The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
“Your soul sister”, “your homie”, yes, yes, we have heard it all and we all have that one person to whom all of these apply to. They are the one to lie to your mom and cover for you when you miss curfew; the one you cannot imagine your life without. In a nutshell, they are your best friend. You always want the best in life for them and are perpetually ready to protect their honor. But what if you catch feelings for the one person you were not supposed to – your best friend’s ex?
Believe it or not, this happens more often than you think. You fancy this person and really want to date them, but cannot. Why? Because they once dated your best friend. And while our resident ‘fetch’ Mean Girl, Gretchen Weiners made it very clear that “Ex-boyfriends are just like, off-limits to friends”, I am not so sure about that. Sure, there are some absolute no-goes, but more often than not, if all the parties involved are well aware and consenting, dating your best friend’s ex shouldn’t really be that big a deal.
- It was a bad break: Nope, nuh-uh, step back please. This one is always a no-go and therefore it is no surprise that it appears at the top of the list. If your best friend and their ex went through a messy break up, there is no way for you to date their ex without burning bridges and ending up looking like a douche-bag. Emotions are a very messy affair and if your best friend still has any kinds of feelings towards their ex, then nope. Sorry mate, you’ve got to pass this one up.
- It ended less than 10 months ago: While there is still a jury out on this one, you’re best advised to make a move only after a considerable amount of time has passed from their break-up. Hitting on your best friend’s ex only a month or so after their break up is just not cool, although this one largely depends on the amount of time your best friend spent dating them. So, you know, for this one, it’s all about judging the past and getting the timing right.
- It was a serious relationship: This one is probably the hardest to hear, but it’s true. If your best friend had been in a serious monogamous relationship with their ex, you’re best to steer clear of their path. Especially at least till your best friend has found the love of their life or something to that effect. Break ups such as these are an open wound and chances are, if you get it on with the ex, your best friend might not completely be happy for you. Not to mention, getting into a relationship with the ex under such circumstances will have its own share of very heavy baggage. So, if you’re ready to handle that, go for it, bestie.
The Not so No-Goes:
- Your best friend is okay with it: Okay, so this one is like a cardinal rule. If you really value your friendship, then you have to be sure that your best friend is okay with your relationship with their ex. Unless they have some really horrid or strong memories with the ex, you should be all set, but at the same time, be prepared that they may not be that comfortable with it. What you do next in this case, depends how much your friendship means to you, so, all the best!
- It was a casual fling/one night affair: If it was a one-time thing or barely a date or two, then your friend most likely should give you the green flag. No contest for this one for the most part.
- You really like them: Yes, the ex has dreamy eyes and flawless hair, but are you sure you like them enough to possibly jeopardize your relationship with your best friend? This is one important question that you need to ask yourself before doing anything. While it might seem like you are genuinely attracted to the ex in the spur of the moment, rationality is the key here. You really don’t want to gamble and end up losing both.
Regardless of all this, you cannot control who you are attracted to and you can’t make everyone happy. If it feels right, and if your best friend is anything like the Joey to your Chandler, you’re all set to go and get your Kathy.