship And I Should have Respected That.

I ended up starting a new relationship while I was still working on this “just friends” issue with my ex-boyfriend. Looking back, the relationship was doomed from the start, but the added strain of being friends with my ex-boyfriend didn’t help. There was never a time when my new boyfriend explicitly said he was uncomfortable with our friendship, but I knew he didn’t like it. However, I chose to stay friends with my ex-boyfriend instead of respecting my new boyfriend’s unspoken feelings. We broke up after only a few weeks and I regret not making more of an effort to see things from his perspective.

As Soon As The Friendship Became Toxic, I Needed To Walk Away.

There were definitely moments in our friendship when I questioned if I would allow anyone else to treat me the way he did. I guess I felt like I owed him sort of loyalty because we had been friends so long and we had previously dated. This was hard because even though I respected him, at times I knew he didn’t respect me and my feelings. I wish I could’ve saved myself some hurting by holding him to the same, or maybe even a higher, standard that I hold all my friends too.

Holding Onto Him Was Holding Me Back From Something Better. 

Even though I didn’t realize it, being just friends with my ex-boyfriend was taking up space in my life that should have been going towards someone else. As much as I denied it, he still held a place in my heart. It was like I was giving energy to a door that should be closed. It was especially hard to admit that because he wasn’t adding anything positive in my life, he was, therefore, holding me back from something better.

Being Honest With Myself Was The Most Important Thing I Could Do. 

Being truly honest with myself was the hardest but most valuable thing I could’ve learned. My ex-boyfriend and I broke up for a reason, and those reasons now affected our friendship. Learning to trust my decisions and my emotions challenged the type of person I was and pushed me to grow up. Not only did I gain relationship experience, but I also gained the confidence to expect more from not only a boyfriend but a friend.

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