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Dating a Friend's Ex: Is it Ever Okay?

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Sola

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By Rachel Sussman

There is a good chance that when you start dating, no matter where you live, you will come across some potential candidates that you are already acquainted with. People you know might pleasantly surprise you by asking you out. And some of those folks may have previously been wed to a person you are familiar or even friendly with.

In a small town, there is a strong possibility that you know many of the divorced singles living there already. That being the case, there is a high probability that you may be asked out by someone who was once married to a friend, acquaintance, colleague, or even a relative. Or, on the other hand, you might be the one doing the asking out. While this might make for some awkward conversation in the beginning, it doesn't have to be a deal-breaker.

The same thing can happen even if you live in a large city. Several of my divorced friends in New York City, where I live, described to me that over the years they have been matched up (through introductions, internet dating sites, and serendipity) with potential partners who were once married to someone they knew. A woman I'm acquainted with is happily married to the ex husband of a former friend of hers. She told me that she met him and his wife because their children once attended the same school. She ran into him at a political event years later when they were both divorced. They started dating shortly thereafter.

None of this sounds awful or insurmountable, right? I believe that life does not have to end with a divorce, and if you want to fall in love again, you can. So what happens if the person you are interested in dating, or are falling in love with, was formerly married to a friend? How do you negotiate these potentially rocky waters?

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