I Still Love My Ex-Boyfriends

I Still Love My Ex-Boyfriends

I know what you’re thinking. You probably think that I’m messed up because my wedding is a mere 10 months away and here I am writing a love story about my exes. Finally choosing someone to marry and living in a state of pre-wedded bliss had me thinking a lot about my past and how I got to where I am now. I believe (and even in my early 20s believed) that relationships are all experiences that prep you for the next, and the next, until you have whittled away what you do and don’t like in another person. You eventually find what you do and don’t need. Every ex I’ve loved has led me to the man I’m about to marry, and inside the man I’m about to marry, there are pieces of the men I’ve loved.

My 5 Ex-Boyfriends That I Still Love


Pudge was my first love. While I had experienced plenty of the Jr. high and high school puppy love before him, it was never real until him. I felt so protected, safe and cared for. As my first real love, he was also my first real heartbreak. An experience so painful I never wanted to go through it again, so it set me on a course where I held back and distanced myself from people who loved and cared for me, for almost an entire decade. We still talk sometimes and care for each other quite a bit.

Length of relationship: 1.5 years
My age: 16
Why I still love him: I haven’t felt that kind of safety and protection since– until I met my future husband. It was a quality I felt almost immediately and knew I was home.


When I met Phisher it was outside of an NA meeting. He could barely look me in the eye, he was so humble and would always tell me that he couldn’t understand why I was with him. We moved in together after just knowing each other for 3 weeks. He was thoughtful, kind and we had so many adventures (like driving an hour away to Boston just to get pizza). He had so much emotion when he expressed his love for me.

Length of relationship: 1 year
My age: 18
Why I still love him: The love of my life is one of the kindest, most humble men I know. While he doesn’t weep with emotion on the regular, I’ve seen him get choked up a few times and it touches my heart.


While I wrote an entire book about how I cheated on him quite a bit, he was the most comfort I’d ever had with someone. We were best friends, buds really. While I wasn’t always emotionally invested in him, and knew he wasn’t right for me, I loved our friendship. It was incredibly confusing for me at the time because I hated hurting him and I knew that I couldn’t have the friendship without the other parts too. That man loved me. Really, really, loved me and I took it for granted. We were engaged and I was the one to call it off. Eventually, I gathered the courage to leave him for someone else.

Length of relationship: 5.5 years
My age: 19
Why I still love him: I see so much of him (the good parts) in my current love. It’s kind of crazy. We are the best of friends and he loves me in such a similar way.


This was the most fucked up relationship I’d ever been in. It was as though I’d gotten lost and taken a wrong turn somewhere, and there he was. He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A broken man who was intent on breaking me. And he did. What attracted me at first was that while he was incredibly sweet and thoughtful, he wouldn’t take my shit. I later realized the sweet and thoughtful part was just there to lure me in. He ended up being mean, controlling, manipulative, emotionally/mentally and somewhat physically abusive.

Length of relationship: 1.5 years
Age: 25
Why I still love him: I know. How in the hell could I still love this person? Because after he broke me down, it was like the Taj Mahal of rebuilds. I made the decision to no longer keep distance between my heart and another, and to try and give real love a chance. I also knew that I had to stop dating pushovers and be with someone that had some respect for themselves and would stand up to me—while still being kind. My fiancé is just that: sweet, kind, would do anything for me—but won’t let me walk all over him.


Jetset and I had one amazing month together and then were thrust into a long distance relationship. He possessed that “nice guy but not a pushover” quality I so badly needed (not only to date but also to know that it existed for real). We had a ton of fun together and we were able to have both a friendship and romantic element, another thing I needed to know existed. The long distance was hard, but it forced me to get better at living in the moment and our relationship was so awesome, it was totally worth it. We’re actually still friends!

Length of relationship: 1.5 years
Age: 26
Why I still love him: I am marrying a man who travels a lot for work, so 10 months out of the year, I can kiss our weekends together goodbye. I’m now able to live in the moment and enjoy our time, rather than worrying about the time spent apart. It’s so much easier than long distance and I am so grateful after having the experience, I’m able to put it in that kind of perspective.

Do I Really Still Love My Ex-Boyfriends?

So yes, I still love my ex-boyfriends because there are pieces of them in the man I love. There’s something amazing that happens when you find someone who is built from the best of what you’ve experienced. And while my Future Hubs possesses all these qualities that were mentioned, he’s also so much more. He brings out the very best in me, ultimately inspiring me to be a better person everyday, which to me, is the very best quality of them all.

What do you think? In this context do you still love your ex-boyfriends?

Image credit: Shutterstock

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Chrystal Rose
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