Everyone in the world has an ex. At least, everyone in America in their mid-twenties does. Exes are a tricky topic of conversation, always. Some people have exes they hate, some have exes they still love, and some have exes that they have somehow managed to keep around as a friend without any complicated emotional ties, lingering doubts, and regrets from the past.
Let’s talk about those people, the ones who seem to have mastered an impossible form of coexistence with a former flame. They are exes with the benefit of being friends, so, “exes with frienefits”? Let’s go with that.
“Exes with frienefits” is a completely mind-boggling concept to us. If you truly, truly loved someone, how, even if it’s years later, how can a friendship be developed? Will one person care more? Will both parties be “cool” and keep it simple? Why even have that person back in your life? What if someone gets married? The questions could go on forever. But our biggest is this: is this even humanly possible?
We can’t help but flash back to our favorite TV show, “Sex and the City,” for this one. In one episode Carrie and Big start hanging out JUST as friends, so much so, she even picks up a jazz musician while out with him. Their friendship seems genuine in the episode, carefree and fun; however, Big shows some serious jealousy when he calls Carrie to “tease” her about her impending date. And we all know the ending of Carrie and Big’s love story… they end up getting married!
So, in the case of our bible (SATC), the whole friends-with-your-ex thing is not possible. But, Carrie and Big make it look like fun. The two of them hanging out was enjoyable because they were exes. They already knew each other’s interests, likes, dislikes, and how to tease each other. By keeping it strictly causal, it makes total sense how friendship with an ex could make for a whole lot of fun for both parties.
But what about in the real world? Exes, especially serious ones, were a big part of your life. They got to know your family and your long-term goals. They know you for you, and cared for and loved you for everything that you are.
When you have an “ex with frienefits” you have one more person in your corner willing to support you. They already know the backstory; you don’t have to catch them up to speed on your complex relationship with that one friend or that problematic co-worker. If they’re your “ex with frienefits,” they still care enough to be there for you.
MORE: How to be Friends With an Ex
Above all, the most rewarding part of having a “ex with frienefits” has got to be the beauty of having someone who was once so close to you, remain close to you, even though it’s in a different light.
“Exes with frienefits” still seems like an unreal concept to us, but when you look around, it is definitely present in our real-world lives. (This website was even founded by a pair of exes!) We honestly aren’t sure we could get there with, well, hell, any of our exes. However, for those lucky people who have mastered this concept, and have made friends with their ex, we tip our hat to you. It must take a lot of maturity, self-security, and respect for a person you once loved, to take the risk of having them back in your life. If you’re willing to take that leap for an ex, it speaks volumes about who they are as a person. They must really be too good to let go (for forever, at least).
QUIZ: Can I Get My Ex Back?
What do you think about being friends with an ex? Is it doable or just asking for trouble? Tell us in comments!
– The Ambrose Girls
Karen & Kristy Ambrose are twins who write about all things dating & girly. Between the two girls and their beloved girlfriends, they have seen and heard it ALL when it comes to dating. The cool part about their advice? They combine both of their experiences in every article, essentially dishing twice the experience and advice to their readers! Check out theambrosegirls.com for more.