When it comes to dating, it’s usually best practice to not go after your friend’s ex. However, life happens, and you may find yourself attracted to someone your friends have dated in the past.
There are a few reasons to consider your options before you really go for a friend’s ex, but if you are still interested, here are a few things to think about before you ask them out on that first date:
- Examine your judgement: since your friend dated this person first, you’ve likely heard all sorts of things about them. You might have heard the good, the bad, and the ugly, but have you heard the truth? Every relationship has its ups and downs but consider that you may not have heard all sides of the story just from your friend. Additionally, consider the fact that your friendship might be in decline if you date their ex.
- Think about the consequences: if you date your friend’s ex, are you choosing sides? Your friendship might be irretrievably damaged by this choice. Friendship is stronger than most relationships.
- Talk to your friend: if you’re really considering dating a friend’s ex, talk to your friend first. This gets any bad blood out in the open so that you can have an open and honest discussion about both of your feelings. If they aren’t comfortable with you dating their ex, really do consider their side of things before you jump into the deep end.
- It’s all about timing: breakups are difficult, no matter how long the relationship lasted. If your friend and their partner have just broken up, don’t run in to pick up the pieces. Give the relationship time to cool down and for your friend and their ex to get back to healthy, comfortable places. Long-term relationships should be given plenty of time before you consider going after a friend’s ex.
- On again, off again: some relationships start and stop, then start and stop again. If your friend is in the habit of breaking up and getting back together with their partner over and over, make sure you aren’t going to get caught up in the cycle. Give the relationship time to really be over before you make a move.
- Assess the relationship: if your friend broke up with their partner, ask yourself why. Were their reasons valid? Are they emotionally charged after the breakup? If their partner broke up with them, they likely are sad and angry. They might not react well to your interest in their ex if their breakup was bad.
- Wait for new opportunities: your friend is much more likely to be ok with you dating their ex if they have moved on to a new relationship first. The excitement of having a new person in your life makes it easier to forget the way a different relationship may have ended. Everyone gets over a relationship in their own time, so don’t rush your friend even if you are interested in dating their ex.
In the end, dating your friend’s ex is a judgement call. You have to make sure your friend is going to be ok with your choice and that there will be no harm done to your friendship. There could be consequences to this choice, so make sure you know what you are getting into before you dive into anything serious.