Your ex was terrible, if you’re honest with yourself. You ignored the way they insisted their interests were more immediate, more fascinating, more interesting than yours; but that was because you were in love back then and who wants to love a nitpicker and besides, maybe they were right and anyway, isn’t it good — healthy, even — to have contrasting interests? That was what you used to suppose, now you know you want someone you can share more of yourself with, now you know your ex wasn’t that person.
But they were the person who sent wish you were here postcards when they went away, they didn’t even need to confirm your address because that was something they had memorized like where to press when you’re almost…there or which coworker is which, what sibling is what. They were the person who actually brought you soup when you were sick, like that wasn’t just a thing you saw on a television show once but a thing that a real live person who cared about you actually did. They were the person who hung around the next morning and then the entire day, until it was night again, and then morning, and then a week later and you decided to split up for a few hours but it felt like they were still there, even then. And it was awesome.
You shouldn’t forget, though, that they never wanted to spend time with your friends. It was always you bending for them, you trimming the fat of your social circle until there was barely anything left to sustain yourself with, you compromising and negotiating and cajoling and sometimes remembering how your parents, when you’d argue your positions with them, would say you should be a lawyer, when you grow up and thinking, what a waste of my talent this is.
And yet, you can’t deny that they had some pretty great friends. Friends you were more than happy to accept as your own, friends you actually looked forward to seeing, friends who accidentally became your allies and confidants and cheerleaders. Sometimes your ex would have a friend so loyal, so steadfast, so genuinely good that their existence was a huge relief, made you feel like even if your ex was being their most heinous self, no truly terrible person could be worthy of such a wonderful friend. Their friends — their funny, thoughtful, caring friends — are people you miss, even now.
But you weren’t dating their friends, were you? You were dating your ex, who made you laugh when you didn’t think you’d ever smile again but who also made you cry when there were no impending showers, I mean you checked, the forecast was clear and then out of nowhere, things got grey. Your ex, who wanted to make your breakup easy, awesome but misguidedly thought that meant making your breakup difficult, terrible so that it’d be easier to go your separate ways. Your ex, who you posed with in silly vacation pictures that you keep hidden away somewhere because you don’t want to look at them and remember just how terrible and awesome they were.