The day my best friend, who doubles as my ex-boyfriend, moved out of his studio, I took a road trip back to my hometown to help him pack it up. It was nostalgic to know how much history happened in that space.
We started there together, in that exact studio, 6 years before. We were only 21 years old, and it was our first place.That apartment signified the beginning of our adult lives. Since then, so much growing up has occurred.
We have finished college, move to new cities, broken up and dated other people. Despite all the changes, one thing has remained consistent though. And that is our friendship. Jordan has always been my best friend.
Historically, when people see Jordans and my friendship, they doubt the simplicity of it knowing we were romantic partners in high school and the early years of college.
They assume since he is a male and I am a female, things cannot possibly be platonic. They think since we have a history in our past, we cannot strictly be best friends.
I’m not shocked, or even offended by these accusations, but after a certain amount of time, it starts to get old after these ideas continue to be perpetuated.
Here are the facts:
We have been strictly best friends for 5 years.
I have a boyfriend, and shocker, they are good friends themselves.
If we wanted to get back together — we would have by now.
I am not sure how much more reassurance is needed.
Things were not always this simple, though. When we first broke up, it took work to establish new normals, healthy boundaries, and an understanding of how to maintain a closeness without intimacy.
We were not perfect, and a lot of mistakes were made in that transition.
It has taken many hard but real convos, keeping each other in check, and tons of WORK. We have had to practice compassion, understanding, and a healthy dose of forgiveness.
Once, years back, someone came to me and asked, “how did you do it?” and we did it because we didn’t want to lose each other. Either we figured it out or knew we would be out of each other’s lives.
We live in a society where often breakups end your relationship with another human being entirely, but it does not have to be this way by default. We choose to not take this path.
I knew from the day I met Jordan, I wanted him in my life forever. He is one of the greatest humans I know. I don’t want to speak for him, but I know he has a similar sentiment towards myself. Why would we ditch that?
I think it is ironic that when it comes to family, we deal with more than we should to keep them in our lives. We act as though blood makes relationships solidified, regardless of the ebbs and flows of life. Yet, this is not the case with those not blood related to us.
The formality of breakups and cutting ties is just a silly societal tradition, and we chose not to follow it. But if someone brings value into your life, keep them around. If they do not, walk away.
It is that simple.
Jordan’s and mine relationship remains healthy to this day. It is filled with laughter, support, and true love for each other as individuals, regardless of our relationship title. This boy truly is my best friend forever, despite also doubling as my ex-boyfriend.
I was so filled with gratitude that I got to spend the last day in the studio with him. We both did so much growing up between those walls. Some of the best, and hardest, memories of our twenties occurred within them.
We may not have these 4 walls to grow up in any longer, but we still have each other. And home is not where the walls are but where your tribe is at.
Jordan is a little piece of home to me. No matter where we are location-wise, or our current relationship status, we always have each other. Regardless of how weird others may perceive, my best friend doubling as my ex-boyfriend.
Previously published on Medium.com.
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