Dating the Ex’s Friend, Part 4


by The 4-Way Panel

Dear 4-Way,

I just broke up with my girlfriend a few months ago. Honestly, the relationship had been over for a while, so by the time the breakup actually went down, it was pretty friendly; we still talk all the time. She’s got a friend I’ve always found really attractive, and recently the friend mentioned to my ex-girlfriend that she’s interested in me too. My ex says she’s okay with it if we go out, but a couple of my girl friends tell me that I shouldn’t even consider asking her out, no matter what my ex-girlfriend says, so I’m not sure what to do. What do you guys think?—TM

Chris    The straight man’s perspective: Chris Kennedy
I’m not a big believer in having a lot of dating rules, but I do hold true to the Golden Dating Rule—do unto significant others as you’d have done to you. Even if someone isn’t your significant other anymore.

I say don’t do this unto your ex. Put yourself in your ex’s shoes. Not literally—I’m not recommending fetishes—but see things from her perspective on this. I don’t care how over a girl I was, I’d have a pretty tough time if my ex started sleeping with my friend. Wouldn’t you? And wouldn’t it burn you that the only reason they know each other is because of you? That you were essentially a matchmaker? I don’t know how long your relationship was, but if it was of any significant time, this would be really awkward. Sure, you say you and your ex are friends now and talk all the time. But don’t fool yourself into thinking there isn’t more at stake here than just asking out the friend of a friend.

All you’ve said about your ex’s friend is that you find her attractive and you’re interested. “Interested” is not enough of a reason in my book to breach the Golden Dating Rule. If you said you thought she was “The One” and your “Soul Mate,” I might reconsider, but she would have to hold that sort of potential. Your ex may say she’s fine with it because otherwise she has to say no, look petty, and fight with both you and her friend. (What kind of friend says she’s interested in her friend’s ex, anyway?) Your ex knows that you guys could easily sneak off and have your little rendezvous anyway, so she’d probably just as well know about it. I want you to go after other attractive girls. You live in LA; there are a few around.

Take the high road here. Sometimes you have to walk it in someone else’s shoes.

Check in next week for another Q&A series with The 4-Way.

The 4-Way is published monthly. If you have a question for our 4-Way panel, please send it to them in care of the editor at To read more of The 4-Way columns or to listen to our podcasts, visit The 4-Way now.

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