the BLOG of stuart mcdonald


What’s The Rule With Ex’s?
January 26, 2010, 10:10 am
Filed under: Relationships, Think About It | Tags: , , , ,

I had a dream last night that led me to think about how we relate to those we’ve been romantically involved in after we’re no longer involved with them and how should our friends respect the relationship that once was. In simpler terms — what’s the rule with friends and ex’s?

Let me give you a quick recap of what happened in my dream so this will make more sense: A group of friends were all at a movie together. On one side, I was sitting next to “W,” my ex (really, she’s not an “official” ex, only because we were never boyfriend/girlfriend, but we do have history), because we are still amiable. (I’m that way with most women I’ve had a relationship with. I don’t understand those who absolutely abhor their ex’s… but that’s another post.) On the other side of her was our friend “M,” who has, at some point, expressed some interest in her to me, but did so without knowing that her and I got as involved as we did.

So we’re watching the movie, and at some point I look over to see them all in each other’s faces making out. I immediately get a little ticked off. Not so much that I make a scene — instead I just get up and leave. (Now, I would say that, for me, that’s not a typical response, but having never been in the exact situation, I couldn’t tell you.)

I woke up wondering, first, “Why did I respond that way?” And secondly, “What is the rule with ex’s and friends and their ability to get involved?”  The first is for me to figure out; I want to focus on the second — what is the proper etiquette when one of your friends is interested in an ex of yours? Is there certain protocol that is courteous to follow?

For some, dating an ex of a friend is completely off limits. For some, friends will bounce between ex’s like tennis, volleying them back and forth to all in their circle with no after or forethought.

Personally, if a friend of mine was interested in someone in my past, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. She (whoever she is in this case) and I are no longer together for a reason, so why should I continue to hold onto her like she’s not free to do whatever she wants? If they want to be together, why shouldn’t they?

However, from a friend’s perspective, some “heads up” would be an appropriate courtesy. I know if I was interested in one of my boy’s ex’s, I would talk to him first, and get his thoughts. He might have some enlightening things to say, and perhaps some warnings as well.

As friends, you wouldn’t want anything to come between you, and I can see how something like this situation would do just that. Honestly, if the man is truly my friend, I would assume he would share with me details about the women that he’s interested in, whether or not they’re my ex, because that’s what friends do, right?

That’s my thought — I’m fine with it, but a little heads up is appreciated. What do you think? Is it totally off limits? Does any “permission” or notice need to be given before the friend begins pursuing the ex? Or should whatever just happen and everyone will be fine with it?

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4 Comments so far
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At the end of the day me and any one of my Ex’s are just that! done with, over, never again! BUT I would be appalled if one of my friends took interest in dating them! Like I said at the end of the day we are over, through etc. but no matter how over them and in the past they are, if my friend wanted to date them, that’s just an automatic hell no. I[m sorry, but that’s the way it is. Just as I wouldn’t date a cousin, friend etc. of my EX. it’s out of respect

Comment by lee-lee baby

I agree with you that with respect to the friendship it’d be good to have a convo about your interest in the ex. But even above that my thinking is this: you don’t own your ex. you may have dated them or whatever, but when it’s all said and done you don’t have any claim on them if you are not in a rel.ship. Why keep your friend from your ex when that person might be “the one” for them? It’s selfish.

Comment by LDB

I also agree that out of respect for the friendship, a conversation should occur. But I know that my response would not be a good one. They are my ex for a reason and I don’t usually have an ex unless they were just not a great person (i.e. a cheater, a liar, etc). Thus, why would I subject my friend to the insanity that my ex might bring to their life. There is probably a good reason that the person is my ex in the first place, so why would I pass on junk to my true friends?

I do, however, think that there are cases where the person and I may have just spoken for a bit, but never became serious. In this extenuating circumstance, if I believe the “ex” and my friend would really hit it off, then by all means lets discuss the details and get them on a date. No need to be stingy if me and that person never shared any chemistry!

Comment by Inner Beauty Queen

If your friend wants to date your Ex I feel that maybe you should be thinking more along the lines of why does this friend even want your “sloppy seconds” that didn’t work out anyways and what kind of thoughts and/or behavior was displayed between them when you were with this person.With all the available singles in the world why would a friend want someone that was already in your common circle of friends. Will she or he be pillow talking about which friend was better in bed. Out of respect for yourself all Ex’s are off limits. In the rare event you do agree that it’s okay you should be analyze your friendship and whom you have your girlfriend or boyfriend around.

Comment by Liza




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