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Is it OK to date an ex's friend

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tabitha95 posted 7/29/2013 17:09 PM

Not an ex-husband's friend, but an ex-boyfriend's friend.

I'm getting a lot of attention from a friend of XSO. We have a lot more in common than XSO and I ever had. He also is divorced with two kids of similar ages of my kids. More in common politically and in general. People were always suprised I was with XSO because I'm stable (long term job, put myself through college, makes decisions based on my kids needs) and XSO is all over the place and can't hold down a job, no relationship more than a few years, wasn't a hands on dad, etc. I didn't see him as someone who I could live a happy life with, especially with his drinking.

I never had a one-on-one conversation with XSO's friend before, just a couple times I saw him when I was with XSO and said a few pleasantries. He FB friended me over a year ago, but so did a lot of XSO's friends because they are part of an organization (although XSO dropped out and just occassionally attends events, but he is still friends with a lot of the group).

This guy hasn't asked me out, but I'm getting the impression he is wanting to.

The whole reason I even started talking to this guy is that XSO got drunk and started sending me nasty mean texts and accusing me of being with (I cleaned up that word) my WXH and one of his "friends". I had no idea where it came from or who he was referring to. He was being so mean and cruel. I never cheated on him and haven't even dated since we broke up (although I did recently join eharmony, I'm not getting decent matches). I know that XSO was spending a lot of time on FB, so I started looking and noticed that this particular friend of his was liking and commenting on a lot of my posts. A couple comments, like to my new profile picture, was very flattering, but not inappropriate in any way. I never thought twice to what he had said.

I was sure that this is the "friend" XSO was insinuating, and since he was flying off the handle drunk, I PM'd this "friend" and warned him that XSO was on a tear and apologized profusely if XSO said anything to him. I was pretty freaked out, XSO had never done this to me before, so his "friend" checked on me later. He assured me that this was standard MO of XSO (he's known him 20 years). We then exchanged some texts about shared child custody, divorce, etc...

But...the next night he texted me again. I had to leave and he asked me to text him again when I got back.

I know he's interested.

It's wrong isn't it????

Darn it! This town is a dating dead-zone. My sister has had horrible luck and twice has dated guys out of town...and it never works out well.

Then I had another friend from way back find out I ended things with XSO and he wants to call me when he's in town next. He was mutual friends of me and WXH, but not good friends. We didn't have his number or anything, he just ran around with some of the same friends.

[This message edited by tabitha95 at 5:22 PM, July 29th (Monday)]

hurtbs posted 7/29/2013 17:30 PM

I don't think it's a very good idea.

Amazonia posted 7/29/2013 17:57 PM

1) it'll continue to engage drama with your XSO
2) it's more a question of whether it's okay for him than for you; he's the one who would arguably be "betraying" his friend. You don't really owe an ex anything IMO.

Do either of these things raise red flags for you?

tabitha95 posted 7/29/2013 18:08 PM

I know...it's not a good idea.

My town is very oil and agriculture. A lot of under-educated, rough and tumble, hard-partying guys. I don't find most of them attractive. I refuse to even take Match seriously. I set up a profile without my information just to look, and it was exactly what I was afraid of.

I'm not making excuses why I should date this guy.

I'm just venting that it's going to be hard to find someone I can relate to here.

I hated high school because of the attitude in this town. In college, I met people who were more like me. Now, in my mid-40s, finding someone in this under-educated community (we make lists about how bad it is) is difficult.

ARGHHH!!!

[This message edited by tabitha95 at 6:09 PM, July 29th (Monday)]

tabitha95 posted 7/29/2013 18:11 PM

Just adding that I really don't want a serious relationship right now either. Someone to hang out with and, not to be crude, but be intimate with.

I am not rushing into anything serious right now.

tabitha95 posted 7/29/2013 18:18 PM

1) it'll continue to engage drama with your XSO

While he was drunk, he kept saying "don't f**k my friends". So yes, it would add drama.

2) it's more a question of whether it's okay for him than for you; he's the one who would arguably be "betraying" his friend.

I could gleen from this "friend" that everyone is tired of XSO's drama. XSO dated a lot before me and it never ended well. XSO tends to also "rely" on people to help him out a lot, but doesn't return the favor. This "friend" is a friend of the family and is closer to XSO's brother. He came to 4th of July a year ago, but that is the only social event I know that XSO invited him to...or at least he attended.

You don't really owe an ex anything IMO.

I am thinking about this too. Especially after how cruel he was to me after I finally had to tell him again and again that it is over because he wouldn't call me and we only saw each other once a week. He would also "fall asleep" a lot and forget to text me. I think he was passing out. I do feel a bit used after the fact. Not so intentional on XSO's part, I've just learned that his whole family relies on the kindness of their friends and family a lot. They were raised that way.

[This message edited by tabitha95 at 6:19 PM, July 29th (Monday)]

Sad in AZ posted 7/29/2013 23:53 PM

Frankly, I don't see anything wrong with it. I don't hold to stupid rules like you don't date X's of friends, etc. I don't see how this will create drama unless you allow it. You can certainly block texts and calls from your X. You don't owe your X any supposed courtesies.

My only concern is your disclaimer that you're not interested in a relationship at this time. It sounds like this guy might be interested in one, so you would have to tread carefully.

tabitha95 posted 7/30/2013 01:50 AM

Thanks for your perspective Sad.

I did text with him tonight. I told him "We are on a slippery slope. We are opening up to each other emotionally. We are spending time "together" by texting. Sex or not, it's a vulnerable place to be with someone of the opposite sex. I have nothing to lose. The friends that XSO and I share won't care. The friends you and XSO share, will."

I said that I don't want him uncomfortable and that I'm giving him an out.

He didn't want the out. He didn't say he wants more than just texting either.

I feel like I opened up the dialog for future communications about our intentions.

I know that I'm mirroring him, that I enjoy communicating with him because we are both divorced in the last couple years, we both have two kids who we co-parent with our ex's, we both are recently off of bad relationships with emotionally unavailable people. We both miss the comforts of marriage, even though we both admit that we did not marry the person we should be with.

SBB posted 7/30/2013 03:24 AM

When I read the thread title my first thought was "yer - if you're after vengeance/drama".

Are they good/old friends?

I wouldn't be comfortable with it. Maybe years down the track but not if the breakup was recent.

TBH I think I'd be wondering WTH kind of guy would date a mates X too - especially if the mate would have an issue with it.

I would also think of how I would feel if one of my girlfriends dated an X of mine.

Factors like time, the friendship, context and breakup scenario would all contribute to my thoughts on this.

I'd find it hard to not see a red flag if the guy had zero problem proceeding whilst maintaining a friendship with X or breaking a friendship to be with me. It reminds me too much of a WS/AP dynamic albeit in a friendship vs a relationship.

IMO friendships still have boundaries and I don't intend to be with someone who doesn't have strong boundaries in all parts of their life.

As we say here - mates before dates.

If they aren't good friends - just mutual friends/acquaintances my only consideration would be the amount of time since the breakup. Mostly because I'd need time to heal from the breakup even if I initiated it.

Amazonia posted 7/30/2013 05:29 AM

It sounds like they are more acquaintances than friends? In a small town are you going to find ANYONE who doesn't know XSO?

I do still think it'll ramp up the crazy, your XSO sounds like the type who would show up at your house with a can of kerosene,

cmego posted 7/30/2013 05:47 AM

I couldn't decide how to respond to this situation.

On one had, I think it is fine to date whomever you wish. It is your life...

On the other hand, I don't like inviting crazy into my life.

How close of friends are they? Is your ex the type that once he is dating someone else...will he will leave you alone?

NaiveAgain posted 7/30/2013 06:30 AM

Frankly, I don't see anything wrong with it. I don't hold to stupid rules like you don't date X's of friends, etc. I don't see how this will create drama unless you allow it.
I agree. I have done a 180 on this idea....I used to think it was bad form and not a good idea, but then I moved to a small town where EVERYONE is dating someone's ex.....because the pool is so limited that if you want to date at all, this is what you do. I am dating a casual friend's ex, and she is now dating someone else's ex. My old boyfriend is now married to one of my friends...so it depends on how it is handled.

PhoenixRisen posted 7/30/2013 08:07 AM

I think it is fine (perhaps even unavoidable in a small town) as long as you are ready to date.
As for drama, well you can't control your Xs behavior, only your own, so I would let his behavior dictate yours.

jennie160 posted 7/30/2013 09:01 AM

Like others here, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

But if sounds like you are still letting too much drama from XSO into your life. Why can XSO still see your FB? I would never be friends with someone who treated me so poorly. You need to put up your boundaries and limit the drama that you allow in your life before you would be ready for any kind of relationship, serious or not.

tabitha95 posted 7/30/2013 11:14 AM

He isn't my FB friend anymore. In fact, he is blocked, not just un-friended.

I un-friended him the first time we broke up. I didn't unfriend him the second time.

What he pulled on Saturday got him blocked.

better4me posted 7/30/2013 12:33 PM

Move forward with your eyes wide open. Sounds like you've thought about the obvious complications. You owe nothing to your XSO. His crazy doesn't have to be your crazy...but he may be a p.i.t.a. about this and you need to be away of the drama potential. If you deem it is worth that risk, I'd say go for it...

Later posted 7/30/2013 13:40 PM

I don't think your relationship with this guy sounds serious enough to strike any and all of his "friends" from your dating pool.

As others said, that is more of a question for your new prospect. I will say, however, that if they were close friends that may be a red flag with regards to the prospect since it may indicate that loyalty is not high on his list of priorities.

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