Dating your ex’s friend

Friday April 16 2021
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By Bradford Kamuntu

Once you get over a breakup, it is only natural for you to want to dip your toes into the dating pool again. Could be for various reasons, some people do not cope very well with lack of companionship, others use it as a coping mechanism and often, it really is just the right time.

However, because we have probably been scarred by the occurrences of the last relationship, it is usually easier to pick from or pay attention to someone from the circle of people you already know (I know most of you reading this based in Kampala know this reality all too well).

Sometimes you know someone that has always wanted to establish a romantic link with you but you never gave them time, or maybe you start to look at a friend in a different light. Often, there is that person you know is always single and always down to be a rebound (take that as a term of endearment) and you take them up on their availability which turns into a full blown “entanglement”.

What happens when that person is your ex’s friend? How does one navigate that? Thankfully up until this stage of my life, nothing like that has ever happened mostly because there is not a single friend of any one of my ex’s I have ever looked at romantically or even intimately (Hallelujah!).

But I know many people for which this has been the case. How do you deal? What conversations take place prior to acting out on your interests? How do you make it through the awkward encounters? Do they remain friends? Is there an understanding in this generation where everyone is just okay with this? (or at least pretends to be).

I would like to state, however, that whether or not this is a good idea, it is entirely dependent on your ex. I know that is not something many of you want to hear, but your ex has the potential and the capacity to make or break this newly formed partnership with their friend (or former friend).

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How you and your ex ended as well as how their friend broke this news to them sets precedence for how they will forever react towards the two of you, what they will say about you and the narrative that they will have at their disposal to possibly use to the detriment of your new relationship. So, before you explore anything with an ex’s friend those are variables you might want to take a closer look at.

Are you also okay with your worlds colliding with your future and that of your past possibly sharing the same space on a regular basis or would you much rather keep it a secret and throw yourself into a relationship much similar to the one you had to hide from your parents in high school.

It comes off as a very sticky situation to be in. I personally would not partake as the negatives seems to outweigh the positives in my view. I am a lover of peace. I would much rather meet a stranger so far removed than have to deal with the circumstance of my ex and current belonging to the same circle of friends. It does not seem worth the risk to me, but more power to those that have or are enduring this.

Give it time. Breakups take time and closure, dating a friend’s recent ex can seriously impede their ability to move on. More than that, it may warrant more than a few side-eye glances from mutual friends. Before you proceed, be sure both parties (your friend and their ex) have had ample time to get over each other.

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