Why I Stay Friends With My Exes

image - Flickr / Paulo Guilherme Neto
image – Flickr / Paulo Guilherme Neto

I’m like most 20-something women. I’ve fallen in and out of love a couple times; loved and lost. But the thing that I like to do a little differently is find them again.

I like to stay friends with my exes.

Now, I’m not saying we hang out or text each other regularly. It’s not the kind of lingering connection that holds hope of future reconciliation or unfinished business. It’s about getting to the other side of heartbreak. A place where you see them from different eyes; eyes no longer distorted by rose-colored glasses.

I see them as a friend, an equal, and more importantly someone who once occupied a large space in my life and heart. I cannot bring myself to cut them off completely; to not approach them with friendliness and understanding. Call it naive, hopelessly romantic, maybe even self defeating… I call it being open-hearted.

These past lovers may have broken me, but the thing about the heart is that it heals. With time we learn to move on. And then we have a choice: cut them out of our lives completely in fear of damaging the scars that delicately formed over the shattered pieces of our heart…or we can be fearless.

This person was once your best friend. You were intimate in every aspect of the word. You saw parts of them that very few have. You shared countless memories and experiences; time that you will never get back.

To me, staying in touch is respecting the relationship you did have and respecting the person you once loved. It’s the kind of love that says you meant more to me than just a relationship; even without that title you are still important to me.

The kind of love where you wish them a happy birthday, share big news, check in on them every once in awhile, and are always wishing them the best.

The kind of love that once was and now is something completely different.

The kind of love that is fearless and open-hearted. TC mark

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