Dating 101: Dating a Friend's Ex

This past year I haven’t had much time to visit home. With moving into a new apartment, dealing with finals and attempting to start a new job and make new friends, a 3-hour road trip home seemed almost impossible.

However, my last visit home was amazing. I hung out with my girlfriends at all the old high school hot spots and visited with my family (in its entirety, which has not happened in years!). I was greeted with super-cheery “How are you?!”‘s and too many hugs to count, but I could tell that everyone felt a little uneasy. Nobody wanted to ask about it and frankly, I didn’t really want to talk about it.

The elephant in the room was the fact that my ex (that one of five years) and my ex-best friend had started dating. It sounds so familiar, but let me tell you firsthand, it’s not as easy to deal with as it sounds.

Several factors have convinced me that I can’t really be angry. I initiated the break-up. I started dating someone new. I had been pretty awful at keeping in touch with my friend. But regardless, the fact that these two could really hook-up and maintain a relationship really, really stung. She watched me suffer through five years of up’s and down’s with this guy and now – she’s really going to date him? It honestly makes me feel sick to my stomach.

It’s been over a month now and the girl (let’s call her Ashley) has even confirmed this relationship on Facebook. I can’t look at anyone’s MySpace page without seeing comments involving the two of them in some kind of plans, or see pictures of my favorite group of friends from home with his arms around her. I can’t help but feel that a huge part of my life has been stolen from me. Things will never be the same back home—and maybe that is what really irks me.

I advise anyone who falls for a friend’s ex to seriously evaluate the situation. The friendship will never, ever be the same. I will never be able to look at this girl (or my ex, for that matter) and not imagine that they secretly wanted each other the whole time. Any chance of a friendship in the future between any of us is completely gone. I want them both to be happy. And maybe it’s selfish of me, but I’d rather they be happy with other people than with each other.

Has this ever happened to any of you? Have you ever dated a friend’s ex? Do you think it’s okay? And if so, under what circumstances?

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