I like him, he likes me, but he dated her

Here’s the deal, I have this guy that I like, and I think he likes me, but he’s my best friend’s ex. Should I try to get with him, or should I try to forget about him out of respect for my friend?


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Shay Willis, Columnist

I see this all the time. You like the guy your best friend used to date, and now you’re thinking to yourself, “Crap, what do I do?”

Our society has this unspoken rule in the “BFF Code” that says, “Thou shalt not date thy best friend’s ex.” Many people follow this rule religiously, some don’t. My personal opinion on this? That rule is boo sheet.

I mean really, people? Why do we think that just because your friend has history with them, you can’t have a future? That is probably one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard of.

I believe that everyone has a “soulmate”, or someone made just for them to love, cherish and care for, but it takes time to find them. To do this, they have to go out with and be with different people until they find that one person who they just click with.

For example, say that “James” and “Lily” are destined to be together, and Lily is feeling an attraction to James. You’d think that it’s all fine and dandy, right? I mean, they’re soulmates, so why shouldn’t everything be alright? It would be, except for the fact that James dated Lily’s friend Mary a few months ago. Lily really likes James, but she feels like she must abide by the friend code and leave him be because he dated Mary. But wait! They’re destined to be with each other, right? We know that, but they don’t, and because Lily is loyal to her friend, she’ll never be with her soulmate.

This happens often in our lives. I have a case of “I like him but he dated her” going on in my life right now. My best friend likes my ex, and she was terrified to talk to me about it. She had asked another one of our friends earlier about this, looking for validation or someone to tell her if it was okay to like him, and her friend told her that she was disappointed.

This got me to thinking. Why do we uphold this rule when it could be potentially holding back two people who should end up together?

I believe that we do it out of a sense of loyalty to each other, that we think that we’re betraying their trust if we swoop in and pick of the remnants of their past relationship to make it our own like a vulture. But what some people don’t see or don’t understand is that everyone is just looking for their other half.

You shouldn’t be afraid to date your friend’s ex, and if they’re trying to prevent you from doing so without a reason other than “because I dated them first”, then they aren’t being a true, good friend, and they most certainly are not looking out for your future in dating.

The only time I could see you needing to hesitate about embracing the attraction is if the person you’re interested in broke up with your friend, or your friend is still hopelessly in love with them. If that’s the case, you may want to wait to pursue the relationship until you think they’ve moved on and confirmed that they’ve moved on. But when a relationship ends, it usually means that it wasn’t meant to be.

Talk to them about this attraction as you would talk to them about a crush you have on any other guy. Ask them for advice about what to do and how to gain the affection of your crush while still being mindful of their past relationship. Treat this as you would any other situation.

I’ll warn you though, if you decide to date their ex, friendly get-togethers involving the three of you will be a little awkward. Your friend will know your partner in ways that are unique to them, and it could cause tension. Do your best to ease the tension by not rubbing the fact that you’re dating their ex in their face, and please, just be courteous and keep the PDA to a minimum. No one really wants to see that.

You can’t be afraid to chase your heart, and you can’t let them hold you back. It’s not fair to you if you refuse to try and start a relationship with them to spare your friend’s feelings. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes. If your heart says that it’s worth a try, then go for it.


Have a question? Need some advice? Email Shay Willis at [email protected]!

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