Stay clear of their exes but if you must date any of your friend’s ex, stick to the guidelines [below] to avoid stories that touch.
A young lady sent me a message last week asking for advice. She was angry that her friend recently started dating her ex boyfriend. She felt betrayed that her friend would even give her ex who broke her heart time to make his intentions known.
This lady doesn’t want to continue her relationship with her friend of over ten years because of her new relationship with her ex boyfriend. She wanted to know if she was wrong for showing her friend the door even when she has never given her any reason to doubt her loyalty.
When it comes to dating, many people state that they would never date a friend’s ex. They wholeheartedly believe that it’s wrong, disrespectful, and if a friend did that to them, they would never talk to that person again. They believe this is something everybody knows, that they are just following the rules.
Unfortunately, life is very unpredictable and your friend can end up falling in love with your ex. If you think about it well, you are dating somebody’s ex, somebody is dating your ex and you will also marry somebody’s ex. You don’t expect your dates to come into your life completely free of prior relationship.
In relationships, many people’s back stories will be tangled and intertwined at one point or another. I know a lady who dated and married her best friend’s off and on boyfriend for almost a year before they finally broke up. Even though her friend felt she shouldn’t have dated him, they are happy now and have two children.
No matter where you are on the dating scene, dating a friend’s ex can absolutely be done without sacrificing your friendship. You just have to be open, honest and wise about your dealings with the two people involved in the matter and of course, follow some guidelines.
If you are dating your friend’s ex, don’t gossip. It’s common to assume that anything shared with you is by default shared with your partner as well; however, your friend might be much less comfortable speaking to you in confidence if she thought the details of her personal life were going to be relayed to someone she used to love.
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Keep your friend’s secrets. The reverse is also true; no matter how much you love discussing your boyfriend with your girls, his ex can probably live without hearing the details of his current sex life. Save it for your diary or for anyone who didn’t date him.
You don’t have to trash talk your friend or the ex. It’s okay to come to your partner for advice if you are arguing with your friend, or vice versa, but absolutely resist the urge to belittle or insult one of them to the other. This can be extremely tempting if they ended on bad terms and you know you will find a sympathetic ear.
However, in order to maintain a healthy relationship with both of them, it’s crucial that you don’t take sides in their breakup or casting either one as the bad guy, even months or years after the fact. If you need to vent about one of them, find a neutral party.
You need to respect boundaries without making assumptions. For instance, if your friend doesn’t want to go to parties where her ex will be in attendance, don’t pressure her. But don’t assume she doesn’t want an invite if you haven’t asked.
In general, allow your friend and your sweetheart to decide how much contact they want with each other, and don’t push them to associate if they are not into it. Don’t push them back into each other’s arms and start crying wolf later if they rekindle their love. Remember that you can love them both without them necessarily having to enjoy each other. Set aside time for each of them and honor each relationship separately. Don’t drag your lover along on girls’ night out if your friend will be present and don’t invite your friend to what is supposed to be a romantic dinner at home.
If you hooked up with your friend’s ex, comparison is a bad idea. Don’t ask your man if you are prettier, smarter and a better cook than his last girlfriend. Don’t do this especially if his last girlfriend is the person you call your friend or best friend.
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No matter what his answer is, it’s going to make things weird. Be- sides, comparing yourself to any- body even if you come out ahead is going to make you feel bad, be- cause basing your self-esteem on where you stand relative to someone else is not healthy.
So don’t seek out comparisons if you are dating your friend’s ex, and if your lover brings up the topic, tell him you are not interested in hearing it. You and your friend are not in competition, except when you are actually playing scrabble.
You don’t have to be paranoid. Don’t try to keep your boyfriend and your friend from associating because you are afraid they still have feelings for each other, and don’t constantly seek reassurance that that’s not the case.
Remind yourself that your guy is with you because he likes you and you are awesome, not because he’s biding his time until your friend takes him back. You have to also trust that your friend is happy you have found someone you love and she’s not plotting to sabotage your love.
And don’t use jealousy or insecurity over their past relationship to excuse irrational or controlling behavior on your part. Of course, if your sweetie gives you a legitimate reason to believe he’s untrustworthy, get out of the relationship, but if there’s really nothing wrong, don’t create problems where none exist.
Don’t pry into the relationship of your friend and their ex. It may be tempting ask your friend to analyze what happened between the two of them so that you can avoid making the same mistakes, but resist that urge.
In the same manner, don’t grill your boyfriend on what went wrong or insist that he account for his behavior throughout the entire time they dated. Their relationship is between them; it’s not your cautionary tale.
If they choose to share details with you, that’s fine and you don’t need to find out more than they wish to disclose so don’t push it. Your relationship and theirs are separate things, and you don’t need to know anything they don’t care to tell you. Face your new relationship and build it.
You must also recognize that some exes really are off-limits. If someone seriously mistreated your friend which include physical, emotional and psychological abuse, as well as lying, infidelity, manipulation and stealing, don’t date him, no matter how awesome he looks and sounds.
This has nothing to do with trying to change a man situation, but it has everything to do with the fact that, by choosing to build a relationship with someone who treated her horribly, you are telling your friend you don’t think what he did to her was all that bad. Just walk away.
There are lots of people out there who are kind, loving and handsome and who don’t traumatize anyone they care about. Set the precedent that people who are awful to your friends are people who don’t get to see you naked, and your life will be the better because of it.
Ladies, don’t be desperate. You must not marry before this year ends. Stay true to your girlfriends. Stay clear of their exes but if you must date any of your friend’s ex, stick to the guidelines above to avoid stories that touch.
Don’t go anywhere near your friend’s ex if both your friend and the ex still love each other. He might use you as a rebound and you will be the loser at the end of the day. You may also end up losing your friend forever. Be wise!