Social Question

Mariah's avatar

Any jellies have relationship advice for my friend?

Asked by Mariah (19187 points ) November 11th, 2012

I have this guy friend who is a wonderful guy but is so, so lonely. He’s got a bit of a dilemma going on.

He’s REALLY into a girl who just recently broke up with a longtime boyfriend. Said ex boyfriend happens to be one of his best friends. He has no idea how, or if, to proceed.

There’s a crazy high male:female ratio here so the “fish in the sea” argument doesn’t actually apply.

He’s coming to me for advice and I feel bad because I don’t have much to offer. What say you?

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18 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

If this were a friend of mine, and he wanted to keep the friendship with the other guy (let’s call him Joe), I would suggest talking to him: “Say, Joe, I know you and Shelley have split up. I’ve kept my distance from her all this time out of respect for our friendship. But if you two have moved on now, I want to let you know that I’m going to ask her out. I hope that won’t cause any problem between us.”

However, the last time I did give this advice, it backfired, because Joe suddenly got all possessive (even though he’d been the one to do the breaking up) and did everything possible to put a wedge between the friend and Shelley. And it worked, too, because Shelley wasn’t really over him. The result was a lot of grief and hassle. In the end she walked away from both of them, and their friendship was never the same either.

Love is a damned chancy business. All your friend can do is give it his best shot.

psyonicpanda's avatar

The First rule of the Bro Code. you dont break the bro code. Another is that you do not date your best friends Ex…under any circumstances. Ever. Period.
In the long run it could ruin the friendsship and he could inevitably just be used as a rebound guy. If the fish are not biting in his pond then I would suggest he get a bigger boat paddle elswhere.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Your friend can’t let low self esteem make him chase this girl. You just don’t date your friends ex, it really is that simple.

It is just full of problems. If she says yes, he can (as mentioned) end up as a rebound guy, then lose her, and have neither her nor his friend. If she says no, he risks losing both right off the bat.

If he really must chase after her, he has to at least get permission from the friend if he expects to keep the friendship.

There is much more that could be said, but I will refrain from going in to every point, and just say this is a good way to end up with a fat lip.

CWOTUS's avatar

I like @Jeruba‘s advice, after your friend has had his first date with “Shelley” and determined to pursue a relationship with her, and I would add one line (as a kind of internal mantra, not written – to anyone! – or spoken aloud):

All’s fair.

This “bro code” stuff is bullshit.

bkcunningham's avatar

You don’t date your best friend’s ex if you want to keep your friendship.

Seek's avatar

There’s no such thing as the Bro Code.

Anyone who would deny their Bro a girlfriend just because they couldn’t make it work with the girl themselves needs to grow the hell up, and frankly isn’t much of a Bro.

LuckyGuy's avatar

As you know, I went to a similar school that specialized in engineering. The M to F ratio was 28:1. I looked elsewhere for companionship. There was a women’s college nearby which was a much more fruitful meeting space. We found that by junior year the women at my school were so full of themselves they were impossible to be around. It is possible that was a defense mechanism but still, the smart guys recognized they were to be avoided. (I’d make a special exception in your case, naturally.)
Does he have any idea how wonderful you are? Just askin’..
If that is out of the question, can you offer to be his wingman?

@Seek_Kolinahr In all my years, unless all participants are over 40 and divorced, I have never seen a case where it wasn’t awkward when one guy dated a friend’s ex. If the split was ugly, mutually attending events was always difficult.
Everyone always knew that A and B had slept with C and C chose to be with B. The comparison would be made involuntarily. “I wonder what was wrong with A…”

Mariah's avatar

Thanks everybody. Yeah, if this were any other guy I think my gut feeling would be “stay away! At least for awhile!” But….this guy needs a girlfriend SO. BAD. And he’s fixated on this girl. Had it been any other girl my advice would have been “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GO FOR IT”

Also have a bit of a personal stake in this because, to answer @LuckyGuy‘s question, he has FAR too much of an idea of how wonderful I am, but I’m very happily taken…..by his housemate. When my guy and I got together, it came out that this friend was into me and he was really mopey about it for a long time. Now when we’re talking about this girl, I’m telling him my instinct is that it would be too soon to make a move, and he hits me with “yeah but last time I hesitated was with you, and I missed my chance.” Ugh, the guilt-tripping is strong with this one. I just want him to get a girlfriend so bad.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Something to add:

- If she broke up with him, why date a girl that dumped a good friend?

- If he beoke up with her, why date a girl that failed to get the seal of approval from a trusted friend?

Seek's avatar

Because people have different personalities? Because some people happen to like vanilla? The question doesn’t state the chick strangled his cat and burned his house down, it just says they broke up. Haven’t you ever dated someone who was a perfectly nice individual, just not someone you want to be with? Why is your friend forever barred from dating that otherwise perfectly agreeable individual?

Sorry, bro code has just never made any sense to me.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Darn it @Mariah ! I was all ready to give your phone number to my son, the electrical engineer! When you started talking about eigenvectors I was smitten! You can be my daughter-in-law any day!

bolwerk's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr speaks truth. I don’t see any reason to be cautious if she’s now unattached. It may be one thing if she did something evil to the friend, but I don’t see evidence of this. They broke up, it happens.

Also, when there are significantly more males than females, it’s time to cull the herd with warfare. A raiding party of unattached males of reproductive age should be arranged, and a nearby village invaded. In the process of defending themselves, the nearby village will kill off some of the excess males.

Shippy's avatar

It is a difficult one, one should never date best friends ex’s. However, all he can do either way, is be a great friend to her. Time passes and people move on, and it might just pan out the way he wishes. Either way he gets to spend time with a person he cares about.

submariner's avatar

Women seem to have some sort of code about never ever dating anyone their friends have been involved with. Men don’t. But if the girl dumped the other guy, dating her any time soon (i.e., before he gets over her) probably will strain or end the friendship. If the other guy dumped her, then he has no claim on her.

The OP said the other guy was “one of” her friend’s best friends. How close are they really? If they are close enough friends that they can talk about this, then they should. If they aren’t, then the friendship is not really close enough for it to matter.

I would never give up one of my closest male friendships over a woman—but I regret not dating a couple of women just to avoid conflict with male acquaintances who were not that important to me.

Seek's avatar

If they are close enough friends that they can talk about this, then they should. If they aren’t, then the friendship is not really close enough for it to matter.

^ This.

Shippy's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Not sure if you are married or whatever, but for example, how would you feel if your SO dated your best friend?

Seek's avatar

If my SO and I split up for whatever reason, and he then chose to date my friend? More power to them. He’s a great guy, and she’s a great woman. If they could make each other happy I’d be thrilled for them.

psyonicpanda's avatar

See The “Bro Code” is the unwritten guild lines usually used by a group of males that is based on the simple fundementals of respect, trust, and loyalty. it might be hard for to understand. Though it is a sensitive situation, what it boils down to is this person worth risking your ”best friend” whom of which he has probably had more time with, built more trust with, has more repsect for. In the end this young person could lose both his friend and the girl. A best friend is the one you should be able to go to and consult in after a break up, but you all are advising this person to slink and prowl this shows no loyalty to the friendship.
The ends do not justify the means people.
On the flip side. The friend could be ok with it, and the guy could get what hes been coveting. Happily ever after. sigh

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