Who Says You Can’t Be Friends With Your Ex? It’s Working Out Great For Me

In the immediate pain of a breakup, the idea of staying friends with your ex may seem like mission impossible. Your feelings are still raw AF and the last thing you want to do is prolong the pain. Personally, when I broke up with my somewhat serious boyfriend a few years ago, it was hell on earth. Getting over him felt like something I just couldn’t do no matter how hard I tried. But then, something unexpected happened: we became friends.

We have a hell of a lot in common. Obviously, or we would’ve never been together. Over the course of our two-year relationship, we shared a load of things, from our love of cringeworthy movies to our mutual hate of country music. These little pieces of us, these quirks, weren’t the foundation of the relationship, but they were a part we both loved. These bonding points weren’t enough to keep us together, but when our relationship crumbled, they were the things that remained.

He still makes me laugh and gets my sense of humor. He made me laugh back then and he still does now. When you’re in a relationship for a while, you end up speaking in your own special little language. I’m not talking about pet names, either. You have the same in-jokes, make the same references, and laugh at the same weird stuff. All of that doesn’t disappear just because you stop sleeping in the same bed.

Plus, we know all the same damn people. After a point, we no longer had two groups of friends. That circle merged into one massive group of people we hung out with so when we finally split, it was really awkward for everyone involved. I’m so freakin’ glad we’ve moved past that now. One of the best things about keeping up this friendship is the fact that we can still hang out in that group without anyone feeling awkward.

He can be 100% real with me. There’s no one I can count on to be totally honest and real with me all the time like I can with him. He’s got nothing to prove and he knows I’ll call him on his BS. Talking to him is like talking to a brother. We don’t have to pretend we’re okay all the time and we don’t have to fake a smile — we’re just real. All the other nonsense fell away with the remains of our romantic relationship. What’s left is just two people who share an authentic bond.

Weirdly, he gives the best love life advice. Sure, when I first brought up a new guy to my ex, it felt wrong. Despite my fears, he was actually really cool about it. Let’s face it — this guy knows how I act in relationships (first hand, in fact), so he really can speak from experience. As it turns out, he’s a great source of advice and an awesome sounding board.

I can call him when stuff goes down. My ex is one of the few people who know absolutely everything about me, so when some stuff goes down with my friends, family, or co-workers, I call him. I don’t need to go into all the background BS before I vent because he already knows the story so far. Instead, I pick up where I left off with him and tell him how the next chapter went down.

I’m not in love with him but that doesn’t mean I don’t care deeply about him. Just because the romantic love and the raw passion is gone doesn’t mean that I don’t care about this guy. Cutting him out of my life may have felt natural back when we first broke up, but now I can’t think of anything more ludicrous. He’s such an important person to me that I want to know him whether we happen to be together or not. I want to see him do well and be happy and be true to himself. If I pushed him out, I’d never get to witness any of that brilliance.

We can remember the good times together. Sometimes, when we’ve had a few too many glasses of wine, the inevitable happens. We start to reminisce. We talk about how things were, how we were, and we look at our shared history through rose-colored glasses. This indulgent little activity is, frankly, very healthy. Why shouldn’t we romanticize it all a bit? Why shouldn’t we scribble out the BS and edit out the arguments? It’s our way of making peace with the past and moving forward.

Frankly, I’d miss him if we weren’t friends. I can’t imagine my life without my ex-turned-friend. He’s more than just a former lover to me, as weird as that may sound. This guy has turned out to be one of the closest guy friends I’ve ever had, and honestly, when you find someone that means that damn much to you, you’d be an idiot to let them go. I know I won’t.

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