Amending The Girl Code: When Your Friend Gets Married, Are Her Ex-Boos Fair Game?

October 9, 2012  |  

Source: Shutterstock

Last weekend, I got a text message from a friend who told me that another one of our friends is dating another one of our friend’s ex-boyfriends. Confused yet? Let me add some (fake) names.

In college, Janelle and Angel were good friends. For a while, they were even roommates. During that time, Janelle was in a relationship with a guy named Will. She and Will were together for a while then eventually broke up. Last year, Janelle married some other guy. Now, Angel is dating Will.

My first thought was, “So what? Janelle is married. What does she care?”  Most women agree that dating your friend’s ex is uncouth, but does the rule change if said friend gets married?

I thought about it some more and realized that – right or wrong – I would be livid if one of my closest friends was dating one of my exes.

I had my first “boyfriend” when I was ten years old. We met at karate school. He was 13 and a black belt and I…well, I was enamored by him. His ex-girlfriend also went to our karate school and eventually I was Karrueche’d. Between then and a couple of years ago when I started dating my husband, I’ve dated lots of guys. Some of which I wouldn’t know if they hit me with their car, and others I was devastated over when we ended. Some I was serious with and others earned the “Bugaboo” ringtone. Some were my boyfriends and others were on that no-title B.S. Clearly, all the men in my past are not remembered equally therefore, I can’t hoard every single one for life. Though I would prefer that none of my friends date any guy I looked twice at, that isn’t necessarily realistic.

When I was still in the dating game, I always thought that if my friend knew me while I was with a particular guy then dating him after me would be the end of our friendship. However, I never considered how I would feel about a friend hooking up with my ex after I got married to someone else. Shouldn’t I be passing my friends my “black book” since I’m done dating for good?

I guess it depends. Clearly, I’ve moved on if I’ve married someone else, but if that former relationship was serious then it would be super awkward to hear that my friend is dating the guy now. I would be thinking, “I stained the shoulder of your shirt with my tears and now you’re with him?”

Maybe it’s selfish. I don’t want to have anything to do with any guy I used to date, so why should I be bothered if he’s moved on to one of my friends? It’s not like I’m going to date him anymore. But it’s still weird. For one, that puts him back in my life again – albeit in a very different context. However, after moving on from him, am I really going to sit there with my friend and discuss their new relationship? How would that work? She’s analyzing his last text message and all I can say is “well when we were dating, he was like this…” Yeah, I’m done with him but that would still be ridiculous.

Even if my friend didn’t have the gall to discuss him with me, the mere fact that she is dating him makes her seem untrustworthy. I could only assume she was gunning for him when we were together and trying to get insider information or, worse, now trying to live my life and I can’t trust a friend like that. I’d be wondering if she was only counting down the days to my nuptials, waiting for her chance to hook up with my ex. I’d also be giving him a serious side-eye wondering if he only dated me to get to her.

Plus, why would my friend even want to date some guy I used to date? I’ve likely already told her all about him, the good, the bad and the ugly. With all of the fresh men out there, why would she go looking for love in my pile of discarded relationships? Is it that hard to meet men nowadays?

I like a good love story and I totally believe in kismet. But if said friend only knows dude because he was with me then that’s inappropriate and a gross violation of every girl code known to women. There are exceptions such as time elapsed and physical proximity, but I’m not sure if that fact that I got married is a legitimate exception.

Then again maybe that’s just the part of me that hasn’t completely absorbed being married and realizing that so much changes after that. Several years ago, I found out a friend messed around with my ex about a month after we broke up and that was the end of our friendship. However, since tying the knot, I’ve never actually experienced one of my friends dating an old boyfriend so maybe I’d actually surprise myself by not caring at all.

As far as Janelle and Angel are concerned, suffice to say that friendship is over.

What do you think? Would you date a married friend’s ex-boyfriend? If you’re married, would you care if your friend dated an ex?

Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink or check out my blog This Cannot Be My Life.

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  • Mase

    I know this is a woman’s site but ladies I need some advice on this very topic.

    Recently, I ran into my homeboy/ex-roommate’s ex. She just relocated to the same city as me. We exchanged numbers and three days later went to lunch. I saw no harm in us going to lunch because she is new in town and I’m a familiar face. But lunch turned into a nice walk, dinner, comedy show, and staying up all night talking.

    Let me give y’all some background. Her and my homeboy/ex-roommate dated 6 years ago. Now this woman is “BAD”. And I’m not just talking looks. At 23, she was a college grad, owned her own company, beautiful, smart, funny, the whole nine. I watched my homeboy/ex-roommate do her dirty. He constantly cheated on her and treated her like $h!t. He would leave her at the house while he was out with other women but lied to her telling her that he was working late. During that time, me and her became very close because she was always at the house. 2 years after they broke up, she reached out to me and expressed they she had taking a liking to me. But because of the “Guy Code” I didn’t make anything of it.

    Now, my homeboy/ex-roommate lives back in his hometown and is married. Her and I are both 29, single, successful, and looking for the same thing: marriage, kids, etc…

    So my question is: Do I still honor the Guy Code and not date her or do I ignore it and see where things can go?

  • Pingback: Now That Your Friend Is Married, Should You Date Her Ex « Veronica's Place()

  • Na Na

    Lmao @ “eventually I was Karrache’d”

  • Depends on a couple of things. How good of friends were we? How long did me and the ex date? If this was some dude I went out on a couple of dates with I’m not sweating it. If it was the former love of my life the dude I was with for 3+ years and she was the friend who heard all of it and knew both of us. I’m giving her more than the side-eye.

    In a bestfriend I would find it absolutely unacceptable for her to date any of my ex’s for any reason period. A casual acquaintance etc. I wouldn’t care.

  • bdsista

    If she really is my friend, then she might introduce me to one that had good qualities but was incompatible. I dated a guy and there was no magic, but we became friends. I introduced him to my girlfriend. They have been married for 10 years. But if it was me and he approached me, I would have to know why they didn’t work out. If you really know your friend, you might understand why. But some of my girlfriends exes, I would only introduce to a serial killer.

  • who does this sh*t? all the men in the world and you want to do some slick sh*t like messing with one of her exes? Talk about confrontational.

  • Depends on why you broke up, if you dumped him for someone else then why the hell not. dont be selfish. u’ve found your man let her find hers, so what if hes your ex, you dont want him anymore, do you? or do you????

  • it’s not a law or anything. But after seeing the way some of these low
    down dirty boys treated my friends or how much they destroyed their self
    esteem, I wouldn’t even greet them in the streets, but that’s just me.I
    am beautiful woman and I love good man…..inter racial romance is my dream… so I
    joined —blackwhitePlanet.С0M—–it’s
    where to- connect with beautiful and excellent people!
    . Usually, we aren’t even attracted to the same people. Once I’ve seen
    him around as my friend’s boo/man/jump off/ etc, he immediately goes
    into the “friendzone”.

  • The way the question is phrased, gives me the impression that somehow you’re waiting and lurking in the shadows, just waiting until he is available. Even if that’s not the case you would have to consider why they broke up, is he a cheater,a liar, etc. Even if none of that is the case, why would I have to have sex, kiss and be booed up on the same guy my friend had. It’s just weird.I get the same feeling when a person drinks from the same cup someone else is drinking out of. It’s just blehh

    • nobueno

      thank you! Here is a doozy for you ; It disgusts me but my ex dated my current boyfriend’s sister, and the sister’s best friend dated him (my ex) , and she(the sister) dated my ex’s ex’s brother and cheated on him.and her best friend(my bf’s sister’s bf) also dated her brother(my boyfriend’s brother). I did not find out about this until I already been with my boyfriend for over 8 months, and my ex had passed away over a year before that.I really wish I never knew how extensive this love fest went, like this town became way too small once I found out all that info! Just don’t do it ladies, unless your mind and stomach can handle it find out about it beforehand.

      • nobueno

        also that’s why it always important to get tested.even my bf’s sister’s bf told me he found the whole thing gross, and he was the one who let the cat out eh bag to me.No one wanted to tell me that my bf’s sister dated my ex.

  • FromUR2UB


  • Kayo Halana Malie

    Would I date a married friend’s ex-boyfriend? Not at all. I’ve always had different ‘taste’ in men from other women who I have known.

  • Cookie

    Well coming from someone who has experienced this exact thing..Not cool…My so called friend didnt even wait until she moved out of my house..yep you heard correctly, she was staying in my house plotting and scheming…But he is currently cheating on her with a 400 pound hood rat..So I actually dodged a bullet..Althought I was never intimate with dude, my so called friend obviously knew we were dating and had spent time together , but she didnt care. I would never even think of datng anyone someone I knew dated.

    • FromUR2UB

      Maybe trying to draw a visual is not healthy, but what does he do with a 400lb woman beside roll off?

  • FAMURattler85

    Ugh, I wouldn’t even want a man one of my friends had. Usually, we aren’t even attracted to the same people. Once I’ve seen him around as my friend’s boo/man/jump off/ etc, he immediately goes into the “friendzone”.

  • Pivyque

    Torn on this one. If it was my 6 year ex and we were friends while I dated him…I wouldn’t be happy about it. It just would be uncomfortable for me. If we didn’t know each other while I dated him, then I wouldn’t care. Anyone else that I may have dated/been interested in…I wouldn’t care. I have hooked a friend of mine up with a guy that I was talking to at one point and they hit it off. I knew they were more compatible than we were.

  • Meyaka

    I mean, it’s not a law or anything. But after seeing the way some of these low down dirty boys treated my friends or how much they destroyed their self esteem, I wouldn’t even greet them in the streets, but that’s just me.

    • I agree. If you know how he did your girl, why would you want to take that mess on?

    • L-Boogie

      Agree. But I only have one ex I would not want anyone with. He was the last one. Eff them other negroids.

      • Na Na

        Yeah I’d have to agree. Its a select few that were “special” or the relationship was deep but the others I wouldn’t care one bit about.

  • Papillon

    “With all of the fresh men out there, why would she go looking for love in my pile of discarded relationships? Is it that hard to meet men nowadays?”

    Yes. Yes, it is.