Is dating a friend’s ex taboo?

I sit here thinking, Red Bull seated lovingly next to my computer. I’m thinking, or I’ve been thinking, when is it okay to date or befriend or canoodle someone who a close friend has dated, befriended, or canoodled. Really what are the rules? Are there rules? Is it ever truly okay?

 It would seem to me that if any of my friends made a move on someone with whom I had a mutual loving relationship within the last few years, they might have to be de-ovarized (made up word, similar to castration). However, is that really fair? Do I own someone once I’ve dated them?

 What if all Devin and I did was have a few wild nights back in college. Then Devin runs into best friend Dianne and they quickly become the double D duo, in love, lust, and on their way to becoming life partners. Do I, being Devin’s long lost college canoodler, have any right to get upset?

 I personally think that once two people are out of a relationship for a reasonable time they become fair game. If your best bud moves in on your man while you’re together or shortly after “just because” she or he has some egotistic sexual need to fill or some sick reason to cause you pain, then enter de-ovarization/castration. However, if you somehow bring two people together (think coincidental happy hour run-in), who genuinely click, even if you had romantic interest in the past, it’s time to get over it and be happy that they’re happy.

Now consider this situation: Have you ever met those people who enter a bar as your wing woman or man, to see a group of the opposite sex and say something like “The blonde is mine” before you’ve even made it through the door. That same individual will be pissed at YOU when the blonde likes YOU and not them, event though chemistry is impossible to control.  How is this okay?

 What about the best guy/girl friend scenario? You’re secretly in love with him/her (we’ll call’em A), but content with the friendship for now, until you introduce A to childhood friend B and sparks fly. Should B’s loyalty to you trump their connection?

 Personally, I want my friends to be happy. Even if that means putting my silly crush to the side and letting two people, with possible relationship/sex potential explore that on their own (sorry, threesomes aren’t my thing. I don’t like to share my toys). Yet, I’ve seen the very matters discussed above sever, and even abolish, close friendships. Luckily I’m married now, so I can share these musings and questions without the emotional investment – in other words, in my mind, any past fling OR love is all yours… Or is that gross? May be a little gross, but certainly not reason to end a friendship.

 As I finish this, I look sadly at my empty Red bull can, but experience a burst of renewed energy. Somewhere there’s a friend of mine or yours who might possibly fall in love or lust (even if against your innermost wishes).

 Yet, as usual, I’m still curious about other people think. What are the rules? Is all fair in love?


1 comment

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  1. maeve crommie

    Are there really any rules in this arena or is it more like, the rule seems to be, whatever is suitable or comfortable to you, individually, at any given stage of your life, (driven by the variables of fact in any situation, your willingness to please your peers by acting in compliance with what you have determined their rules to consist of, and your acceptance of any potential decrease in number of existing peers who have not evolved to the stage you are in, or who refuse to be understanding of your choice in spite of any conflict it presents to them.) Am I starting to sound Lawerly? I didn’t mean to….

    When I was young if any one ever dated anyone that you had EVER dated and loved, you could beat them down if you wanted to, perfectly acceptable. Even expected in many cases. If you just had to do it, the chemistry wouldn’t quit and all that, you could still do it, you just had to fight the ex. and maybe her friends and relatives, until such a time that they became scared of you or it just plain got tired. But you could hold your head up as long as you were willing to fight for it or over it, whatever….
    Today as I write this, it is at least 35 years since my first physical altercation over a boy…. (Sadly, I think it has only been 12 years since my last….and I can only say that because the S.O.L. has run and of course the circumstance were very different)

    I know what I witnessed going on amongst the my kids and their peers, about 7 to 10 years ago, it seemed like they had no rules, no honor. In my opinion, there was definitely not enough ass kicking going on over the sex/love relationships. I found it disturbing. Fear is a powerful tool when it comes to young inexperienced hormonal humans who are trying to navigate and learn societal and cultural boundaries.

    I think you are right on point with your current attitude.

    The women in my life today, (some of them even parties to the early ass-kicking days) find value in references and info from exes… Hell, we even compare notes and find the humor of yet another facet of the sisterhood bond….


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