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Think about it for a moment…

One of your closest friends or family members has an extended relationship with someone that they truly fell in love with…but somewhere along the way, everything fell apart. And they break up. They are completely done. No more. Nada. But…he’s still a really good guy. He’s cute, and funny, and witty, and you two have become great friends, and you have maybe even been tempted to be something more. But held back out of respect for their relationship.

But the relationship is over now, isn’t it?

The question is…is it ever appropriate to date someone after they’ve broken up with someone who is close to you? I mean…he’s back on the market, right? And it’s not like anyone is cheating or being deceitful by having lewd interludes behind anybody’s back. You might be a better match with this cutie than your friend or family member ever was.

Then again…do you think that’s crossing some kind of line? I mean, you both know what happened. You’re dating someone’s ex. Won’t it be awkward having him around? Can you guys spend time together, knowing what you know about each other? Is there a time limit involved before you go chasing after someone else’s sweetheart? And if so…how long is that time period? A few weeks? A few months? Is dating someone’s ex a clear violation of the ‘bro code’? Or not? I mean, this cutie isn’t goin to stay alone forever. So you might as well ‘get in where you fit in’, you know?

Have you ever been in this situation before? Have you ever had it done to you, personally? Give us some details! Let’s hear what you’ve gotta say! πŸ™‚

Anonymous replies are always welcome! Or you can email them to me at Comicality@shackoutback.net if you like, and I’ll add your answer to a future issue of Imagine Magazine! Cool? Thanks sooooo much! I have been struggling to get people to talk about this stuff, and that sucks, because the few folks that answer publicly REALLY do help out a whole generation of gay teens and college students who are living through this weirdness right now, in real time. So if you can help them out with a few words of wisdom…you can assist me in trying to make the world a better place. ::Fingers Crossed::

Thanks in advance! Love always! πŸ™‚

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β€œI’d probably still stay friends with them but date them not likely.

However… If say something happened say a year or so later then possibly but I’d have to discuss it with other friend.
Certainly wouldn’t jump straight into a relationship. It would be easier if the friend had moved on and was now in a new relationship as that would probably make it less awkward.” – Dom

β€œTo be honest…I think it would be a little weird for me, personally. Not to mention for the friend or family member who’s there to see it happen. I happen to be really close to my friends and my family, so it would be difficult for me to separate my love life from my casual life. You know?

That being said…is it ok to date someone who used to date someone close to me? I think that it depends on how and why they broke up in the first place. I mean, there are so many factors involved that I would need to be aware of before diving into a situation like that. Why did they break up? Was he cheating? Did they just not get along? Was he abusive or toxic to him in some way? I’d have to ask myself if they were really ‘done’ with one another as well. I wouldn’t want to have to be paranoid over the idea that a few lingering feelings still exist and they decide to have a fling behind my back. Or that I might end up getting my heart broken because they decided to get back together.

Also, I’d want to know if my friend or family member was truly hurt by the break up. If it was something that seriously tore them up inside and left him crying and suffering over it all…I don’t think I could date the person that caused him so much pain. I think that would feel like a betrayal, and I couldn’t live with myself…even if it meant sacrificing my potential happiness in the end. That’s just me.

However…

If they were just incompatible or didn’t get along or didn’t have any common interests…you know…simple stuff? If they break up, and I have a shot at appreciating the parts of him that my friend didn’t? Then I’ll give things a few weeks to calm down, talk to him about it, and then…why not go for it? If you don’t want him, and I do…what’s the problem? Right? I think that’s fair. Point, blank, period.” – Comicality

β€œI’ve never had to deal with this personally, but if the former couple had been in a relationship for years, I would give it a couple months, than maybe feel out your friend/family member on how they feel about the situation. If they were against it, I don’t know what I would do, but if not totally against it go for it. I just think with any type of relationship that lasted for years, both parties should have some time to acclimate to the breakup and their newly single status.” – Cscampbell

β€œI don’t know. I think it’s one of those situations that you can only know what you’d do once you were faced with it.

If I was head over heels for someone, then I can’t say that them being a friend/relative’s ex partner would prevent us having a relationship. Then again, how much do I value the friendship / relationship with that other person, and is it at risk if I dated their ex?

This is probably the first time I don’t have a definitive answer for one of these. Or maybe that’s answer enough? πŸ™‚

Just realized that this question was about friendship as well.

I guess my answer remains the same. I don’t know what I’d do. Maybe it would be easier to end the friendship with their ex, than if we were in love, so I probably lean in that direction, but it depends on the individuals involved.” – Mike

End of the day you need to be willing to upset the friend who will now need to be exposed to this person they just removed from their life willingly or not. That friend could see you bringing that person back in as a betrayal and even if they aren’t vocal about it, it potentially could weaken that friendship. The funny thing about this scenario, one or the other could get hurt which means you will need to make a sacrifice no matter what way you choose to go. Break ‘Bro Code’ and upset friend, you get hurt. Don’t break ‘Bro Code’ and you pass on a connection that could go somewhere, you get hurt and possibly the ‘ex’ does as well.

I haven’t been in this scenario at the dating level but I have had mutual friends try to force me to choose. “I don’t like that person anymore and you shouldn’t either…” does not work for me. Above and beyond all else, I will not betray myself and my values. If I am friends with both and both suddenly can’t stand each other, that kinda sounds like a “not my issue” problem, and will be handled as such unless whatever that person did was selfish assholeishness. (Is that even a word?) Anyone who is close to me will know that I choose to make that decision for myself. I’m not friends with ‘everyone’ and I don’t expect anyone else to be. But it is my right to choose for myself and any good friend will respect that as I would do for them. – JeffsFort

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