One unspoken rule when it comes to relationships many people seem to abide by is to ‘never date a friend’s ex’.
Asides from the apparent awkwardness that comes with it, when not handled properly, it can ruin your relationship with your friend as well. Dating someone your friend has dated before can make you seem like a bad friend as well.
On the other hand, if your friend doesn’t have an issue with it and understands that your relationship with her ex doesn’t mean you care less about her or her feelings, there are still a few rules you must keep in mind to navigate the relationship.
While your friend might have given her blessing, these 6 rules will ensure you keep your love-life and friendship drama-free.
1. Don’t gossip about your friend with your boyfriend and vice versa
It’s common to assume that anything shared with you is by default shared with your partner as well; however, your friend might be much less comfortable speaking to you in confidence if she thought the details of her personal life were going to be relayed to someone who once meant something to her. Keep your friend’s secrets. The reverse is also true; no matter how much you love discussing your dude with your bestie, his ex can probably live without hearing the details of his current sex life. Save it for your diary or for anyone who didn’t date him.
2. Don’t talk bad about the other person with either of them
It’s OK to come to your partner for advice if you’re arguing with your friend, or vice versa, but absolutely resist the urge to belittle or insult one of them to the other. This can be extremely tempting if they ended on bad terms and you know you’ll find a sympathetic ear.
3. Respect their decisions about contact
For instance, if your friend doesn’t want to go to parties where her ex will be in attendance, don’t pressure her. But don’t assume she doesn’t want an invite if you haven’t asked! In general, allow your friend and your sweetheart to decide how many contacts they want with each other, and don’t push them to associate if they’re not into it.
4. Don’t make comparisons
For instance, never ask your boyfriend or partner if you are prettier or a better cook than his ex who happens to be your friend. You are putting him in an awkward position and you are not being fair to your friend either. Don’t seek out comparisons, and if your dude brings up the topic, tell him you’re not interested in hearing it. It’s not healthy for you either.
5. Don’t pry into what happened between them
It may be tempting to ask your friend to analyze what happened between the two of them so that you can avoid making the same mistakes, but resist that urge. Likewise, don’t grill your boyfriend on what went wrong or insist that he account for his behavior throughout the entire time they dated
6. Know that some exes are off-limits
While it might be okay to date your friend’s ex if they parted on mutual terms, you should not even consider getting together with someone who maltreated or abused your friend be it physically or emotionally. Asides from the fact that he will most likely treat you the same way, you owe your friend some allegiance.
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