8 Things To Consider When Dating A Friend's Ex

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Couple about to kiss in a vehicle

Everyone has heard of girl code and bro code, one of the many rules of which is not to go for your friend’s ex. However, is this rule really justified? Does the ex-code really exist or is it just a myth?

I think it’s fair to say that if your friend has broken up with her/his partner an hour ago, you should definitely reconsider making a move. This also becomes tricky territory if your friend and the ex were in a very committed, long-term relationship.

However, if the two of them shared nothing more than a fling and your friend had already moved on, it might be possible to break this mythical rule without severe consequences.

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If you are ever stuck in this uneasy dilemma, here are some pros and cons to consider before making the move into that forbidden territory.


1. You already know the person.

You might have already created a bond with your friend’s ex if he/she became part of your friend group. And everyone knows that some of the best relationships come out of friendships.

2. You might already know his/her friends.

If your friend groups converged, then you already know his/her friends. You also know who to make a favorable impression on so that you get his other friends’ approval.

There are no awkward first meetings and small talk that everyone has to go through when you first meet your partner’s friends.

3. You know their good side and bad side.

You might have already heard numerous stories about this person from your friend. You have an understanding of how he/she acts, and of their pros and cons.

Therefore, it might be wise to go for a person who you know, so that there are no surprises down the road.

4. This can test your friendship.

Having to see your ex might not be the most pleasant of things, even if you have already moved on. If your friend actually puts your happiness before hers/his and approves of you dating that ex, it means that you truly are BFFs.

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1. You might damage your friendship to the point that it is irreparable.

You might not want to share as much about your relationship with your friend because you might feel judged.

In addition, even if your friend tells you that it did not hurt that you started going out with her/his ex, there might still be some suppressed feelings of betrayal and anger that can erupt any moment.

2. You might have misconceptions about the ex.

You might have liked the relationship that your friend was in, or you thought that it didn’t work out because of so many different reasons. There might be a problem if you think you have this person figured out.

Every relationship is different and your friend’s ex might turn out to be a completely different person than you expected. You might bring out a different side of this person that you never even thought existed.

3. Be prepared for gossip.

Depending on how close your friend group is, this decision might not just impact you and your BFF but also all of your other friends. If your friend does not take the news well, she/he might influence your other friends to take sides.

4. There might be comparisons going on.

His friends might compare you to your friend. He might even compare you to your own friend. By knowing all the intimate details of this person’s previous relationship, you might even start comparing yourself to your friend.

It’s never easy to find a solution to a situation that might hurt others in the process. If you are caught having feelings for your friend’s ex, reconsider acting on those emotions right away and weigh all the pros and cons before you make a final decision.

At the end of the day, if your friend sees that his/her ex really is important to you, this should not damage your friendship.

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Unwritten is a website for millennials written and run by millennials. Unwritten is committed to giving Generation-Y the discussion they need, whether it be a source of news, a much needed laugh, a comforting shoulder to cry on, or a place to have their own stories heard.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.