Dating a friend’s ex is one of the biggest dating taboos. But it happens anyways.


Are you thinking about it? Have you accidentally developed feelings for your friend’s ex? Even if they’d been rendered off-limits after your friend dated them?


This sticky situation is unsettling for anyone in the same boat. So, calm down and keep reading. Yes, it’s definitely not the right thing to do in any case. But, it also isn’t the completely wrong thing to do.


What is the path of least resistance? First, know if it’s cool to date your friend’s ex? Here are a few things to check for and do to make it cool.



1. You get permission to date your friend’s ex

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First things first, always ask your friend if they’d be okay with it. Even if they’re no longer together, it’s the respectful move. This way you avoid going behind your friend’s back and possibly upsetting them.


You’ll also get to ensure your friend has no more feelings for their ex. And you won’t get in the way. Get your friend to affirm they have no more intentions to reconnect. Also, get affirmation that they don’t mind seeing you with their ex.


However, most friends will lie about being ok because they simply want to move on. So, take their affirmation with caution.


And, if they are not okay with you dating their ex, respect that and don’t do so. But if you can’t, be prepared to burn a bridge.



2. Your friend and their ex has moved on

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To avoid drama, try to be sure your friend and your friend’s ex have moved on from each other. They must be no longer hung up about the breakup.


Make sure they no longer harbor feelings for each other. Any person looking to date someone should know a person still longing for their ex is a major RED FLAG.


Nobody wants to be in a relationship where their partner isn’t completely dedicated to them. Or, where your friend is secretly wishing for you and their ex to fall out so they can reenter the picture.


How to know they’re over their ex?

  • They no longer talk about the person
  • They aren’t completely present around you
  • They defend their ex when the name arises or even doesn’t in a conversation
  • They seem hesitant to commit to you
  • They try to do things with you that they used to do with their ex
  • They don’t create boundaries or distance with their ex


If you see any of these signs, it’s best to change your mind about dating your friend’s ex. But if you insist, try to give it time. The best aid in moving on is time.



3. It’s been a while since they split

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Making a move fresh after a split is downright disrespectful. Especially to your friend and your friend’s ex. Both parties could still be hurt/ not over it.


You also don’t want to get into a relationship with someone who isn’t ready for another. And you don’t want your friend to think you were hoping for the end of your friend’s relationship. Just so you’d get a chance to shoot your shot with their ex.


Giving it time will ensure you and your friend’s ex are sure about your feelings. It avoids your acting brashly. Especially since friendships are at stake.



4. Their relationship wasn’t long term

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Set a benchmark of 1 year. If they’d dated romantically for longer than that, chances are the feelings ran pretty deep. And probably still run deep despite the split.


Try to reconsider your feelings because they probably aren’t over each other. You’d probably end up getting in the way, get hurt yourself, or hurt them.


People never really get over significant relationships. So if you don’t ever want to feel like you have the back seat in a relationship, don’t date your friend’s ex if they dated long term.



5. You and your friend aren’t close or best friends

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Everybody knows the carnal rule is that your friend’s partners are romantically off-limits to you. This rule goes without say for your close and best friends. Steer clear of their partners. Be it so if they’re still together or broken up. Never ever break this rule.


While the rule should apply to all friends, it’s hard to adhere to fully. Undeniable connections are hard to find. If you just so happen to have one with your friend’s ex, pursue it. Only if you and your friend aren’t close. That way, it won’t feel like a personal blow to your close friend.



6. You’re willing to risk your friendship/ You have real feelings for him/ her

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Lastly, be sure about your feelings for your friend’s ex. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is he/she really special to you?
  • Do you have an uncommon reaction with her/ him?
  • Are you willing to risk your friendship for this person?
  • Can you afford to lose this friendship?


If your feelings are true, act on them. And be sure you’re ready to risk your friendship for this person. Because chances are your friend will distance themselves from you once you pursue their ex. Nobody likes seeing their ex with someone new. Even if moved on.


Be sure you’re all in for this person. If you’re willing to risk friendship then you know you have real feelings for their ex.



Think deeply about it and make the right choice

Acting without weighing the consequences is a recipe for disaster. But understand risk is a part of love. Because true chemistry is rare. And, real feelings should not be ignored. Because everybody deserves a chance at finding love.


Not dating someone just because they’re your friend’s ex may have worse consequences. Other than losing a friend of course. You might be passing up at years of happiness. Or worse, the chance to be with “the one”. All because you want to spare your friend’s feelings.


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