My Best Friend is Dating my Ex

Eric and Lisa, sadly, broke up.  They have known each other for some time.  Eric’s best friend, Dave, starts dating Lisa.  Eric is not happy about this…

Some background:  Lisa broke it off with Eric because “she wasn’t really into him” and it’s been a few months since they dated.  Eric has a girlfriend now that he is very happy with, but still feels “off” about Dave and Lisa.  Too boot, Lisa texted Eric’s new girlfriend in a group text and called her names.  They don’t know each other and have never met.  Eric doesn’t trust Dave much right now…

Eric asked:   “Should I say or do something?

Well, There really isn’t much to “do” with this.  You can’t control what others do.  But, you can control how you respond and what you tell Dave and/or Lisa, so you feel better about this situation.

This really didn’t go down well.  But as you are all likely just really entering the dating world, how to handle these complex situations isn’t easy.  Everyone makes mistakes.   Hopefully, you can work this out so nothing like this happens again in the future.

So, with that said, do you know how you are feeling about it?  Specifically?  Maybe, betrayed, since Dave didn’t come to you first to see that you were okay with him dating Lisa?  Are you feeling angry or maybe even jealous?  Sad still at the loss of the relationship with Lisa, and maybe she is moving on?  Suspicious of either, or both of them?  This type of situation can trigger a lot of different feelings or maybe just one emotion.  Try to figure it out as specifically as you can.

In any case, there was a more stand-up thing to do (in my opinion). Before Dave started dating Lisa, he could have come to you shared his intent and found out if you were okay with it.  Ex’s are kind of off limits to good friends.  Not a good vibe.

To add insult, Lisa was rude to your new girlfriend, who she has never met.  WARNING: It’s possible that Lisa may be creating this “drama” in your world (even though she broke up with you).  She may be hurt you are happy with someone else (since she was verbally abusive to your current girlfriend).  She may not have been straight with you why she ended it…so you are seeing her acting out.  If she is the one that approached Dave, and is now dating him…maybe consider that she isn’t ready to be out of your life just yet and this is her way of staying in it.

Before you “do” anything, consider your readiness to: accept them dating (and hey, try not to talk down about Lisa to Dave); forgive him (or maybe you aren’t quite there yet); understand is this more about Dave or Lisa.   Before you “do” anything, you need to decide if there is a way Dave can make amends to you and/or is there another discussion you need to have with Lisa about what is going on for her.  Once you have a handle on where you stand and how you feel…hopefully your strategy and how to approach one or both of them will be more clear.

Talk to Dave and/or Lisa.  Separately, of course.   Face-to-face is best.  Anytime there is a difficult or emotional situation, text just doesn’t cut it.  Too much communication is lost.  So…

  1. Figure out what you are really feeling and make sure you talk to the appropriate person (I call this “complaining to the right people”).
  2. Try to understand the other side (put yourself in their shoes).
  3. Talk.  Face-to-face.  Share your feelings and what you understand.  Try to use the word “I” not “You”.
  4. Be clear on what you need to be able to feel forgiveness and allow trust to be rebuilt.  Trust is earned, so Dave and/or Lisa have some work to do.

Hope this goes well!

Ask me Anything


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