When you’re dating and you fall for a friend’s ex-boyfriend girlfriend, trouble could be brewing. Some people believe that you should never date a friend’s past partner, but that’s not necessarily true. Yet there are certainly lots of factors to gauge before deciding to date a friend’s former flame.
So You Like Your Friend’s Ex – Now What?
If you’ve fallen for your friend’s past significant other, you need to consider a lot of things before moving forward. First and foremost, you need to be certain that your friend’s past lover is also interested in you. If you make a move to start dating them and they turn you down, you could still anger your friend. Then you come out a loser not one, but two fronts. Therefore, you really shouldn’t risk damaging your friendship unless you’re dealing with a sure thing.
How Did They Break Up?
Once you’re certain that the object of your affection shares your feelings, you need to consider your friend’s standpoint very carefully. How did his or her relationship end with said person? Did your friend do the dumping, or were they the dump-ee? Was the breakup an ugly or fairly amicable one? Has your friend ever hinted to you that he or she is still attracted to them? Have they mentioned hoping for a reconciliation with this person?
If your friend did the dumping because he or she was looking to move on, you might be okay. Likewise, you can move forward if that friend has moved on themselves and has a new boyfriend or girlfriend. If your friend was dumped and suffered a lot of pain as a result, or if he/she is still mooning after their former flame, you need to hold up. Even if he or she has found a new boyfriend or girlfriend, if their breakup with this ex was particularly messy, you should still give serious pause.
Preserving Your Friendship
The next thing to consider is the state of your friendship. Just how close of friends are you? You must acknowledge that, regardless of how the break up happened, there’s still a chance your friend could become very angry with you. They may even break off your friendship. If the thought of losing this particular friend is too much to bear, then you may have to pass on this romantic opportunity. If this friend isn’t particularly close to you, however, you may find that dating their former partner is more valuable to you than your friendship with them. Just be certain that you know where you stand and assess the risks before proceeding with dating the old lover.
Pursuing A Relationship With The Ex
Should you decide that you are going to start dating your friend’s ex, you need to be very careful about how you handle it. Don’t try to hide it from your friend—that will make things far worse. Lying about or covering it up will only give your friend more things to be mad about. Additionally, it makes you look bad to everyone involved. You’ll seem sneaky and like a backstabber. Instead, be open and up front. Pull your friend aside and let him or her know what’s going on.
Tell your friend that you hope he or she will be understanding, but that you also completely get it if he or she is angry with you. Be sensitive to his or her feelings. You may want to avoid hanging out with your friend as a couple at first. Ease your friend into the situation. If your friend really can’t deal with it, don’t force the issue. Let him or her know that you hope he/she can come around to the idea, then give your friend a lot of space. Hopefully they will eventually be able to move on, and you can all come to terms with you and the former partner dating sooner rather than later.