The Truth About Being Friends With Your Ex

image - Flickr / Tim Roth
image – Flickr / Tim Roth

Breakups are hard, it’s a universal fact. Although, over time, the thought of him wouldn’t make you want to curl into a ball and cry. But the mention of his name will make you recoil into your thoughts if ever someone else brings him up. When you’re there yet not there. You would still see it as a failure of the two of you. You failed the beautiful idea of ‘us.’ You would question if you have ever been a ‘constant’ to someone. It would get easier to not think yourself into madness but it’s not any better because if you slip up, it’s still madness. Not any better than the night he left.

Even if you break up on good terms that doesn’t necessarily mean all is well. Just because there isn’t a lot of hate between the two of you doesn’t mean that it’s any easier to deal with the separation. If you part on good terms, you would have to be part of each other’s lives, in some strange sort of friendship that leads to a series of awkward situations.

Being friend with him sometimes proves more disastrous than cutting him off. You’re in a strange position where you have to watch him move on while you’re still pining on him. Even if you both understand the breakup was inevitable, he won’t show you how it affects him because he is a ‘man.’ Instead he would tell you how many beers he’s having with his friends or about some insignificant trend on twitter. He would act unscathed. It is odd, to say the least, to observe his life without yourself in it the way you were. It isn’t easy to make peace with the fact that this is the way it is going to be from now on. There would be other things or people in his life that would take up the time he used to spend with you.

You would be replaced.

He is going to go and find more people to impress and impressed they would be. There would be another girl he’ll stay up late into the nights for. Someone else would be his top best friend on snapchat. Yours won’t be the number he most often dials. He’ll spend his time talking to people who’re just as passionate about his passions as he is.

Maybe there will be a whole day he won’t think about you. He will fall for someone else or just fall into bed with someone else. You wouldn’t know and if you do, you won’t be allowed to show you are bothered ever since you both decided to let go of each other. It would hurt. But you wouldn’t be able to talk about it even though you’re both supposed to be there for each other. That’s just another empty promise just like the rest of them. The illusion he wants you to believe so that you find it easier to let go. Every time you bring any of this up he will slyly change the topic. Every single time. You would notice, but you would keep quiet. Because, why shake up the illusion of peace?

There would be a time you wouldn’t be able to call him without thinking it through a million times even though you promised each other it would be always easy to talk to each other. He will tell you it will get better but don’t be fooled. Know that it is a beautiful lie. It never gets better, you just get accustomed to not thinking about just how not better it is. You get good at repressing those depressing thoughts of what ifs. Oh the what ifs, how they would still sometime haunt you in ungodly hours of the night.

You would wish that maybe, just maybe something you gave him would make him think of you. The wallet, the keychain, something. Maybe the tee shirt you gave him will remind him of you whenever he wears it. Maybe he’ll smile a little as he thinks of you. Maybe he’ll refer to it as tainted. Who knows? Definitely not you. He would keep his private thoughts private. The walls you tried so hard to bring down day by day would be up high again with barbed wires around the edges to keep you out.

You would contemplate telling him it’s too difficult to be friends with him. But you won’t go ahead with it. That would be selfish and you’re not the selfish one, that’s him. He’s selfish for wanting to keep you in his life in this vague way. Not caring if it hurts you. Only thinking of himself. Of course you would reach a breaking point eventually. How much can you take before it’s too much?

You would think through it a million times and then finally go through with telling him you can’t be friends with him anymore. Instantly, you will regret it. However, he won’t fight for you. He never has. So you let it be. You see him taking this easily as a sign that you’re doing the correct thing, perhaps you are. Even as the guilt of breaking the promise of always being there engulfs you, you will justify what you’re doing because he didn’t live up to his end of his promise.

It’s not easy to control the urges to check his last seen on whatsapp to know when he went to bed the night before but you try anyways. You can live his life through pictures, snapchat stories and tweets now. You tell yourself you can do this. Tell yourself cliché things like how it will get easier with time.

The ugliness you tried to avoid by breaking up on so called ‘good terms’ now floods around you. Maybe this is the real break up. You’re somewhat glad to put an end to the strange, murky friendship you both shared, that wasn’t really friendship. You both completely disconnect. Leaving him to replace you wholly. TC mark

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