The easiest answer is that it is never okay to date your best friend’s ex. There are some unwritten rules in life or unspoken codes that have a lot to do with the moral fibre of Society. However, human beings will surprise you and when dealing with an issue that provokes two polar opinions, it is necessary to be cautious about taking any sides but rather one must guide accordingly depending on circumstances. Ultimately whether it is right or wrong to date your best friend’s ex depends on the following factors:

  1. How long have you been friends?
  2. How long did you date the ex?
  3. Was your friend in the picture at the time of your relationship?
  4. What was their involvement in the relationship?
  5. Why did you break up with your ex?
  6. To what extent if any, did your best friend contribute to the breakup?
  1. Why does it seem improper and disrespectful to date your best friend’s ex?

One’s loyalty is usually expected to be to their best friend first, therefore dating your best friend’s ex may appear to be an act of betrayal. Again, depending on how and why they broke up, it may appear to be a complete disregard of your best friend’s pain besides the fact that it just causes awkward vibes in your friendship.

2. What are the psychological effects that a person endures when their friend decides to date their ex?

Your best friend may feel let down or deceived. Trust may be irreparably broken and depending on the circumstances of their break up and your new relationship with their ex, your best friend may be confused and left wondering if there was something they may have missed in your friendship or in their romantic relationship at the time.

3. How is the friendship affected when a person decides to date their friend’s ex?

The friendship may become strained. You may no longer be as close as you were before and whenever you meet, you may find it difficult to talk or do things together. Your friend may also lose the respect they may have had for you and in some cases, the friendship itself becomes irretrievably damaged and unredeemable.

4. If a person approves their friend to date their ex, can this romantic relationship work? 

Firstly, no one needs anyone’s approval to date anyone. Adults will still do what they want to do, with or without anyone’s consent. It may also be very unfair and insensitive to place the burden of approval on a friend who has broken up with a lover. In addition to the pain of losing the relationship, regardless of who was the dumper and who got dumped, all lose hurts, it may be an extra emotional and mental strain to have to deal with the new dynamic.

Secondly, there are no guarantees that a relationship will work or not based on who one chooses to date, technically, all relationships will work if both partners want to be together, love each other wholeheartedly and put in the work required to form a healthy relationship. If however, they got together for the wrong reasons, the relationship will surely soon fizzle out.

5. Some may argue that dating your friend’s ex is a promiscuous tendency – what is your take on this?

There are some people who date their best friend’s ex purely out of a careless decision or as a wrong life choice that they soon regret, and on the other hand there are some people who date their best friend’s ex simply because they really love them and they go on to have harmonious long term relationships. Not everyone who does this is necessarily immoral. People are different and so are their circumstances.

6. There are some who say that a person who dates their friend’s ex has hidden agendas such as making their friend jealous or inferior…. what do you say?

The intent and purpose of the new relationship between your ex and your best friend is dependant on many factors of course including how they truly feel about each other and most importantly, the quality of your own friendship. If your friendship is toxic, and your friend always seeks to put you down, then most likely, the intent would be to make you feel inferior or jealous. In that case it would also help to look at why you broke up with your ex and if your friend had anything to do with it. If your friendship is healthy, and your friend had nothing to do with the breakup, it could be that they genuinely like each other and their new relationship has nothing to do with you. In that case, your friend will try to work on your friendship, accommodate you, be empathetic and exhibit signs that they do not wish to lose you.

7. If a person is genuinely in love with their friend’s ex, should they ignore their feelings and abstain from making a move?

It is a fact of like that we cannot always have what we want in life and that where possible, the heart must be reined in. This goes for all material things and dreams we may wish for and all other relationships that are not exactly conventional, like dating a co-worker. Some may however argue that one should not ignore their feelings. At the end of the day it all comes down to which relationship one values the most, the friendship or the new romantic relationship.

8. Do you think that dating your friend’s ex undermines the concept of genuine dating?

All things being equal, there is no genuine or fake dating, if people are seeing each other for a considerable amount of time, they are really dating. In fact, all dating is classified as dating. However, dating your best friend’s ex is a little bit awkward and uncomfortable than dating someone else and invokes various complex emotions and debates depending on who you are and how you choose to look at it.

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