Ask a Very Smart Brotha: Dating the Ex’s Friend & Waiting for His Libido

May 30, 2012  |  

Dear Damon,

I was in a … on and off again relationship with a guy PJ. We were young when we first met, started off as friends, then eventually fell for each other. We tried the dating thing 3 times. Each time he broke my heart over the same girl. The last time this happened was in 2010 , and I finally told him I’m done, don’t contact me any more & move on. I am over him & doing great.  Thing is I am very cool with his best friend Taylor, who recently (over the past year) has been trying to be in a relationship with me. Now Taylor has always been a big cheerleader of me & PJ’s relationship. I never thought anything about it. I knew he was the one always telling PJ  “She’s a good women, you need to keep her” and “PJ stop messing this up with her you got a keeper.” I always thought he just saw me as real cool and was trying to make PJ see what he saw. Anyways I told him that we could never date, that it would be inappropriate (several times) and change the subject. Well now I’m starting to have feelings for him. Thing is while me & PJ were complete opposites me and Taylor are on the same page and have so much in common. Tay is college educated and going back to school to continue his education and is a big supporter of me getting my masters degree, Tay has a relationship with the lord and even volunteered to go to church with me when none of my girls can make it (my church is 1 hr away & he makes the ride with me), he is romantic and wants to settle down, he makes me laugh and is very attentive, he is respectful of my vow of celibacy till marriage….he is basically what I’m looking for. But isn’t it a bit taboo to date an ex’s friend? I keep saying ” no that would be wrong” when i think about it, but is it worth throwing away a perfectly amazing man to not cross any lines or step on my ex’s toes? So what do you think? Is it never worth it to date an ex’s friend? Or should we as grown people get over these so called “dating rules’ and see where love takes us?


Ethics or Heart?

Dear Ethics or Heart,

As I’ve grown older, there have been many lessons I’ve learned — nuggets of wisdom picked up while attempting to navigate through life. Some of these nuggets represent lost hope. (“Regardless of how hot the first single is, never get excited for a Common album because it’ll disappoint you.”) Some represent attempts to preserve my life (“Never date women from Cincinnati.”) And some, well, some are just me learning that things I thought to be true actually aren’t.

Most dating and relationship “rules” fall under that last category. While I understand why many of these rules are in place, life has shown them to be arbitrary, unreliable, and, ultimately, self-defeating. “You can’t date a friend of your ex” is one of these rules.

In your situation, this “rule” has actually created a level of angst that could potentially sabotage your happiness. Everything you’re saying about Taylor sounds good, but you’re letting a concept that was probably first devised by some caveman drunk off of mammoth blood affect how you plan to proceed.

Also, even if the “don’t date an ex’s friend” rule was a rule that needed to always be followed, your situation wouldn’t qualify. Your “ex” isn’t even an ex…just a guy you had an unrequited thing for. It’s not like y’all ninjas were married or anything.

Now, there are situations where it’s probably not a good idea to date an ex’s friend — i.e.: your ex’s friend is married to your sister — but those situations are more about common sense and human decency than anything else. Forget about that stupid rule and be happy that you found the one 20-something man in the country aside from Tim Tebow who’d be ok with dating a celibate woman.


Damon Young

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