dating your friend’s ex

in the latest episode of how i met your mother, it was revealed to ted that barney, his best friend, slept with his ex and current friend robin. ted, furious after hearing the news that his (best) friend barney slept with his ex, screams at him for breaking one of the cardinal bro rules: do not sleep with your bro’s ex. of all of the women on the planet, barney chooses to sleep with his best friend’s ex with whom he’s had a serious relationship with for a year.

that begs the question, does the length of time matter if you want to date one of your friend’s exes? or is it that when your friend dates someone, that person is forever off-limits? i think that how serious the relationship is makes a big difference as well as how long ago the relationship was. if we are talking about any relationships that date back to when you were little kids, i think that there’s more leeway. but i think once you get to high school-ish relationships, it can get more tricky. there are tons of high school sweethearts that end up getting married…or at least seem like it.

but i think the seriousness of the relationship makes a big difference. the more serious the relationship is, the more i think you should definitely back off. but if your friend went out on a couple of dates with the person and it didn’t work out, then i think there’s less of a commitment and it’s fine.

the biggest question to ask is whether or not you think that your friendship is going to be impacted by your actions and what you value more: the friendship or the chance at whatever it is with the other person. i think it’s important to talk to the person, first and foremost, if you are thinking about dating your friend’s ex and get a feel for what they think. i’ve had friends talk to me and ask me how i felt about them dating an ex of mine. generally in the past, i have been ok with it, mostly because i know that my relationship with the ex had ran its course. it turned out that nothing ever came out of it and i don’t know how i would have really felt if they did start dating and started hanging out with our core group of friends.

i would say that i’m on mostly friendly/cordial terms with most of my exes if we bump into each other, but i don’t keep in contact with most of them. sure, there are some who i don’t want to have any contact with and there are some that i wished we’d keep in touch more, but i wonder what it would be like if a friend started dating an ex of mine and they would start to run in the same circles again.