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Why Not Date Friend’s Ex’s?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
Posted in Debate by Joel Gross

Why is it so taboo to date someone after someone you know already dated that person? It seems gross to me and I usually dont do it, but why is that? I mean, wouldn’t you rather know that your new lover has been in trusted, good hands before? Why is 10-20 random people better?

I asked my friends this question and below are their answers.‚  My ideas are at the very bottom of the post on why people usually are opposed to dating their friend’s ex’s.

Z: Cuz its not personal

Q: in this case, i think ignorance is bliss. how weird would it be to listen to your friend talk about her boyfriend, good and bad, then pursue a relationship with him? you want your boyfriend or girlfriend’s ex to be anonymous…you want to believe that they were too good and that’s why they moved on to better things (aka you). that’s hard to say if they in fact moved on from your best friend, right?
me: ahh.. so its because of a fear of being the second choice or having to take the leavings of someone you know? but aren’t you willing to that with cars, apartments, and other things? also, if they just aren’t a good fit for your friend doesnt mean they wont be a good fit for you, right?
Q: hmm i don’t think you can make that comparison, but we can go there if you’d like. i buy a car from you, we both know the value and agree on a price. now, if i end up dating my friend’s ex, whatever the value of the guy is, it has already depreciated in value…maybe i want a sportcar and my friend wanted an SUV. it doesn’t matter, whatever it is, the value is inherently lower because of he’s been “depreciated” through her “use” :)
it’s not about fit, it’s about perceived value
me: haha hmm.. why is use by a friend worse than use by a random?
Q: information bias
me: explain
Q: think about why people might break up….unfaithfulness, lies, whatever. i rarely believe that it is mutual, and in fact, you’re like if it works out that way. because of that, there’s a good chance that you are dating or potentially will date someone who pulled an ass move (was the bad guy in the breakup)
you know the nitty gritty details if its your friend…you are either consoling her and cursing him out, or supporting her in her decision even if it’s probably not fair anyways, you are so close to the truth of the relationship, that if you were to pursue a relationship with the ex, there is no mystery. you know too much. it’s hard to give someone a fair, unbiased shot if you know the details of the relationship

T: 10-20?
me: just a guess at how many they slept with previously
T: got it. there are many reasons why this is…. with a random girl you have hope she could be flawless/ special
if you know enough about her going in, she’s ordinary

Y: not 100% sure.. would you rather have a threesome with you a random guy and some girl or someone you knew?
me: not sure. u?
Y: prol a friend… laugh about it later… though if i would have done that with X (sketchy friend) i could have caught the herp… thankfully the girl was so drunk she puked in his bed

B: well, i think generally its taboo b/c it may affect your friendship. you don’t always know if that person is really harboring feelings still or not
guys aren’t exactly the best at relay those sort of things to each other
it’s usually more crude and simplistic
was she hoit
hot
was she a good lay
was she cool
was she crazy
blah blah
if you dated your friend’s ex and she was nuts… he is either going to think you are nuts for dating his crazy sloppy seconds (ergo associating you with her crazy deficiencies)
or
he might get that whole grass is greener syndrome
and start thinking that he misses her
and secretly he’ll resent you and want her back
on another note…
you really want to put your penis in the same place your friend put his penis?

W: that’s a great question
hhmm
i think its depends on the circumstances: if they parted under perfect amicable conditions then its not that big of a deal right? but that’s probably pretty rare
me: would it be okay under amicable conditions?
W: are you asking if it’s morally problematic?
or in poor taste?

bc those are two different things
i just think its very circumstantial
you can’t apply a rule of thumb and if you try you are
eliminating a lot of people you could possibly date

bc you will probably end up with someone already in your social circle
even if its a fairly distant connection

you have to think about your relationship with the other person….like if you know for a
fact that your friend would really be hurt if you dated his ex

then i wouldn’t say he has a claim on her
but you do have to acknowledge that your actions might hurt him
if you can accept that then go for it
i think people are resilient and so are friendships

if they parted there is a reason and nobody “owns” another person
so really…i have no answer

Joel: Starting with someone fresh is usually a much better idea in my experience than trying to date a girl who has dated other people that you know.‚  It is possible to date someone who has already dated inside your social circle, but it is too easy for jealousy issues to arise or for you to think of that person as someone else’s leavings.‚  A strong, mature person could probably make it work but otherwise you are asking for trouble and heartache.