Matters of the heart are complicated. You fall in love with the bad guy, friend zone the good guy, and sometimes, you secretly adore someone you know you can’t have. As if navigating these complexities wasn’t enough, life could throw you a curveball and you might find yourself saying, possibly in disbelief, “My best friend is dating my ex!”
This will always come as a shock. No matter how much you believed you were over your ex, and how fervently you believe in ‘to each their own’, this development is bound to ruffle a few feathers.
How do you even react to this news? Isn’t there some kind of friendship code that forbids it?
Do you keep going over it in your mind – ‘My best friend is dating my ex? My best friend is dating my ex.’ Do you get angry and upset? Or try and make your peace with it? Let’s find out.
Your Friend Dating Your Ex May Evoke These 5 Feelings
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When you broke up, you probably leaned on your best friend for support. Cried your heart out and told them all that went wrong in the relationship. You didn’t have to get through the breakup alone, and that brought you and your best friend even closer than before.
When your best friend starts dating your ex, it is bound to come across as a curveball you don’t know how to handle. If you’re going through something similar, you may be wondering how to react to this new relationship. Here are the 5 feelings you experience when your best friend and your ex are dating:
You probably start out hating them both, but you try to be mature about it and not make a big deal out of your best friend dating your ex. You might even decide to be happy for your friend as they are important to you.
Then, you notice the new relationship grow and see your friend gushing over how great your ex is in their new relationship, and pangs of jealousy grip you. You struggle to not let jealousy overpower your friendship.
If you don’t acknowledge and process this jealousy, it can take a toll not only on your friendship but also your peace of mind. You’ll find yourself obsessing about your best friend’s’ new relationship with your ex. Not knowing what’s going on will eat away at you, and so will the knowing.
Here’s what you can do to cope with the jealousy:
- Distance yourself from their relationship
- Focus your energies on self-improvement
- Embrace the anger and betrayal you’re feeling
- Take a break from your friendship and focus on your well-being
Related Reading: We broke up 16 years ago. Yet my ex remains my best friend
Even if you successfully convince your friend that you’re cool with them dating your ex, you’ll be fraught with a sense of comparison. As soon as they begin to share details of their relationship, you will find yourself comparing your ex’s behavior in their present relationship to how they were with you.
Everything from the way they asked your friend out, to texts, dates, gifts, will become reminders of all that was amiss in your relationship. This is the comparison trap.
That will only add to your misery, and there is no way you can be genuinely happy for your friend or at peace with yourself in these circumstances. Here is how you can overcome the constant comparisons when your friend is dating your ex:
- Remind yourself that each relationship is unique
- Acknowledge that perhaps your best friend dating your ex is not such a bad thing because they’re more compatible
- Have an honest conversation with your best friend, tell them you’re not ready to receive the details about their love life yet
- Don’t fight the ‘Should I be mad if my friend is dating my ex’ question. You need to experience and process the anger to get over this setback
“My friend is dating my ex”, you admit out loud. Things are bound to get awkward. Once the ice has been broken, you and your best friend will want to do things together, like you used to before they started going out with your ex.
Your best friend may also want to bring their boyfriend along on some of these outings. Even if you parted on good terms, meeting them again as your best friend’s new partner will be immensely awkward. No amount of humor can diffuse the tension in such a situation, brace yourself for the awkward silences.
So, what should you do when your friend is dating your ex and wants the three of you to hang out? Before saying yes, remember that you’ll need nerves of steel to survive such an outing where you and your ex share pleasantries as mere acquaintances while your best friend takes the spot that once belonged to you.
Here’s how you can handle this emotional awkwardness about your best friend dating your ex:
- Remember, you have the right to say no if you’re not ready for this ‘meet and greet’
- If you do agree, rise above and be the bigger person
- Treat your ex with the respect you’d accord to a friend’s significant other. No mudslinging, no accusations, no temper flare-ups
- Don’t vie for your ex’s attention. That ship has sailed
With your best friend dating your ex, you may find yourself thinking about them and your past relationship more often. This may be because seeing your ex with your best friend makes you question your value as a partner.
You can’t help but wonder if your ex was ever as happy with you as they are with your friend. Such self-doubt can whittle away your confidence and get in the way of your ability to forge relationships in the future. It is imperative that you rein it in as quickly and efficiently as possible. Here’s how:
- Remind yourself that you gave your best to the relationship but your differences were irreconcilable
- Remember that every relationship has a honeymoon period where everything seems glossy and rosy
- Focus on not letting your confidence take a hit
- You don’t have to suffer alone. If you can’t navigate the feeling of self-doubt on your own, don’t hesitate to seek help
Related Reading: You don’t miss your ex, you just miss being in love
5. Falling for your ex
Seeing your ex with your best friend is bound to open a floodgate of memories and take you back to the happy times you’ve spent together. This may stir up whatever residual feelings you have and make you desire them all over again.
This is something you should avoid at all costs. Not only is it a categorically bad idea to get back together with an ex because the underlying issues that forced you apart still exist, but you may also end up sabotaging your friendship with your best friend.
Besides, this can complicate a good thing going on for your best friend. In other words, it’s a lose-lose situation. Here’s how you can counter this feeling of falling back in love with your ex:
- Whenever you’re reminded of all the good times you spent together, conscientiously remember all the nasty fights and arguments you’ve had
- Avoid situations where you’re alone with your ex
- Don’t try to text or call them
- Start dating again, and focus your energies on finding the ‘right match’
Your best friend dating your ex can be a difficult situation to navigate. You can tide over it without ruining your friendship with a little patience and perseverance. You just have to remember that at the end of the day, they are your best friend, and they wouldn’t intentionally put you in an awkward situation if they didn’t really love the person who happens to be your ex. Sometimes, you just need to be a little mature and move on for the sake of their happiness.
It is definitely breaching the girl code. But if they truly love your ex, then you must support them in their decision.
It may be difficult, but you need to move on. Give yourself time to get over all the emotions of jealousy and inevitable comparisons, and be there for your friend.
To be very honest, yes. But if you truly believe that the relationship is worth betraying your girlfriend, try to convince them and gain their trust by being completely honest. They are your best friend and at the end of the day, they also want what’s best for you.