How to Date Your Ex's Best Friend
Dating your ex-partner’s best friend can feel like a tricky situation, as you do not want to upset your ex-partner. If you have strong feelings for your ex’s best friend and you feel you both have a future together, you may want to figure out how you can date this person without conflict. To do this, you should first disclose your new relationship to your ex-partner and set boundaries. You should then focus on fostering a positive relationship with the best friend so all your hard work is worth it.
Telling Your Ex-Partner
Make sure your feelings for the best friend are real.Though you may be wrapped up in emotion right now, you should pause and consider how deep your feelings are for the best friend. This may be especially important if you broke up with your ex-partner recently and are still feeling raw over the break up. Your emotions may end up leading you to your ex’s best friend, for perhaps the wrong reasons.
- Sometimes, you can end up fooling around with your ex’s best friend as a form of retaliation. This may occur consciously or unconsciously, where you use the best friend to get back at your ex. Or, you may be more into the sneaking around and hiding you have to do with the best friend and find the risk exciting. These may be fleeting emotions that are superficial or fleeting. You should consider if your feelings for the best friend are the real deal before you sit your ex-partner down for a chat.
- You may also ask mutual friends about what they think of your new relationship. Sometimes getting an outside perspective on the relationship can help you to put it in perspective.
Tell your ex one on one in a private setting.If you feel the relationship is meaningful and could lead to a serious relationship, it may be time to talk to your ex-partner about it. Do this by contacting your ex and asking for a one on one, in person meeting. Choose a neutral meeting spot, like a park bench or a coffee shop. This will make your ex feel more comfortable with meeting you and make the meeting seem less intimidating.
Use “I” statements.When you tell your ex, you should make sure you are being accountable for your actions and choices. Do this by using “I” statements as you tell your ex about your new relationship. Speak clearly and honestly so your ex-partner knows you are trying to be sincere and mature about the situation.
- For example, you may say, “I wanted you to hear the news from me, directly. I have started seeing your best friend. I did not plan it or know it was going to happen. We were all out one night and one thing lead to another. I am really happy with this person and I hope you can be happy for me.”
Maintain open, positive body language.You should maintain eye contact with your ex-partner when you tell him about the relationship and keep your body relaxed. Avoid crossing your arms over your chest or sitting on the edge of your seat. Try to project positive body language so your ex-partner knows you are speaking with intention. This could help your ex to come to terms with what you are saying.
Maintaining Boundaries with Your Ex-Partner
Give your ex time to process the news.Be prepared for your ex to be upset and unsettled by news of your new relationship. Even if you broke up awhile ago, dating your ex’s best friend can be a touchy situation. Rather than try to get your ex to accept the news, you should give your ex time to process the situation.
- This may mean that you agree not to be in contact for a few days or a few weeks. You may also give your ex space to process by opting out of get together with mutual friends.
Ask the best friend to give your ex-partner space.You may also talk to the best friend and recommend that you both give your ex space and time to process. Sometimes, people just need to digest emotional information and come to terms with a sensitive situation.
- The best friend and your ex-partner may have a different relationship than you have to your ex. So, over time, the best friend may be able to reach out to your ex and explain their side of the story. This may help your ex accept your new relationship and also avoid ruining the friendship between the best friend and your ex.
Accept that your ex may not be okay with the relationship.Though you may try your hardest to get your ex-partner to understand and accept your new relationship, it may not always be possible. Your ex-partner may be too upset by the relationship and have a hard time being okay with your new romance. Your ex may also be angry that their best friend became involved with someone from their past. You may need to learn to accept that having your new relationship means letting go of your relationship with your ex-partner.
- Sometimes, ex-partners can also get possessive and jealous when faced with this situation. Keep in mind that though you can feel bad for dating your ex’s best friend, this does not mean you have to give up your new relationship. Over time, your ex may come around and accept the situation. But you cannot force your ex to do this.
Fostering a Positive Relationship with the Best Friend
Avoid comparing the best friend to your ex.To create a healthy relationship with the best friend, you should avoid comparisons between the best friend and your ex. Your relationship is not a competition and the best friend has different qualities than your ex. Comparing the best friend and your ex will just lead to conflict and tension in your new relationship.
- For example, maybe the best friend has a different approach to date night. Maybe he tends to plan more intimate dates at home, and your ex would go all out with an expensive dinner for date night. Rather than compare the two, focus on the positives of each approach. Then, remind yourself that you are with the best friend because he does things differently and offers different things than your ex did.
Don’t gossip or trash talk your ex.Though you may no longer be close with your ex, your ex’s best friend may still be close with him and want to maintain a relationship with him. Trash talking your ex, in front of the best friend or with other friends, will only create more tension between your ex and the best friend.
- Gossiping about your ex can also create problems in your new relationship. Your hurtful words about your ex may make your new partner upset. This could then lead to tension and conflict between the two of you.
Allow the best friend to spend time with your ex.For the sake of your new relationship, you should try to be okay with your new partner spending time with your old partner. Your new partner may also miss spending time with his best friend, despite the circumstances. You should encourage them to spend time together so it does not seem like you are trying to be controlling or selfish in the relationship.
- You can also try to maintain a better relationship with your ex-partner, especially if your new partner is still his best friend. Making an effort to spend time together as a group can help to normalize the situation and allow your ex to get used to your new relationship.
Be respectful of your ex's feelings at social events.If you still share mutual friends with your ex, you and your new partner will eventually end up at social events where your ex is present. When and if this happens, you should try to be respectful towards your ex's feelings and be considerate of your ex when you are around him with the best friend. This may mean not showing too much physical affection with the best friend when you are around your ex, such as holding hands, kissing, or cuddling together. Displays of affection could make your ex uncomfortable or upset, especially if you recently broke up and are now seeing his best friend.
- You should also try to be inclusive of your ex, especially if your ex and his best friend are still close. This may mean including your ex in social get togethers with other friends or being okay if your ex hangs out with you and the best friend. Over time, the situation should normalize and hopefully your ex will get used to your relationship with the best friend.
Video: Should you date your ex's friend? (ft. uToonz)
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