The Journey To Being Friends With Your Ex Is A Long And Hard One, But Trust Me, It's Worth The Trouble

The Journey To Being Friends With Your Ex Is A Long And Hard One, But Trust Me, It's Worth The Trouble

Four years later and I'm grateful.

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The sun shone through the windshield of my little gray Beetle speeding along the Adirondack thruway as my friend and I were headed home from our trip to Montreal, Canada. The trip was everything I had hoped it would be—I was captivated by the beautiful city and its charm, rich history, and insanely good food. On top of all that, I got to experience it with a good friend, who also happens to be an ex of mine.

1. We met in high school, and got to know each other through band, something we both loved

We became close friends until we realized it might be more than that. We'd bop along to Taylor Swift, our band music (I know, I know, we're nerds), and play video games together for a year before realizing it wasn't for us.

The breakup was hard at first, for me at least. This was the first person I had cared about in such a profound way, and it was the absolute most fun I had ever had with anyone in my life at that point.

2. It's really hard losing your best friend when they're right there in front of you

All those things I would usually be able to tell him about — my day, how I was feeling, the consistency of this guac I just got with my bowl — seemed pointless to talk about. Of course, we cared about each other, but it was the hardest thing to see him in class every day after and not feel pain with all the memories that would flood my brain the moment I would meet his gaze. For a while, all I wanted was for everything to go back to the way it was.

3. It seemed like things would never be normal again

I was stuck at a crossroads, with people telling me that the only way to move forward was to completely remove him from my life. On the other hand, at the beginning of our relationship, my friend and I had promised we would try to remain friends if it didn't work out. We knew we would have to see each other in class and around school anyways, and it seemed unnecessary to cease talking altogether. We started out as friends, and we were determined to end as friends. As unlikely as it was, I hopped on board with the idea, much to the disapproval of my other friends.

4. You'll go through a time where you hate the other person

Weeks had gone by into our attempt to staying friends, but it was extremely difficult as feelings of frustration and animosity started to build. Our conversations became trivial, our interactions shy and reserved — we didn't know what to say. We'd dance around tough topics until it would die down to an awkward silence. It no longer felt genuine and I hated being part of something fake and worse than if we had just broken up and never spoken to one another ever again. I wanted to yell at him for suggesting we try this because it seemed that we would never recover from this awful, shattered relationship now.

5. We finally parted ways

He graduated high school a year before I did, and we would talk occasionally over text, but days would go by before we'd speak again. The distance was helpful, and eventually, I was no longer concerned or worried about what would become of us. I remember frequently wondering if this was finally the last time we would ever speak to one another. I was ready to let it go, and I had accepted that maybe this was the point our friendship would sail away. I was thankful for all the memories.

6. Years later, we both found love again

We never really did stop texting. Soon it became normal to see his name pop up on my phone, and each time it did, I could feel that pang of longing and sadness fade into... nothing. For the first time in forever, I thought of him as a friend instead of an ex. Our conversations, though they were only over text, started becoming fun again. I was no longer scared about upsetting the balance while texting. We both got into happy relationships in college for a time, and we found love with our respective significant others and in our own relationship with one another. We could finally talk about things again, our personal love lives, college, the music we loved, all without the weight that we seemed to carry before.

7. I had a crazy idea

We would see each other back at home when we'd be off of school. It wasn't weird seeing him again after so long, and it seemed like the conversation would pick up right where we'd left off. We have similar tastes in many ways and it helped that our easy-going natures would have us genuinely enjoy the time we would spend hanging out with our other friends. In the midst of the past fall semester, I had a crazy idea to go on a trip to Canada, but I didn't really know which of my friends would enjoy a trip like that as much as I would. And then I realized I should just ask him. I was scared because all of a sudden it wasn't me asking my friend to go on a road trip, it was me asking my ex if he wanted to spend three days in a beautiful city right around the holidays. I knew it was gonna maybe be weird.

8. Oops, we're in Canada

As nervous as I was about asking, I realized that I didn't care because it wouldn't affect our friendship, even if he said no. He told me he loved when he went to Quebec with his family and would be down to go back to Canada someday, but he wasn't sure when he'd be able to make a trip happen. A couple weeks later, he messaged me saying he had found some extra cash and asked if I was still willing to go to Montreal. We planned our trip and all of a sudden it was official and we were really going.

9. An experience like nothing else

The trip was comprised of everything we wanted to do — most of which were the same things. We knew each other well enough to pick up on whether we were having fun or bored and ready to move on to the next activity. Our similar tastes and easy-going attitudes made finding things to do and places to eat really easy. It was a relief to me that we were both enjoying ourselves together as friends. Looking back on where we started, I never would have thought we would end up on a trip to Montreal together and actually enjoy it. It's an experience I will always look back on with satisfaction because through all the hardship and pain, we finally made it someplace we can care about one another. It had made me realize that I look forward to all the places our friendship could take us, literally!

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To The Girl Who's Still Crying Over the Guy She Never Dated

We've all been there, you never really dated but you might as well have...
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We’ve all been there. Every single one of us. Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have been where you are; so let me just say, you’re not alone. No matter if your friends are the best people in the world, I’m sure they’ve had enough of your sadness over a boy who you were never really with. But that’s what’s scary, it feels like you were together. No matter the amount of time, maybe a month, maybe a year, no matter what, you had enough time to gain feelings for another person and be vulnerable; and that in itself is a tough pill to swallow. Now, the one person you thought would never hurt you, did just what they promised they wouldn’t do, and now you’re left putting the pieces of your life back together.

Enough of the sappy stuff. Let me tell you that life goes on. Whether over a boy, or a grade, or whatever it is, I have always told my friends, “You’re going to make it to tomorrow.” And although it seems like the hardest feat you’ve ever endured, you are going to make it to tomorrow. And then, you’re going to make it to the next day. So it may seem that the day you end things with the boy you thought you were going to be with, is the worst day in the world, you are going to make it to tomorrow.

But even though you are going to make it to tomorrow, that doesn’t mean the situation doesn’t suck. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cry. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be afraid or feel weird going to the bar you once loved, or the restaurant you guys would go to a lot, or the most common place to study on campus, in fear of seeing him. All of those feelings of uncertainty are totally normal, and in time, it will fade.

My friend once told me, this too shall pass.

So while you’re sad, or crying, or complaining about this boy, your friends might be telling you, “Get over it, you were never really together.” But I promise, it may take a while (seemingly forever), and as hard as it may be to believe right now, you will make it to tomorrow, and this too shall pass. Remember that.

With love from,

The girl who knows what it's like to have to get over the boy she never dated

Cover Image Credit: onehdwallpaper

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A Well-Deserved And Long Overdue Thank You To My Boyfriend

I know it's cliché, but he deserves it.

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Thank you for choosing me and loving me unconditionally every day. I do not deserve the love that you radiate, but I am beyond thankful for it. Thank you for showing me kindness in every action and for listening to every pointless story I have. Thank you for being the person I can go to 24/7 with any piece of news. Thank you for being the only person who can make me laugh when I am not in the mood at all. Thank you for picking up all of my pieces and wiping all of my tears. Thank you for making sure I always feel loved.

Thank you for believing in pinky promises just as much as I do and for making sure you never break them. Thank you for always reassuring me even though it gets annoying. Thank you for believing in me and pushing me out of my comfort zone. Thank you for knowing when I need a confidence boost, when I need a push, or when I just need a shoulder to cry on. Thank you for taking the time to learn everything about me.

Thank you for never giving up on me no matter how grumpy I get or how hard our week has been. Thank you for never going to sleep mad and always saying "I love you" before we leave. Thank you for the tight squeezes and play fights. Thank you for the deep belly laughs and jam sessions in the car. Thank you for the late-night phone calls when I can't sleep and for doing everything you can to make me better when I'm sick. Thank you for loving me no matter what and no matter when. Thank you for all of the memories. Thank you for holding on tight and never letting go.

Thank you for being everything I could ever want and for showing me what love really is.

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