A couple days ago, reader Hailey read “Who gets to keep the friends?” and asked the question… what happens when one of your friends starts dating your ex? How do you handle it? And if you’re the friend in the situation, is it ever okay to date your friends’ ex?
Let’s start at the end and work our way up:
Is it okay to date a friend’s ex?
Answer: No answer.
As much as we’d like to say, no! Never! You may never date a friend’s ex! The honest truth is that (the old adage is true) the heart wants what the heart wants.Or should we say, the brain wants what the brain wants.
However, though the brain is an organ, when it comes to emotions, it is unlike the others, in that you do have some control over it. For the sake of your friendship, we’d say that there are 6 billion people on the planet, maybe you should avoid someone who’s seen your friend naked.
So, we’d say there are many factors determining whether or not it’s okay. How close are you with your friend? How long has it been since the break up? Was the break up amicable? All of these things should be taken into consideration before indulging in a fling (or relationship) with a friend’s ex.
How should you handle a friend starting to date your ex?
Answer: With grace.
While your initial reaction may be to fly off the handle and call your friend a string of expletives, take a step back, take a deep breath, and look at it from a less-biased point of view: we are living in a perpetual coincidence.
The fact that you two dated: coincidence.
The fact that you and your friend met? Coincidence.
Had one of those events never happened, your friend and your ex dating wouldn’t have been a drop in the bucket. Of course, if you see the two of them at a romantic dinner 2 days after the Big Event, you’ve got every right to be hurt, confused, and angry. However, if your friend and your ex happen to reunite and fall for each other, hey…. statute of limitations. There’s really nothing you can do, so you might as well move on and be happy for them. “Be the bigger man,” “don’t cry over spilt milk,” etc. etc. etc.
Hope this helps, Hailey, and good luck!