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Social Question

franky's avatar

Are x's off limits to your close friends?

Asked by franky (66 points ) January 2nd, 2013

Friend of mine has started dating an X of mine from some time back (years ago). Not the first time he’s dated one of my X’s or an X of other friends in our “group.” I’m not really hung up on the X, that ship sailed long ago and I was the one who sent it on it’s way…. But she was a rather serious g/f that I dated for a while. I find it rather “dickish” that a good buddy of mine from as far back as childhood would date an X who was on a serious level. Not to mention the awkwardness I forsee in future social events where we’re all present. And also not to mention his history of dating X’s, several before whom I was still stuck on at the time.

I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me at all, so what should I do about the situation? Turn a blind eye? Cut him out? Ignore it? What?

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33 Answers

Seek's avatar

So you’re not hung up on her, but you’re intensely jealous that a friend is dating her?

Doesn’t make sense.

If you’re not hung up, if you were the one who “set the ship sailing”, and the relationship ended years ago, what on earth could you possibly have a problem with? Why should social events be awkward? Are you afraid she’s going to tell him your secrets? Are you concerned that she’s going to compare your bedroom skills to his? Why should that matter, since you’re not hung up on her?

My thought? You’re either hung up on her, or you have a jealous nature that is stronger than your friendship.

My advice? Get over it. Be a grownup, and move on. Let your friend and your ex be happy together. Most social circles are small enough that eventually someone is going to date someone else’s ex something. Fortunately, you can choose not to be so petty as to get your knickers in a twist over it.

syz's avatar

Someone from years ago? That statute of limitations has expired.

franky's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr @syz I’ve always just been of the mindset that your friends close X’s are off limits. There’s not really a jealousy that she is dating him, in fact I’ve been well aware of several of her b/f’s that followed me (a few of which were people I knew), and that’s never bothered me… as I said, I sent the ship sailing.

Here though we’re talking about a very close friend of mine, who I once considered my best friend. From ancient history: I was once dumped by a girl I was madly in love with, and my friend swooped in and started dating her shortly thereafter. The move nearly destroyed our friendship and we didn’t talk for several years afterwards. And this, as I stated, isn’t the first time he’s picked up an X from someone in our group. While in this case we’re talking about a girl I have no intentions with anymore, it just adds to the faux-pas/disappointed/whatever feeling I have about him dating yet another X.

And the awkwardness I speak of is of the type when you walk into a room with your current wife and encounter your X wife and her new husband. You share nice comments and feign interest enough to catch up, and then on the car ride home talk about how awkward that was, or maybe start remembering bitter arguments from years past. Not that you have any feelings for the person anymore, but you’d much rather not see them again. Now the “new husband” is a close friend of mine, and I’ll likely be exposed to the “x-wife” rather frequently… when we haven’t talked to one another in a while. I’ve no idea how cordial we will even be when put together…. it’s not like we broke up because we got along too well.

and specifically @syz When does my statue of limitations expire on the friend? That is my concern here.

filmfann's avatar

First, it’s Ex, not X.

I dated 5 women who were ex’s of friends. I only had an issue with one, who secretly was still seeing a friend. That was painful.

2 of my ex’s dated a friend of mine after. The above mentioned relationship was the only one that bothered me.

I was an usher at the wedding of a friend, many years ago. After their marriage broke up, his ex-wife slept with all the groomsmen, but sadly, not the ushers. She bragged about it, later.

syz's avatar

Hey, if you want to dump a friend over a years old relationship, go for it. You don’t seem to like him that much anyway. But you’ve asked for opinions in a public forum, and that’s what you’re getting. They apparently don’t jibe with your own, but that’s what happens when you go public.

bkcunningham's avatar

I get what you are saying, @franky. When I was dating, I would never have even considered dating the ex-boyfriend of a close friend. It would feel like betrayal to me.

elbanditoroso's avatar

If they want my ex, they can have her. No skin off my back.

By the way, over the years several of my ex-wife’s ex-boyfriends have come to me and said “how could you ever have been married to <her> – she’s loonie!”

Shippy's avatar

Some people I would mind, others not so much. Those I had intense very real relationships I would feel pangs. I think the decent thing to do would have been to warn you, to give you some time to digest the feeling. Other than that we have no ownership over people.

zenvelo's avatar

A fraternity brother and I were discussing this a while back. when we were in schools,no one had cell phones. I asked him what his minimum time before asking out a “brother’s” ex. His reply: “As long as it takes her to get back to the Sorority.”

LuckyGuy's avatar

@franky I get it. I never dated a friend’s ex. There are too many fish in the sea and I was never that desperate that I needed to add that kind of drama to my life. I figured if we are friends we will be seeing each other in social circles and life is so much nicer when conflict – or even uncomfortable feelings – are avoided. It’s almost like ‘fishing off the company dock.”
On the other hand, if that’s all the poor guy can get, pity him and live and let live.
If it helps, think of him as a bottom feeder, doing a service to society by collecting cast offs. Remember, live and let live – and slowly start widening your circle of friends.

ucme's avatar

No one likes sloppy seconds.

Shippy's avatar

Since he’s done it before, consider that he may in some way be in awe of you.

Coloma's avatar

On the one hand I agree that it might seem a little disrespectful, on the other, if years have passed, hey…why wouldn’t you want your friend to find happiness even if it is with an ex?
If they are a good blend, I don’t see the problem. Personally I would find it awkward and probably wouldn’t seek out a friends ex…but….if there really seemed to be a serious potential connection well… all’s fair in love and war.
It IS all in your mind and part of your programming, but doesn’t mean it is bad or wrong.

After all you don’t OWN your ex, or your friend.

franky's avatar

@Coloma I do think they are a good match, assuming she hasn’t changed too much. My approach thus far has been to just avoid the situation all together. As I said (and many others have reiterated as though I don’t already know it), I ended it with her and I do not own either of them. In fact, as far as I’m concerned about her she could go get gang banged by the entire Mexican army.

What bothers me is that a friend, supposedly a close friend, at one point a man I considered my best friend…. would snag up another X, and not just a girl I went on a few dates with… someone I was in love with once, and lived with for some time while pondering marriage and children….Someone who would undoubtedly spawn awkward, if not confrontational situations in my presence… knowing full well she and I will likely be exposed to one another on a relatively frequent basis after having gone years with barely a conversation. Very likely drudging up old arguments or bitterness or what have you (at least awkward small talk while we try to pretend we’re not at all weirded out) .....especially after he’s done it before to the extreme detriment of our friendship.

Brian1946's avatar

It’s not Y’s for friends to date your X’s. ;-)

Coloma's avatar

@franky Tough call…I dunno. I think it is usually best to not cross into that territory, but I aspire to be enlightened so try to look at all sides. :-)
Personally I had an exes friend hit on me years ago right after we broke up and I did find it off putting and disrespectful of the guy. I have also had female friends boyfriends and husbands hit on me and I found that to be just fucking disgraceful! haha

franky's avatar

@Coloma Yah that’s pretty sh*tty of people. I mean worst case scenario here I’m just going to stop hanging around my friend. Even if I had the ability/power to end/disrupt their relationship (which I do not in the slightest), I wouldn’t want to stand in the way of either of them being happy. But I forsee it being very troublesome for me to stay in this picture.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I think ex’s are off-limits and your pal broke the ‘guy code’, so you have every right to avoid them or discuss it with him, whatever you choose.

Personally I’d just smile and go on even though it bothers you, it will make you look better in the long run and if the ex cares at all still, it will drive her insane that you aren’t giving her any ‘emotion.’

Of course I’d also bring a super hot chick around if they were going to be there, but I’m snide like that. :)

franky's avatar

@KNOWITALL I am happily (relatively at least) with a lovely young lady now for a while. I guess one thing I know for sure is I’m not going to introduce her to him :)... lol

LuckyGuy's avatar

@franky If this is making you uncomfortable, and clearly it is, it’s time to dial it back with him. He’s done it before and will do it again.
Let’s hope he’s not the type of guy who would move into the same neighborhood as you or apply to work for the same company.

Wise move about avoiding him with your lady friend.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@franky Oh no, if your chick is cool, tell her all about it, seriously.

Tell your lady the sitch with a little background about all the times he’s done this, get her all decked out in new sexy clothes after a marathon bedroom session, and let her show her stuff/ handle it, it should be fun! Women are really good at this type of thing, trust me.

franky's avatar

@LuckyGuy Doubt I’ll have to worry about him doing those things.

@KNOWITALL Well my lady is that type of girl, but she’s also the type of girl who’s not very fond of the idea of meeting any of my X’s, let alone one that was serious. Just another wrinkle to the story.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@franky Gotcha, but if you tell her all about it, you get honestly bonus points!

Then she can decide if she wants to avoid or strut, eventually we usually want to strut.

cazzie's avatar

This happened to my ex hubby. A good friend of his started seriously dating and then married an old girlfriend. It would have been fine, but it was HER that had the problem every time she saw me and my ex husband out, as we did end up in the same social situations with friends we had in common. It was so awkward. She snubbed me on a few occasions and made a few events rather awkward. Don’t make a serious efforts to introduce anyone where an awkward situation can occur. Earning ‘strutting points’ is childish and no body wins.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@cazzie Some women find it amusing and to me it’s more childish to spend your time avoiding anyone.

cutiepi92's avatar

eh I personally finding breaking the “code” as well. I wouldn’t want anyone that I considered to be a close friend to date an ex of mine. That just seems weird and like a betrayal, like the whole time I was with that person they might have been secretly trying to snag them from me. I personally would still keep them as a friend but definitely wouldn’t consider him that close anymore. Like you said, it makes everything weird with social gatherings and all too. But everyone doesn’t care about it that way. As many have said on here, all is fair in love and war. I just don’t always agree with that sentiment. You don’t have to try to break their happiness, but maybe you should reevaluate your closeness with this guy

burntbonez's avatar

You guys clearly got the wrong version of the “code,” probable from some television show. I can’t tell you how absurd I think this is. You’re not taking responsibility for yourself. It is not your buddy’s job to stay away from all your exes (as if he can read your mind and tell which ones you are hung up on, anyway). It is your job to learn to be an adult and how to get along with friends significant others, even if you don’t like them.

Yes, he will no longer be a good friend now that he is with her. I think that is what you anger is about. You don’t really trust him, and you feel betrayed and you say the betrayal is because of the ex, but in fact it is much deeper than that. You must learn how to get along with him. Or just stop being friends with him. If you ever get married, you may never see your friends again, anyway, so it won’t matter. But right now you are getting sucked up in the drama. You should stand up and be a man here. Your friendship is over for the moment. Accept it and deal with it.

franky's avatar

@burntbonez Never, in the entirety of my life, have I seen a comment so incredibly far off base.

Sunny2's avatar

@franky You sound very young and unrealistic to me. Your logic is sit-com claptrap, not reality based on adult points of view of the world. Play games, if you like, but when you are 40 look back at this situation and see how your opinions will have changed.

Seek's avatar

Funny, I thought he was sliding into third, there. He should have rounded and gone for home.

AshLeigh's avatar

If I was over a guy, and my friend wanted to date him, she can.
You don’t own him, or her. They’re big kids now, and they can make their own decisions.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It depends on why they are my ex. If that person really hurt me, of course I’d be pissy if my friends wanted to date/be with them. But if you don’t want that person, you have nothing to do with who they date.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t understand this “code” mentality. I mean, if you’d just broken up or she’d hurt you terribly, I could understand being upset about your friend dating her. Otherwise, it’s ridiculous. If two people can find love and happiness together, even if they are your best friend and your ex, why is that a bad thing? I’d be happy for my friend, and indifferent about the ex. Life is too short to play petty games.

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