Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's totally cool if I date your ex-boyfriend, right?

We all toss around the sayings "chicks before dicks" and "bros before hos", but not all of us feel the need to abide by them all the time. And sometimes we shouldn't have to. Consider this scenario: let's pretend you've been single for a looooong time, while your bestie is married or in a committed long-term relationship. After months and years of giving up on the whole dating thing, you finally meet someone you like...but there's one slight catch. He's your bestie's ex-boyfriend.

What the fuck do you do? Are you allowed to date him? She is after all married or on her way to getting married. Does that still make him off limits? Is she allowed to get pissed? And if she does, are you the bad friend or is she the bad friend?

This is a dating conundrum. I know some of you might think that as long as she's in love with someone else, all her exes can swim in your dating pool, but that's not the case. Which is why I've come up with these helpful rules on whether or not dating him makes you a terrible person. You're welcome:

If the EX is actually more of a high school crush-- the guy she pined after Freshman-Senior year, the guy she never got to kiss, the guy she still Facebook stalks once in awhile...THEN he's not totally off limits, but you are kind of a bitch for going after him. I know what you're thinking. This was HIGH SCHOOL and they NEVER actually dated. And I've been single FOREVER. These are all valid points, but there's something a little messed up about getting with the one guy your best friend always wanted to get with and never did. It's a power play. Especially if that guy is still hot. If he's turned douchey and went to rehab for Crystal meth like the love of my high school life did, then by all means: Congratulations! You can date him!

If the EX and her dated for less than a year and she broke up with him. He's totally all yours. Don't even feel guilty about it. They weren't together for a long time and she broke up with him. Congrats! Her trash is your treasure. She can privately feel weird about it, but she's not allowed to tell you that.

If the EX and her lived together. WTF?! You can't date that guy! They LIVED together. That guy is practically her ex-husband. Don't go there. It's just not healthy. You will probably end up comparing your relationship with their relationship on a regular basis. And how annoying would it be in the early stages when your bestie knows your current boyfriend better than you do? Trust me, bitch will make all sorts of comments to make sure you know just how well she got to know him.

If the EX dumped her. This is also kind of a bitchy power play. Something you might do if you and your best friend are ultra-competitive with each other. It's like saying: he didn't want you, but he wants me. This is only okay if they were together for less than three months. If they dated any longer than that and he broke her heart, then I'm sorry, but he's off limits.

If the EX was actually your friend or your crush first, but he ended up dating HER. You should not only date this guy, but you should have full on PDA sessions in front of your bestie with him. Karma's a bitch.

If the EX and her broke up purely due to circumstances- like he moved away for grad school or she took a job in Europe. I would stay away from this dude purely for your sake. Because somewhere in the back of their minds, they might both be wondering what could have been if their timing didn't suck.

If the EX is just one out of thirty plus guys your bestie has dated.  If girlfriend gets around or is one of those chicks that goes from one boyfriend to another, then not all of her exes can be that meaningful and it's just not fair for you to have that many guys you're not allowed to date, because she dated them first.  Single Cool Guys are an endangered species, she's not allowed to hoard them! 

If the EX was more of a friends with benefits. She might still be a little weirded out by the situation or wonder why he just wanted to sleep with her and wants to date you BUT you're totally allowed to date and/or marry this guy if you want to. That said, and this applies to all of the above, it's just weird to fuck a guy that's also fucked your bestie. I'm proud to say my besties and I have never had the same hot beef injections.

If the EX and her broke up more than ten years ago. I'm going to call ten years the statute of limitations on Exes being off limits. People evolve and change enough in ten years that it shouldn't matter UNLESS...

the EX is still that ex that she talks about. The one that got away. The one she secretly Googles every so often. The one she's tempted to catch up with over a cup of coffee, even though she knows she probably shouldn't. The one that a little part of her will always love. Stay away from that dude. Unless of course you secretly hate your bestie and you're objective is to end the friendship forever. Then totally date him.

What do you guys think? When are exes off limits and when are they fair game? Comment below!

6 comments:

  1. I might be a terrible person. Really. But I am also close to 40 years old and a bit more accepting these days of who and what I am.

    That said: I have gotten involved (either for a significant period of time or for one night) with A) the ex of a friend who was heartbroken at the relationship's demise even though she broke up with him B)the ex-husband of a friend whom SHE dumped after a five-year marriage; C) the ex of another friend whom SHE dumped after about a year and a half of dating him; D)the ex of a former coworker whom I was no longer *really* in touch with and who was actually fine with it when she found out about it; D) the live-in ex of a friend who was miserable throughout most of their relationship and dumped him; E) a guy whom a friend of mine fooled around with when we were teenagers (doesn't really count but I figured I would include it).

    My feeling has always been that nobody owns anyone else and when something is over, it's over. These are people I happened to get along with for one reason or another, and they were people I already knew and liked. According to this post, I have broken countless friendship rules. But I simply don't see it that way from where I'm sitting. And I would never expect any of my friends to think anyone was "off limits" because I had been involved with them in some way. In fact, I have encouraged friends of mine to go for guys I am no longer with.

    Again, maybe I'm a terrible person. But perhaps it is just another way of looking at things. (And, yes, there have been shared hot-beef injections, but that doesn't freak me out in the slightest; unless you are sleeping with a virgin, there have always been others before you.)

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  2. I noticed a lettering issue after I posted. The selected section of the above should read:

    A) the ex of a friend who was heartbroken at the relationship's demise even though she broke up with him B) the ex-husband of a friend whom SHE dumped after a five-year marriage; C) the ex of another friend whom SHE dumped after about a year and a half of dating him; D) the ex of a former coworker whom I was no longer *really* in touch with and who was actually fine with it when she found out about it; E) the live-in ex of a friend who was miserable throughout most of their relationship and dumped him; F) a guy whom a friend of mine fooled around with when we were teenagers (doesn't really count but I figured I would include it).

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  3. Thanks for your comment, Iris! I do think as we get older, a lot of the same rules don't always apply-- but my question is in all those A-F situations, were any of your friends not cool with it and were they always aware of it? I consider most of the guys I've dated free game, but i certainly know there are some guys that my friends have dated that are absolutely off limits, because they were hugely significant relationships to them and i just would never go there. I also have a tendency to also automatically not find a guy attractive in that way once they've dated my friends. Are there any situations that you consider bad form when it comes to the friend's exes? Like say if B was dumped by her husband instead?

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  4. I will admit that there were a couple of cases in which I never told the friend involved because it wasn't "worth it" (long stories). But, yes, I can understand why some would feel certain cases are "off limits" (for example, if your friend was dumped and left brokenhearted by her husband). BUT -- what if, for whatever reason, you and the dumper husband would make an incredible couple and it just wasn't "meant to be" with your friend (not that I really believe in fate, but you know what I mean)? I still feel like it is hard to expect that anyone could "own" another person once a relationship has ended. Of course I also understand why the dumped friend might feel uncomfortable enough that the friendship would irreparably suffer. And I also get that there are plenty of other guys -- so WHY should you pick the ONE who was in a relationship with your friend that ended badly? But...I guess I just can't get past the feeling that we are all our own people and no one can have any kind of permanent hold on anyone. Of course, I do understand that this is easier said than done when it comes to feelings, which can't really be controlled.

    And it's possible that I should deeply explore my tendency to be attracted to my friends' exes because there may be a deep, disturbing psychological reason behind it. :)

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  5. I don't think there's a disturbing psychological reason behind it, unless of course you hate your friends, LOL. It might just be that these are the guys you're around and that if you and your friends have similar things in common, then it's not that crazy that you would have chemistry with some of these dudes. I totally hear you on the type of situation where the other two people are perfect together, you can't really be the person that stands in the way. But as for flings or one night stands go, I think best to just avoid the friend's exes and dig out the handy reliable vibrator!

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  6. I agree with everything EXCEPT paragraph 7. I don't think it's ever okay to date the guy who dumped/blew off your friend---even if they only dated for a month. He hurt your friend. Be a loyal friend and stand by her.

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