Thoughts On Hooking Up With My Ex-Boyfriend

You, my dear, are as much a champion of my life as ever. Even when we weren’t on speaking terms, I knew that when, or if (the conjunction of choice varied with my mood) we ever got around to being friends, we would put most friendships to shame. That’s just the way we’ve always been — peas in a pod, birds of a feather, whatever term you prefer.

It turns out that when we finally decided to begin rebuilding, we were even better than I anticipated. So good, in fact, that we easily slipped back into the physical aspect of our relationship, too.

Part of me knew it was a bad idea from the start, but another part of me was secretly pleased. I, stupidly and self-destructively, have never been good at denying myself anything when it comes to you.

It was okay at first. It felt great being near you after so long apart. Riding the reunion high was easy until it suddenly wasn’t. All at once, it seems, the less-than-glorious details of our situation came crashing back into my consciousness.

One, we no longer have sex motivated by love. I don’t know the new protocol for how I should act in the post-coital haze. Do I make small talk? Do I fix my mussed hair? Something I know for certain is that gazing adoringly into your eyes is absolutely not an option, so instead I take to staring at the ceiling as if I’m too exhausted to speak. I’m sorry if it’s awkward; it feels awkward for me too. But what would you have me do? I hate the ceiling, but I hate not being allowed to love you even more.

Two, you could be having sex with other people. I was only too painfully reminded of that when you requested, very reasonably, that I 1) tell you if I have sex with someone else 2) be safe when doing so, adding that you would obviously extend the same courtesy to me. Although that’s very upstanding of you, I really don’t think I’d be able to take it if you found another body for your bed. I know I’m not your girlfriend and that I have no right to care. Even so, I will continue to come to you while simultaneously living in fear of some nameless, faceless female. I’d hate not being your only one, but I’d hate not being one of yours at all even more.

Three, we will have known each other a year this week; we met just a few days before both of our birthdays. We still plan to celebrate together this year, and yet the mental picture falls so far short of what it could’ve been. Unrequited love is for chumps, and so I’ve become the passive friend, bursting with affection and yet staunchly unwilling to show it. Let me tell you, playing it cool sucks, and there’s nothing fun about this emotional paralysis when comparing it to our relationship, which was full of highs and lows. I hate constantly remembering the past, but I hate even more that we have no real future.

Nowadays, you are my best friend. I know so because you never let me forget it. “You are my best friend,” you tell me frequently. I’m truly thrilled that I’m still among your nearest and dearest, but I can’t deny that I secretly miss being your girlfriend. TC mark

image – S. Parker


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  • M&M

    SIGH.  Yup.  Yup.  and Yup.

  • Samie Rose

    Awwww. I just want to punch both of you. :c

  • ana

    my thoughts exactly.

  • Emily

    This entire scenario IS my life right now. Are you sure you’re not me? But in a parallel universe?

  • Kmur


  • Jessica Pippin


    Thank you for writing this. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. 

  • Lindseycm

    fyi – he’s using you

  • Ali

    Get out while you still can.

  • Jessecanaldo

    My ex-bf and I broke up four months ago, long-distance, and in response, I ran away to LA from NYC while he was still in the South, knowing we would both run into each other in September in our eventual return. 

    Every bit of this I can emotionally relate to, without the hooking up part, because not only did we spend two sans-sex weekends with each other, but he just left again for another two months just as I felt we were building up to old spirits.  It hurts to want something that is practically within arm’s reach but at the same not be able to have it. 

    Also, that “You’re my best friend,” line fucking kills.

  • Amy

    you’re fucked. run

  • Amy

    you’re fucked. run

  • Amy

    you’re fucked. run

  • Becca

    Mixed comments! I can see both sides.  I, just recently, had something similar happen.  I can totally sympathize!  I can also say, for both your situation and mine own, we are being used.  Best to stop things because all this will do is monopolize your affections so you aren’t looking to move on or ever get to an emotional place where you COULD move on.  I wish it was different, TRUST me!  Thank you for sharing, it helps to know I am not alone, and I hope you know this as well.

  • Lindsay

    This situation sucks. As much as you love him…get out while you still can.

  • Lindsay

    This situation sucks. As much as you love him…get out while you still can.

  • NoSexCity

    Ex sex starts out exhilarating, but always winds up being depressing. Time to search for greener pastures!

  • Lauren

    DUDE.  Playing it cool is the worst and you should probably STOP IT.  Holding in all of those loving feelings will become toxic (if it isn’t already).  You’re entitled to feel however you feel.  Be real with yourself and give yourself a permission slip to feel.  Then be real with this dude.  If you aren’t it’ll probably explode in your face in a toxic mess.  Just sayin’.  This is not going to end how you want it to, and being authentic will probably be rewarding in the long run.

    I’m not even convinced you should be friends with him, but you definitely shouldn’t be sleeping with him.

    • guest

      I’ve learned that I play it way too cool. I’ve realized that playing too hard to get is not only frustrating for them, but for me too. While they’ve moved on to other girls, I’m stuck wondering what would’ve happened if I wasn’t playing it cool.

    • GUEST

      personally intrigued by the situations in which women use dude as an emphatic gesture of camraderie when giving advice since i don’t find that any of them use it as indiscriminately as guys do

  • Summer

    I am relating to this on so many levels right now.

    I hate wanting someone so much that I can’t walk away from him, because what we DON’T have is still better than having nothing at all.

    • Popdatshist

      Stop my tears. Please.

  • Verona

    Story of my life at some point in time. Honest piece, really.

  • Max

    “I hate constantly remembering the past, but I hate even more that we have no real future.” This resonates a little too much. This is very frustrating, and going through situations like this makes me doubt the point of relationships altogether. Beautifully written article, a pleasure to read. I hope this all goes somewhere.

  • Anonymous

    This is so relatable…thank you so much for writing!

  • Marié

    Don’t even let the friendship thing hold you back, a true friend would never put you through this! I’m in the same situation and I know how hard it is to cut the ties, but it has to be done. He is using you and abusing your affections. Men can be so manipulative!

    • Holly

      I don’t think he’s usin you. You’re probably much in the same situation.

  • guest

    this article is so spot on. i’m in a similar situation. i dont think he’s using you anymore than you’re using him. how do you know he doesnt feel just like you do about your situation?

  • Bailey Charmichael

    I literally cried. I miss him so much.

  • Morgan MacDonald

    This was my exboyfriend and I a year and a half ago. We somehow got things together and – taadaa – he’s my boyfriend again. You really can’t predict the outcomes, but sometimes they’re worth the anxiety of lingering in this relationship ‘grey area’!

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