I don’t understand why this is such a taboo thing, honestly. Everywhere I look people are preaching about not dating your friends or not being friends with your ex’s or something along those lines.
Well why the hell not?
Maybe I’m the exception. But maybe I shouldn’t be. Why do we have such an outdated view of dating and friendship? People get along or they don’t — they let things affect them or they don’t. That’s it.
There are a few supporting cast members you might be familiar with by now. Let me tell you a little about my history with them.
* * * * *
Nate was, and still is, the best friend I’ve ever had. We were friends before we started dating. We were friends after we stopped dating. We went 5 months without speaking, once, and it almost killed me.
Of course, we’re together now so maybe that’s not the best example. But if we had never become friends we would never have dated and we wouldn’t have our adorable Holden now. The friendship only made our relationship stronger, which is why we’ve been able to fight through everything the world threw at us, and all the shit we threw at ourselves.
It’s why in over 2 years we haven’t seen each other for more than an hour at a time while sitting across a table from one another with criminals and guards surrounding us but we’re stronger than ever.
* * * * *
Luke is an incredibly close second to Nate. Actually, they’re probably tied. People have noted that we’re the same person — he’s the male version and I’m the female version.
Whereas Nate just gets me, Luke takes the time to understand. We can’t get away with lying to each other because we’re so damn close, so we’ve stopped trying altogether. We’ve been through the worst, and the best, times of our lives together.
For a few months during those times, we dated. I truly was madly in love with him, and we had danced around the idea on and off for years.
But when we were together it was weird. It was awkward. We were good at being best friends and just couldn’t transition into significant others. Especially at that time in our lives, we were accustomed to treating our partners a certain way, which was far from the way we treated each other. So we couldn’t find a happy medium.
When we broke up I cried and rearranged our (turned into my) bedroom and got drunk. And it was still awkward for a bit, but I think that had a lot to do with the drugs as well. And then everything went back to normal, and now we joke about those times and, you guessed it, are closer than ever (mentally).
* * * * *
Xavier and I started messing around before we became good friends. We dealt with the whole angsty teenage dating thing first, which I think was good for us. It got it out-of-the-way.
I always call him my other true love, or “the other ex”, because next to Nate, our relationship had the biggest impact on me, and I loved him almost as much.
We dated and broke up and dated and were even engaged once while he was away in the Marines. Then we stopped, he got married, and had two kids.
We don’t talk much now, but we used to. He called me every morning and we just talked. And even though we’re not close now, I know he’d be there for me in a second if I needed him. I still visit him every few months and we laugh and joke around like we used to.
He also seems to have a Tempest sense. When things are really bad for me — when I’m really freaking out — he calls. He asks if I’m okay before I even have a chance to answer. That’s fucking friendship.
And again, I don’t think it would be like this had we never gone through the experience of dating.
* * * * *
I saved Jack for last, because things have been rough between him and me lately. But that isn’t related to dating or friendship — we’re just growing apart as people.
Jack and I first became friends, then frenemies, then friends again, then he fell in love with me and I told him he wanted nothing to do with me because I was a horrible person. But slowly I fell in love back, and we started dating. Once we broke up we continued living together. And we still do.
He’s been there since I got pregnant; he’s helped me raise my son; he’s helped me financially and emotionally and otherwise. Although we’re going through some weird phase, he’s still the person I come home to and tell all my secrets (though that’s just a phrase, we all know I have no secrets).
So we’re not only friends who started dating, who stopped dating, who became friends. We live together (mostly) amicably and co-parent a child together. As exes and friends.
* * * * *
So please, don’t tell me what I can and cannot do regarding my personal relationships.
And don’t put such stereotypical notions on your own. You never know what might happen.
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*Exes vs. Ex’s: Seriously, I looked this up online and couldn’t find a definitive answer, though most people seem to prefer “exes” . Do you use one over the other? I like how “ex’s” looks better, but I’m such a sucker for correct grammar I don’t know if I can use it in good conscience.
What do you think about friends dating? Exes becoming friends? How the hell exes is spelled? Do you have any (good or bad) stories related to friends/exes/dating? Let me know!