When Is It Okay to Date Your Friend’s Ex? 32 Millennials Weigh In


May 8, 2018
Read Time: 3 minutes

Cue: “It’s A Small World (After All)”



Reuse, reduce, recycle, people! A half-joke but who would have thought this would wind up applicable to the human relationship? “Reduce” is apparent in the outgrowing of friendships, a byproduct of instances like falling out. Non-romantic relationships, most especially, may come with an unspoken “collect and select” kind of deal and rostering down often happens as one grows up. “Recycle” takes its form in giving the same ex x number of second chances or navigating the same dating pool as one’s peers. Here, the latter is the topic of discussion. As for “reuse,” well, the hope is that no one here uses other people as a means to an end. Let’s go ahead and discourage that altogether.


As the generation currently at an inevitable relationship crossroads (those into casual dating, serious relationships, settling down are all here), Millennials ought to provide great insight on this modern facet of dating. Is getting together with the ex of a friend still a no-no? In this day and age, when do you get flack for dating a friend’s former flame? We surveyed 32 Millennials to find out.



“I think it would be really weird to date a friend’s ex because then I would always wonder if he did the same exact things with them. I think it would take a really deep connection—like, feeling the guy was my soulmate or something—for me to even consider.” —P.S.E., 26 years old

“I had a chance to date my kabarkada’s ex, but I didn’t act on it when they broke up. I’m a firm believer in the saying ‘don’t shit where you eat.’ [Laughs]” —A.B.M., 25 years old



“I haven’t met anyone that could make me look past the idea of recycling a friend’s ex, but I’m not above it if the person is awesome.”T.C., 32 years old

“I think it’s okay; it’s just tricky business. Dating is a gamble no matter what, but there’s a lot more on the line when you pursue a relationship with the ex of a friend. Did it for fun (very shallow, selfish reasons), ended up causing irreparable damage to a friendship and really hurting someone I cared about…all for a relationship that didn’t even last. Learned from experience that you have to pick your battles wisely and see that sometimes, the relationship worth fighting for is the friendship.” —P.M.F., 24 years old



“I haven’t dated a friend’s ex; I’ve been that ex. It works as long as everyone involved has closure and is genuinely okay with the situation.” A.B.C., 26 years old

“I think somehow dating exes in the gay community is easier. The community is small. Everybody knows everybody. It’s easy [to date people who have dated my friends before] in a sense that dates are just that: dates. As long as I have my friend’s blessing, it doesn’t really bother me anymore.” L.A.R., 27 years old



“Things get awkward when I see my friend at the same events [now that I’m with the ex]. It’s the kind of thing that can bring out your competitive nature in everything—especially in bed.” —J.E., 28 years old



“Even if my friend and I weren’t all that close, I did give him a heads up before I started going out with his ex.” Y.E., 32 years old



Art Alexandra Lara

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