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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.


threefeethighandrising Sun 30-Jun-13 16:01:51

"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.

ZZZenagain Sun 30-Jun-13 15:56:05

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.

hellocatty Sun 30-Jun-13 15:52:13

I think she is being ridiculous and really wouldn't give her another thought!

OrangeLily Sun 30-Jun-13 15:39:17

AND I've just remembered that friend married to my ex is also ex's pal's ex too! smile If you can follow any of that....

OrangeLily Sun 30-Jun-13 15:38:08

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.
smile. Sometimes people come in to your life for a reason.

HighInterestRat Sun 30-Jun-13 15:29:15

Those chess players are dirty buggers grin.

quoteunquote Sun 30-Jun-13 15:22:14

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.

KLou1105 Sun 30-Jun-13 13:56:02

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

LauraRoslin Sun 30-Jun-13 13:09:20

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.

Bogeyface Sun 30-Jun-13 01:20:15


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!

WhoBU Sun 30-Jun-13 00:40:49

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.

invicta Sat 29-Jun-13 19:16:53

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.

WafflyVersatile Sat 29-Jun-13 19:02:55

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.

livinginwonderland Sat 29-Jun-13 18:08:14

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!

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 29-Jun-13 17:40:13

It depends on the friendship and how serious the relationship was.

BadLad Sat 29-Jun-13 17:06:23

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.

LittlePeaPod Sat 29-Jun-13 15:04:16

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.

WafflyVersatile Sat 29-Jun-13 14:42:46

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.

RabbitFromAHat Sat 29-Jun-13 14:38:46

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. grin

maristella Sat 29-Jun-13 14:36:03

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! grin

It was hilariously awkward when we all woke up grin

But he and I got on sooooo well smile 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 smile

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 confused I did try and tell her, they were never anything serious, but it's still a shame

LittlePeaPod Sat 29-Jun-13 14:31:39

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..

AntlersInAllOfMyDecorating Sat 29-Jun-13 14:20:07

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

WafflyVersatile Sat 29-Jun-13 14:07:56

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.

Still18atheart Sat 29-Jun-13 14:04:33

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.

FeegleFion Sat 29-Jun-13 13:53:54

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 flowers 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.

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