This post deals with self-harm and might be triggering for some readers.
For most of my life, I never thought too deeply about the question: “Is it wrong to date your best friend’s ex?”
After all, there seems to be an unspoken rule that such drama is best avoided. Plenty of relationship experts agree dating a close friend’s ex can lead to problems. “I guarantee your friend is going to feel you’re being disloyal,” writes dating guru Joy Browne, for example.
Elsewhere, clinical psychologist Barbara Greenberg warns that “triangulated relationships with friends’ exes can get very messy emotionally.”
Watch: The Horoscopes dating. Post continues below.
But recent life events involving my best friend and my ex-husband have taken me by surprise. They’ve forced me to confront my assumptions about whether it’s ever ‘okay’ to date a friend’s ex.
My best friend’s revelation
Last summer, my best friend, Nina, said she had something important to tell me.
When I arrived at her place, she asked me to sit down for the news. I obliged, feeling like a patient about to receive a terminal diagnosis. Silently, Nina took her seat opposite me. I caught a twinge of apprehension in her grey eyes as she tried to read my face.
“You might not like what I’m about to say,” she warned.
“Jeez, enough suspense!” I laughed skittishly. Her wariness was unnerving me. “You sound like you’re expecting a blowout.”
Nina sighed and looked down for a moment. “I have to be honest, Angie… I’m not expecting you to take this well. You have a tendency to behave hysterically sometimes.”
I’d describe myself as an emotional person — not necessarily a hysterical one. Her words stung because I disagreed with them, but I tried not to feel offended.