Single and Dating

We broke up 16 years ago. Yet my ex remains my best friend

Her best friend just happens to be an ex-boyfriend. Why is that hard to accept?

Yes, we broke up. Yes, we’re still friends

“If you are still friends with your ex, either you were never in love or still are.” I see this quote floating all over the place but I frankly do not know what to make of it, perhaps because I do not see feelings and relationships in black and white. My ex – who-doesn’t-want-to-be-named – still remains one of the most important people in my life and my closest friend, even though we broke up some 16 years ago.

It had started out as your regular college romance. We met on the first day of college, hit it off immediately, became the best of buddies and before we knew it, we had become a couple.

It had started out as your regular college romance. We met on the first day of college, hit it off immediately, became the best of buddies and before we knew it, we had become a couple.

Without getting into the long and short of it, if there is anything our three-year-long relationship taught us, it was this – we were awesome as friends but awful as a couple. And no, it wasn’t an ‘amicable’ breakup either. It was ugly, violent and deeply hurtful to both of us. That we had to sit right next to each other in class and work on projects together didn’t make it any easier. But we took our time to heal from what we had done to each other. Six months. And then, the ice broke in it’s own time, when we had forgiven each other, moved on and were seeing other people.

Related reading: Can we be friends with our exes?

It took time to accept we weren’t the perfect couple

I wouldn’t say that our conversations were always smooth. The shadows of the past lurked often, but we chose to look away, only because we valued each other more than the relationship we had. It was quite obvious that we were not meant to be, but at the same time, letting go of an amazing person like him wasn’t a loss I was willing to bear. Slowly but surely, we settled back into the space from where we had started – a bond of warmth, trust and understanding that has been growing stronger over years. People around us thought we would get back together but this time, we knew better. We weren’t about to make the same mistake again and ruin what we had. We fit in best as buddies, because that’s what we are meant to be.

Today, we are both happily married, with kids. He gets along fabulously with my husband and vice versa. We can earnestly joke about our tumultuous past and all the crazy things we did without a hint of awkwardness. This might sound weird, but it has taken immense maturity on both our parts to get here. A lot of credit goes to our spouses too, for taking our bond for what it is without an ounce of jealousy or insecurity. It is a blessing to have someone who has seen the best and worst of you, and has grown with you.

It is a blessing to have someone who has seen the best and worst of you, and has grown with you.

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Related reading: How I realised my soul mate is none other than my best friend

Our shared history is invaluable

Looking back, we feel like two kids who have matured into adults and exchanged a lot of notes along the way. We seek each other’s advice, share our deepest secrets and egg each other on when the going gets tough for either.

single and dating
I am so glad that I lost a relationship that didn’t give me happiness, but didn’t lose the person who did. Love does not have a single form or template like most of us believe. It is more like a shapeshifter, that evolves and transforms with time.

How my widowed mother married her best friend

You can never guess the most important ingredient for love in a relationship

My fiancée taught me to move on

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5 Comments

  1. Maturity prevailing!! There may be hard situations and worse than worst situations but it is you who needs to deal with all the situations with maturity, Indeed an example.

  2. It seems a win win situation at both ends. You guys are far yet so close. And most importantly you guys are in the best relation of the universe. Keep up

  3. You’re really lucky to maintain such a good and healthy bond with your ex, and even more lucky and blessed to have your spouse accept the past and have a healthy relationship in the current.

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