Seeing an ex move on with someone else can really sting. However, if that someone else is one of your friends, it can really feel like a knife to the heart. Unfortunately, emotions can be complicated, and while it's easy to assume a friend would never think it's OK to romantically pursue your ex, it can happen. Although it can be easy to let your emotions get the best of you, if your friend wants to date your ex, it's important to try and remain calm.
According to Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, your friend needs to understand how dating your ex can jeopardize your friendship. "The simplest way to handle this situation is to not go there," Dr. Klapow tells Elite Daily. "If it's a close friend and you want to preserve the friendship, then dating the same people will open the door for strife in your friendship." In a perfect world, despite being attracted to your ex, a close friend probably wouldn't consider dating them to be a viable option, unless they knew for a fact that you could not care less.
However, if your friend can't suppress their feelings, and they ask you for your blessing, Dr. Klapow says it's important to be completely honest with them. Although directly telling them not to date your ex may be overstepping, if you already know you won't be able to handle the situation, Dr. Klapow says it's OK to make it clear that your friendship may not work out if they decide to move forward. "You can and should let them know how you'd feel about your friendship with them if they decided to date your ex," explains Dr. Klapow. "Is this making them choose? Sort of, but the question is: Can you retain an honest and trusting relationship if you are bothered by them dating your ex? If you can’t, then the friendship will not likely last."
It's also important to acknowledge that not everyone will necessarily be tortured by the idea of a friend dating an ex. If your split was mutual and amicable, and you're OK with your ex and your friend dating, then Dr. Klapow recommends keeping the lines of communication open, taking things slow, and not keeping secrets. "You don’t need to know every detail of their dating life, but the more [honest] your friend is about dating your ex, and the more you feel that there are open lines of communication," the more likely you'll be able to maintain trust in your friendship, says Dr. Klapow.
Ultimately, Dr. Klapow reiterates that if your friendship is the most important thing for both of you, then it would probably be smarter if your friend didn't pursue your ex. On the other hand, if you're genuinely not bothered by the situation, then there's no need to overthink it. Only you know what's best for you, so don't be afraid to make your feelings known and cut ties if you need to.