Patti's Blog

How to deal when your ex dates your friend

datingexboyfriendI’m not ashamed to admit that I love reality television. I definitely do my fair share of reading, keeping up with the news, watching indie movies and appreciating scripted television. However, I have such a soft spot for trashy reality television. Right now, Bachelor in Paradise is on the top of my list for mindless tv watching. I love seeing contestants from previous seasons acting more real and getting a glimpse behind the curtain of the socializing and fraternizing that goes on within the Bachelor community. They all seem to know each other and hang out and hook up after each season films. The drama is so good too because there are so many couples and hook ups and break ups. Michelle Money is a Bachelor alumnus whom I always get a kick out of. She’s funny and smart and has a sense of humor about the show. In a recent episode, she thought she was hitting it off with Robert, but he decided to pursue Sarah, which was heartbreaking for Michelle. Still, she maintained her friendship with Sarah and even helped Sarah with her hair for Sarah’s date with Robert. It got me thinking that it could be helpful to share some tips of how to deal when your ex dates your friend. I know that none of you are planning on going on the next season of Bachelor in Paradise, probably, but still, these lessons could come in handy!

Check in with your gut

I know that it’s an icky feeling to see your ex move on before you do. And it’s even ickier when you’re close with his new lady. None of it feels good and I totally understand why your first instinct is to rage against everything! But, check in with your gut. Are you upset because you have real feelings for your ex? Because there’s a true reason your friend and your ex shouldn’t date? Or, are you just upset because this is upsetting? There’s no shame or blame in just being upset because this is personally rough for you. You have every right to feel that way. But, you can only do something to stop the relationship from happening if there are reasons beyond your personal feelings that it shouldn’t be happening. If you act out based on your personal needs to heal, you’ll lose your friend and alienate yourself from your shared contacts.

Talk to your friend

Like with romantic relationships, communication is key in friendships as well. Talk to your friend about how you’re feeling about her new relationship and what she can do to make you feel better about it. Maybe you need to ask her for a timeline, like a few weeks or months, before you can hang out with the two of them together. Or maybe you need to ask her to dial back on talking about the relationship with you until you feel more comfortable. As long as you’re not telling her she can’t date your man, you can ask for what you need to make you feel more comfortable in a very uncomfortable situation.

Know that doors close for a reason

This is a tough one to swallow at first, but know that he’s your ex for a reason. Really, I know that you’ll move on and meet someone a million times better for you who loves you in a forever kind of way and would never hurt you. Focus on your future and the happiness that you deserve instead of dwelling on your ex and whomever he’s dating now, even if that person is someone you know. He’s not dating you so he really doesn’t deserve any of your mental or emotional space. Save it for someone worthwhile!

Good luck dealing with this sticky situation. I know you’ll get through it!

Photo credit: Helga Weber / CC BY-ND