To date a friend's ex...?(86 Posts)
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.
I'm really on the fence with this one. I couldn't date any of my friend's exes, it just feels wrong.
Depends I think.
Long term relationship ex possibly not. Definitely not if they had children together. I would find that wildly uncomfortable.
Under a year and not recent, most likely that I would.
Unless there are extenuating circumstances that make said ex wholly inappropriate separate from merely being a friends ex - cheater,abusive,drug user,gambling issues etc.
I'm married to my old housemates ex
he was single and available and asked me out
she never talked to me again but we have been together for 11 years and gave two DC. she dumped him and didn't want him anymore but was upset when he found someone else and wasn't available to run around after her anymore
No I wouldn't
But my 'best friend' has no issues as shes with my ex, the father of my child 5 month after he walked out on us.
This best friend was also around since I was 13 and her ex is my exs friend. Nothing apparently happened while we were together but I'm doubting as they were around each other for 4 and a half years then suddenly they are together.
I wouldn't dare do that to my friend
It depends who initiated the split , if it was your dp and x was heartbroken then I think it wouldn't be right. If she was the one who broke up with him then I can't see a problem with it .
No children involved btw, and all aged from late teens to mid-20s over the timescale.
I think if I'd known him as 'X's boyfriend' it might have been different, but I knew him as my friend first. As it happens my ex is now dating a mutual friend too, and I'm happy for them, see them socially and really couldn't care less.
*re long term relationship - it would depend on how long,how serious and how old they were when together.
2 years at uni or younger is different to 2 years when slightly older,I have found. Just in terms of how serious each party to the relationship saw it as being.
oh and my oldest friend married my ex
they are much better suited to each other and I'm really happy for them
if a very close friend and it was a serious relationship no
I probably would have done the same in your shoes to be honest OP.
A friend of mine dated a boy for a while as a teen. Her friend then started dated him whilst they were all still teenagers. They were together for a couple of tumultuous years until around 20. Recently this bloke,whom my friend has always stayed close with has shown romantic interest and his ex has gone wild. They split 4 years ago. I think she's being completely unreasonable and behaving as though he's her property.
Sounds a bit like your "friend".
If you're happy I wouldn't question yourself. You haven't done anything wrong.
Not the divide I
feared and expected!
I don't regret it because I can't imagine not being with DP. But I do miss X and wish she didn't feel this way. It felt like a terrible risk at the time.
Not if I valued the friendship no I wouldn't unless of course their relationship was a very short time thing/ one night stand.
My exH dated my best friend for 6 mths after we split up, her defense was I had (unknowingly) been on a date with her ex (who was actually a 3 week dating thing and no sex involved) so it was fair game, pissed me off no end as she was also my next door neighbour and my ex and I had been together 5 years and had 3 children together.
Well on a slightly different angle I dated my exes friend and therefore he dated his friends ex iyswim.
It was a year after we broke up and my ex was horrible to me and I mean horrible. Aggressive, abusive in several different ways and even when my partner and I got together, he was truly horrible.
I know it might seem a bit wrong but my partner (still with him) is the most lovely guy I've ever met. I didn't see it as being a betrayal of him neither did my partner, as he was truly rotten to me and didn't deserve to be with me, as my partner says.
So if it feels right, I think it's OK. Unless of course there are still strong feelings and/or it would really hurt your friend to be with them in which case you may re-evaluate. However I still wouldn't completely not go with them. I know friends are important but so is your own happiness too and if you are truly in love with someone, would you really let it get in the way? After all, they obviously didn't work for a reason.
If they have kids together though, I don't know how I could logistically work with that but never been in that situation before so don't really know.
I think YABU really. If it was a teenage relationship with X, like school age, I'd say you weren't, but at 18+ relationships are more serious and three years is a long time. If you are at the three year stage now, you know how in love they could have been and how close she felt to him. Now imagine him getting together with one of your friends. I do think it is a betrayal, not of womanhood, but of friendship. For all she knows, you wanted him the entire time so any advice or talks she had with you when she was with him now have a different angle on them for her so no wonder she doesn't want to be friends anymore.
My ex is now dating a mutual friend who we were both friends with when we dated (for 2.5 years) though, and I am happy for them. They get on much better than we ever did.
X broke up with now-DP (and cheated on him), then had another 2 year long relationship, so I don't think she was planning to get back with him. He certainly wasn't planning to get back with her and dated numerous people after her. When they broke up I was in a relationship that I remained in for 2 years, so it's not like I was waiting for it to happen.
As for any advice or talks, I deliberately kept out of their relationship woes as I was friends with both of them, so saw both sides. I do feel bad because it obviously upset her, but I don't understand it.
'sall bullshit. She moved on, so did he, where's the harm? If I wasn't happily enpartnershipped with OH, and felt like dipping my toes into the dating pool, 90% of the men I know would be off-limits, my friends are busy ladies.
I understand that you feel sad for your friendship, but my advice would be don't dwell on it. She wasn't much of a friend to be pissed at you, rather than happy that you'd found someone who she knew to be a good person.
If I followed the 'womanhood' rules, I meant to say.
Life is too short to worry about this.
You are all adults. You were friends with him before he started going out with her. They split and after several years you got together.
You didn't cause the breakup. They didn't want to be together.
She (you friend) needs to get a grip, she just sounds like a jealous cow "betrayal of womanhood" hahaha. Sounds like she has a screw lose. Doe she have a current DP?
If you and your P are happy sod everyone else
My dd married her friend's ex-friend married the bloke she left him for and they now have 2dc each and all go on holiday together.Dd has been happily married for 8 years now and her friend for 6.
I would never date a friend's ex - there are plenty of men around to choose from in my area so this has never been a problem . Not sure I would be devastated if a friend dated one of mine though. Meh.
DH did this. I was with one of his friends (18 month relationship, own houses but mostly living at ex's) and we split up.
DH found out, called me and asked if it would be ok to drop by for a chat - and somehow never left 10 years / 2DC later, it was the right thing for us. His friend never forgave him although he too moved on.
I have dated friends ex and their relationship was not as serious as 3 years. I am no longer friends with my ex friend (I believe it is mainly due to me dating her ex).
TBH its one thing I wish I hadn't done looking back now, but its done and I just have to move on (which I have), still wish I never did it though.
Doha, tbh, she did have a screw loose - too many drugs in the past meant she was very paranoid and had counselling. When I started dating now-DP I knew if it didn't work out I'd have lost X as a friend AND now-DP too probably (if it hadn't worked out I would feel like Lilleth does now, definitely). But I'm really glad I took the risk.
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!
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.
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 ).
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*
*Have no siblings so can't comment on how it'd feel to go out with your real sister's ex
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
No I wouldnt do it.Tbh I am not that desperate for a man that I would want a mates sloppy seconds.
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.
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.
'would feel a bit uncomfortable' not 'wouldn't'!
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...
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?
I think it's pretty unavoidable not to date somebody's ex at some point if you have a longstanding social circle. YANBU.
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...
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'.
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.
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
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 , 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.
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.
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.
Ooo, it's tricky. I've always been a bit uneasy about friends' exes but you were friends with him first, which trumps her
and DH was good friends with one of my exes, which is how we met and I have shagged one of my sister's exes so I've no no room to talk
I have never understood the 'convention' of not dating a friend's ex (with the emphasis on the word ex).
If the relationship is very firmly over they weren't right for each other (even if only one of them was unhappy). There is a chance that you and friend's ex are made for each other and will live happily ever after. Is it right to miss that chance for a person that you may or may not be friends with, in the future?
However, I feel that if children are involved, or it's an affair then no, you shouldn't.
Don't understand what is wrong with this? They had split up long before you started going out, and it doesn't sound like there was any hugely tragic tale of woe involved-
I think she is being U
I got together with my BFF ex.
We are still together 18 years later, 2 kids 8 years married.
We were only 16 and 17 when we hooked up, but are clearly right for each other. There was s bit of hoo haa at the time even though we were all in sixth form. And BFF and I drifted apart. I still get on with her like a house on fire when I see her though.
I personally wouldn't date a friend's ex, would be too weird. However, I wouldn't mind if one of my friends dated any of my exes - they are welcome to them!
I don't think I would do it, but as you have done and you're still together 3 years on, I think you have to just accept that the loss of X's friendship is a price you paid.
Wouldn't it feel a bit strange anyway to have a close friendship with someone who had spent several years in a relationship with your DP? I mean, she'd know things that were really personal. I think it would feel very uncomfortable spending time with your friend and your DP knowing that they were once in a quite long term sexual relationship. One of my friends has had 3 long term relationships within the same friendship circle and is still friends with the 2 exes, one of whom went to her next wedding. I find it a bit weird.
I went out with a lad in uni for 2 years-we even talked marriage. He was, at the time, the love of my life.
kind of, as I had an unfortunate ability to stay faithful and dumped him for an abusive knobhead.
A couple of years later, he got together with a girl I'd lived with and been really good friends with. I was really pleased fur them, as I think they probably made a better couple.i invited them to my wedding (not to knobhead), but I kind of get the impression that she would rather not get that close. so sort of the opposite of your problem.
When I was 15 my friend said she was going to dump her boyfriend. I asked why because he seemed really nice. She said because 'I think he fancies you and because I think he's gay'. 'Um, ok' Bit of an oxymoron but there you go.
A few weeks later he asked me out. We went out for about 6 months then he dumped me and started going out with someone called Mike....
Canny girl, that.
the point (if there is one) being there was no fall out.
I don't think you are BU. I had a boyfriend at college, dated for about 4 years and split. If he suddenly reappeared as a friend's new BF it would just be...weird. Weird to socialise with an ex when once he was your partner, in a quite serious relationship. I wouldn't mind, i have a DH now and it was quite a while ago, but it would be weird and i think i would end up spending less time with the friend. I certainly would find it odd if she wanted to talk about the relationship!!
YANBU as people make their own choices about who to be with, and the two of you are obviously happy and well matched. It would be silly not to be with someone because of their ex, but i can understand why your friend feels uncomfortable being around the two of you.
In the circumstances that you describe, YANBU. I can understand it might feel a bit weird at first for your friend, but 3 years later she should have moved on and be happy for you.
My opinion on it is, there are enough people in the world to not date a friend's ex.
The feelings of betrayal would be too much to bare for me but that's just me.
SP how shit.
I was engaged to a man who left me for a friend, so I wasn't yet his ex. I was devastated on both accounts.
They have gone on to get married, and in all honesty, I'm glad it wasn't a short lived thing after the devastation they left in their wake but it really doesn't make it any more acceptable that it happened.
I think it depends on the friendship i.e were you close friends you mention you lived together. Were you friends before living together?? The circumstances of the split. How long there were together for and the amount of time between the split and you getting together. Did you and the friend meet at uni.
IMO I can see why this is on your mind. But I think in this case I would put your relationship between you and dp first.
That's not the same though, feegle
Apart from the example given I've not dated a friend's ex but I make friends a lot more frequently than I meet a man I'd like to date who also wants to date me so I'd risk losing a friend if I thought I had a chance of happiness with her ex.
That's not to say I would never fall out with a friend if she dated an ex of mine. If I was still pining I might very well bin them both off and feel very hurt. But my unhappiness is mine to carry not theirs.
If a friend did it continually then I'd bin her as toxic regardless of whether I cared about my exes or not.
I think it's fine - they had both moved on, other relationships had passed etc. If you break up with someone - or they with you, then it's exactly. You are free to live your life as you chose in this regards.
but I make friends a lot more frequently than I meet a man I'd like to date who also wants to date me so I'd risk losing a friend if I thought I had a chance of happiness with her ex.
Wow, I think I would definitely want to know if any of my friends valued my friendship as little or superficially as this comment sounds. You would really dump your friend for a guy? Or maybe I miss understood the comment..
I first met DP when he was seeing my friend, they were fuck buddies.
In fact I first met him in her bed! She and I had gone out, I'd fallen asleep on the sofa, she'd called him up, I woke up in the early hours very cold and had ran up and dived into her bed without seeing who was there!
It was hilariously awkward when we all woke up
But he and I got on sooooo well we laughed all morning. Friend commented on how well we got on.
I didn't see him again for 2 years, and then he asked me out. It's a wonderful relationship, we've had a few ups and downs, but we still have that chemistry, we never run out of things to say, we're always laughing and are mad about each other
I tried calling and messaging her when he first asked me out, when we got together and when I knew it was serious, but she didn't reply, which is pretty standard. Then DP and I were tagged in a few statuses on Facebook together and she unfriended me I did try and tell her, they were never anything serious, but it's still a shame
I think it sounds like you have dealt with a difficult situation with grace, OP, and your friend is being a bit U in not extending same grace.
In a much more trivial way, I once had a ONS with somebody I had completely forgotten my best friend had had a relationship with, years previously. As my best friend and I lived together at the time, breakfast the next day was quite entertaining. Thankfully everyone saw the funny side, and no offence was taken by anybody.
I didn't say I'd dump a friend. I said I'd risk losing one if I thought there was potential.
see maristella's post for a case in point.
That's was my point exactly. If I have a friend that already knows that they would dump my friendship for a guy then I would rather know now. Something that happens without thought (unexpectedly) etc. is different but to already know now that you would lose a friend to me shows little value in the friendship. I am not saying its wrong or right, I am saying it would make me uncomfortable knowing that one of my friends thought that and i would doubt how true a friend the person really was.
It's bad form for friends of the dumpee to date the dumper, but not so if friends of the dumper to date the dumpee.
Or that's what I once thought - when I turned twenty-seven or so, nobody seemed to give a shit any more, and dated whomever they wanted, willy-nilly.
Either my circle of friends had changed, or only young peope particularly care about it.
It depends on the friendship and how serious the relationship was.
DP had a "thing" with a friend of mine. They were never official and he even asked her out once and she said no as he has kids. DP thought "fair enough" and like any normal person, he moved on. When DP asked me out about six months later, she got in a right strop about it and will barely speak to me now. I don't regret it. I don't believe you own your ex's - once the relationship is over, they're free to date whoever they want, as are your friends!
Little again, not dump, risk. Whether the friendship ends depends on both friends not just one.
There are lots of different friendship states and relationship states.
Would you rather turn down a date with someone you really click with because it turns out he used to go out with someone you meet for coffee once every few months?
Would it make you uncomfortable if you knew a friend would take a job 200 miles away and feel that she didn't value your friendship?
Or if you both wanted the same job would it mean she didn't value as a friend if she took that job when offered to you, knowing that you wanted it.
it would be weird to date a friend's ex straight after they split up -too soon. However, you knew dp as a friend, and you dated him years after they split up. That's different. You don't remain someone's property after splitting up with them. She should move on.
I think for me it's context - he was my friend first. There's still something about it that makes me feel a bit sad, but I'm so glad I started dating him.
We had 2 best men at our wedding. Best Man 1 was Best Man at Best man 2's wedding.
BM 1 had been married to X, they split up due to BM1 being an ass about his job and X moved away. Several years later X moves back and she and BM1 have a short reconciliation that ended and gave them both closure. She then started seeing BM2 and now is married and has 2 children with him.
It has all worked out fine, everyone is happy. Seems like your friend doesnt want him but doesnt want anyone else to have him. As living said, you dont own your exes and your friend needs to remember that!
I'm active on the professional chess scene. If people there didn't date their friends' exes, a lot of people would have very lonely lives.
I married my best friends ex boyfriend but they only together for 6months me DH have now been together for nearly 8 years. But it did ruin my friendship with best friend we do speak but were not good friends anymore. I don't regret what we did because we fell head over hills for each other and knew straight away this was it! And it was
My friends would be stuffed if I had that attitude , I did date the best out of bunch, until I found DH,
It would be very dog in the manger to hold claim to them all.
Those chess players are dirty buggers .
I'm married to a friend's ex.
My other friend is married to my ex.
My ex is marrying his pal's ex too. That pal is also my ex too to make it even more complex.
. Sometimes people come in to your life for a reason.
AND I've just remembered that friend married to my ex is also ex's pal's ex too! If you can follow any of that....
I think she is being ridiculous and really wouldn't give her another thought!
how long after your friend broke up with him did you and dp get together? I think considering you go back a long way and both the friend and dp had relationships between their break-up and you two getting together, it seems a bit strange for your friend to object so much, unless she still cares for him?
Not much you can do. She has the right to decide whether to be your friend or not. Just get on with your own life and leave it to time maybe.
"betrayal of womanhood?!"
I agree your friend is being ridiculous.
Plenty of my friends have gone on to date other friends. DP is my best friend's ex (gap of over a decade between us being together).
It's only an issue if you make it one. It's a shame she has done, and YANBU to feel sad about the loss of the friendship, but you've done nothing wrong.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.