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Close friends with my ex boyfriend. What to do?

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My ex broke up with me early this summer. We had known each other for a good 5-6 months before we dated. Initially I had avoided dating him because I could tell that he's the type who dates for fun, whereas I'm at a point where I want to date for something real.


However, he was persistent in pursuing me, and I really liked him a lot. We just got along so well together. However, the 5 year age difference between us began to show, with him being a sophomore in college while I am early in my career/workforce. The 70 miles between us was also a slight issue. One night the cracks between our priorities and slightly different places in life began to show, and he broke things off.


Normally, I've said "NO" to being friends with an ex. It's just not something I am interested in. However, once again we just got along so damn well and he was going out of his way to stay in touch with me... he texts me and calls me every day, and we still hang out at least once a week. Since the breakup it has been rare for me to initiate any of this -- he wants to maintain the friendship.


We spoke about his serial dating -- he seems to get obsessed with someone for a few months, and then the relationship burns out and explodes in a fiery flame. Ever since we dated, he's told me that I've bucked all his expectations and blew them out of the water. That I was nice... but also wasn't a pushover and that I'm stubborn and opinionated, which he was attracted to. That he found (and still finds) me to be incredibly hot and cute (even my best friend's girlfriend has told me I look like I could do modeling), and that our interests really mesh well together since we are into so many similar things.


Everything I read on this website advises that I shouldn't maintain a friendship with an ex and in the past I haven't. However, all of my friends who know both of us tell me I shouldn't abandon him. They see how well we get along and that you simply never know what this could turn into on down the road. I don't want to be naive... but I do want something more. Yet I also know I don't want to date him again until he's ready for a real relationship instead of flings. I've always been attracted to and drawn to who he is as a person. I've always innately wanted to protect him, watch out for him, but yet he's also one of the very few I consider an "equal" to me.


When I tried to end the friendship a few weeks after the breakup, he had a conniption. He's repeatedly told me that I've been the only person to stick behind him when no one else would. That he needs me in his life. He's not ever really had any close friends before, or a tight-knit friend group. Each time he's hung out with my gang, he's always exclaimed that I have "the best friends EVAH!"


I know that logistically he's young. I remember being 20 as well once. He is simply dating for fun right now and probably trying to figure out what he wants and who he is. He's told me I've helped him figure a lot out about himself and I'm also the only person to hold him accountable. He called me his "hero" and his "best friend".


To make things more interesting... I recently bought a house and am living there with my 2 best (straight) friends. They both know and really like him too. Ever since I got the house he has been insistent on living there with us once he graduates next year. This isn't the first time he's mentioned us living together. A couple weeks ago he was talking about his dreams and how if he fell into a pile of money he'd move to Florida and bring me to live with him plus my best friend and my best friend's girlfriend. Yet he's resistant to dating again in the foreseeable future (as am I, I don't want us to breakup for the same reasons we did in the first place).


Not sure what I should do at this point. All my friends who are close to the situation say it is best for me to stick by his side because instead of the lust-filled relationships he's had in the past he's clearly fallen for me in a different sense that could blossom into true relationship love, other threads on similar topics here say this sort of situation is not a good place to be.


Both of us know how unique what we have is.



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he is definitely young, only 20, so things can definitely change drastically. it sounds like being friends may be a little drama-filled, if he's throwing fits etc. friends know when to back off.


but then i don't think being friends isn't an option, as well as leaving options open for him in the future. i just think in the mean time, you shouldn't feel guilty about keeping your eyes open for someone else, either. he's not ready, you are, so let yourself find what you want, even if it isn't him.

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Do you want to be his mother or his boyfriend? Sounds like he's looking for someone to take care of him. You on the other hand still have hopes of a relationship in the future. Trying to be friends with someone you entertain romantic thoughts for is a recipe for disaster. Also it sounds as if he has the emotional maturity of a sponge. It might be best to take a pass on this one.

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No, he just doesn't want to lose me completely I think.


The people who know both of us really do think we'll get back together at some point. No idea when... but one of them literally said after hanging out with both of us "The Universe wants it". While that may be hyperbole... we both do really balance each other out really well.

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We wound up having a very long, in-depth conversation the other night.


We laid in bed and cuddled... he had some awful news to share with me (not disclosing it here).


He told me that he's always somehow felt connected to me. That I remind him a lot of himself. When he was younger he used to be more quiet, shy, and "genuine". He wanted to make more friends but feels that the quality of those friendships just never was up to par and that in trying to be more "badass" he feels that he's lost a lot of the genuineness he had. He told me he has NEVER EVER felt as connected with anyone as he has with me.


I told him I always saw it there. That I recognized it from the moment we met. I just held him close to me and we cuddled for a little while before falling asleep.


Who knows where this goes, or what happens? We have such a strong bond that it's much too difficult to try and sever for either of us.

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