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?
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