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The Autobiography of Russell
Life from a different perspective
zimzat
zimzat
Polling for thoughts: A friend's ex
I was told yesterday it is "common sense" that it is bad to see a friend's ex in a non-platonic way.

Where does this come from and why do people believe that?
Do you think it is true? Why or why not?
Do you think there are exceptions? What would they be and why?
Would you be mad or offended if a friend started dating an ex? Why?

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: "Why" by DJ Sammy

12 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
scixual From: scixual Date: July 5th, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not "common sense." It is, however, something a lot of people believe, at least in America. It's one of those odd tabboos that is generally never directly spoken about uness it's broken. Or in sitcoms.

zimzat From: zimzat Date: July 5th, 2006 01:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm... Apparently I've "broken" it without even knowing it was there to break. Personally I would be happy if one of my friends started dating one of my exes. They would probably make a better couple than I did.

Do you believe it? Why or why not?
If you do, do you think there are exceptions?
scixual From: scixual Date: July 5th, 2006 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
It doesn't work as a tabboo for me; I can't even wrap my brain around wy it exists, except as some sort of relic of the days when women are property -- it is primarily a guy issue, mind you, gay or straight.

zimzat From: zimzat Date: July 5th, 2006 02:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
The only logical deduction I can see at this point is that people tend to be friends with those who are like minded. Thus to date a friend's ex means you may not get along with them for the very same reason that they didn't. That isn't necessarily true, nor does that explain why the friend would get mad for it. Unless said friend just wants to control their friends or are vindictive of their ex and wishes them harm. If either of those cases are the reason then that person makes for a very bad "friend."
From: nakednerd Date: July 5th, 2006 01:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
American straight people have learned from Aaron Spelling that dating each other's ex's is a bad thing. Straight people have very delicate sensibilities and are easily deluded.

American queers have fewer options. Dating each other's ex's isn't just a good idea, it is practically inevitable. Whether or not it is bad form to hit on someone's current beau is still under debate.
scixual From: scixual Date: July 5th, 2006 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
American straight people are nuts.
zimzat From: zimzat Date: July 5th, 2006 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
*chuckles* The majority, yes.
zimzat From: zimzat Date: July 5th, 2006 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Straight people have very delicate sensibilities and are easily deluded.
I suppose that explains some things about this person since he comes from a primarily straight background before discovering his sexuality. Great.

Whether or not it is bad form to hit on someone's current beau is still under debate.
If they're taken then they're taken. No claim allowed. On the other hand, if said person can't stand up to being hit on then the real question is if their current relationship really secure in the first place.

American queers have fewer options. Dating each other's ex's isn't just a good idea, it is practically inevitable.
Agreed. The majority of gays run in the same circle and are likely to have the same friends.

At the same time, though, I don't think I want in any of the circles I've seen around the only places available to me. Most of them have no sense of refinement, much less an open-minded atitude. Color me a hippy, but that's the sort of thing I would like to experience at least once.
ellixis From: ellixis Date: July 5th, 2006 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Exceptions: I think it depends heavily on how bad a breakup it was, to some extent. If the breakup was full of bile and venom and the parties involved are No Longer Friends, there will be awkwardness involved.

Otherwise, I don't see why not, honestly. I think people who get angry or grumpy over a friend dating an ex have a residue of possessiveness going on.
soccerfreak240 From: soccerfreak240 Date: July 5th, 2006 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
It is all based on the situation. For example, if somebody broke up with your friend and that friend still likes them, it is going to hurt their feelings to make any sort of pursuit on the ex-. And if there is bitterness between the two who used to date, then hanging out as part of a group is a bad idea. On the other hand, if it was a relationship where it ended and was peace, then it is fine.

The key is to know how the two stand. Check with your friend to see if it would upset him. It is common for a sense of jealousy to occur when you see an ex- with somebody new, and you don't want that jealousy to hurt a friendship.

I don't know, I'm not really making as much sense here as I wish I was.

On a side note - someone who posted before me mentioned that it is often the guys who are territorial, but that is a false generalization, as both males AND females will at times get upset if their friend dates an ex-.
a_pqh_existence From: a_pqh_existence Date: July 6th, 2006 01:50 am (UTC) (Link)
wowzers.
i was a bit angry at some of the earlier comments, and was about to post pretty much this entire comment.

so bravo to you!

i've personally been in the situation where friends have actually *tried* to fix me up with their ex-s or felt we'd make good, but upon further inspection and when contact occured, there was this weird vibe and discomfort around.

so i pretty much said screw that i'm not gonna deal with it it's not worth it.

but yes, the main thing is find out about how their relationship went down, how long ago it was (also a HUGE factor regardless of how peaceful it may have been), and if it's [really] ok with your friend.

soccerfreak240 From: soccerfreak240 Date: July 6th, 2006 04:11 am (UTC) (Link)
I can imagine fixing up would be weird. Sometimes just introducting a current girlfriend(or boyfriend for some of y'all) to your friends can be awkward enough.

In terms of how long, another big factor is if they've dated somebody since them. Even if its been 4 or 5 months, if they haven't they may still feel some jealousy.


On a side note, and I should mention this - it is also important never to let friends stand in between love. If the feelings are really truly there and its not just some sort of a "hmmm, maybe?" it is then important to recognize that and hope the friend can deal. But no, a hook-up does not count for this.
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