Do you owe your ex anything when it comes to dating his friends?
He’s funny, single, and a total babe. And he’s your ex-boyfriend’s best friend! Whether you’ve been in this situation before or had a friend lust after your former flame, you know how complicated it can be. So is the forbidden fruit ever worth the pursuit or are you destined for drama? We hit up Jessica Lamb, Psychotherapist at counselling agency Relationship Matters, for her best advice on how to handle this sticky situation.
The heart wants what it wants
Selena Gomez was right on the money with her 2014 hit – we can’t always help who we catch feels for, and unless you’re a terrible (read: masochistic) person, you probably didn’t plan on falling for the wrong guy/ trampling your ex’s heart in the process. So first things first, cut yourself some slack! Figure out how serious you are about following up on your feelings. “If it’s just a passing fancy, no one needs to know,” Jessica advises. But if the feelings are mutual and you think there’s something there, she believes it’s worth nixing the moral code. “Ultimately, you need to live your life for yourself, not other people,” she says. In short? You do you.
When in doubt, talk it out
Let’s get one thing straight: you and your ex are no longer together, so you do NOT need his permission to date someone else. However, it would be considerate to give him the heads up if you’re thinking about getting it on with one of his close friends. “Be sensitive to his feelings,” Jessica recommends. “Be upfront about any concerns and negotiate ways to continue to be able to all socialise together.” This way you’ll be able to mutually set boundaries and eliminate any bad blood the situation may cause. But what if you come clean and it doesn’t go down well? It might be time for you and your new bae to take responsibility for your actions. “There’s always going to be consequences, ” points out Jessica. “The reality is you may lose your previous partner as a friend and find that others take his side too.” It’s definitely something to think about before laying out all your cards.