"Jen and I still maintain a deep friendship and have a lot of life together that isn't erased in any way," the actor tells V magazine of the couple's four-and-a-half year union, which ended in 2005.
"I don't know how better to have handled [the split]. My view was, this was no one's business in the end – at least in matters of the heart," he says. "The thing guiding me then was, you don't know how many days you have, and you need life to be everything you need it to be."
Despite the intense attention to the couple, Pitt says he and Aniston did their best to ignore the frenzy. "The most important thing about that time was for Jen and me to figure out if – how do I put it? – if we didn't want to go on without any outside influence. Is this where we got off? Have we taken this as far as we wanted to go?"
Adds Pitt, who now has four children with Angelina Jolie: "Those questions had to be answered before an attraction to Angie could be answered."
"Angie was pregnant. It was a very nice time for us," he says. "We stayed out in the woods by a river. We were in a big log cabin. So personally, it was a magical time."