The Dating Nerd is a shadowy figure whose whereabouts and identifying details remain unknown. What we do know is that he is really, really good at dating. He's been on more dates than you can shake a lengthy bar tab at, and he's here to help the average guy step his dating game up a notch — or several.
Even though there are almost eight billion people in the world, it's hard to control who you fall for, and sometimes, it can be the most inconvenient person of all: A friend's ex. No matter how long they've been broken up, dating a friend's ex can put you in a sticky situation. Your friendship could mean the world to you, but if you haven't been able to shake the feelings you have for your friend's exit might be time to have a conversation.
Back in my hometown, I lived in a small arts and activism community, and everyone dated everyone. It was a cesspool of friends and lovers mixing. I distinctly remember talking to a new friend and finding out we had dated not one, not two, but three of the same guys.
Yes, you may as many people tend to get completely wrapped up in your own feelings and give the middle finger to anyone who tries to tell you otherwise, but if one of your besties decided to start humping your ex, would you be supportive or forgiving? Thirdly, yet without intending to come across as territorial in a caveman-defecating-on-his-patch-of-land sort of way, that person was with you and was part of your life. They were someone who significantly contributed to shaping the person you are today. Anyone familiar with Friends will be fully aware of how often they swapped and shared partners.
It started our innocently enough. Brian had been divorced for three years when he filled out the cumbersome eHarmony profile. Looking through all the profiles on other dating sites was daunting, so he decided to let a computer do the mate selection for him.
It just sort of happened. In discussing this topic with my female friends, it seems to me that men are especially experienced in dealing with this dilemma. Say a friend of mine breaks up with so-and-so, and we run into her at a party.
Lots of people have told me unequivocally that they would never date a friend's ex. They wholeheartedly believe that it's wrong, disrespectful, and if a friend did that to them, they'd never talk to that person again. They believe this is something everybody knows, that they're just following the rules.
It does, after all, seem like a hard line to draw in the sand. On the flip side, it might also impact your relationship with your friend, depending on things like how they broke uphow long they dated, and whether or not they still harbor feelings for this person in question. If the breakup was recent, for example, your friend may have some lingering feelings. They may also feel awkward about situations in which the three of you might hang out after these new relationship lines are drawn.
An old friend dated a really nice guy for a few months, but it fizzled. I definitely felt a spark when we met, but kept it to myself. Months later, I bumped into him at a yarn shop.
But in most cases, your BFF won't be too pleased about your new relationship and you'll inevitably have to choose between love and friendship. Recently, Whisperthe app that lets you broadcast your biggest secrets to the world via anonymous messages, asked a bunch of people to spill the beans on what it's really like to date your friend's ex. As you can probably imagine, there's usually a lot of jealousy, guilt and hurt feelings involved.