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Can You Be Friends With Your Ex?

Let them say whatever they want to say, can you be friends with your Ex? The answer is really in our own heart.

Friendship is eternal, and if you fall in love with your best friend, that is the greatest thing in the world. Something like that happened with me as well.

For the longest of times I could feel the need to be more than friends with him, but I was also afraid it might not lead anywhere, and all I will be left with is a complicated relationship instead of the comforting friend ship that we had. But like they say, staying away from love is not possible. And I gave in to the temptation as well.

Let them say whatever they want to say, can you be friends with your Ex?

The answer is really in our own heart.

It was beautiful at the start, love had never been so great for me. He understood everything about me – all the mood swings, tantrums, and alone time requirements. He was so romantic and thoughtful, it filled my heart with love. I could not believe myself at the time, how can love be so smooth and pain free. It was too good to be true. Previously, love had never been like this. I recalled physical pain, jealousy, crying, and a lot of dark lonely times. But this time, it was different. This time, it was not hurting at all.

The sad part about this story is, nothing lasts forever, we are too imperfect for a perfect relationship. We started taking each other for granted. We stopped sharing, and there came a time when for days I would have no idea what he was up to. He had no idea what was going on in my life. Initially, when it started happening, both of us believed that it is just a phase, and in a few days it will be okay, but months passed without things getting better. Rather, both of us started getting hurt by each other’s behavior and further blocked each other out.

Something just cracked inside us

By the time I realized something was really wrong, we had already entered the complicated part of our relationship. Each action or discussion made things more complicated. He was going through his own personal losses, which made him vulnerable but indifferent to life at the same time. It became really difficult to penetrate the walls that we built between us. We started needing other people in life to discuss things, because somehow we had become unavailable to each other. Maybe it was the hurt we had caused each other because of staying apart, maybe it was the long distance, I will never be sure. Something just cracked inside us. And it was not the same anymore.

Eventually, we realized, we did not want the same things in life anymore. Well, that can happen right, people stop wanting the same things in life. We decided to part ways. It was a painful decision, but also  seemed like the right one at the time. We continued talking post that until we stopped being in touch because of the complicated expectations and hurt it still caused both of us.

With passing time, I realized I missed my friend more than my lover. I wondered late at night, struggling with sleep, if he was okay? If he had found some new friends? If he was happy? The first thought after we parted was me wishing he finds someone he can be with forever. I realized I will always care for him, but did I still want to be with him?

And the answer was inside.

When I thought about all the complications and distance that we had created, I realized it was because of the expectations that we had built in our heads. Each of us had a different idea of how one should be in a relationship. I was the relaxed one, while he wanted reactions on everything. Things that mattered to him in a relationship, did not matter to me. And hence even though we were great friends, we could not be good lovers. After the initial phase of flowers and happiness, there was no haze left to blind us on what was really happening. Once I figured that out, I stopped wanting to be with him.

But life is not that simple.

It is the little things in life that matter, and in every little thing I started missing my friend. He was someone I used to discuss everything with, from a bad lunch to strict boss to skin problems to almost anything that had happened during the day(before things had gotten romantic and then complicated between us). I missed the daily random chatter, the excitement to share something that I had achieved, the excitement of waiting all day to talk at night. I missed talking. I missed finding solutions to our problems together. I missed my friend.

So then I asked myself, can I be friends with him again? Should I message him, and let go of all the bad things we had said to each other. If I consulted anyone, they would say let it go, the past is in the past. And it is true. The past really is no more, but can’t relationships evolve. I can live without him, but life will be more fulfilling if he was still in it. Sometimes what people around us failed to see was, me and my Ex in a new light. In a falling-out-of-love, yet still friend’s role. I did not want to be with him anymore, but I loved him and I loved sharing things with him. There were somethings that only he understood, because we had been through similar experiences. The friendship was more important to me than anything else so it was easy to let go of any expectations that I might have of a lover. I imagined how I will be with any friend, and I put him in that perspective. After clearing my head, I messaged him.

It’s been 2 years since our breakup and a year since we started talking again, and he is still one of my best friends. Both of us have other people in our lives, but there are somethings that only make sense to the two of us. I went past the stereotypes, and took a step towards friendship. And to be honest, it was very uncomplicated and totally worth it!