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Ask E. Jean for DearSugar: Do I Have a Right to be Upset?

Dear E. Jean--

I’m writing to you because I need some advice (and consoling). I recently received an e-mail from my so-called friend stating that my ex-boyfriend and she have feelings for each other. They’re seeing each other! This “friend” I’ve known for many years and this ex-boyfriend was my first love. I dated him for two years and he was my longest relationship.

Do I have a right to be mad? Is that “no-no” of staying away from your friend’s EX non-existent now?

I guess my real question is, what do I do? Do I start a cat fight over it? I have NO feelings for my ex anymore. So do I just leave it be? Do I say something? I don’t really think I should be the one responsible for calling or meeting up with her. I’m just so angry and hurt and confused I don’t know what to think! Please help me!

To see E. Jean's answer

MISS SAUCY PANTS: Please. Why waste the fellow? You trained him. You loved him. You left him behind. Regifting men is the highest form of happiness there is. Each time you recycle a chap, you become a brighter, better, finer, more beautiful woman. Your friend is happy. The lad is happy. Phone her. Wish her well!

Indeed, I call upon ALL DearSugar Readers! You’re the coolest women on Planet Earth. Step up to the plate, secure the happiness of womankind, and regift your old boyfriends! Women who pass on their ex-boyfriends to other women suddenly start meeting wonderful fellows. (I know because I did an Oprah show about

So, let’s get some serious karma going here. What can I say? Chasing men is delicious entertainment. But who knew it could be so dang spiritual?

To see more advice from E. Jean visit Elle Magazine and

LovelyLady8 LovelyLady8 9 years
Well I had a friend in high school that ended up dating a guy for two years until we were juniors. I was also best friends with the guy through her. After they broke up she and I were friends but after high school we naturally drifted apart. Nothing personal, no big blow out, our lives took us seperate ways. So once I turned 21 the guy best friend and I acted on our feelings for each other. We have been together for over two years now and are anticipating getting married in the future. I don't feel like I betrayed her because it was a high school relationship that she ended. She ended it because she had feelings for someone else. So that was that. The buzz around town though is that she was very betrayed by me dating her ex. Dating someone that she broke up with when she was 16 years old. I think that is very foolish and almost laughable. I can't imagine how you could possibly hold a grudge against me when our loyalties did not lie to each other anymore.. since we were not that good of friends. I still hear comments that she makes to this day. And she will occassionally attempt to get in touch with my boyfriend/her ex. The thing is this is the man that I am going to marry so I in no way shape or form feel badly for my actions nor does he. We have a private relationship now that we do not broadcast or speak of her. We keep to ourselves and live our lives together.. HAPPILY. I think that is the problem though.. We are happy and I am sure that she doesn't want to see her ex friend and ex bf happy together when she was having major regrets for breaking up with a great guy that treated her like a queen. Oh well. Her loss was my gain :)
missmaddie missmaddie 10 years
Does this mean I get points for wishing my exes on my worst enemies? It would be a whole new kind of backhanded compliment...
KristaLynn KristaLynn 10 years
Keanu Reeves is on the top of my gift registry.
rlveronica rlveronica 10 years
Wow, your situation sounds very similar to what I went through in high school. I wish I had E. Jean's advice back then. :-\ Me and the friend are not friend anymore and we said some pretty nasty things about each other. I have put it behind me, but she continues to hold a grudge. I'm sad we're not friends anymore. Don't make the same mistake.
thexxnewxromance thexxnewxromance 10 years
I thought it was like an unwritten rule as a friend to stay away from friend's ex boyfriends. Ew.
Eternity Eternity 10 years
Your feelings are natural I think, but still a bit selfish. Think about your friend and your ex. How wonderful for him that he gets a chance to be with someone you also love and think is a great person?? Wouldn't you recommend her to him? What about the other way around? Be happy for them, and for you, that two of your friends can hook up. Focus on your own relationships and future, and refrain from warning her about his faults...she will either find ways to overcome them that you couldn't (which will be great conversational topics later) or she won't and you can both comiserate later. I know, I just had this happen to a girlfriend of mine after she tried out my ex for 4 years and came to the same conclusion about him :P
bugness bugness 10 years
I don't understand being in the position to date your friend's ex. It would just be too strange. I would never go there, because I would always wonder about the things she told me about him. I have a hard enough time barely knowing the girls my boyfriend liked or dated before me. Her being my friend? I couldn't go there.
missro21 missro21 10 years
It's simple Girls before "bros" (insert the same name that men would here please). My friends are in agreement, if I have dated a guy or they have dated someone he is off limits. It is just that simple. Now when you go to the same functions, you'll run into uncomfortable situations. You will always have those "we" stories. We did this, went here, did that... I say tell the friend to fish off of your pier and find a new one!
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 10 years
Yeah, the real question is what is bothering you about this? If it's simply the fact that it's your friend and ex-bf, all romantic and non-romantic feelings aside, maybe it's just petty. If there's some other real reason this bothers you, maybe there's some real betrayal going on. At least your friend was up-front about it and wanted to keep you in the loop.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
That is a unique idea, "regifting." I say if she wants your sloppy seconds, let her have them!
Fashion Fashion 10 years
What a novel albeit difficult way to go about this. I think there is always the initial shock (and jealousy) of this situation but if you've already started to move on, it's pretty darn clear he has too. It's just too bad you know and like the girl - that certainly makes it harder. Thanks for not encouraging us to pooh on our fellow females E. Jean! xo
vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 10 years
Jean is right that if you do not have feelings for him let him go and let him be with someone else.... the problem I have and I think even though this poster cannot point the finger to it is this.... since they have already feelings for each other and are dating, how long has this been going on? I would be angry with my friend not for dating the lad but for seeing him behind my back. The correct way to do such a thing is to come to you in person (not on e-mail) and say I am attracted to your ex and may want to pursue, is it OK? It is not an e-mail saying btw me and your first love are dating and we thought you should know. ' No need to start a cat fight but I would communicate with my friend and say you are mad on how she went about things, but she can have him because he ain't your property to keep.
Entertainment Entertainment 10 years
Haha, "regifting men." I love it! Much better than regifting, say, fruitcake.
cgmaetc cgmaetc 10 years
While I understand what some of you are saying about dating ex's being disrespectful of your friendship, I have to say... grow up! Be an adult and let your friend have him. I have plenty of ex's who have dated and even married good friends of mine. There is no hate or love lost between me and my friends. We broke up for a reason. I think it's great that I was the catalyst for so many happy, healthy, positive relationships: if it weren't for me, many of these couples would have never met. Seriously ladies, those cries of betrayal, back-stabbing, disloyalty are just juvenile and silly. If you don't want him, let him go, and don't hate on your girl for picking up your seconds.
MSgirl MSgirl 10 years
Great advice E. Jean- I agree 100%!!
miss-matilda miss-matilda 10 years
I was in a VERY similar situation. I had a friend I have known since we were in 6. Well when we were seniors in highschool (across the country from one another) She started dating this guy and I came up to visit her (my family lives there still) and I met him. I had no interest in him whatsoever. Well they broke up. They dated "maybe" 2 or 3 months. The next thing I know hes chasing after me. He came after me. After awhile we started dating. She acted pissy about it but it was about 6 months later and seiously he was the one coming to me. Well we got together and within a year she said she was gay. I thought perfect now she'll stop being so pissy with me. Well our friendship kind of just floated off into the ether. I haven't talked to her in 6 years. She just got weird and I couldnt stand it anymore. Fast forward 11 years. We have been married for 5 year now. I do not regret a thing. If she was truley my friend we would of remained friends. But apparently our friendship wasn't that strong. I agree I dont understand the whole I dated him you can't thing. If you broke up WTF do you care now? Obviously it wasnt working.
partysugar partysugar 10 years
A moto I try to live by that may help you in this case: love it and leave it! E. Jean I would love to see you on Oprah!
lisett lisett 10 years
Leave it alone, don't waste your time fussing over something that isn't worth it. By that I mean that you should not talk to your so called friend either. Just wish them the best and stop communication. Be the bigger person I guess.
Marci Marci 10 years
Didn't we just do this exact problem on either Dear or Group Therapy?
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
a big part of the information is missing here; how long ago was the breakup? if it was less than a a couple of months back that's not right. secondly, how many men are there in the world and she has to date YOUR ex? something going on there with her playing head games with you. remember, he's your ex for a reason, bye-buh to him. but the "friend" is on back burner status for awhile. partners share personal information about past relationships and this reeks of them teaming up on one side and you on the other. but you must act as if you think it's fabulous! what a great couple you will make, i think it's a match made in ex-partner heaven.
kitchenfloor kitchenfloor 10 years
I completely agree with Clarapl's response. I was really surprised with E. Jean's reply to this question because I didn't think it responded to the poster's feelings. She just said, let it go and wish them well - but that would be completely denying how this girl obviously feels. That would be repressing how she feels just to keep everything harmonious which seems like a cop out to me. If I were this girl, I would tell my friend how I felt because friends should have an open stream of communication. If the friend chose to be with the guy even if I told her I was uncomfortable, I probably wouldn't associate with her anymore. I definitely think the girl should consider why she feels the need to have other people dictate whether her feelings are justified.
washin66 washin66 10 years
Saucy Pants, You have every right to be upset for two reasons. One, this girl broke the cardinal rule-FRIENDS' EXES ARE OFF LIMITS!I was in a similar situation, but it was my boyfriend and my so called best friend. They were calling each other, hanging out but both claim it was innocent. BULL!!! I was hurt but I walked away, like a lady, from BOTH of them. Women can be manipulative, backstabbing and caddy when it comes to men. If she was a true friend she should have never went down that road with your ex. Two, in my situtation I was more upset with her then my boyfirned because men do not have those limits, they share and share alike. I blame her because she opened the door. So its okay to be upset, but don't let them see you sweat. I would not even acknowledge either of them or their relationship. Work through your emotions, let them go and move on to your true soul mate. You are better off. FYI, now, both my ex and my ex friend are calling, wanting to be back in my life-well too little,too late. KARMA-you reap what you sow and they both will. DONT WASTE ANY MORE ENERGY ON NEITHER ONE OF THEM. MOVE ON!!!!
clarapl clarapl 10 years
First of all, of course you have a right to feel hurt, confused, whatever--they are your feelings, you shouldn't have to apologize for them! (Yet women are always questioning whether they have a "right" to be upset!) Also, I agree that is somewhat disrespectful to date the ex of a close friend. It's not about thinking you "own" someone, or an issue of whether you still have feeling for him. Obviously, you can't tell your friend who she can or cannot date. But a true friend would realize the discomfort it would cause for you and just not go there--which is why MEN, who seem to truly value their friendships, have an absolute taboo against this with anyone they want to stay friends with. It's just an issue of basic sensitivity and respect, not ownership. E. Jean should be asking why women don't value their friendships the same way, not belittling someone who is so upset and asking for support. Oh, and the whole "re-gifting" boyfriends idea may be fine on an anonymous website, but is she seriously suggesting women do this with their friends?? That's just idiotic. Sorry this is so long, but the glib answer kind of pissed me off.
Lila-Fowler Lila-Fowler 10 years
There are too many fish in the sea to justify dating a friend's ex. a once-boyfriend will always mean something even a little bit. dont start a fight with your friend though. if it's done, it's too late. i hope you're seeing other people and have moved on as well. the best thing to do is not to dwell. it's not a good thing your friend has done, but do not dwell on it.
vmruby vmruby 10 years
No you don't have right to be that upset unless there is more going on than what you're saying.One of the many big lessons i have learned about life is that people cannot control who they develop feelings for and unfortunately for you this one hits really close to home.But life goes on,and just because he was your first love doesn't mean it's your right to choose(or start a catfight with, in your words) whom he does and doesn't date.He obviously wasn't the right guy for you and i would imagine, because you did love him at one time, that you would like to see him happy.Do yourself a favor, wish them well, move on, and be grateful that your friend has found someone who makes her happy....
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