I miss my best friend

Seeking some complicated letters that will stump all of us.

I have a complicated relationship with my best friend. We go to the same college. Months ago, his mother told my mother some stuff that was personal – a lot of which was not true. I blamed him for this. He didn't speak to me or try to apologize and I got angry. I sent him a text I regret, which I admit was horrible. Right after sending it, I felt so guilty I'd sent a message like that.

It took me all this time (months) to start getting over the loss of him. The difficult part is that as much as we were best friends, we both had feelings for one another – like MAJOR feelings. We both have partners now. But whenever we see one another, I feel those feelings, and it just makes me so upset because I feel like we were perfect. I don't want to seem like a horrible person because I love the guy I'm with, but last night I had a dream about my ex-best friend. The dream reminded me of everything that was good about us.

This ex-friend is a year older and has plans to move away in two years. Not anytime soon, but it makes the loss feel like it will be more permanent. I miss him and I feel like neither of us are completely over it. I have to see him every Saturday for class, and when I do he makes comments about how I'm still with my boyfriend and asks about that when he sees me. How do I handle these feelings?

– Ex-friends

Let's stop calling him your former best friend. You wrote this letter because of your romantic interest in this person. You have MAJOR feelings for him, and now he won't give you his time. Sure, there was friendship there – you lost that too – but it sounds like your closeness always involved the possibility of romance. That's why it might help to think of him as a real ex.

If you characterize him that way, you might be able to see him as a person from your past, as opposed to someone who belongs in your life right now. When you see him and feel all of those complicated emotions, you might be able to say, "Well, of course this feels unpleasant; he's my ex!" "Best friend" language can be dangerous. It can make us feel like we have to hang on to people who were never just friends to begin with.

It sounds like you also need to think about why you love the guy you're with. You use that word – love – but you tell us nothing about him. If your ex changed his mind and wanted you back, would you be willing to leave your current partner? What would stop you? Focus on those feelings and maybe you'll get some answers.

– Meredith

Readers? Ex? Ex-best friend?