Is it ever okay to sleep with a friend’s ex?

One word – no. Well, maybe two words – never ever.


Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it is anything you should go to prison or hell for but I truly believe that this falls into the moral sphere of what not to do in life.


You see amongst us boys there is an unwritten code that we all live by (in theory) and that is any ex partner of a friend of yours officially remains part of his property for life and/or until a reasonable amount of time has passed (at least 15 years) and you and your friend have lost touch or something big like that. 


Even then,  a lot of care has to be taken to establish that your friend is truly over his past concubine and that he’s okay with her moving on with you.  And there’s more, even if he says it’s okay, this agreement should not be taken as the absolute truth. Bravado and hurt ego play a major part and unless you are very close and open with each other he may never tell you what this girl really meant to him. It’s complicated.


Like everything else in life though, the truth is stuff happens  and I’m an expert in this field because I found myself in this exact situation a few years ago. My best friend became my girlfriend. She was great. We did everything together, went everywhere together and could talk about anything. When our friendship/relationship ended a few years later, she met and started seeing a close friend of mine.


The happy part is that they got married, had children and at the time of writing this post, they were still together and doing the happily ever after thing. All is well that ends well right? Well, no actually.  


The problem is that when the rest of the guys found out about it they were incensed. It’s something you just don’t do they cried. They lost respect for him and our friendship barely survived the betrayal. You see the fallout wasn’t limited to the three of us – me, him and her – it actually undermined the collective trust that us boys had always taken for granted.


It shattered the sacred brotherhood we had shared from childhood and left us all  a bit suspicious of each other – not so quick to introduce our girls to our boys. He wasn’t comfortable. I wasn’t comfortable and she wasn’t comfortable. The boys were never the same again.


Don’t get me wrong – I’m old enough to know that the path to true love is never clear or easy and in fact I believe that people can and should be with anyone they want. But when that choice undermines lifelong friendship then I think you have to tread very carefully. For me the friendship factor makes it sacred territory.


The girl, at the risk of being mistaken for misogynistic, is disposable but the friendship is not. Lovers may come and go but good friendships last forever.


So people, before you dip your wick in somebody else’s ex-candle holder, ask yourself if your friend will get hurt by it. If the answer is yes, put the fire out and move on unless you can honestly say it’s worth it. And women, the same goes for you!


What do you think? Join the conversation and post a comment.


14 Responses to “Is it ever okay to sleep with a friend’s ex?”

  1. Discussing it first would be great.

  2. It needs to discussed first,

  3. Chris Kentebe Says:

    No. She might be doing it to get back at him and I wouldn’t like to be used like that. Why ruin a friendship over a few hours of pleasure (or a few minutes for some)?

  4. What about code, honour, trust, loyalty? What about sloppy seconds?

    If the above aren’t worthwhile considerations – and your friend isn’t fussed about it – then that’s different.

    It’s also different if the girl’s name is Vanessa…

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