You find yourself attracted to a friend's ex.
So many thoughts run through your head and there are so many things to consider.
If it remains a simple crush, no problem.
If the other person has feelings for you, too, and if you decide to pursue a relationship, nothing's quite so simple.
Several things happen when you date your friend's ex, things that affect your friendship and your new relationship.
Keeping them in mind might help things progress a bit more smoothly.
1. You Start Catching Feelings
You probably don't mean to. You probably know it's a bad idea, or at least a risky one, but sometimes you can't help whom you fall for. Sometimes, it just happens.
2. You Try to Deny Those Feelings
Which never works. It's like when you're on a diet and you cut out your favorite food. Suddenly, all you crave are hamburgers or cookies or bread. Your friend's ex is bread.
3. You Start Weighing Pros and Cons
This is important. If you really have feelings for your friend's ex, you need to know because that will help you figure out how to proceed. If, on the other hand, you discover that you're just experiencing a little lust or infatuation, then you might reconsider whether this is worth potentially harming your friendship.
4. You Talk to Your Other Friends Constantly
You have to swear them to secrecy, of course, but you need to vent, you need to hear different perspectives, and you need to talk out your feelings. Just beware, there's a chance your friend will find out anyway.
5. You Become Very Careful on Social Media for a Minute
Hopefully, anyway. You don't need to put all your business out there before you have the most important conversation ...
6. You Talk to Your Friend
You have to. I know it might be scary, but you really have to. It's human nature to sometimes push for our own happiness, but you're dealing with your friend here, and her/his feelings. You need to know where your friend stands because you might have a decision to make – or not. I mean, if you have strong feelings for your pal's ex, the idea of walking away is painful.
7. You Fight the Urge to Gossip
It happens. When you get with someone new, you gossip about your exes. When you're hanging out with someone who's been in your circle, you gossip about your mutual acquaintances. Don't do that here – and if you want to keep you friendship strong, don't let your new boo tell tales about your pal.
8. You Don't Trash Talk, Either
Especially if things get acrimonious, which is a possibility. Even if your friend is talking trash about you, rise above it and remember that s/he is hurt and probably feels betrayed.
9. You'll Discover the Boundaries
There will be plenty. Maybe you can't talk about your new relationship with your friend. Maybe your new partner can't complain about the things your friend used to do in front of you. You'll figure it out.
10. You'll Think about Their Relationship, Though
Usually just in the beginning, and hopefully, you quell the urge to talk about it, but you'll think about it.
11. You Might Even Get Obsessive
This can happen, too. If you feel like you're in direct comparison with your friend, it can drive you crazy.
12. You'll Think about Them Kissing …
Your partner has kissed your friend. Their tongues have been in each other's mouths. That can wear on your brain.
13. … and Doing Other Things, Too
Bits of your partner have been inside bits of your friend all the way around. That, too, can weigh on you.
14. So You Learn to Stop Comparing Yourself
For the sake of your sanity, your relationship, and your friendship, you have to separate their relationship from yours. See why it can get tricky?
15. You Compare What You Know to What You See, Though
The thing is, at some point, you'll hear about your friend's relationship – either while it was happening or now that you're seeing her/his ex. You'll naturally compare what you know to what you're experiencing – and sometimes, you have to. Just try not to let it affect your new relationship too deeply.
16. You Either Overcome the Issues
This person might be your person. No matter what happens, this might be it for you. Ultimately, your friend will come to terms with it and/or move on. Ideally, you'll have your friend and your new relationship, and your friend will find someone who makes her/him happy, too.
17. Or You Split
Gotta be honest. This happens sometimes, too. Sometimes all that history and baggage is too much.