Should You Date Your Ex’s Friend?
A break-up is a time of great confusion and uncertainty. But once you’ve had time to get over it—and unless you were deeply in love you will do so quite quickly—you will immediately go back on the prowl. And you cannot find better hunting ground than the one you’re already familiar with. That is, the girls you know will be the girls you first chat up.
Your ex’s friends will be among them. One or two of them may even be game to the idea of going out with you. But is this right? Will it only lead to more trouble? Should you date your ex’s friends?
Let’s step back for a moment.
First, there is the obvious distinction between dating and fucking. A serious breakup throws everyone’s emotions into upheaval. You may have been close to one or more of her friends, and your breakup may have affected them as much as it has you and your ex. It is quite easy to get caught up in the moment. It is possible for a conversation or argument with one of her friends to lead to the bedroom. This happens all the time. But if she wants to take things beyond that, you really must ask yourself whether she is someone you can trust. What kind of a woman dates her friend’s ex? In the sisterhood, this is one of the gravest forms of betrayal possible. And if she can do that to a good friend, imagine what she can do to you.
However, you need not look at the situation through such a dark lens. There may be genuine attraction. You would not have slept with her if you were not attracted to her, and perhaps sleeping with her makes you realize that you want to date her.
You should go for it if that is what you both want. But go into the situation with eyes wide open. You should ask yourself the following questions:
It is important to deal honestly with this question. Lovers are not as disposable as they are sometimes thought to be. If you went out with your ex for a long time, she touched you in ways that you may have only just started to understand. Deep down inside you may want her back. You may want to monitor who she’s seeing and what she’s getting up to at nights.
Going out with one of her good friends puts you in the perfect position to do those things. If you are only dating your ex’s friend as a way of staying close to her, and insinuating yourself into her life, you are heading for trouble. The situation can only end badly for you, for your ex, and for the friend.
You must also discern the true intentions of the friend. If she shows reticence, hesitation, anxiety, and outright panic at the prospect of making your relationship known to your ex, then you can be pretty sure that she is genuine in her affection for you. She wants to be with you, but she doesn’t want to hurt her friend—that is a natural way to respond to the situation.
However, if she immediately flaunts the fact that the two of you are going out, if she has made everyone and their mothers aware that she’s got you in her grip, then you have a problem. It is a sure indication that there is unfinished business between her and your ex, and you are a mere pawn in their dispute.
If you are a very private person, you should really think twice about dating your ex’s friend. Your love life will become the main topic of conversation on social media. There will be a camp for your ex, a camp for her friend, and absolutely no one for you. All of your business will be spilled out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and you will be forced to watch as a bystander as the most intimate details of your love life are discussed, debated, and examined.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.