15 Tips To Cope When Your Friend Is Dating Your Ex

Dating experience | |
Updated On: July 29, 2023
Boy freind holding other girl hand

The experience of a breakup is usually extremely excruciating. On top of that, if you get to know that your friend is dating your ex you are still in love with or that the two of them have gotten together before you’ve even had the chance to heal and move on, this development can leave you even more devastated. You feel betrayed by your ex, and even more so, by the friend who was supposed to have your back through this difficult time.

A friend dating an ex is surely not an easy thing to come to terms with. However, by letting it take a toll on your mind, you only make moving on harder for yourself. In such a situation, prioritizing your own well-being is the only way to not let the agony overwhelm you.

Instead of getting depressed or lashing out in your anger, you must follow these tips, which will help you cope when your friend is dating your ex.

Is It Okay For A Friend To Date Your Ex?

“My best friend is dating my ex.” This discovery can unleash a tsunami of emotions inside you. The first thought that comes to mind when you find out about a friend dating an ex is probably that of betrayal. There is a reason you broke up with your ex. They probably hurt you and no matter how long it has been, the wound probably still feels raw.

You expect your friend to be on your side and to support you. Finding out that your friend who should be on your side is dating the person who hurt you can feel like the worst kind of back-stabbing. However, at times like this, you must remember; no matter how you feel about the relationship with your ex, you have, at least on paper, ended things.

Each party is entitled to move on, no matter whom they choose to do it with. Though your ex may have hurt you, there is a reason you were in a relationship with them. Perhaps your friend saw the same qualities and developed a connection with them. Perhaps, the reason why it didn’t work out between you and your ex is that you were not right for each other. Or maybe, it was a right person wrong time kind of a situation.

Just because it didn’t work well between you two doesn’t mean your ex cannot be right for your friend too. This can also be a question of time. How long did it take for your ex to date your friend? This situation can be dealt with healthily, provided everyone involved is mature and upfront about it.

Take the example of Joshua, who says, “My friend is dating my ex-girlfriend and I’m completely okay with it. He and I have been very close friends for years. I had been in a relationship with my ex for 5 years. One day, he came out and asked how I would feel if he went out with my ex. I respected that he was honest. I said, if that’s what they both wanted, I was fine with it.”

Here there was a clear gap of time and each party showed respect by discussing the relationship openly. If your friend jumps into the relationship right after your breakup or doesn’t discuss it with you, there are more problems in your friendship than you might think.

Related Reading: My best friend and boyfriend have dumped me and are dating each other

15 Tips To Cope When Your Friend Is Dating Your Ex

When you find out that your friend is dating your ex, your heart might witness a storm of hurt, pain, betrayal, anger, depression, sadness, etc. Even more so if it’s a case of an extremely close friend and an ex you were deeply in love with. For instance, “my best friend is dating my ex whom I still love” is never easy to come to terms with, no matter how maturely or pragmatically everyone involved handles the situation.

When your best friend hooks up with your ex, it’s indeed harrowing for you. But you have to deal with this storm and come out of it as a mature and better person. The first step toward accepting this newfound dynamic is acknowledging that “my friend is dating my ex-girlfriend/boyfriend” is going to be a painful experience.

While you don’t need to hasten the healing process after the breakup but must find a way to accept the fact that your friend is dating your ex and move on. Here are 15 ways in which you can do so:

1. Confront your friend

No doubt you are upset and you might not feel like meeting your friend or listening to him/her. However, it is important that you give your friend a chance to explain and understand his/her point of view. Before everything else, you still have a relationship with your friend and you owe it to yourself to clarify things.

“My friend is dating my ex-boyfriend and I can’t even bear to look at her right now.” Rosy couldn’t shake off this feeling. She decided to cut her friend out because she felt the distance will allow her to focus on moving on. However, to this day, she is riddled with questions about how, why and when of it all, and hasn’t been able to overcome the feeling of betrayal.

So, confront your friend and let him/her know about how you also feel regarding the whole situation. They might be thinking that you are over your ex and it can’t be hurting so much. Have a talk with them and tell them how you are feeling. Maybe the conversation would bring you some solace.

2. Embrace the sadness

If you are heartbroken that your friend is dating your ex, then cry and vent out all the pent-up emotions. Give yourself the time to grieve, because this will help you deal with the emotions in an effective manner. You can share your feelings with other friends or people in the family who are close to you. That would help you get over someone you loved deeply.

If your friend is dating your ex, the sadness you feel is inevitable but how you accept that and move on will determine who you are. Taking the time to grieve the loss and processing the feelings of hurt is crucial to come to terms with the reality of your friend dating your ex.

friend dating ex
Embrace the sadness

3. Assess your feelings

Do not want your friend to be in your ex’s life? Do you feel jealous and extreme anger when you picture them together? Are you trying to make your ex feel jealous? If your answer to the questions is yes, then probably you are still in love with your ex.

If it is the case of an extremely close friend dating your ex, then the situation becomes that much more complicated. “My best friend is dating my ex who I still love, and it feels like I’ve lost the two most important people in my life in one fell swoop,” Miranda confided in her sister when she learned of this new, budding romance, from an Instagram story no less.

Therefore, you have to take a step back and evaluate your feelings, so that you can take your stand accordingly. You can either decide if you want your ex back or you want to move on. Because jealousy can actually do all kinds of things to you.

4. Create boundaries in the friendship

Perhaps the best way to cope with such a situation is to ensure that you create essential boundaries in the friendship. Let your friend know that you are not comfortable with the idea of meeting his/her partner (your ex). Strictly tell your friend not to share details about the relationship with you because you are least interested in it.

Set these boundaries for your peace of mind. It can be really painful to keep meeting your friend who is dating your ex. At the same time, try not to fixate on the goings-on of their relationship. It will bring you nothing other than agony. So, let things take their course, while you take a step back and eliminate all interactions with your friend and ex as a couple.

Maybe, over time, you will be ready to accept their relationship. But until you’re ready, it’s okay to take some time to focus on your own well-being.

Related Reading: She Showed Competitive Friend Signs But I Loved Her Dearly…

5. Take a break from the friendship

The best way to cope when your friend is dating your ex is to take a break from the friendship. In this way, you will get the time to heal and understand the entire scenario in a better way. Your friend will understand that just the way they did what was best for them, you’re doing what you need to do to protect your feelings.

Do not meet with your friend, avoid picking up his/her calls and do not reply to his/her text messages. Resume the friendship only when you are ready to accept your friend’s relationship with your ex.

“My friend was dating my ex-wife. What I couldn’t figure out was if they were dating when we were still married or got together after the divorce. This question used to kill me,” said a recently-divorced man. So what did he do? He snipped his relationship with his friend and found his peace.

6. Hang out with your favorite people

Finding out that your best friend and ex-boyfriend are dating can turn out to be a harrowing experience. In this situation, you should prioritize self-preservation. One way of doing it is by surrounding yourself with the people who truly love you.

With your best friend and your now-ex-partner both out of the picture (even if temporarily), you need to fill the vacuum created by their absence. It is time you give importance to other favorite people in your life, apart from the friend who is dating your ex.

You must hang out with those people and try to bring fun and excitement back into your life. Good moments spent with your favorite people will speed up your process of healing.

my friend is dating my ex
Hangout with your favorite people

7. Try to be supportive

Do not commit the mistake of losing a good friend because of an ex who does not really matter. If you truly value your friend, then you will at least try to be supportive of the relationship and give them an opportunity to make things work. “My best friend is dating my ex and I just can’t deal with it.” We understand if these are the sentiments you’re grappling with right now.

You don’t have to be the biggest cheerleader of their newfound romance. And you definitely don’t have to go out of the way to make them feel comfortable as a couple, at the cost of your own peace of mind. However, you can at least try to be supportive of their decision, allowing them the space and time to chart of course for the relationship without the baggage of past attachments weighing them down.

By doing so, you will still have your friend by your side, even if their relationship does not work out in the future. We know it’s very hard to accept your friend dating your ex but if you can be patient and sensible then you could avoid a lot of heartburn.

8. Have a conversation with your ex

“My best friend is dating my ex who I still love but I want to move on and don’t want to wallow in self-pity. I still have a good relationship with both my friend and my ex. What should I do?” wrote a woman to our expert relationship counselor. We’ll share the advice our counselor gave her: have an honest conversation with your ex, lay your feelings on the table without placing blame or accusation and find a way to create an amiable equation with them.

It is important that you take the step to build a cordial relationship with your ex, at least for your friend’s happiness. So talk to your ex and sort out any issues that you both may be having against each other and gradually accept each other. Also, accept that you might still love them but the relationship is over. It’s best to find closure.

9. Avoid being fake

If your friend is dating your ex and you are suffering inside, do not try to show everything is hunky-dory with you with a fake smile. You have to maintain your grace and dignity while dealing with this situation no doubt. But you cannot pretend to be very happy and fake good behavior in front of your friend and your ex when inside you want them to burn in hell.

This is unfair to everyone involved, most of all you. After all, you’re the one who has to pretend to be totally cool with the whole friend dating ex situation when you’re not. If you bottle up your feelings, chances are they will erupt in the most unhealthy way, at the most inopportune moment. Just maintain a cordial relationship and avoid getting into clumsy situations with them.

Related Reading: Sometimes Love Is Not Enough – 7 Reasons To Part Ways With Your Soulmate

10. Don’t give ultimatums

“My best friend is dating my ex who I still love, and all I want is to find a way to make them break up for good,” said Aaron. He even went to the extent of trying to hook up with his ex, in the hope that it will be enough to get them part ways. Instead, his ex went and told her new boyfriend all about it. Aaron had a falling out with his best friend.

If your best friend and ex-boyfriend are dating, then chances are you feel like getting a hired killer and giving them an ultimatum. But let that be in your imagination, in real life just move away. Never ever tell your friend to choose between your ex and you, because this will just create senseless misunderstandings and awkward problems between the relationships the three of you share now. It’s just better to concentrate on other friends, you surely have and move on.

11. Do not dwell in the past

If you happen to accept the relationship between your friend and your ex, you might have to come face-to-face with your ex many times. When you meet your ex, it is better not to dwell in the past but try to focus on the present happiness of your friend. Remind yourself, “My friend is dating my ex, and they’re off-limits for me now.”

Learn to let go for a better future. Maintaining the no-contact rule, in this case, is the best since it will help you to move on. Do not harbor negative feelings and keep living in your past relationship. Don’t regret that it didn’t work out with you but is working with your friend. Destiny has good plans. Believe it and move on.

12. Don’t hang out in the same places

When your best friend hooks up with your ex chances are they would be hanging out in the same places you used to go with your ex. So the best thing that you can do is avoid going to those places. Find a new set of friends and new places to be around. This will not trigger your memories and there wouldn’t be any chance of bumping into your friend and your ex either.

This can be especially helpful if you’re struggling to come to terms with “my friend is dating my ex-girlfriend or boyfriend” and find yourself in the throes of negative emotions like jealousy, hurt, anger. Crossing paths with them and seeing them happy together (it’s the honeymoon phase of their relationship, they will be happy) can exacerbate the unpleasant feelings you’re already struggling with.

13. Avoid being angry

The moment you let anger control you, you will become an immature and unproductive person. Thus, you must try to avoid being angry and become more mature to bring out realistic solutions to the problems you are facing. The “my friend is dating my ex-boyfriend or girlfriend” situation can seem unbearably painful in the moment, but trust us, it won’t even matter a few years from now.

So, focus on yourself and learn how to handle this situation in a healthy manner. That’s going to make all the difference. If need be, reap the benefits of counseling and see a counselor. Find out how you can manage the anger that’s pent up inside you. Being angry is the most normal reaction when your friend is dating your ex but how you handle that anger is supremely important.

14. Do not get into a rebound relationship

Just for the sake of making your ex jealous or your friend uncomfortable, you should not get into a rebound relationship. And definitely avoid the “my best friend is dating my ex, so I too should hook up with their ex to give them a taste of their own medicine” mindset.

Vengeance will get you nowhere. If anything, it will just ruin your chances of finding true love in your life and you will just seem desperate to others. Get into a new relationship only when you are ready. If your friend is dating your ex you will have this instinct to also prove to them that you can have the one you want to. But don’t let that instinct take you over. Keep those feelings at bay.

15. Focus on the good things in life

Instead of getting bogged down by the betrayal of a friend dating an ex, you can actually focus on things like your family, your career, your hobbies, etc., and try to work on improving yourself as a person. Work on yourself, become the best version of yourself and break old patterns to be able to foster more wholesome relationships in the future.

Many people soar in their careers after a breakup because they have more time and are more focused on their work. There is no need to sit and sulk because your friend is dating your ex, turn it into motivation to do something better with your life.

Related Reading: 9 Reasons You Miss Your Ex And 5 Things You Can Do About It

Can Your Friend Date Your Ex?

Well, this totally depends on you and your feelings. If you have gotten over your ex and probably are happy with the way your life is after the breakup, then you can give the green signal to your friend. However, if the situation is opposite and you still love your ex, then probably your friend must avoid dating your ex.

It is natural to get upset and feel annoyed with the fact that your friend is dating your ex. But if you genuinely feel that your friend and your ex are meant for each other and that their relationship could work out, then there is no harm in giving them your blessings. This is especially in cases where your friend is actually someone whom you value a lot and your ex is actually not a bad person.

However, in cases where your friend is just an acquaintance, you will probably end all communications with him/her for being so selfish and mean. This will not bother you that much and you will be able to forget about the entire situation. By following these 15 tips, you can be assured that you will have a much more positive and healthier life, by avoiding the temptation to take revenge on your friend and/or your ex.


1. What should I do if my friend is dating my ex?

It is normal that you would feel angry, upset and hurt but it would be best to let the anger go and move on. If your friend and your ex are good people you can also wish them well. But it would be best not to be in touch with them, no matter what your feelings are, and concentrate on your own friends, family and career.

2. Should my best friend be friends with my ex?

If you broke up with someone does not mean that your friends will have to treat them badly. They might continue to be friends as long as the friendship does not harm you. You can also be in touch with your ex’s friends. It’s not really possible to cut off relationships and take sides because you broke up.

3. Should I let my friend date my ex?

It’s not really in your hands. If they decide to date they would. You cannot do anything about it. So don’t get angry and just move on.

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