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Happen Circumstance

Dear Sugar
My friend and her ex broke up a year and a half ago. She broke up with him and they ended things very maturely and on good terms, although they never talk anymore. She is now living with hew new boyfriend and seems to be really happy.

I recently started graduate school and low and behold, my friend's ex is in my class. We were shocked to see each other, but it was nice to look at a familiar face. Our first semester we rarely saw each other, but this quarter, we have two classes together.

We have gotten to know each other quite well and I have developed a pretty profound crush. We are both aware of the complexity of the situation and we haven't acted on our feelings for each other, but I can't deny them anymore.

Although my friend has moved on, I am extremely uncomfortable with telling her about her ex. I respect her as a person which is why nothing has happened, but my question is does she have a right to be upset with me if we begin dating since she has moved on with her life? Please give me any guidance as I just don't know how to handle the situation. Crushing Christy

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Crushing Christy
Dating your friend's ex is always a tough call and every person has a different opinion on the topic. I understand your rationale in thinking since your friend has moved on in her life she won't mind if he has, but the truth of the matter is it is always hard to see your ex with someone else, especially if it is a close friend.

I think you have done the right thing by not acting on your feelings, as this potential relationship could be just too close for comfort. You need to ask yourself if pursuing this relationship is worth it in the long run as your friend is bound to have some hurt feelings. Are you interested in her ex because he is available and this relationship would be convenient since you are at the same school?

Have you ever talked with your girlfriend about how she will feel once her ex starts dating again? Do you know how he feels about you? When you fall for your friend's ex, you walk a very thin line so the best thing to do is talk to her. Honesty is always the best policy so ask her what she thinks. Does she know he is in your class? Do you think she already has an inkling you guys hang out?

Let her know that her friendship means more to you than anything else, so if she isn't comfortable with the idea of your taking the relationship to the next level, you are going to ultimately have to choose between what you think is more important, losing a friend or gaining a potential life partner. Good luck.

Join The Conversation
Christina362536 Christina362536 10 years
Talk to her about it... If she has an issue with it.. get over him... Hopefully she gives you her consent. Don't gush right away about him because that will just make her feel uncomfortable.
quietriott quietriott 10 years
in my personal experience of having a friend date an ex, the two things that are most important are how much you value your friendship and openness with your friend. the situation i was involved in took place about 1.5 months after having my heart absolutely crushed following a year-long, very up-and-down relationship and dumped via email after making a weekend trip to see him/be ignored by him. although i was happy to be out of the relationship, when a good friend who had listened to me cry about the break up (and who i had helped get through a year of depression) ended a phone conversation with "well i have to go, X will be here in a few minutes to take me out on our date..." i was devastated. not because i still had feelings for him, but because she had known how hurt i had been. even more so because she didn't really bring it up to me or warn me that she was doing this. in the end though, i kept my mouth shut, and lo and behold the relationship was very short-lived. our friendship is intact, but nothing like the closeness that we used to have. and honestly, what bothered me as well was that he was interested in MY friend, and so in my irrational girlitude, it made me doubt his attraction of while we were still in the relationship, like, did he find her attractive/prettier than me while we were still dating?....stupid, i know, but doesn't every girl want the guy she is with to think she is the prettiest/funniest/most fabulous of all her friends?
rustedwings rustedwings 10 years
Let her know, and know that the situation is exactly as complicated as it feels for you.
JessNess JessNess 10 years
Out of courtesy for her let her know the situation. But personally I dont think you need to ask for her permission. It was a year and a half ago and if things ended on good terms there really shouldnt be a problem. If she is mad about it then she has some unresolved issues she needs to deal with. But let her know so she doesnt feel out of the loop
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
it's not your friends business anymore. she ended things with him, they wrapped things up nicely, she's moved on and is in a happy relationship, it's been over a year. he's on the open market and if you don't date him someone else certainly will. why would she care at this point? i would mention it only casually, but honestly, if you lived in a small town by your mid 20's your friends would have exhausted to pool of eligible men and there would be no one left to date.
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 10 years
I think we should be realistic. Even if she's found someone new she's not going to be comfortable talking to you about this guy and going out with the two of you it will change things and you might lose her as a friend because of that she might not feel comfortable around you anymore. The question is does that matter to you. Is this just an attraction or are you seriously interested in this guy? Those are questions that you can only answer and be true to yourself.
martini-queenie martini-queenie 10 years
My personal opinion on the matter is that an ex is always, always off limits, no matter what. If you ask her you are putting her in an uncomfortable situation where she sounds like she's not over him if she says she'd be uncomfortable with the idea. She might be completely over him, but that doesn't mean she wants to see her friend hooking up with him! I don't mean to be harsh, but there are so many guys in the world, can't you find someone who didn't date your friend?...
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
i would just ask her. if she's over him, then she should be ok with it. if she's not, then you have to figure out if it's worth throwing a grenade into a friendship over.
cubadog cubadog 10 years
Why don't you just ask your friend how she would feel about you dating her ex? That should tell you if you should pursue the relationship or not. If she has moved on it will probably not be a big deal for her.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
This is a really tough situation. How good of friends are you with this person? Is she your best friend, friend, or acquaintance? Do you think this guy could be *it*? Do you see a real future with him? How did he treat your friend in their relationship? If he was crappy to her at all, I would not even consider this an option. I am of the opinion that if you think this could be the love of your life, and this girl is an acquaintance whose friendship you could stand to lose, then I would go for it. There is only so long someone is "off limits", in my opinion, and that length of time is totally dependent on how close you are to your friend, how long she and the guy were together, etc. Some people might be off limits to you forever. It boils down to whether the risk is worth the aftermath. Only you really know that. So if you decide it's worth it, you should talk to your friend first, and tell her how you feel. If she finds out after the fact, shit will fly. But if you explain your feelings, say you are anguishing because you don't want to hurt her etc., then she might be upset by your feelings, but she won't necessarily feel betrayed. My first love in college and a semi-good friend of mine ended up being interested in each other. At the time, I was already in another long term relationship. She basically asked my permission to see this guy, and I honestly couldn't have cared less if they went out. I had moved on and they were both fantastic people and I could NOT have been happier. Give your friend a chance to give you her blessings. And, beware the trap of a relationship being more interesting because it's "forbidden." That fades fast.
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