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There’s a lot of talk about dating rules. They’re things that aren’t written in stone — or written anywhere for that matter — but a lot of people follow them. One thing that a lot people consider a cardinal rule is that you should never date a friend’s ex. People say that it goes against guy code, girl code, and the laws of friendship. But, it is actually true? Or, are there times when it might be okay. Here’s the deal on whether it’s actually ever okay to date a friend’s ex.

Help! I have feelings for a friend’s ex and I don’t know what to do.

First of all, I want you to calm down. I understand that you probably don’t want to be in this situation, but sometimes you cannot control matters of the heart. The first question I want you to ask yourself is what do you want to do about it? Do you want to try and make these feelings go away/hope they will fade with time? Or, do you want to pursue this and see what happens? If you’re leaning towards the second one, do you think that there’s a chance your friend’s ex likes you back?

I have feelings for my friend’s ex and I’m pretty sure he/she likes me back. I’m curious to see what would happen, but don’t want anyone to get hurt.

Here’s something to consider: Someone might actually get hurt whether you act on the situation or not. The obvious situation that everyone sees is that if you act on it, it could potentially hurt your friend and maybe even your friend’s ex. But, if you don’t act on it, it could hurt you. It could leave you wondering what could have been if you went out. If you do pursue things and you get rejected by your friend’s ex and/or lose your friendship, you’ll be burned again.

I know that you probably don’t want to hear all of that, but it’s true. You should be aware of all the possibilities. You should also consider what led you to this current situation.

What do you mean?

When did you develop feelings for your friend’s ex? Did it happen after they broke up? Was there any cheating involved? Is your friend, your friend’s ex, and you all part of the same friend group? If you and your friend’s ex *didn’t do anything wrong* the situation is slightly less complicated than if you were fooling around behind your friend’s back, but know that your friend could still think something was going on. You’ll also want to consider how long it has been since your friend and her ex broke up, how long they dated, and who broke up with who.

What do I do with all of that?

Thinking will hopefully help you decide your plan of action, if anything. Every situation will be different and I cannot make a final decision for you. You have to go with your heart and head and weigh the pros in cons.

What I will suggest is that if you value and your friendship, out of the respect for your friend, be honest with her. Let her know your feelings and intentions. You’ll then have to decide what to do whether she’s supportive or not supportive of the situation. Maybe, she won’t know what to say. She could be shocked, suspicious, or it could hit her later. But, telling her upfront is better than her finding out you and her ex and hooking up later. Because she will always find out if you don’t say anything. It’s the way life works.

I feel like I’m in a love triangle and I have to choose between both of them.

If your friend isn’t with her ex and you were never with her ex when she was, it’s not really a love triangle. As for the other point, it’s natural to feel like you have to pick a side, but sometimes you don’t. There are a number of celebrity friends who have dated exes. You might even know some non-famous examples. The thing is we don’t often hear about them because there’s no *juicy* drama to discuss.

Another point to consider is that you never how things will turn on with time. The situation could end up working for everyone, or it might even bring you and your friend closer together. Or, it might seem heated between the three of you now but mellow with time. These are all possibilities to consider.

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