Sometimes when you develop feelings they happen to be for your friend’s ex. But, pursuing these feelings might not always be worth it.
Some friends might be cool with you dating their ex, but other friends may feel it’s crossing the line. Here are some potential red flags to consider if you’re trying to decide whether or not dating someone your friend has dated is a good idea.
Your friend is still struggling with the breakup.
Whether the relationship went down in flames or if two people who truly loved each other realised that things just weren’t going to work out, most breakups can be tough. And some can be worse than others.
If your friend is still reeling over their split, it’s best to be there for them – not move on to their ex yourself.
“If your friend isn’t over it and is still actively requiring your support, it’s not very ethical to go in,” Brandy Engler, Ph.D., author of “The Women on My Couch,” told Women’s Health.
Your friend didn’t give you permission.
Before dating a friend’s ex, you should have a conversation with your friend to see if they’re OK with it. If they’re not, it may be best to respect their wishes – or risk losing a relationship with them.
“Yes, there are exceptions, but in most cases, the friend will lie,” relationship expert Karabo Libate told The Daily Sun. “They don’t want to feel stupid, they really do want to be OK with it, or they want to try and avoid unnecessary drama.”
So if your friend gives you permission to date their ex, be cautious and take it with a few grains of salt.
They can’t stand to be around each other.
If your friend and their ex can’t stand being around each other, it may mean they haven’t gotten over the relationship or the relationship ended on a bad note.
It can be quite difficult to deal with your friends not liking your partner– especially if the partner is someone they used to date.
Your friend seems defensive when their ex comes up in conversation.
If your friend keeps jumping to their ex’s defence or brings them up even when their ex isn’t the focus of the conversation, they may not be over the relationship.
“If someone constantly feels the need to defend their ex, specifically at times when their ex isn’t the center of conversation it could mean that they aren’t quite over them,” Weena Cullins, LCMFT, a licensed clinical marriage and family therapist and relationship expert, previously told INSIDER.
Your friend still has feelings for them.
If your friend still has feelings for their ex and had told you so, that’s a red flag that dating this person is a bad idea.
It can be tough to move on from a relationship when those feelings still exist, and it could cause tension if you make a move before your friend has moved on.
You’re not sure of your own feelings.
If you think you have feelings for your friend’s ex but aren’t sure, you may want to take some time to think it over before you consider making a move.
“People often idealize things they only see in ‘highlight reel’ form. Your friend’s partner may seem awesome on a Saturday night when that’s all you see of them, but a true connection (regardless of how you met) is always tougher to find,” Dr. Tibbals, a sex sociologist told Thrillist. “The best thing is to be honest with yourself regarding the nature of your feelings.”
They dated for a long time.
If your friend and their ex were together for a long period of time you might want to reconsider. Chances are, strong feelings developed, and your friend could have a more difficult time getting over their ex.
“If they were together for more than a year, that means there were real emotions involved and dreams for the future,” relationship expert Chantal Heide told Global News.
You and your friend are super close.
Only you can judge how close you and your friend are, but if we’re talking about your best friend or someone you see often, that alone can deter you from dating their ex.
“Situations are not black and white,” dating coach Sebastian Callow told the Telegraph. “My rule of thumb is that it’s fine unless it is a very good friend. If it’s just an acquaintance from work, and he dated a woman you like, they broke up, then there is no reason why you couldn’t date her.”
You’re not willing to risk your friendship.
Before deciding if this relationship is worth pursuing, it’s important to think about what losing your friend would mean to you.
“It doesn’t feel good to see your ex with someone new, whether you’re over him or not. It’s worse when it’s with one of your good friends,” marriage counselor Rachel Khambule told Daily Sun. “Also, there’s a very good chance that you could lose your friend here, and you have to ask yourself if he is worth it.”
If you’re not willing to risk it – especially if this friend is someone who’s been by your side through it all – it probably isn’t worth it to date their ex, even if you feel like your friend is cool with it.
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