Should You Date A Friend’s Ex?

“Never date a friend’s ex”. One of the golden rules of dating. Along with “Never date a co-worker”. And “Never date a flatmate”.

Which makes sense. I mean, those are potentially very awkward situations, and there are plenty of other fish and all that. But realistically- same social circles, feelings happen, things happen. A lot of relationships come about due to proximity (and let’s face it, alcohol). So you’re more likely to develop a crush on a co-worker or a friend’s ex than on a 2 hour Tinder date.

The question is, how do you deal with it?

should you date a friend's ex

I used to be a staunch supporter of hoes before bros. Friends’ exes, or guys they’d had flings with, were strictly out of bounds. So I avoided other people’s guys. “I can’t get with X guy because of X”.

Until life happened.

Two of my friends kissed a guy I really liked at the time. They knew I liked him, and it was just random action to them.

One of my friends pursued a guy I had a thing with. She wasn’t that serious about him, and they just made out a few times.

One of my friends had a thing with a guy who ended up treating her pretty badly. Another friend started dating him four months later.

A friend at university slept with a guy I liked, told him I liked him, then continued a “friends with benefits” type relationship with him and bragged about the details in front of me.

Another friend at university kissed the same guy right in front of me. She didn’t like him.

A male friend dated a girl for 3 years. She fell out of love with him and he was devastated. His best friend from school started seeing her- she wanted more but he ended it because it was just casual to him.

You get my point.

I recently did a poll on Twitter:

should you date a friend's ex

These results shocked me, because from real life experience, people tend to do what they please, with who they please, when they please.

In my opinion, if it’s going to be just a few make-out sessions, a shag, or a casual fling, it’s not worth it. For the hurt you will cause (and the drama that will happen), it’s just not worth it. Unless of course, it was an amicable break-up and no-one cares.

But true love?

To put this in perspective, I’m 26, my only relationship was over 5 years ago, and it lasted less than 2 weeks. I haven’t fancied anyone for over a year. All I’m saying is, they’d have to be a damn good friend for me to pass up a guy for them. I mean what am I supposed to do, wait around until I’m 32 to placate someone who wouldn’t hesitate to go for it if the shoe was on the other foot?

A lot of it comes down to how it’s done though. When I’ve had it done to me, the thing that pissed me off the most was that my friends weren’t that into the guys they were pursuing. If it had been a relationship, I wouldn’t be thrilled about it, but I’d at least be able to see if from the other point of view. It would still require gentle handling though.

So here’s my advice:

  1. Think very carefully. Is the guy, or the girl worth it?
  2. If it’s a recent break-up, leave it a while until the dust has settled. If it’s true love, what’s keeping it on the DL for 6 months or so?
  3. Talk to your friend about it first. Don’t ask for permission exactly, but just let them know the score. They’ll most likely say they’re OK with it, even if they’re not, because otherwise they’ll look like a dick.
  4. If they give you their blessing, recognise that they have done a selfless thing for you. You owe them. That means no flaking, you support all their charity or personal pursuits, and any guy/ girl they want in future is fair game.
  5. Don’t rub their nose in it. No PDAs when they’re around, and be sensitive about what you post on social media.


What are your thoughts? Would you date a friend’s ex?



8 thoughts on “Should You Date A Friend’s Ex?

  1. I haven’t dated a friend’s ex, but one of my best friends dated and then even married one of my ex’s.

    And there was a time in college I kissed a guy I knew one of my best friends had a crush on. I felt terrible afterward and turned down his requests for a date. I liked him, too, but didn’t want it to create a wedge in my friendship.


  2. I haven’t gone after a friend’s Ex, I think I would only do it if I really liked the guy and if it wasn’t an ex from a best friend of mine. Just because I would be super uncomfortable if someone I was close to got with my ex



  3. lol no offence but I think you have horrible friends. For me I am pretty selective with my friend group so if I consider you a friend there is no way I can do it personally.


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