So we started dating. Great times, all the couple stuff (films, chilled times, parties etc). Things were just right, enough space and no arguments, and we just clicked.
Unfortunately I ended up letting myself slide back into old habits, and money became tight for both of us. She'd moved an hour away and was struggling for a job (which she found after a few months), and I had huge debts to pay. My car broke down and I couldn't travel to see her, or afford regular trains. Work dries up for a builder around that time.
She held on as long as she could but I think the physical and emotional distance messed things up, and the fact her life was progressing well now.
So she finished it. Two weeks after that she's dating an ex she's remained close to for a decade, who, frankly, has his life on track, and is a genuinely nice guy. I'm happy for her, honestly, but I still have strong feelings and know I let myself slip, BIG time. She didn't feel the same when we parted, but up until the problems surfaced it just felt right, and everything was going great.
She wants to remain friends. We still hang out and have a great laugh together, and I'm slowly learning to open up to her about my feelings, which I've always struggle with. It's obvious we both still care, and she's being very supportive, open and understanding. We seem to communicate better now.
Last time we hooked up, we ended up having a really good night of fun & laughter. We talked, the breakup was mentioned and what I'd do differently. I'd love to still have this girl about in my life as she's become really special to me... but how to go about that? I don't want to get hurt, but at the same time I'd hate to look back and wonder if I'd stuck about, what could have happened?