I DID A THING: I Dated My Sorority Sister's Ex. Is That Wrong?

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 [email protected] 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.

@greekstruggles: Is it wrong to date your sorority sister's ex? This guy and I have been seeing each other for about a month now, but we’ve been trying to hide it from the public because I don’t want my sorority finding out. The backstory is he was dating this girl in my sorority for about 4 months. She was very controlling and wouldn’t allow him to talk to any other girls. After they broke up we became friends (I know bad timing) because we play volleyball together and knew each other before hand. We hung out more and more with our mutual friends and noticed we really clicked. Then we started hanging out one-on-one, and that’s where it all began. I really do like this guy and I just need to know: is this something that’s okay for me to do and how can I make her okay with it?

@helpmehc: The saying goes “(sorority) sisters before misters,” but you don’t have to follow that rule unconditionally. We’re so here for ending the acceptance of toxic girlfriends that somehow play off they’re controlling actions as ~cutely petty~, and if your sorority sister wouldn’t let her boyfriend talk to other girls, she might think she still has a claim over this guy post-breakup. Just remember: This guy is his own person and can make his own choices – and so can you!

You’re right that the timing doesn’t look great, but with an ex, does it ever look great? The best approach here is to make your best effort to keep the situation from blowing up. Talk to her directly, especially before she finds out about your relationship from someone else and the rumor mill gets churning. Explain that you got to know him through volleyball, something totally independent from her. Remind her that even though you like this guy, you’re still always there for her – those truths don’t have to be mutually exclusive (maybe that’s the biggest problem with “sisters before misters”). You haven’t done anything wrong (you specified there was nothing going on between the two of you while your sister and her ex were still together), so avoid feeling bad about getting to know him after the relationship ended.

If she gets angry or petty about it, remind yourself that being in the same sorority doesn’t mean you have to be super-close BFFs with her. Stick with the sisters who understand the context of the situation better, or with those mutual friends who have your back. It’s not your fault the two of you just clicked, and you can’t “make” anyone be okay with anything, but as long as you’re the bigger person, cut yourself some slack. If she’s against your relationship, there’s not necessarily a way you can change how she feels. But at least there won’t be any secrets between the two of you.

Being with someone who makes you happy, even someone with history, isn’t nearly as much of a crime as other people may want you to think. Good luck!