Almost everything has an unwritten rule book or code. There are some things that you just don’t do. Today, we’re looking at the stigmas around relationships and hookups with a friends ex. Just a disclaimer, when I say ex, I don’t necessarily mean a committed relationship. I’m more so referring to intimacy and sexual history between them and that person. Anything that doesn’t get past that initial chit chat or grabbing food once or twice won’t be considered. If a significant amount of time was spent investing in the connection on both ends, with or without sex, then it will be included on a case by case basis. I know for me, I will mark someone off limits if one of my few homegirls has laid claim to a person. I also know some people don’t mind, given they don’t find out by surprise months down the line. So, let’s talk about it.
Dating in high school is nowhere near the same experience as an adult. As a teen, your scope of reach is minimal. You have to take what you can get, hence why it seems pretty normal for everyone to date the same people. As an adult, there’s a whole city, state, country, world (especially with technology), as well as hobbies, hangouts, preferences that vastly expand the dating pool. What are the odds of meeting someone new, just to find out they used to mess around with an associate? It happens waaaaay more often than anyone wants to admit. Such a large, small world, I know. Anywho, when you end up in this situation, where do you draw the line?
Off rip, I think the depth of the relationship is a key factor. Let’s say it was back in high school and it was just going through the motions. If you feel comfortable moving forward, I don’t see a problem with it. People grow and change, your experience may not be the same as your friends. Now we get to the second hurdle, how strong is your friendship? This is where we start to see more double standards too. If you’re a woman in this situation, it can get real catty. Since women tend to casually talk about their relationships to their friends more (to my knowledge), it can come off as plotty and backstabby. I can’t speak from a man's perspective, but I’ve seen men encourage their friends if there aren’t any red flags (I say this in the most respectful way). It seems like they are more future oriented and have no problem leaving the past in the past if it isn’t serious.
Another thing that changes the context is how often you come across exes. When you have a track record of piggybacking off a specific person, it doesn’t look good. Yes, shit happens, but when you seem like you’re making it a priority to reclaim all of a person’s or your circle’s exes, no bueno. I hope this hasn’t happened to any of y’all on the regular, because I don’t think they're your friend. It sounds like they’re trying to prove a point or have some unspoken rivalry like Vegeta with Goku. This isn’t for anyone who likes to keep it in a friend circle, I’m talking about adopted family type friends, not a “bestfriend”.
On a serious note, when it’s long term, committed, children involved, proposal, anything future building oriented, it’s thin ice. The saying is time heals all wounds, but I don’t think a friend taking your spot, literally, is one of them. I don’t mean an affair coming to light, I’m talking about those linkups years later, when you bump into each other on vacation or a business trip. It doesn’t even seem to matter the terms the relationship ended on or how long it’s been, I feel like it’s choosing between that person and your friend. We all saw what happened to the millennium tour.
I'm not gonna say your forever person is someone your friend already knows, but it does happen. If you find yourself in that situation, you just gotta tread lightly and act accordingly. Did you break the code and gain everything you’d been looking for? Was it worth overlooking the past? Let me know where you draw the line or how the situation played out in the comments.