Monday, June 20, 2011

Can You Date A Friend's Ex?

I'm basically going to be rambling so if you're all about subject/verb agreement and grammatical correctness, then you probably won't like this post. I encourage you to keep reading, but if you choose not to, I understand.
Can you ever date a friend's ex? It's a simple enough question, and depending on who you are, the answer is probably just as simple.  I feel like you have to make your decision on a case by case basis.

Part of me feels like it's okay to date a friend's ex. All single people are fair game, right?  Who am I to tell you that you can't date a guy I used to date? If we're not ever getting back together, have at it.

Another part of me feels like you shouldn't date a friend's ex because it can create drama. It's hard for people to come to terms with sharing the same men/women as their friends. I totally understand that.

Another part of me feels like the length of the former relationship should determine whether or not he/she is off limits. If it's someone your friend dated for like 3 years or more and they didn't have an amicable breakup, you should probably keep it moving. We all have that ONE person that we just really, really don't want our friends to date. I understand that. I certainly have a person who falls into that category. However, is that fair? I'm leaning toward no.

I have this group of homegirls who have all fallen out with one particular girl because she's dating one of the girls exes.  I knew there was some tension between them, but I didn't find out the reason until this weekend. We'll call them Girl X and Girl O. (I didn't know all of them when Girl X was dating the guy, so I thought Girl O had just found her a new man)
Girl X dated this guy for 3 years, about 10 years ago. They didn't have a friendly breakup and they haven't really spoken since then.
Girl O via Facebook, reconnected with him. They started talking and apparently they have a lot of chemistry and etc. She figured it's been ten years, so Girl X would be over it. She figured wrong. I'm not sure how long she had been dating the guy, but they didn't go "Facebook public" until around November of last year. I'm sure she didn't come to this decision lightly. She knew there would be some negative feedback from some people. But, she loves him and at this point she's all in.

As I stated above, I can see this from so many different angles. I honestly understand where both of these women are coming from. But, if you put a gun to my head and made me choose just one side, I'd have to side with Girl O.

 We all know how hard it is to find someone with whom you are compatible. As far as I'm concerned, your dating pool needs to be as big as hell if you want to give yourself an honest chance at finding love.  I know it's hard to separate emotions from these situations, but I'm a little older now and I try to be as rational as possible. If you know you're not ever going to be with a person, what gives you the right to tell them who they can and cannot date? It's basically like you're taking ownership over someone and really, you have no right to do that. I know it can hurt, and yeah pain sucks, but sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture. The thing is, most people have a lot in common with their friends which makes it highly plausible that a guy could be attracted to more than one person in your group.  Each day I'm reminded that as big as the world seems, it really is a small place. I don't know if these two girls will ever get past this. I do know it's unfortunate that pretty much everyone else in the group is upset with her about it. That speaks volumes. She's in a situation where she's potentially lost friends/sorority sisters for good. She deserves a lot of credit for pursuing this relationship when you think about all that she's endured and possibly will endure because of her choice.   I don't know if Girl O and the guy will ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. I do know, she wants to try, and that's admirable.   


  1. I'm with Mickey Fickey Girl O!!! I JUST had this conversation with my homegirl who I wasn't trying to date and wouldn't ever, but we were talking hypotheticals and she was like - we couldn't date because of friendship with my ex from....wait for it - 1998. It was 13 years ago - in college when I didn't know what the hell I was doing. Now, yeah - I get it, they are great friends and no, we didn't have a bad breakup (and yes, the girl did want to marry, not vice versa though). But dammit - she (and those girls) need to get over that ish.

    My two cents is - find love. I mean there HAS to be a statute of limitations on everything short of dating someone who you were in the wedding party for as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't holla at anyone who was MARRIED (maybe engaged) to a good friend of mine. outside of that, I'm not waiting on that and I'm not gonna be mad if anyone else hollers at my old chicks. I had my shot. Anything else is just simply selfish.

  2. one caveat - if this girl was friends with the girl and undermined the relationship in any way, then maybe, but still - it's 10 FRIGGIN' years. If she waited that long to put the plan in motion, then I say kudos for waiting that long to spare her friends' feelings and screw all those girls who are not her friends anymore.

    I can get one girl getting mad and saying screw it, but all the chicks. Please...this is why I'm glad I'm a dude. I've seen it happen and every one of my crew said - get over that ish, B. We didn't necessarily all agree that it should have gone down, but true friendships are hard to come by and relationships are harder. Took about 1 week for it not to be an issue...(saying prayer of thanks to God and my mom for making sure I came out a man.)

  3. The thing is Girl X and Girl O werent even friends when Girl X dated him. That makes me lean even more on Girl O's side. Bottom line for me is there's clearly a shift in everyone's life, so youve gotta make decisions that best suit you. It sucks that it hurts her feelings, but life is too short to be worrying about all that not like they were best friends. The sorority is what brought them together. They didn't randomly call each other, nor did they share deep dark secrets with each other. I think Girl O recognizes that life will go on whether Girl X is around or not. It does suck that the other friends feel like they have to choose. They really dont, but they don't see it like that. Forgive any typos. I'm on the iPod.

  4. hmmm i would say that it may not be about length of time. One of my exes who i dated 4 years ago for almost 3 years could date one of my friends and I would be happy for him and her. he and I didn't work and I never really loved him. However, if one of my friends dated my ex from 9 years ago (whom I dated for only 1 year but was in LOVE with), we would ALL have a problem lol. I guess it's a matter of how much you loved your ex.

    Also, I'm starting to side with girl O because she and girl x weren't even friends when they dated and apparently, girl O and the guy are in love. I don't think you can help who you fall in love with sometimes (although married people and friends current significant others are off limits) so if they really feel that this may be it, then she may feel that it's worth losing a friend or two over. It's sad but she she has every right to make that choice. Good luck to her

  5. My own personal rule: I will not date a friend's ex unless my friend marries someone else. Once the friend is married, they no longer have grounds to have feelings for anyone else. That is the only way that the statute of pussy limitations expires.