Why Can’t You Be ‘Just Friends’ With Someone You Once Loved?

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It’s over. You have battled and bled time and again to resolve the issues and stay together, but now, at last, you both know in your hearts it is done. The time has finally come to call it a day and move on with your lives.

There was never any abusive or manipulative behaviour, no severe acts of disloyalty, or especially dramatic disagreements, but for whatever reason you have both arrived at the decision that romantically you no longer work.

Well, what then? Frequently, we are advised to walk, to sever all ties and move on with our lives as though our partner, this person we have loved, opened up to, and spent an extraordinary amount of time with, never existed at all.

This would be an enormous mistake. Genuine friendships are few and far between, and true connection is difficult to come by. No one knows you more intimately than your loved ones and understanding is much too precious a thing to lose. You don’t turn your back on a good thing just because it’s hard.

Stay friends. Work through the pain and pettiness. Learn how to control the tide of bitterness in your hearts and feel genuinely pleased for one another’s happiness. It’s going to be a long and difficult road, and seeing each other move on with other people is going to hurt, but eventually, it does get easier. Over time, lovers can learn to be ‘just friends’.

Recognise the reward outweighs the risk. Find the courage to keep the people you have loved a part of your life and you will be rewarded with an extraordinary friendship. One that endures. One that enlightens. Someone you can turn to when no one else has the answers. Someone you can depend on, be sure of, share with, and most importantly, trust in.

A friendship doesn’t have to mean staying in contact every day or involving yourself in one another’s business. Just be there. Make the commitment to support and guide one another despite the divide in your journeys.

Maybe you weren’t right for each other, and all those dreams you shared and plans you made may never come to fruition, but that doesn’t mean your part in each other’s story is over. That doesn’t mean you can’t still bring something positive to each other’s lives. What you shared was rare and extraordinary, and the counsel you’ll be able to offer one another in the future is invaluable. That’s something worth holding onto.

By Beau Taplin for ThoughtCatalog

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