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To date a friend's ex...?

(86 Posts)
WhoBU Fri 28-Jun-13 16:43:29

Have you ever done it? Would you?

Now-DP and I have been friends since we were teenagers. I moved away for uni and lived with X, who became a very good friend. Now-DP visited me, and started dating X, and they were together for 3 years. Then they split up, X moved away and dated someone else for 2 years, and now-DP dated several other people too. Over this general timescale I had two boyfriends of 2.5 years each and there was no flirtation between me and now-DP. Now-DP and I remained friends with X but didn't see her much due to distance.

Then, I split from my ex and now-DP and I started dating. We kept it quiet for a month or so (as we share a social circle and rightly knew it would be major gossip) then came clean, and I called X to let her know before she heard from elsewhere. She has barely spoken to me since.

Now-DP and I have been together for 3 years now and are very happy, but I still feel sad about losing X as a friend and miss her. She wanted to stay friends with now-DP but not me, due to my "betrayal of womanhood," as she called it in an email.

AIBU?

monicalewinski Fri 28-Jun-13 21:11:04

I wouldn't go with a friend's ex, if they were a proper ex (if they had children, or had lived together for example), if they had been together for many years or if it was a recent break up. A uni age relationship is probably not in that bracket IMO.

It's all subjective though really, you make the call on the individual circumstances. I can sort of see your friend's point, but then I more agree with you (OP). It's a difficult one!

raisah Fri 28-Jun-13 21:17:07

No it just feels a bit toi close to home, sort of like going out with your sisters ex. A bit too incestous for me tbh.

peacefuleasyfeeling Fri 28-Jun-13 21:19:03

Ha! A number of years before we got together, DP had dated my best friend for a short while before they mutually decided to knock it on the head. I couldn't see the attraction at all at that time, and my friend shared all intimate details about him, so I felt I had a pretty good idea what he was like. He did however become a lasting but peripheral part of our social circle as a result of them having dated, and as such we kept bumping into each other over the following years, but no sparks or attraction. When we found ourselves working together in a voluntary capacity at a weekend event, suddenly there was something there; we had so much fun and really enjoyed each other's company. He said he'd like to ask me out, and I said I needed to check it out with my friend (really, I couldn't have done it behind her back; if she'd struggled with the idea, I wouldn't have gone ahead). Luckily, she thought it was funny and wished us luck. Good thing too, because here we are, 11 years on and 2 DCs (well, DC2 should have arrived by last Thursday, and we're still waiting grin ).

WhoBU Fri 28-Jun-13 21:20:15

I do come from a small town and in my teens it was rare to kiss someone who hadn't kissed your friend, so maybe I'm naturally incestuous* grin

*Have no siblings so can't comment on how it'd feel to go out with your real sister's ex

notanyanymore Fri 28-Jun-13 21:22:08

In the situation you've described I don't think it should be a prob. Might be weird for the ex to socialise with you as a couple tho, tho you'd think she'd be over it by now

cerealqueen Fri 28-Jun-13 21:30:56

This has happened in my social circle, Sally wanted to date Polly's ex. Sally asked Polly first if she minded, she said no. Sally and the ex dated, then Polly decided she did mind and said so. It was a bit late by then as Sally and the ex were both hooked. Now Polly and Sally don't speak.

This might sound a bit cruel but Polly has a history when younger of dating other people's ex's, of dating married men and if you fancied somebody and told her, had no qualms about shagging them. So frankly nobody else felt sorry for her. Plus, she only minded because at that time she was single. Polly is friends with the ex though!!

(not real names btw!)

In this case X broke up with DP? She has no reason to be peeved. Plus, you were friends first.

No never. I couldn't

redexpat Fri 28-Jun-13 21:37:51

Tricky. Someone did it to me within 24 hours of me breaking up with the guy. She apologised as I was particularly upset with the SPEED at which they got together. When they broke up, he was off with someone within 2 hours. I then got a much more heartfelt apology.

However your case is different. Much longer gap. In theory it should be ok but I'm not sure how I would feel about it in practice. So i dont know if YABU or not.

WhoBU Fri 28-Jun-13 21:43:58

It turned out later that whilst I was getting together with now-DP, X was breaking up with her bf, who she'd dated since her and now-DP's split. She then went out with someone else almost straightaway, but I think that if she'd have been happily with someone, she'd have cared less.

MsHighwater Fri 28-Jun-13 21:44:02

When a relationship has ended, both parties are free to form new relationships. I don't see that the fact that A used to be in a relationship with B bars him/her from dating C just because B and C are friends.

Your former friend has no right to veto you being with her ex. She might feel uncomfortable about it but it's not a betrayal on your part.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ashoething Fri 28-Jun-13 21:52:30

No I wouldnt do it.Tbh I am not that desperate for a man that I would want a mates sloppy seconds.

Mia4 Fri 28-Jun-13 21:54:22

I don't think YABU but perhaps she has unresolved feelings for your DP, especially if he did the dumping or is looking back on the past and wishing because her current life isn't all that.

Personally I'd ask her what she means by 'betrayal of womanhood', does she mean betrayal of your friendship or is it that she thinks you were disloyal? I'd just be interested myself but if you're not then put it behind you and concentrate on your future instead.

WafflyVersatile Fri 28-Jun-13 21:58:28

In your instance I think it's fine. In some instances less fine. I maybe wouldn't feel a bit uncomfortable.

My general view is that if your friend and her partner have split and one or both of them have no interest in getting back together then I don't think the hurt or ill-feeling (or whatever flavour) of one of those should stand in the way of potential happiness of the ex and the friend.

WafflyVersatile Fri 28-Jun-13 21:58:54

'would feel a bit uncomfortable' not 'wouldn't'!

WhoBU Fri 28-Jun-13 22:07:45

Mia4 I think it's just that - at the time her life wasn't all that because she was breaking up with someone (NOT DP!) so she was angry - but still, I don't know, I don't regret it and I wish we were still friends...

Mia4 Fri 28-Jun-13 22:14:05

Maybe ask her WhoBu? If you want to know?

Sometimes people do think more fondly on past romances if they've been going through crap, they build up ideas and fantasises and get really upset when reality comes crashing down- maybe your friend did that?

SaucyJack Fri 28-Jun-13 22:32:08

I think it's pretty unavoidable not to date somebody's ex at some point if you have a longstanding social circle. YANBU.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 28-Jun-13 22:57:24

Naw if she and he both had relationships in between it is reasonable to think they had moved on. Without knowing the exact parties involved and having first hand exp of the dynamics I'd say it's ok. It's not like good relationships grow on trees...

Justfornowitwilldo Fri 28-Jun-13 23:26:02

He's not really her ex to you though is he? He was your friend before she ever met him, so it's more like you've gotten involved with 'someone you've been friends with for years' than you've gotten together with 'her ex'.

quesadilla Fri 28-Jun-13 23:35:33

Depends.

A good friend is now married to my ex who I dated for about two years, 15 years ago. It felt a bit weird to begin with but ultimately if two people are in love and want to be together it would be churlish (not to mention pointless) to stand in the way.

I think if its done casually without any thought if how it's impacting your friends its selfish and destructive. You shouldn't do it unless its a fairly strong pull and you think it's got a chance of working out long term and people who make a habit of it are essentially saying they dont calue tgeur friends. But at the end of the day no-one has lifelong dibs on another person once a relationship has ended. If its meant to be then its meant to be.

LumpInTheCustard Sat 29-Jun-13 02:17:03

I wouldn't date a friend's ex myself I don't think, but that isn't because I'd be worried about bad reactions from a friend - more because I would just feel a bit weird about it. Not to mention that me and my friends all have fairly different taste in men anyway, so it has rarely even been a possibility.

But if it did happen - well, its not for me to dictate who two adults spend their lives with. I just don't understand this eternal 'ownership' of exes some people seem to need to have. Bizarre.

I think that when the break up is new, and things are still raw that is the time the 'don't date the ex' code should be carefully observed - and anyone who pounces on their friend's ex while said friend is still sobbing into their ice cream is an arse. But once people have moved on... well, then its open season IMO grin

YANBU btw.

You knew the risks, weighed them up and decided that it was worth it. You still think it was worth it. She IBU about it, but don't let it worry you. For what it's worth I married a friends ex grin, best thing I ever did, but she hasn't spoken to either us since she broke it off with him and I refused to dump him as a friend. Move on and be happy, you've done nothing wrong and have nothing to regret.

Lazyjaney Sat 29-Jun-13 09:36:43

Sounds like she hadnt got over him, but she had 2 years to get together again if she really wanted (or more likely she knew it was never going to happen but blaming you is easier).

It's not your problem, there is probably little you can do.

LittlePeaPod Sat 29-Jun-13 09:46:11

No I wouldn't. It's one of the cardinal rules. You don't mess with your friends Ex. Why would you want to anyway.. This happened twice in our group of friends (not me)' the girls that I'd it have never really been accepted back in the fold. We are all still friends but they just aren't part of the group in the same way now.

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