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Her Campus/Lauren Smyth

I DID A THING: I’m Into This Guy, Who Happens to Be My Ex’s BFF… And My BFF’s Ex

I Did A Thing is our weekly advice column where the Her Campus editorial team helps you out when you ruin your own life (hey, we’ve been there). Email advice@hercampus.com for any and everything you need help with. We’ll answer you (anonymously!) on hercampus.com so we can all learn, together. We’ve got your back.

@itscomplicatedaf: I think I like my ex’s best friend… who also just happens to be my best friend’s ex. I dated my ex for 3 years, and we had a really good relationship. However, we decided to split because of personal reasons. I never looked at a guy romantically for the past year, but recently, I have been attracted to his best friend. Last year, my friend had broken up with my ex’s friend, which was sad for both of them. It’s such an odd turn of events, but I can’t help but continue to like him. He’s a really nice guy, and we talk every once in a while. What do I do in this situation?

@helpmehc: Wow. This is complicated as fuck. Here’s the thing that kind of sucks: Sometimes, you really do just fall for the most random people. Sometimes that means you fall for someone who’s totally perfect for you, and you have a really simple, easy relationship. Other times, it’s someone who feels kind of off limits, and it gets a lot more complex. This is clearly that second one. Which is why you want to make sure this is a real feeling you want to pursue. No need to make this complicated by bringing up feelings that are only temporary! You say you think you like him—I’d figure that out first. 

If you’re sure these are legit feelings, it’s time to start making moves. 

What’s going to really be your best bet here is 100 percent honesty and transparency, starting with the people who matter most. I personally would rank your friend at the top of the list, so I’d talk to her. Be straight forward, and say, “So I’m starting to have feelings for your ex.” Give her a chance to take it in, and make it clear that you prioritize her feelings above all else. Let her know you wouldn’t bring it up if you weren’t sure there was something there. She might be upset, or kind of thrown, and she’s right to be. As you noted, this is NOT an easy situation, at all. Whether you end up dating this guy or not, it’s a good idea to make sure you and your BFF are on the same page. The worst thing in these kind of situations is to lie, and if something does come up romantically with her ex, you want to make sure she’s not shocked or feels betrayed.

At the end of the day though, your feelings matter, and girl code is only going to go so far if you start falling for this guy. Any friend who loves and cares for you is going to want you to live your best life, and if that means dating her ex, so be it. Just make sure you’re talking it out and being honest about where you’re at, and give her some time to heal and recover from the breakup before you start throwing your new relationship in her face. Even if nothing happens with this guy, at least your bestie knows you’re always honest with her, 100 percent. 

Check out more advice from @helpmehc. We’ve got your back.

Rachel is the Senior Editor at Her Campus. She graduated from Elon University in 2015 where she wrote for Her Campus's Elon chapter as well as the national LGBTQ+ section, and has since held editorial positions at Hello Giggles and Brit + Co along with running social media for several publishers. Her work has been published in Teen Vogue, Glamour, StyleCaster, and SELF, and she can be found in North Carolina smearing face masks on in the name of content. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @RachelCharleneL.