Dating your best friend's ex? BEWARE
Dating your best friend's ex is fraught with danger, says Aditi Bose.
My friend's teenage daughter was very upset.
She was ruing the day she decided to date her best friend's ex-boyfriend.
Since then, her relationship with her best friend has gone kaput.
It made me wonder: Why do we date our best friend's ex? Is it the right thing to do?
I asked around and most people said NO. Here's why:
It is difficult to let go
When two people fall in love, they come close to each other and plan a life together. If things don't work out, they move on.
Yet, it is difficult to let completely let go because love is a complicated emotion.
Dating your best friend's ex will more likely than not cause a rift/ break in your friendship. There could be two reasons why this happens – either he/ she still loves the ex or it is difficult for him/ her to completely detach himself/ herself.
My ex-colleague bitterly regrets the day she decided to date her best friend's ex. Her friend begged her to reconsider. Though she didn't harbour any affection for the guy, she said she felt jealous when she saw the two of them together.
Yet, my ex-colleague decided to go ahead.
In case you decide to follow the same path, talk to your friend first. Give him/ her enough time to get used to the new equation.
It won't be easy. Your friend will need a lot of sympathy and thoughtful care from your end.
We are, after all, human. Letting go of someone, especially if you were in love, can be tough.
Image: Be prepared to have your heart broken, be cast away as an outsider and considerable pain if you're dating your best friend's ex says Aditi Bose.
Photographs: Jayxxbe/Devian art/Creative Commons
The couple might just be on a break
Has a couple parted ways or are they just giving each other a break?
The speed at which relationships form, fizzle out and re-form these days makes this a very difficult question to answer.
When a couple are in the 'give me some space' mode, you might feel tempted to date your best pal's partner.
In such a scenario, there's just one thing you can do: STAY AWAY.
A cousin of mine, who was in a similar scenario, believes he was backstabbed by his best friend.
My cousin and his girlfriend had a fight and his best friend was quick to use the opportunity.
Two years later, my cousin is still not in a forgiving mood.
He is angry with his ex-friend, and upset with the girl who, he says, moved on easily after more than eight years of going steady.
If you are the best friend in such a scenario, you are running straight into the arms of trouble. At the cost of sounding cheeky, I'd suggest you run away with the 'ex' to a place where your friend can't find you!
Image: For all you know the couple might just be on a break. The best thing to do in this scenario is to stay away.
Photographs: Break ke Baad
Is it worth the effort?
There are those who covet their best friend's partner. When the opportunity arises, they waste no time jumping into a relationship with this person without asking that all-important question: Is it worth jeopardising a close friendship?
More often than not, it's not. As my 18-year-old sister-in-law discovered, much to her dismay.
She was dating her closest friend's ex-boyfriend despite knowing he had been cheating on her.
My sister-in-law felt, for some reason known to her alone, that theirs would be a stronger bond. Things went on swimmingly till she found out he was two-timing her as well.
Still want to give the 'ex' a shot? Here's a tip. Don't be hasty. No matter how tempting the offer, take your time. Analyse why your friend broke up with his/ her ex.
Take the time to know the ex.
Move forward only when you are very sure of him/her and you feel that he/she is worth the effort.
Image: You may covet their best friend's partner but ask yourself if it's worth jeopardising a close friendship
Photographs: New York
Are you hiding something?
You have begun dating your closest pal's ex but are afraid of how he/she might react. So you hide this information from him/her.
Do you really believe this is a permanent solution? Tha people won't see you? That this information won't reach your friend's ears? At that point, how do you think he/she will react?
Ask yourself: Is this the only person on the planet whom you can date?
When I was doing my MBA at the International Management Institute in Delhi, I had a batch mate who did precisely this -- he started dating his pal's ex and did not tell him about it. They got caught when they were spending time together at a popular pub nearby.
Before he knew it, his best friend had punched him in the face!
Here's a tip. If you are dating your best friend's ex, don't hide it from him/her. Telling the truth is a sign of maturity. If you are mature and rational, hopefully your pal will reciprocate.
Image: Doing it on the sly? Beware before you're caught!
Photographs: Nautanki Saala
Are you willing to become an outcast?
Remember your gang of friends? The fun you always have when you get together?
Here's what will generally happens when you decide to date your best friend's ex. Not only will your closest pal shun you, the rest of the gang will shut you out as well.
Girls, in particular, tend to be fiercely protective about their friends, especially when they are at their most vulnerable.
A female business associate says, "When I began dating my best friend's ex boyfriend, I became an outcast among my friends. People began to look down upon me!"
The colleague, who is in her mid thirties and lives in the US, adds, "It is good that it did not work out between us. At least, I got my friends back."
If you still want to take this thorn-strewn path, ensure you have a long chat first not just with your best pal but with the entire group as well.
Image: When you begin dating your best friend's ex, you must be willing to risk becoming an outcast.
Photographs: A still from How I Met Your Mother
Are you being taken for a ride?
You might be looking at a bright future together. Your best friend's ex might be looking for a temporary partner or someone who could make your best friend jealous!
My neighbour, who's a young working woman, told me how she had been taken for a ride when she began dating her close friend's ex boyfriend.
After a couple of dates, they spent the night together. Soon after, the guy went back to her best friend. He explained their budding relationship as a fling that had just one purpose -- to make 'his girl' jealous.
The sex, as he had put it, had been a 'spur of the moment' thing completely driven by hormones.
Unless you are okay with such one night stands, steer clear of such people.
Image: Ensure the two of you are looking for the very same thing in your relationship -- even if it is a one-night stand.
Photographs: Ishqiya poster
Better than your best friend? Or worse?
Close friends share details, even intimate ones, about their partner.
When you begin dating your pal's ex, it's quite likely that you will already know a lot about him/her.
Knowingly or unknowingly, you might land up comparing yourself with your friend. This will jeopardise both the new relationship and your self-esteem.
A distant cousin of mine, currently living in Australia, was lucky. His best friend did not object when my cousin began dating his ex-girlfriend a few months after they had broken up.
The problems began when he kept comparing himself with his best friend -- their dressing style, their behaviour and even their performance in bed.
Naturally, it affected their relationship which ended a few weeks later.
If you don't want to find yourself in such a mess, do not keep going back to your best friend for advice. Give yourself a regular pep talk.
Only you can free yourself of negativity and handle such a sensitive relationship.
Some things in life are taboo for Aditi Bose. Dating an ex is one of them.
Image: Close friends tend to share details about their partner, even intimate ones. Watch what you're getting into.
Photographs: A still from Cocktail