It has to be one of the major dating taboos but you might be surprised just how often it happens. Falling in love with a close friend’s ex partner can cause a massive amount of trouble for all concerned. So picture the scene, you have been friends for years and have gotten to know all of her boyfriends during that time and then finally, you have watched her fall in love, commit to her partner and then just when things seem happy and settled, she finally confides in you that she has made a big mistake. This dream guy is suddenly not for her. Perhaps she suspects him of cheating or possibly, she has met someone else. Whatever happens, you know that you will be there for your friend to help her through this rocky and emotional patch and that you will be there to pick her up when the emotional fall-out begins.
Throughout it all though, you haven’t taken sides, you have stayed safely on the fence simply because you have been friends with both of them and that seemed the right thing to do. As time passes and your friend begins to date or to find her way romantically in life, you encounter her ex out of the blue and, sparks start to fly.
Wow. You never imagined that this could happen. Sure you fancied him just a little but you would never have started anything up whilst he was with your friend. In fact, you would never have even made him aware that you found him attractive. But now….
So you have a sudden revelation and realise just how much you could really like him. He’s funny, entertaining and oh, so cute. You never noticed before that lovely little dimple on his chin and he’s filled out a bit since the break-up and started going to the gym and you like, no, you really, really like the new him. This is one hell of a dilemma because you know this man. You know a lot about him and much of your knowledge is centred on his bad points and that’s still not putting you off. Well, you did listen to your friend ranting about him for a long time but now you start to wonder if any of it could actually be true or maybe it was all greatly exaggerated? Sure, that might have been her perspective when she had fallen out of love with him, but then maybe she didn’t really know him as well as she thought?
These types of revolving thoughts are common and it is likely that you will try to justify the situation to yourself because guilt is a horrible emotion to feel.
You know that this is madness, but you find yourself saying yes when he mentions going for a drink and then before you know it, that one drink leads to another and a month down the line, you are lying to your friend about where you are going and why you can’t meet up and you probably feel like hell about it. There is no doubt that dating your friends ex is probably going to be a tricky and very uncomfortable situation. Usually the friendship is far more important than the romantic fling but you might be asking yourself whether this is just a fling. Maybe you are falling head over heels in love? Maybe he is too?
So what do you do? What you have to think about is that every situation has to be judged on its own merits. If you knew that she had been unfaithful to him, you know that it would be so much easier to justify your actions to yourself. Whatever happens, if you wish to continue with your romantic liaison you have got to come clean and tell her. If you know her really well, you may have some idea of how she will feel but you need to handle the conversation with tact and explain just how much he is starting to mean to you.
If you really feel that the relationship is going somewhere, you can’t live your life in the shadows, instead come clean and fingers crossed that you get her blessing and it doesn’t mar your friendship at all.
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