Ask Rachelle: when friends date your exes

MennThumbRecently, a girl in my friend group started dating a guy I had a brief thing with last quarter. A lot of people say she knows that we had a fling, but neither of us has brought it up. I’m really happy in my new relationship and I have no feelings for that guy anymore. I know for sure that it’s not jealousy that’s bothering me, I just feel like I’m in a really awkward situation now. The guy and I are pretending like nothing happened which feels wrong, but I don’t want to cause drama. I don’t want my boyfriend and friend to think it’s a big deal so bringing it up just seems unnecessary. Should I just hope the whole thing will blow over?


Well, you’ve already done the first step—figuring out what was bothering you. It’s completely understandable that you feel awkward because, let’s face it, you have been put in a really, really awkward situation. But it sounds like the awkwardness is due to the fact that you’re keeping something from people you care about rather than who’s dating whom.


I have no doubt that the majority of failed relationships, romantic or platonic, could have been salvaged by communicating. Whatever reasons you may have for avoiding honesty—they’re not good enough. You’re not in the wrong so you have nothing to hide. These things always come out in the end and when it does, it’s going to seem much worse than if you confront it on your own terms.


Be very casual when you bring it up. When you’re telling your boyfriend, there’s no need to make an entire conversation out of it, just nonchalantly mention that your friend is dating a guy you were seeing before. If he sees you don’t care, then he won’t care either.


Talking to your friend is a little trickier. If she knows and hasn’t approached you, then she’s probably waiting for you to come to her. When you talk to her, make sure she knows that you’re OK with their relationship. Girls can be very possessive when it comes to guys. If she feels like you’re telling her this because you want him back, she’s going to respond aggressively. Make it clear that you hadn’t confronted the issue previously because it didn’t seem like a big deal, but you didn’t want her to think you were hiding anything. She has to know you’re trying to be a good friend and that’s it. Don’t act like you’re in the wrong because you’re not. Just like your boyfriend, is she sees you don’t care; she won’t either.

If it’s bothering you now, it isn’t going to get any easier. Take control! You’ve been honest with yourself—time to be honest with your friend and boyfriend too.




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