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How to keep them in your life?

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So it’s been over a week and a half since our breakup. I’ve been an absolute mess. He tried to contact me and we had a couple of exchanges that were angry and emotional on my part, and rational on his part. The end result of this was that he says he still wants to be in my life and talk to me. At the moment I cannot and will not reply until a time when his messages don’t turn me into an emotional basket case.


The thing is, in the past, I’ve immediately erased the exes from my life. I go “no contact” immediately, as soon as it’s clearly over. For example, the one ex, my last serious relationship, I haven’t spoken to in 7 years and that was from day 1 of that breakup. My policy has always been that if someone hurts me, they do not deserve to be in my life.


However, in the case of the one ex, I felt that erasing him from my life left a huge hole. I also am at a point in my life where I feel that severing ties with people is something I cannot continue to do.


So I have already decided that this time, I would like to keep my ex in my life. Only I’ve never done this before. What I’m wondering is, if anyone has kept their ex in their life, how does it work? Does it ever stop hurting? Can you really be friends? I love him, and how am I supposed to watch him date, marry, have kids with someone else in the future? We are in separate countries so not seeing him will make things easier, however there is still email, Facebook, Skype, etc, and he says he wants to still talk to me.


I am strictly “no contact” for now, because that’s the way it has to be for me. But how to make it work for the long term? Has anyone done this?

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Staying friends with an ex can be possible but this is extremely rare. If you feel better and heal better and quicker when you are in NC then do NC.


You say you love him still, but you wont want to watch him move on with someone else. You will feel that you have a hole when hes gone but that will be filled by someone else.

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I have always had a similar way of dealing with exes as you do - once it's over they are gone and I don't speak with them again.


I think that if you want to be friends with him it will have to wait until a point in the future where you feel nothing towards him.


A few years back, I was in a relationship with someone and I was absolutely head over heels - I genuinely believed that I was going to be with this person for the rest of my life. He was my first serious relationship and he was someone I could see myself settling down with. Well, we broke up for various reasons and as you could imagine I was devastated. We tried no contact for a few weeks, spoke about a month after the break up which I clearly could not handle, and then went No Contact for good. It took a few months but eventually I stopped even thinking about him and if he happened to pop into my head, it was for a very fleeting moment and there was no break down - I had totally gotten over this guy.


A few weeks ago after years of not talking or seeing each other, I got an email from him asking that we talk again. I was very taken aback by this, I got emotional but you know what? It wasn't in a bad way. As I replied to his message I was getting teary eyed - part of it was excitement because this person was such a huge part of my life, and part of it was an overwhelming feeling of love, but this time it feels different. It's almost like I am getting my best friend back, but that's just it - our relationship ran it's course, there are no more bitter or angry feelings left, and it shows how much we have both grown.


We now talk a couple times a week and exchange emails catching up with each other and it's almost like we have fallen back to the way we used to be, except we're just not in a relationship, and we have both changed in ways I don't think there is any potential or interest for one to develop. We are just back to being best friends again. I am certain that if I found out he was getting married or having children tomorrow, I would be elated for him, when at one point that would have destroyed me as I was so certain I was going to be the one for him. So I think you can get there, but it will take some time away from each other so you can both heal.

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It's harder than anything to be friends with an ex. I've been attempting to do it for the last year or so with my ex who left me 2 1/2 years ago after an 8+ year relationship. It takes a lot of work IMO, or it has at least for me. The big thing if you're going to try to attempt it IMO is to never bring up the relationship, ever. Me and my ex don't talk one bit about the past. However she did show a little jealously when she heard through the grapevine I had a girlfriend (which was 100% false). I know for me though, since she was the one who left, it has been a struggle and you will get tested mentally and emotionally. I do think though you need some NC in the beginning, I think it enabled us to be somewhat friends now. But for me, I know I still have feelings for her, and I think about it more and more that I am going to have to cut ties with her 100%, probably sooner than later, because even though I try to tell myself she doesn't, I am beginning to think by having her in my life is keeping me from moving on to someone else.

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