Keren's Blog

‘Is it OK to go out with your best friend’s ex?’
Tuesday, Aug 27, 2013 11:46 am
‘Is it OK to go out with your best friend’s ex?’
Do you have a strict moral code re relationship boundaries?

I talked to Vanessa Feltz on Radio London recently about Simon Cowell’s relationship with his very good friend and confidant’s wife.  It sounds like they became friends whilst she was still married. The question posed was, ‘Is it OK to go out with your best friend’s ex?’

Most of us do have a code of conduct that we adhere to and that we often believe others will do too even if we’ve never discussed it with them. The consensus on the programme was that whilst a couple your friends partner is definitely off limits and however much you might fancy them, they are not for you.  This included becoming emotionally close and sharing intimate secrets.  Where it became a bit greyer was when they had split up.  Are they always off limits or is it OK to start an intimate relationship?

There was concern that too many intimate secrets might be passed.  Partners know things about each other that friends might not and the other way round.  Would you have to agree a confidentiality contract to not spill the beans?  Or a free for all of information which is fine to share.

Some felt it would be awkward going out to dinner knowing your new partner had slept with your friend.  I was left thinking how important it is to be clear in relationships about what is acceptable and what isn’t. So often we get ourselves into trouble because we haven’t discussed things. I can’t say enough how important talking is in a relationship.

Even if you’ve split up, discussing it with your ex if you plan to hitch up with their pal makes sense to me. You can still choose to do so even if they are not happy but at least they have the opportunity to share their views and to deal with their emotions in private rather than in front of a whole gang of people.

It is not surprising we fancy people our partners like, as so often they have similar characteristics.  That of course doesn’t mean you can act on every whim you have. Be clear about any possible repercussions if you go ahead because you could find yourself losing more than you gain.

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