I Tried Being Friends With My Ex, But Only Because I Wanted to Get Back Together

When my ex broke things off, I wanted desperately to keep him as my boyfriend. Meanwhile, all he wanted was for us to be friends. So I agreed. Not because it was the mature thing to do or because I still valued his friendship, but simply so I’d have the chance to win him back.

We were friends when he fell for me the first time.

We were best friends before we fell in love, and friendship was the basis of our entire relationship. So if we remained best friends after we broke up, there was no way we wouldn’t get back together again… right?

I thought getting him back was the only way to heal my broken heart.

I wasn’t thinking about moving on from him. All I could think of was being his girlfriend again. The only thing I knew was that I didn’t want to feel the pain of heartbreak any longer, so the sooner I got him back, the better.

I couldn’t picture my life without him.

Life without him in it felt like no life at all. I didn’t even want to imagine what the rest of my existence would be like without him in it, even if it meant we could only be friends for the time being. It was hard enough to cope with the fact that he was no longer my boyfriend — I didn’t think I’d ever be able to go on with my life without him as someone I could at least call when I was upset.

I was trying to give him everything he wanted.

He wanted to stay friends, and I agreed because I thought giving him what he wanted would lead him back to me. I became his “yes girl” because the more I gave him whatever he wanted, the more I thought he’d associate me with happiness. My logic was flawed, but I was too intent on getting him back to see it at the time.

I didn’t want him to move on.

How was I supposed to prevent him from finding someone else if I was no longer a part of his life in any way? By staying friends, I felt that I still had some sort of control in his life, like I could make the situation play out the way I wanted. If I was still there, then he couldn’t move on. At least, that’s what I thought.

I wanted to stay on his mind.

If we were friends and I was in his life, then he couldn’t just forget about me. He would be reminded of what we had every time he saw me or even spoke to me. He wouldn’t be able to erase me from his thoughts or his memory if we were still texting and hanging out, even if it wasn’t romantic… yet.

I thought he’d care about the obvious pain he was putting me through.

He couldn’t hide from the heartbreak I was going through or the fact that my pain was his fault if we were still friends. If I were out of his life, however, he wouldn’t know what was going on with me and could just pretend that I was better off without him. By staying friends, my pain was always right in front of him, just waiting for him to wash away by confessing that he wanted to get back together.

I thought our relationship had just hit a speed bump.

In my mind, there was no way in the world we wouldn’t end up together again. We had planned our future together, and my new plan was to see that original plan through by winning him back through friendship. I knew we couldn’t be JUST friends — I was just waiting for him to figure it out, too.

I didn’t really think of him as my ex.

I didn’t want to face the fact that we had really broken up. Even if I had, he was still my very best friend in the world. When I cried my tears, he was the person I wanted to dry my eyes. We had spent years together, so the idea of him no longer being my partner was unfathomable to me.

I thought he’d just fall in love with me all over again.

If it happened once, why couldn’t it happen again? I thought we were still those same two kids who would feel drawn to each other. I didn’t realize that we broke up because we were different people now. All he would ever want to be was my friend, and all I would ever want was more.

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