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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.


AKissIsNotAContract Fri 28-Jun-13 16:46:12

I'm really on the fence with this one. I couldn't date any of my friend's exes, it just feels wrong.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 28-Jun-13 16:49:26

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.

superbagpuss Fri 28-Jun-13 16:49:30

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

Jemma1111 Fri 28-Jun-13 16:50:44

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 .

WhoBU Fri 28-Jun-13 16:50:59

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.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 28-Jun-13 16:51:17

*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.

superbagpuss Fri 28-Jun-13 16:52:07

oh and my oldest friend married my ex
they are much better suited to each other and I'm really happy for them

FreudiansSlipper Fri 28-Jun-13 16:53:18


if a very close friend and it was a serious relationship no

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 28-Jun-13 16:54:01

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.

WhoBU Fri 28-Jun-13 17:02:38

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.

ruledbyheart Fri 28-Jun-13 17:27:40

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.

HaveIGotPoosForYou Fri 28-Jun-13 19:54:12

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.

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Fri 28-Jun-13 20:21:00

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.

WhoBU Fri 28-Jun-13 20:43:11

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.

KirjavaTheCat Fri 28-Jun-13 20:48:15

'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.

KirjavaTheCat Fri 28-Jun-13 20:49:07

If I followed the 'womanhood' rules, I meant to say.

valiumredhead Fri 28-Jun-13 20:49:12

No I wouldn't, not ever.

Doha Fri 28-Jun-13 20:50:44

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 smile

thegreylady Fri 28-Jun-13 20:52:40

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.

HighInterestRat Fri 28-Jun-13 20:55:25

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 grin. Not sure I would be devastated if a friend dated one of mine though. Meh.

VixZenFenchell Fri 28-Jun-13 21:04:01

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 smile 10 years / 2DC later, it was the right thing for us. His friend never forgave him although he too moved on.

LillethTheCat Fri 28-Jun-13 21:04:28

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.

WhoBU Fri 28-Jun-13 21:09:14

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.

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