My ex is my best friend

Hi Meredith,

I was recently listening to your podcast, S1 Ep 8. My ex is my best friend, and I know that you have experienced something similar. In August of last year, my ex decided he wanted to move to New Zealand. Of course I couldn't go with him. We met in high school and are now 21. Because of the impending move, I decided to break up with him. We didn't talk for about a month, and I did the whole one-night stand thing to try and get over it. It didn't work. I attempted to get back together after that month, but he politely declined. I took another month away from him, and that was when we began to talk it out again.

From that day forward, we have spoken all day, every day, like nothing had changed. Once he officially moved in January, the last of our romance faded and we began to speak as just friends pretty quickly. At the end, there was a kiss here and there, but those faded, too. Now, only eight months later, I can confidently say that he is my best friend, and I can't imagine my life without him. Even though he is so far away. But this is the difficult part. I sometimes find myself wondering what could have been – crying about it, to be more honest. I know that we would still be together if it wasn't for his move, and that's the hardest part. I know that now is not an option, but I don't want to be wishful for a later. I guess the advice I am trying to ask for is how do I get over our unfortunate situation without removing him from my life completely? I love him, and I truly believe everything happens for a reason. But how can I be completely happy with someone else if I still feel hopeful about my ex?

– Please help


For those who don't know, Ep. 8 of the podcast includes an interview with my high school boyfriend, who is an excellent friend. We talk about how our friendship has grown and changed over the years. We also talk about "The Simpsons" a little.

The point of that episode, I think, is that it took a long time for us to find our version of a normal friendship after we broke up when we went to college. I mean, this was a long time ago, so I don't remember everything, but I know there was some crying and confusion in the beginning. In the episode, he talks about how he really needed space from me – like, the no-talking kind of space – before he could be a real friend. And maybe that's what you need, too. This kind of thing takes more than a few months to figure out. You don't have to cut him off, but you can minimize him, for sure.

I'd advise you not to assume that distance is the only thing between you and your ex. You have no idea how the relationship would have played out if he had stayed. Don't think too much about fictional alternative paths. There's only the one.

Also know that some of these tears are about missing a companion and adjusting to change. The sadness doesn't always mean you want him back. And for the record, you are very capable of falling for someone else. It's remarkable how quickly feelings can change.

– Meredith

Readers? Should the communication stop?