Many of us are lucky enough to experience a spectacular first love: the kind of relationship where you were best friends and really “got” one another.
It's the type of BIG love you only dreamed of experiencing... until it actually happened.
You could finish one another's sentences, pick out music for each other and absolutely know what the other person would order at a new restaurant on date night.
You knew one another's history, past friendships and pretty much what made the other person tick.
But people change as they grow up. So, you either grow together or apart, for whatever reason.
It's a totally normal transition to take a different path than your first love did.
It ends up being OK, even though the pain may be unbearable while you're going through it.
Breakups are never easy. But this is especially the case when it's your first love because he or she is different from the rest.
If you went out for several years, it's even harder to not have that person in your life on a daily basis.
Your entire routine alters drastically, and you experience a lot of “firsts.”
For example, when you achieve something incredible in your life and you want to share and celebrate it with your ex, you can't.
As you move on toward NEW relationships, you are at a different stage in life.
You are older, wiser and perhaps more guarded than when you were carefree at a younger age.
Your ex is, at times, the one who knows you the best in more ways than one.
You create expectations for the potential boyfriends you meet because your ex may have set the bar insanely high.
Sure, you may not be together anymore, but you can't help but feel he or she got you in a way no one else ever TRULY will.
On the one hand, you may feel the need to keep your ex in your life... even if only at a distance.
On the other hand, you completely understand how your new love feels for you to still be connected to your ex.
You know it's all innocent, but he or she may understandably not be so happy. YOU probably wouldn't be very happy if your current still wanted to be connected to his or her ex, either.
Obviously, you share everything with your new love.
But there are times when you need a friend to talk to about your relationship: things you are feeling, and perhaps some things you may even be concerned about.
There are times you don't want to reach out to your squad for whatever reason, and your ex is the perfect person for advice.
I mean, your ex knows YOU best, right?
But there are some really important questions to ask yourself while you're evaluating the feelings of wanting to keep your ex in your life.
Is it the longing to have someone around who knows you to a T, or is it the need to have your ex in your life because you still have feelings for him or her you're not ready to address yet?
Be sure it's the desire to have someone there as a FRIEND who knows you inside out, rather than the latter.
But if your ex is a security blanket, it's time to let go and embrace your new love wholeheartedly.
Your new boyfriend or girlfriend should be the best friend you share your deepest thoughts with, and he or she will not want your ex sticking around forever.