How To Date A Friends Ex

Women's Dating

How to Date a Friend’s Ex

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

Typically, girl code states that women should never date a friend’s ex-boyfriend. But is there ever an exception to that rule? If you find yourself having feelings for one of your friend’s exes, are there ways to tell her without ruining your friendship? Here are some tips to help you maneuver the situation in a respectful and considerate way.

Determine what kind of relationship they had.

Before you tell anyone about your feelings, you need to evaluate your friend’s relationship with her ex. Was it long term or did it only last a couple of months? If it was a long-term relationship, there is probably nothing you can do. Find someone else to date. But if they dated for a short time or broke up on good terms, you have a better chance of making things work with your friend and your new love interest. How long have they been broken up? Everyone gets over breakups at different speeds. Some can get over it in three months while it takes others three years. Which one is your friend?

Recall conversations you and your friend had about her ex-boyfriend to determine how she really felt about him. More than likely, she confided her feelings about him to you, so knowing where she stands will make it easier for you to approach her with an uncomfortable subject.

You also need to decide how close of a friendship you have with her. If she’s an acquaintance, you still have to be considerate of her feelings but not as much as you would with a best friend. However, if this is someone who’s been by your side since the grunge fad, then you know you need to take a substantial amount of time to consider her feelings.


“Dating a friend’s ex can

be a slippery slope.”

Be upfront.

What kinds of feelings are you having for her ex? If you aren’t looking to make it a long-term relationship with him, look for other guys to date casually. You don’t want to ruin a friendship over a one-night stand. As soon as you realize you have real feelings for him, tell your friend. If you and her ex have mutual feelings, don’t hide it from anyone and don’t start the relationship until you have all talked it out. Have a one-on-one conversation with both of them so you are all on the same page. Make sure she understands that your friendship is top priority and your feelings for her ex have nothing to do with your relationship with her. Being completely upfront and honest about the situation will prove to her you’ve put her feelings above yours.

Set boundaries.

If your friend decides she doesn’t mind you dating an ex, talk with her about setting boundaries. Be the first one to bring it up so she knows you truly understand how awkward the situation can be. You will most likely have to cater to her needs for a little while until she is more comfortable with your new relationship. What is she OK with? Does she not want to be around the two of you at the same time? That’s fine. Give her some time to warm up to the new dynamics of the relationship.

Dating a friend’s ex can be a slippery slope. In most situations, it’s an obvious no-no because you risk losing a good friend over a guy you might not end up with in the long run. But if you handle the situation in a smart, mature and thoughtful way, things just may work out for everyone.

Advertiser Disclosure is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.