To The Best Friend Who Is Now Dating My Ex


It’s complicated because I want you to be happy. When you told me you’d hooked up with my ex–laughing, as if it were a joke I’d been included in–I felt a rush of contradicting emotions. First I felt angry. Then I felt a reflexive denial of that anger. A denial that had me silently listing off the logistics: I have a boyfriend now, I no longer have romantic feelings for my ex, I haven’t been there for you as much ever since I started dating someone new…

But, in spite of all logic, I couldn’t shake the resentment. I couldn’t stop asking myself: Why him? Followed by: What makes you believe he’ll treat you any differently than how he treated me?

You stood by me on the nights he failed to follow through.

When he talked down to me, rejected me, made me feel less than worthy–you were the one I cried to. You were the one who gave the kind of advice that put everything into perspective; who made me see the truth when it was the last thing I wanted to do. You were the one who looked me in the eye and said, “He doesn’t think of you as a person. You’re basically a food processor to him.” And then, once that sunk in, you were there for me. You helped pick up the pieces. You gave the kind of brutal honesty I needed to cut all ties with him.

Now, I can’t stop thinking about it: Do you think you’ll be more of a person to him than me? Do you think something about you is more deserving of decency and respect; that something about you will inspire something in him–whatever “it” was–that I couldn’t?

I know this isn’t true. With how close we were, I know, there is no way that this is true. There’s no way you could think any of that.

And still, I feel resentment.

The meanest part of me can’t stop thinking: I hope it doesn’t work out for you.

While, the better part of me–hopefully the greater part of me–really wants you to be happy. And that’s what makes this situation so complicated: the fact that I can’t share your current happiness with you; that I can’t listen to you gush after a night spent with him or help you through heartache over him.

We’ve always been able to share everything with each other, and this relationship is not something we can share. It’s a brick wall between us; the elephant in the room. You can’t talk with me about this, freely. That’s what makes it so sad: talking freely is what best friends are supposed to be able to do.

I already know what it’s like to be with him, so I don’t want to hear about you and him.

When you started seeing him; when you assumed I’d be okay with it, you were asking me to re-live a painful relationship.

I hate saying it, but when he starts talking down to you, when he starts ditching you, when he starts pulling away, texting less, canceling plans, when you pour your heart out to him, and he rejects it, when he tells you “it’s not like that, you’re just sex”, when he starts hitting on other girls, right in front of you, I will not be there to listen. I will not be there to help you through it.

If I were to stick around until shit hit the fan, I don’t believe I’d be able to bite my tongue. I don’t believe I’d be able to hold back the statement that is as cutting as it is mean: “I told you so.”

So, what other choice do I have? Other than to pull away. This situation has made me see that, maybe, our friendship has run its course. It’s made me see that, maybe, our friendship no longer means as much to you as it does to me.

I just can’t get past the simple fact: I would never do this to you.

And that’s the painful part. Your lack of consideration, and sensitivity. The assumption that I would say nothing; do nothing; completely ignore your blatant disregard for my feelings. I never had a say in the situation. Your message was loud and clear. I was supposed to either grit my teeth and get over it or go away.

I want you to be happy, but I think–sooner or later–you’re going to realize you’ve made a mistake. You’re going to realize, your happiness isn’t with him.

Until then, I wish you well, and I’ll always care for you. But, I want you to know: I consider your decision to be set in stone.