My ex-boyfriend shattered my heart so thoroughly when we broke up that I honestly thought — for years — that I’d never fall in love again. He wasn’t even my first, either, which would at least account for that level of heartbreak. Nope, he was my college boyfriend; the man I moved to New York City with when we were both still young and stupid. He left me for a job in Spain and I literally biked off into the sunset with my clothing in a bag on my back. It was like a movie. Fast forward almost six years and my ex is now one of my good friends and I’m with someone who is an even better fit for me. Even though my ex still in Spain and I’m currently in Asia, we talk regularly online. He updates me on his love life, I update him on mine, and since we work in similar fields, we help each other out with career stuff. He sends me his articles when they’re published and we have a healthy competition between us when it comes to our work.
But getting to this point took a lot of hard work, a lot of tears, and plenty of periods where we didn’t talk at all, because it just hurt too much. In the end, though, I’m really glad that I’m such good friends with my ex. Here’s why it’s awesome.
1. They Know You Really Well
My ex knows me so well. I mean, we did spend over two years at a very formative point in our lives together. I don’t have to explain certain things (like my family or my insecurities or my goals) to him, which means we can get to the important stuff faster.
2. You’ve Invested A Lot Of Love Already
Just because it was romantic love then doesn’t mean you can’t transform it into friend love now. Love is a precious thing! Don’t let it go to waste!
3. They Can Help You With Your Career
Your networks are precious when it comes to getting forward in your career. A person who has invested so much time, energy, and love into you is a great resource when you’re looking to make changes or level up in your work. Even if you’re not in the same field, chances are your ex knows someone who knows someone who could help you. It may sound a little mercenary but it’s a cold hard world out there, post Great Recession. Use what you have.
4. They Can Help You With Your Current Relationship
Your ex knows how you act in a romantic relationship. In fact, they have a perspective that no one — not your friends, not your mom, not even you — has. I recently reached out to my ex to see if a current behavior is a pattern of mine or if it’s a new thing. To my surprise, he told me that yeah, it was something I’d been doing for a while. I never would have gotten that insight from anyone else and it turned out to be really, really valuable.
5. They Can Turn Into Your Best Friends
They were probably your best friend when you were together and they can continue to be your best friend after you break up. Just give it a little time and space after the initial heartbreak and you just might find yourself with a new bestie.
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