Should You Date Your Friend’s Ex?

It’s an unwritten rule in guy and girl code that your friend’s ex is strictly off limits, and for good reason. Imagine your friend being the best man or maid of honor at your wedding and having them make a toast reminiscent of Ray J’s “I Hit It First.” Talk about awkward. It’s just easier to abide by these understood guidelines to love, even if that means depriving someone of their happily ever after. But when it comes to love, there are no set rules and codes; there’s only what life presents you with. So to make an awkward situation like this less dramatic, here are a few Do’s and Don’ts if ever you find yourself crushing on your friend’s ex.

DO evaluate the extent of their relationship. Was it a two-year relationship filled with laughter and promises of forever before its tumultuous end? Or was it a one-night stand that extended for a few weeks? These are questions you need to ask yourself before you pursue anything with you friend’s ex. Because the more serious the relationship was, the more reluctant you should be.

DO evaluate the extent of your friendship. If you decide that you want to start something new with your friend’s ex, just know there may be consequences, namely losing that friend. They may feel that the loyalty the two of you should have shared due to your friendship is being betrayed by your going after someone they used to be involved with.  If you were just acquaintances, then you really didn’t have any loyalty to them and ruining your friendship won’t be much of a loss. But, if that’s your best friend – the one who nursed you back to health after hangovers and had no problems jumping into fights with anyone that opposed you – you have to wonder, is it really worth it?

DON’T get with them just for a one-night stand. Although you are both consenting adults, you should also try to make mature decisions about the situation. You could sleep with your friend’s ex, but then what happens the morning after? Will you tell your friend? Will you continue sleeping with them? The level of deceit and betrayal is paramount when you go behind your friend’s back, especially if it was just for a quick lay. You could jeopardize your friendship all because you didn’t want to stop and think about the consequences.

DO ask your friend for their consent. No, they are not together anymore, but your friend could still have feelings for their ex. Seeing you dating them could open fresh wounds for them, depending on the circumstances of the breakup. If you really are feeling their ex and want to pursue a relationship with them, keep your friend in mind and ask if they are okay with it. They may say no, at which point you need to choose which is more important to you: their friendship or a shot at love.

DON’T involve your friend in your new relationship. Whether you got consent from your friend or not, it’s best to not involve them in your relationship with their ex, at least in the beginning. Sure, the two of you used to share all the little details of your budding romances before, but in this case, it’s not the best idea. Let them warm up to the idea of the two of you dating first. Then if they initiate a conversation about your relationship, speak cautiously about it. They could be really interested, or they could just be attempting to be polite. At any rate, it’s best that you leave them out of your relationship.

DON’T bring up the past relationship in your new one. Everyone has a past when they come into a new relationship. The difference in this situation is that you know their past, because it involves your friend. It’s already awkward enough; don’t give that elephant in your relationship more attention than needed. Leave the past where it belongs and focus on the relationship at hand because that’s what’s most important.

Feature Image via Madame Noire

(via Elite DC Mag)

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