Breakups are always portrayed as these horrendous things—yelling, screaming, throwing objects. While my breakup with my ex-boyfriend was not like that, it sucked.

We were in love, but the distance became too difficult. I cried for months, mourning the boy who I talked to every day and shared my heart with. All I wanted to do was call him and tell him that we made a giant mistake and that we can work everything out.

There was a human-shaped hole in my life.

It is not like we were able to become friends right away—it took over a year to even text normally besides the intermittent "Happy Birthday" and "Merry Christmas." It took even longer to finally meet back up in person. It was too painful—too painful to see that, even without each other, life still went on. Too painful to look through old photographs be overcome with all of the memories and the emotions associated with them. Too painful to remember the last time you hugged, held hands, laughed.

Once we started talking again, it happened slowly, from catching up once-in-a-blue-moon to spontaneously sending YouTube videos that we know the other will crack up at. And slowly, I realized how much I missed him being in my life in some way, shape, or form.

Whenever I talk to friends from high school and mention us talking and hanging out, they always look taken aback and always ask why? Why stay friends with someone you have loved?

It may not be typical and it may not work for everyone but, for us, it is right.

He is one of the people who understands me in the world and, if I may be so blunt, I think I am one of the people who know him best. We bond over ridiculous memes and "high school" drama and life in general. We can hang out for hours on end and it can feel like only a few minutes. I trust him and know that I can depend on him.

Yes, I am friends with my ex-boyfriend. We have dated other people since breaking up, and here we are now as friends. Unlike how breakups are portrayed in movies and on television, I hope for the best for him. I hope that he is happy with whoever makes him happy and I hope he achieves his dreams. Just because someone is an ex does not mean they deserve ill-will wished upon them. Break-ups do not need to just be an end, they can also be a beginning.

So, to my ex-boyfriend and one of my greatest friends, this is what I have to say, I am thankful for you. My parents always told me that time will show who my true friends are. I have lost some friends who I thought would be in my life forever, but you have always been there to send me ridiculous memes and videos and to make me laugh after venting about irksome things. I am thankful for the memories we shared when we dated and I am thankful for the memories that we share now as friends. I look forward to seeing you when I come home for Christmas and for summer break.

I hope this message does not make you feel awkward, but just know how much I cherish your friendship. I hope that it never ends.