Breaking up is hard to do. But what happens when you break up with someone, and then find out that your best friend has picked up your slack and starts dating your ex? Is dating your best friends ex, ever an acceptable thing to do? Or is it best to let sleeping dogs lie, and not accept leftovers from a friend?
The reality is that when it comes to love, many of the unwritten rules in life seem to be thrown out the window with the baby’s bath water. When emotions like passion take over – it can be very difficult to think rationally. And, consider the scenario where your best friends ex comes to your house to talk. Next thing you know – the two of you are involved in a passionate one-night stand, and you think for a moment, that you have feelings for this person. It happens. Sure. But it is right?
Most people say no. One of the unwritten rules of friendships is that you do your very best to keep the exes out of your future romantic picture. Even though you may have general attraction or feelings toward the person, you have to remember that there are plenty of other fish in the world’s dating sea. Dating your friends ex is the fastest way to cause a rift in the friendship. Perhaps the first question you should ask yourself before jumping in the sack with your best friends ex, is how much you value the friendship? Chances are that even though your friend may say he or she doesn’t care, or may give you permission to do so – down deep they will be reeling from the thoughts of you receiving the sloppy seconds. In some cases, dating the ex is a betrayal to the friendship, especially if the breakup was caused by something like infidelity or was down cold-heartedly. After all, you should be on your exes’ side, and be there to support them through the break-up with a soft shoulder and plenty of bad words to describe the man or woman who broke your friend’s heart.
It’s also important to realize that dating your best friends ex seems to indicate that you may have been harboring feelings for him or her all along. This too, sort of breaks the unwritten rules of friendship. This can lead to your friend losing trust in you, and feeling rather disrespected at the same time. Again, ask yourself how much you value the friendship, over the initial feelings of passion that surface in the beginning of relationships. When those feelings die down, will you miss your friend – or the possibly fleeting relationship more?
Another important thing to realize, is that eventually someone in this thwarted love triangle is going to be hurt. It may be you, it may be your friend, or it may be the ex. Triangular dating situations also tend to cause a heightened sense of jealousy because you already know too much of their history from the mouth of your best friend. Even if you try to push away the conversations you and him or her have had about the relationship in the past, chances are you wont be able to completely erase them. Then comes the wondering and the worrying. Are you as good in bed as your best friend was? How come the ex took my friend out to dinner all the time and only order take out at my house? Why is that when my friend and her ex were together, he (or she) dressed really nice, but now seems less inclined to dress to impress? These little things that crop up in the mind are proof that knowing too much about a lovers past – especially through a best friend, can be deadly in a relationship.
Unfortunately, love often crops up in the strangest gardens. If you feel a romantic pull to an ex of your friend – the best course of action to take is to talk to your friend FIRST! But before you spill the beans, you need to sit back and take a good hard look at your feelings and make sure that the conversation is worth compromising the friendship. Ask your friend how they will feel about it. And try to read through the lines of their response by watching their body language at the time rather than just hearing their words. They may try to hide their true feelings in an attempt to make you happy. If your friend gives you the green light – then proceed with caution. And realize of course, that your friend will probably not want to be involved, understandably so, in the nitty gritty details of your relationship drama from that point forward.
All in all, dating exes of friends is not recommended. There are some things in life that seem to be a no win situation, no matter how many times you spin the story. And this, is certainly one of them. If you decide to sacrifice the friendship for the love – then hopefully what you will be left with is something truly worth it. And this is something that only time will tell.