The short answer to the question of whether or not you should date your best friend’s ex is a simple NO. But then, love is anything but simple. Planning on jumping in anyway? There are nine important things you should consider before you land yourself in the deep end…
1. Make Sure It’s Worth it
Due to the risk of losing a friendship over dating an ex, make sure that the union has potential and is worth the gamble.
2. Make Sure it’s Over
There’s nothing worse than stabbing your fork into a love affair that is still warm. Often, towards the end of relationships, couples do a little pre-shopping. Make sure you’re not playing the part of a cashmere sweater heading into the dressing room for a trial fit.
3. Give it Some Time
Once the relationship is over, the standard waiting period is either slightly longer than the couple was together or six months, whichever comes first. Don’t jump the gun too soon, or hard feelings will be the end result.
4. Friend Loyalty
The old saying goes, “bros before hos,” and when it comes to dating an ex, you’ll want to be sure they’re genuinely okay with it. You may ask permission, but pay the most attention to the way they answer the question, than the words that come out of their mouth.
5. Have the Talk
While it may be easier, it’s asking for trouble to go out with an ex, see how it goes, and decide to tell your friend based on the results of the first few dates. Suppose your friend sees the two of you, or someone else does. Most likely they will be okay with it. However, if they aren’t, ask them why. You might be surprised to find they’re more concerned about your welfare, than their own.
6. Talk With the Ex
It’s amazing how many people have stepped past the friend zone with a friend’s ex, without even talking about what they are actually getting into. You may have decided a relationship is worth the risk, but until you hear what the ex has in mind, you might be as well be a one night booty call.
7. A Simple Thank You Will Do
If your friend agrees to a date with their ex, offer them a heartfelt thank you for their understanding. Either way you look at it, it takes a big friend to look past any hurt feelings to the happiness of a friend. By sharing your appreciation, regardless of what happens, it will be less likely that they will develop hard feelings later on.
8. Avoid Comparisons
Sooner or later, the thought is going to cloud across your mind, I wonder how I am in comparison to them. Considering that you most likely were privy to some of the information dished out by your friend, you’re going to be armed with enough to question the value and longevity of your own relationship. Resist the temptation to measure up to your friend’s experience, and just enjoy your own.
9. Keep it On the Down Low
Your friend might seem like the most helpful person to share any problems you’re having with their ex, but it is highly advisable to keep things on the down low. Not only could their opinions cause you to make a hasty conclusion, they may also casually introduce several new concerns from their own experiences. Most importantly, never gloat about succeeding where they failed, even if they seem okay with things.