What Counts as a Green Light?
Many of us, at one time or another, have most likely been interested in the same guy as a friend of ours. While you two may hash out who gets the cutie you just met at the bar, having the hots for your friend’s ex is a whole different ball game, with the potential of losing both friend and future beau. Here are a few pointers to help you decide whether challenging your friendship is worth the calculated risk.
Friendship Evaluation Time
It’s time to reflect on the depth and importance of your friendship. If this is a friendship of convenience—perhaps through work or a social setting—the risk of loss may be less than that of a long-time friend. You may decide straining the friendship is not worth sampling her ex-boyfriend, or you may choose to go for it hoping your friendship will recover. But this will challenge the friendship, so be prepared.
The minute you decide to pursue her ex, set up a heart-to-heart conversation. Although this may be uncomfortable, she will still feel she has her dignity, instead of feeling like you are sneaking around behind her back. A far worse scenario is her accidentally catching you two together. Even though they’re no longer an item, your secrecy may seem like a betrayal. Give her the chance to get used to the idea and reveal her honest feelings. Unless she is a very jealous person, there is a chance she will come around.
Be the Pillar of Support
Your friend will have strong opinions on the topic, and you’ll want to be there for her emotionally while she works out her feelings. Be supportive of her emotions and listen to her concerns. As long as she is truly over him, she may be able to allow you to pursue him, eventually wishing you the happiness in life you wish for her.
The “Do Not” List
There are certain things to avoid in this discussion! Carefully refrain from comparing the two of you or your compatibility with this guy. This includes comments about intending to succeed with him where she failed, and any dissection of her relationship and where it went wrong. Above all else, do not defend him—as her friend, she’ll need to feel like you’re on her side. There are ways to stand your ground regarding your feelings for him without hurting your friend.
The Roll of the Dice
The question to ask yourself is whether or not you are willing to lose the friendship, since this is a possibility. Hopefully the two of you will come to a supportive understanding regarding this man, and the odds are good if the friendship is strong. But ask yourself if he is worth that risk; don’t go into this unaware of the stakes. Follow your intuition and never lose sight of what your friend means to you, regardless of your feelings for the guy.