LIFESTYLE & RELATIONSHIP: Is It OK to Date Your Friend’s Ex?

But every once in a while, the universe speaks to a person and lets him/ her know that, although it seems wrong at first, there might be a bigger reason your friend dated this person in the first place. Maybe, it was to connect the two of you, instead. Such a situation, of course, can be tricky, and must be handled with care.

As with most situations, the decision that’s right for you will depend on your personal relationships, morals, values and beliefs. Some factors must be considered

• How long have you been friends and how close are you? Essentially, how much do you value this friendship and want to maintain it?

• What was the ending of their relationship like?

• How long has it been since their relationship ended? Essentially, how much tension still exists between them, if any?

• How well and for how long have you known his ex? Have you known him or her as your friend’s boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse? Or is this someone you never met before and you have no experience of being with them together as a couple? Most importantly, what are your intentions?

Be prepared for consequences you might not like

If you really consider your buddy a true friend, then clearly you’ve given this much thought prior to deciding to move forward. Because you think it’s worth it to pursue a relationship with his/her ex, it’s important to be honest – with both yourself and your friend.

Before you go any further, you first need to ask yourself if this person, your friend’s ex, is really worth your friendship because that’s a risk you’ll be taking.

Sometimes, you must bear in mind that if you’re going to go for it, you must be prepared to deal with feelings of betrayal or anger. The more you can deal with and be upfront with all the web of emotions, the more your friendship has a chance of not only surviving but deepening.

How to bring up the subject

Beginning the discussion with your friend might be scary, at first, but to prevent any enmity between yourself and your friend, it will be important to get the green light from your friend.

However, how you ask will make all the difference. Instead of simply asking if it’s okay, you should instead ask a more thought-provoking and conversation-stimulating question. For example, How uncomfortable would it be if I were to date him or her?’”

Again, once you decide to proceed in getting closer to this person, try following these tips when having the conversation with your friend:

• Start with your intention. Tell your friend that your friendship is important to you and you want to maintain it. And that you want to bring up something a little uncomfortable. Ask him/her if it’s a good time to talk.

• Share vulnerability. Something like, “I notice I’m feeling drawn to get closer to him or her and I’m concerned about how you feel about that.”

• Let him/her talk and share whatever is on his mind. Just listen.

• Be sure to be appreciative for his time and willingness to hear you out.

It might make more sense than you think.

Of course, seeing your ex with a friend could be hurtful at first. However, remember to keep the bigger picture in mind. According to Lori D. Salkin, a UK professional matchmaker and dating coach who often encourages setting people up with their friends’ exes – if a person is not destined to be with someone, you should be happy to see that your friend has found happiness, even where you couldn’t because you and your ex clearly weren’t right for each other. If nothing else, how the two of you met and your relationship story could make for a great wedding toast.

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