FORLLAH asks: Is it really right for me to date my friend’s ex-boyfriend?
Hi FORLLAH –
This is always difficult. It’s difficult when children become friends with kids their friends don’t like anymore, it’s difficult when adults divorce and make their friends (or, worst of all, their children) choose between them, and yes, it’s hard when you’re dating and you’re interested in your friend’s ex!
We dogs simply do not have this problem. We are so much better than you humans at this! If I was playing with Bruno the Akita yesterday and got annoyed with his yelping and decided I didn’t want to play with him anymore, and you went in and played with him today… I wouldn’t care at all!
But you guys are different. Or, and here’s my big point, SOME of you are different.
I hear all the time about couples that break up, but while they were dating one of them met the friend of the other one, and afterward they and the friend get together and date, and marry, and everyone gets along just fine. Why? Well, the reason it didn’t work between the first couple doesn’t apply to the friend. For example, let’s say one boy needs tons of attention from whoever he’s dating. He checks in on his beloved with a text or a phone call eight times a day. And this drives her nuts! She likes him, but she’s more comfortable talking once a day, and having the rest of the time to do other things. Now he has a best friend who also likes a bit of independence. The couple breaks up because they fight so much about the amount of contact, the friend asks her out, and they get along just great, reaching out to each other every night and no more. And the first boy, he’s very happy, because he likes them both and gets to have them both in his life still, and now can find a girlfriend who calls him every half-hour!
The issue here is openness. There’s nothing wrong with dating your friend’s ex, but their feelings might be hurt if you don’t talk to them about it first. Ask them how they’d feel, if they’d be okay with it. Most people try to act cool about such things, so they’ll probably say it’s fine (maybe even if it’s not totally true).
But if your friend says no, they just can’t handle the idea… then you have to make a very tough decision. You might decide it’s worth losing your friend to date this boy. And to hope your friend later comes back around to accepting you. Or that the friendship is worth more than your romantic hopes with their ex. And with this question, there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s just what works best for you.
But again, most likely, as long as your friend feels that you’re respecting them, and taking their feelings into consideration… you’re probably going to get permission.
And when that happens, my advice is to jump into that new dating relationship with all the excitement you’ve got! And see where it goes!
All my best,