What to do when you’re dating your mates ex
Friday 03 August 2012
It’s a question that has plagued girls and boys alike for generations – is it ever OK to date your friend’s former flame? And if so, can you still salvage your friendship? Read Closer’s top tips for handling this potential minefield.
We often find ourselves in situations where we fancy people we really shouldn’t. And it’s easy when you’re spending lots of time with your gal pals and their men to become attracted to them in a certain way. For most of us, we don’t act on these impulses because that would a) ruin an excellent friendship, and b) be a pretty shady thing to do. But what happens when they’re no longer an item?
TOWIE's Lauren Goodger and Lauren Pope recently fought over the same guy
Ask yourself if it’s worth it
If it’s purely physical attraction you’re feeling for this person, ask yourself if it’s really worth wrecking your relationship with your mate just for a few nights of steamy fun. Things become more complicated when you genuinely feel you could have something special with this person. “There has to be more than the thrill of the drama because eventually that will fizzle out,” says Lisa Paz, Ph.D., a marriage, family and sex therapist.
Ask them if they’re serious
The other party has to understand what a difficult position you are in. Therefore, it’s a good idea if you’re going to start seeing each other to discuss their intentions. If they’re just having a good time and don’t really want to commit to anything – it’s definitely not worth it for you. Six months later you will probably be without sexy man, and closest mate.
Fess up to your friend
If it gets to the point where you both want to make things official, you need to talk to your friend. Don’t hide things and try to keep him a secret – it will never work, and your relationship will suffer. Invite her round for a drink, just the two of you, and explain the situation. It won’t be a pleasant conversation, but just be as honest as you can. “Once you’ve had that first kiss and feel like your relationship could be more than casual, then you need to tell, and certainly if you’ve already been to bed,” says Los Angeles relationship and dating expert Julie Spira.
Prepare to play the bad guy
There are very few people who would be totally hunky-dory with their friend poaching their leftovers. Even if it ended a long time ago or it wasn’t particularly serious, people are naturally possessive. So let her demonise you for a bit, be understanding, and apologetic, and hopefully she’ll come round given time to adjust.
OK, so she’s come round to the idea that you two are going to be ‘a thing,’ maybe even managed to be a little bit happy for you, but don’t push your luck. It’s still weird to hear details of someone else with your ex, and she certainly won’t want to see endless facebook updates of how besotted you are with each other. Play it cool and keep the social networking to a minimum.
Talk to someone else about your relationship
She might have been your go-to-girl for sharing all details of your previous relationships, but this can’t happen, at least not straight away. If you want to gush about how amazing you feel with him, or ask for advice on a situation – call someone else. Lisa Paz says: “Even if we’re over someone, we can still be a little territorial and competitive, so something as minor as you getting along well with his mother if she never did can really sting.”
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