Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Sharing means caring
Is it ever OK to date your friend's ex ... or your ex's friends?
Is it ever not OK?
People are not belongings (except perhaps my cabana boy, Eugenio, who slaves away diligently in his tie-dye Speedo with the hope of obtaining a green card.)
Still, your friends' feelings should be be taken into account.
I've experienced both sides here, and really don't know the answer anymore. Years ago, my ex, who was the love of my life (that I desperately wanted back), began seeing a friend of mine. I was fine when we broke up, it seemed right at the time ... but having to see him with some one else was absolute torture.
The friend who was seeing him, came to tell me about it in person. She wanted to let me know from her before I found out through someone else (which is honorable). Though this was harder to swallow than throwing-up in your mouth during a hungover conference call, I appreciated the courage it took to approach me, and the concern that showed for our friendship.
But that experience left me thinking I would never put someone through that kind of pain. Friends' exes were off limits. I would even argue this point fervently with my friends, up to this very year. D., Chuckles, Sunshine and myself were in a heated debate on this very topic, and not a week later I found myself hopelessly smitten with a guy that had once been involved with another close friend. The irony of life never ceases to amaze me.
All I could do was be upfront and honest with everyone. I shared my concerns with the guy, and laid it all out there with the girl. And, even though I felt more awkward than that time I told a snotty midget not to get short with me ... I came out of it with a strengthened friendship and something pretty on my arm for a couple weeks.
You can't help who you fall for. You don't want to hurt anyone, but you also don't want to miss out on something special. I still don't know the answer, but I truly feel that, even though it's corny, you have to treat people with the respect and honesty you would want in return ... then take a step back and watch how it all plays out.