Strictly Taboo?

Yesterday, two of my best friends and I were discussing the etiquette involved in dating a friend’s ex… An interesting topic to clear up with your friends especially when you live in a small town like Colombo where the options are limited and you’ve dated quite a few people already. Both my friends said that they’d have no problem with a friend dating any of their ex boyfriends. Firstly I think that’s easier to say than to deal with in reality. Secondly we’re still pretty young so most of our prior relationships were not all that serious so its easy to say “yeah I have no problem with you dating x, y or z who I dated back in school or dated for six months 5 years ago”, if you know what I mean.

If you are dealing with more serious past relationships, chances are one of you (either you or your ex) were very much in love at the point of breakup and was left heartbroken… either way it sucks for your friend who is now the current girlfriend cos it will always cast a shadow over your new relationship and/or your friendship.

A friend is someone you’ve probably discussed all your prior relationships with, they may have been there for you during your breakups, so for her to later start dating that same person you had long, emotional and sometimes angry conversations about together (even if it was a long time ago) to me, seems awkward. The way I see it its not about the ex.. you’re probably well over him and would have no problem with him moving on and finding happiness with whomever. The problems will come up with your friend… It will always be in the back of her mind that her current boyfriend used to be in love with you. Every time you’re all together there could be misunderstandings, jealousy or suspicion which will ruin both your relationship and your friendship. There are exceptions of course where everyone gets along famously but in my opinion if you really value your friendship don’t go there unless you know for sure it won’t affect your friendship and you can deal with the reality of the situation perfectly well.

Keep in mind that this only applies to exs you’ve had serious relationships with and friends who you really value and love. I for one don’t like the idea of dating a friend’s ex, its just not for me. I see a whole world of new people out there and do not want something complicated in that way. I can honestly say that there’s only one ex of mine who I would hope none of my good friends will ever date because he was the love of my life and I would expect my few closest friends to respect that.

So I figure in dating a friend’s ex, there are a few rules which are crucial…

1. Your friend and the ex involved have to be totally over each other for sure. Preferably they’ve dated others since and their last relationship was not the one they had with each other!

2. You should talk to your friend and ask him/her if it is truly ok with them and if they think it would effect your friendship in any way at all before you start dating the ex (and hope to God they’re being honest).

3. If you were friends with both parties and the breakup was bad don’t get involved unless you are ready to let go of one friendship.

4. Only date a friend’s ex if you are a very secure person who isn’t generally prone to suspicion and jealousy, or else look forward to disaster.

Considering all this I would say just don’t go there unless its true love or something along those lines.. It just doesn’t seem worth the hassle!


~ by Dilruha on April 16, 2008.

6 Responses to “Strictly Taboo?”

  1. good advice Saffron.

  2. You better make sure your friend isn’t the jealous type either. Last thing you want is her/him getting hyper over your failed relationship.

  3. dating a friend’s ex is just a no. baggage, drama, who needs that crap?

  4. Not Enough to Go Around? Saffron your advice totally makes sense but I have to agree with T on this especially because personally I’d rather not take the risk of losing a “sure” friend over a “maybe” love.

  5. “just don’t go there unless its true love or something along those lines..”

    That’s the right piece of advice! 🙂 I wouldn’t date a friend’s ex, but I also feel like the male dynamic is very different from the female one.

  6. Hey Saffron! This is my first comment on ur blog or any blog for that matter!
    I think I would risk dating a friend’s ex if I knew for certain my feelings were strong and there was a good chance things would work out. But like you have said its not always going to be easy managing the potential issues and thats a challenge you will have to deal with.

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